The problem is ….. #2
In the present times, the nation-state and its corporate-military structures hold life into place with discourses. As humans, we respond to it. When we live in resistance to certain rules of language, concepts and positions in relation to identity and place and self and community, we find out that assimilating is easier.
Often, we “understand” these assimilational aspects to be “knowledge” or “understanding” or “truth” or “right.” This is how societies function since the rise of the nation-state. The reality of biopolitics is intense. Furthermore, this kind of reality that has been constructed through power relations, is becoming more intense as we speak. Individuals and communities are increasingly defined by states and their systems (institutions and cultural processes). This is not a top-comes-over-everyone process. We participate in a relationship to it, defined very much by locale, skin-color, way of life, economic class, behaviors of gender etc. etc. etc. These definition-boundaries are not eternal or truths or natural. They have been created, changing to circumstances and the factors of resistance throughout time.
Citizen or not? Within a state or not? The right kind of human or not? What becomes more prioritized while others become background, later, lesser? It is not difficult to figure this out. Humans and animals and ecologies the world over are less and less in control of their own lives. But at the same time, there are certain freedoms allowed that appease us and make us comfortable enough so that forgetting is not so bad. Loss is not so bad and soon, loss and destruction are seen as inevitable and natural—not seen as loss, even.
Statelessness is one example.
Amerasians in the Pacific region, are mostly, if not almost totally, rendered without a state. Without a state, certain rights and privileges are not accessible. However, for those fathered by French, Dutch or British fathers, for instance, these children make immigrate to those nations and be citizens. Not so for those fathered by Americans of the United States.
At the same time, as most rights and privileges are not reachable, ethnic cleansing–whereby nations can send out to the United States all of their un-wanted Amerasians, rendering them foreign and not of their own culture or nations, is normalized and not seen as anything but racism by the west (against those Asian nations) and proving the superiority of the United States as non-racist while simultaneously not allowing them in as citizens of the United States.
In the Asian nations, by-in-large, since citizenship is given by the child’s lineage through the blood of the father, the Amerasian is disqualified. Usually they are Japanese or Korean or Filipino or Vietnamese citizen, etc. through the Asian father. But if the mother is of that nation and the father is U.S. American, they are no-citizen.
In the U.S., one is born U.S. American if born in the U.S., not having anything to do with blood. The “blood” aspect of U.S. culture comes in when it is due to color and hypodescent, but not citizenship. You may be a U.S. citizen of any color. You are afforded civil rights, although this does not mean that all is fair or egalitarian between groups of different colors and varies through different regions.
So Amerasians are caught in-between. Recent laws allow those of Vietnamese or Korean or Thai Amerasians, for instance, to prove their citizenship if they have the father prove their paternal link. Interestingly enough, the United States did not grant the same for Amerasians and their families in Japan or the Philippines. Why is this? These laws have also changed and change as we speak. But in any case, why should people ask about their citizenship? What are the processes through which citizenship is lived?
Citizenship, nation, inside/outside, alien, other, dismissable, delay-able.
The Amerasian and his/her mother and families or caretakers, suffer. But it is certainly not a priority.
Amerasians across nations have recently begun contacting each other and form solidarities and share stories and begin movements. This must be done. Otherwise, no one seems to be paying attention. Individual happiness projects are on most people’s minds across the globe as this becomes a reality in the neo-colonial (globalizing) present. This was not the case decades ago. As we are more controlled into thinking individual happiness in a more totalizing world, the place of the Amerasian continues to be tense, and not created by them.
Transnational racism and transnational sexism continue flourishing in old and new forms. It is normal because of increased alienation and atomization of reality and the movements of power for and against.
When will apathy by all concerned, re-think and make different worlds?