Guide The Last Invisible Continent: Essays on Adoption and Identity

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How Nationalism Came Back

Powerful and thought-provoking. As the white mother of an Ethiopian child, I think — a lot — about how to help her develop an identity that makes sense, and empowers her, here in the US. She is Ethiopian. She is African. She is a person of color. She is Black. Her chosen identification will be her own, but I want to help her, and not impose my privilege filter on her. This article helps me understand, just a bit better. So, how do I as the white grandmother of an Ethiopian child provide support and encouragement while allowing her to be Black?

By a single white female. Her personality is exuberant and full of laughter and joy. She will endure hurts, we all do, of course, but how can we help her keep her self confidence? Home Categories Politics U. So was I a Nigger based upon observation and what the media fed me? I knew where my people were from. All her work is influenced by her education and socialization in womanist, feminist, postcolonial, and Africanist theories.

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You may also like Wiley Huff August 28, at pm. What a power to see the truth. Let her speak this truth to all who will listen. Thank you. KY August 29, at am. Nana Yeboa August 28, at pm.

OUR FAMILY STORY- Adoption, Infertility & Young Love

Marissa August 28, at pm. Marissa, I would love to hold a talk-back on my blog. Would you be interested?


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Roxanne August 29, at am. KK August 29, at pm. Roxanne, Thanks for commenting. Many rejected alien registration because they feared it would set a dangerous precedent, which would be unpredictable in the way it could potentially be applied to the rest of the population.

Causes for rejection included interference with civil rights of the people, and the high costs associated with such an undertaking. The fact that it was not only the ethnic groups that spoke against the bill, and that many from within and outside the government rejected the idea of registration of aliens, demonstrates that the aforementioned mayors and chief of police did not represent the interests of the Anglo-society, but rather some of its segments.

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The planned bill was proposed in tandem with the tendency of state officials to equate certain ethnicities and races with various sources of local, regional, or national danger. This was the result of their professional position and their identity as representatives of the state, and of them being brought up in a certain way, immersed within particular discourses, rather than a result of any form of specific training. For example, an analysis of Canadian passenger lists reveals that residents or visitors of British descent were almost never detained at the border.

Similarly, immigrants entering Canada for the first time, who had undergone rigorous inspection prior to receiving entry documents, were also seldom detained. However, returning Canadian residents of non-British ethnic background, as well as non-British visitors were much more likely to be apprehended at the border.

The demographic concentration of ethnic groups in certain geographic areas also fostered increased suspicion towards foreign-born individuals.

Cultural Citizenship and the Creation of European Identity

For example, in September , following a demonstration broken up by police in Kirkland, Ontario, the courts sentenced six Finns to prison terms, while one Ukrainian and one Englishman were released with a warning. The growing Finnish population of Kirkland, according to the author was one of the reasons for the growing red menace in the city.

The fact that Finns were arriving to Ontario in large numbers in the s and s is a fact. With the advent of the Great Depression, ethnic management allowed the state to maintain the ideological and political status quo, as well as foster and maintain a unified vision of Canada. Among the 2, Canadian Finns who left for Soviet Karelia in search of work between and , more than 30 percent were unemployed. Singled out for observation, many Finnish workers were blacklisted, and eventually deported. During the s and s, deportation of undesirables was a way to manage labour supply and maintain social order, as deportation helped to alleviate employers, municipalities, and the state of the problems of unemployment and political unrest.

The economic depression and the hostile attitudes towards immigrants put a dent in the demographic structures of the Finnish population in Canada.

Its male population, for example, declined from 25, in to 22, in Canadian society at the time was dominated by patriarchal discourses, which saw the non-British immigrant male as a potential menace to the internal security of the state. Although not a rule, in most cases women were targeted when thought to be accomplices. Only when women entered male spheres, such as places of work and public protest, were they targeted by the state. Between and , 16, immigrants were deported, six times the number of deportees in the previous five years.

In less than a year they were deported.

The Last Invisible Continent: Essays on Adoption and Identity

Prominent individuals in Finnish-Canadian communities, such as Martin Parker Pohjansalo , an associate editor of the Vapaus , were often rounded up and deported. Fear of the fifth column seemed to be a matter of daily life and political decision-making throughout the s. Angelo Principe, writing about Italian internment in Canada during the Second World War, argues that by the late s the fifth column hysteria engulfed Canada from coast to coast. Thus, one could detect a multiplicity of sites and methods by which identity was being renegotiated.

As with Finnish and Ukrainian schools in the early s, the RCMP now paid close attention to the content of the curriculum taught in Italian language schools. In fact, in the late s charges against communists in Canada were as ridiculous, and often as fictitious, as ever. RCMP methods used to fabricate charges against communists were strikingly similar to the way local NKVD authorities in Karelia conducted arrests in and Given that actual hard evidence was difficult to come by, charges of conspiracy were based on reports that X knew Z who knew Y.

Norman Robertson, a senior official in the department of External Affairs even described himself humorously as a one man Cheka or Gestapo. As Salter indicates, during contact with an officer at the border, there is pressure on the passenger to produce truth for the representative of the sovereign. Sovereignty is then dialectic, a relationship, although an unequal one, between the agents of power and the passenger. The ports of entry affect the behavior and responses of the passengers.

In Canada, as in Europe there was no real need for passports. The first modern passports proliferated in North America, Europe, and the Soviet Union in the s and s with the expansion of the railway that allowed people to travel fast and en masse. Several international conferences were held in the s and s that attempted to universalize the use of passports around the world. Nonetheless, in the absence of the universal use of passports during this time, it was easy for passengers to identify themselves in ways that suited them at that particular moment.

In conversation with the officer concerned, passengers produced different versions of truth, often in efforts to avoid confrontation or conflict. Population movements across state boundaries are an inherently political matter — it threatens to sever the alignment of territory, political institutions, and society that states try to create and in which nationals so fervently believe. Loyalty to more than one state, let alone one such as the Soviet Union, was bound to generate negative reaction from Canadian authorities, as transnational actions in general usually generate perceptions of disloyalty.

The imagined national community constantly redefines but also protects itself. It is obvious that most returning Finns were hesitant to disclose that they had spent a considerable amount of time in the Soviet Union.


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Very few mentioned they had done so, despite a mandatory section in the passenger manifest to disclose the last place of residence. There was a good reason why the returnees did not reveal the truth about their escapades, because when they did, they were often detained, denied entry, and deported.

Only seven, or a mere 3 percent, of the returnees specified they were coming back from the Soviet Union. Five of the seven were detained, held for questioning, or deported. Here are some of the examples of interaction between border officials and the returning Canadian Finns from the Soviet Union. Ale Simonson, a year-old farmer, his wife, Hilja, and a two-year-old daughter, Evelyn, from Dendsmore, Saskatchewan, were arrested and held in detention for 18 days before being released in March at the port of Halifax.

What is also striking about this family is that all three members held different citizenships. In a similar fashion the Ylikarhula family of three, including a nine-year old American citizen, Toivo, were detained, but then also deported. They had left for Karelia in August and it was upon their return a year later that they were denied entry to Canada. The head of the family indicated he was coming back from the Soviet Union. These examples demonstrate that those who were honest and revealed the true purpose of their overseas trip were more often than not detained at the border.

Such tendency in most likelihood prevented other returnees from disclosing the true nature of their trip, and instead encouraged the procurement of alternatives truths, those fitting the dominant political and ideological discourses, and those that would facilitate acceptance rather than rejection. It is quite possible that many of them will want to return to Canada.