Dubian Ade

Time For White People to Move Back to Europe

Dubian Ade
Time For White People to Move Back to Europe

When Donald Trump was elected president I watched as scores of white settlers talked about moving to "Canada" and in the subsequent months many actually did. This got me thinking: if white liberals are that willing to utilize their privilege move to another country, why can't they go back to Europe?

A lot of white people often ask me what they can do to fight against colonization and the continued occupation of indigenous lands. Usually my answer is to listen to Native peoples. Be a comrade instead of an ally. To be an accomplice or a "race traitor". If the colonial situation is based on the genocide and institutionalized violence that materially befits white people, then white people must act against their own racial interests if they want to be in solidarity with the colonized.   

But recently my response has changed. If you conciser yourself a "white ally", "white leftist", "white comrade", or "white anti-racist" and it is in your means to do so, you should probably give Black people your money, give Native peoples your land, and go back to Europe.  

Settler colonialism is an on going process that has never ended. From the moment Christopher Columbus landed in Hispaniola in 1492, the settler colonial project in the Americas has only accelerated in its technologies of violence and conquest. Continued European voyages were to follow and, on Turtle Island (soon to be the so-called United States), European settlers would lead a campaign of unspeakable genocide under the policy of foreign and local governments.

The settler war of independence from Britain (also called the "American Revolutionary war") saw the formation of an independent white settler government who made the extermination of Native peoples and the acquisition of their land national policy. All while more and more Europeans immigrated to the United States for the promise of land, wealth, and opportunity which they couldn't find in their homelands. It was the promise of the spoils of robbery, land theft and colonial violence. For those settlers born on this land, such was perceived to be their inheritance.

Whiteness was constructed in the United States via the absorption of European immigrants into the settler class. Its maintenance involved the steady influx of Europeans to replace Indigenous peoples.   

Today settler colonialism manifests its self in every institution produced by the U.S. settler regime. The various layers of oppressions experienced in the U.S. including racism, patriarchy, anti-queerness, ablism, Islamophobia, and capitalism are all either colonial imports or were furnished during the formative stages of conquest. White settlers still have a monopoly on land as settler property and are protected by the state through its police and colonial military. While First Nation people are regulated to reservations managed by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The very existence of the United States is a violence in its self. And the needs of white settlers have always been the center of that violence. 

Yet, white social justice movements today have commodified and perfected performative "allyship" into a non-profit industry.   

Allyship is the corruption of radical spirit and imagination, it’s the dead end of decolonization.
The ally establishment co-opts decolonization as a banner to fly at its unending anti-oppression gala. What is not understood is that decolonization is a threat to the very existence of settler “allies.” No matter how liberated you are, if you are still occupying Indigenous lands you are still a colonizer.
— From Accomplices not Allies

Even worse are organizations such as SURJ and Redneck Revolt who pride themselves on a "we organize white people" platform that only reconfigures white settler nationalism. White people organizing white people in white spaces is never meant to dismantle or abolish whiteness as an institution, but to help white people feel comfortable and affirmed in their position. The missing anti-colonial politics in these organizations is of no coincidence since it would actually require white people to confront their settler privilege and do something about it.

Instead of “organizing white people for racial justice”, organize them to get out. Many of you have the resources. You could pool resources. It could be a national effort. Y'all were ready to move to Canada right?

Think about it. A mass unsettlement movement would disrupt the settler colonial project in the United States. It defies the parameters of whiteness as property by distributing property back to Native peoples. It de-gentrifies neighborhoods where Black people are displaced. You would be helping to put Black and Native people in a better position to fight by giving back the resources that were stolen from them. You would be helping to decrease the number of settlers on occupied indigenous lands and weaken the moral of the U.S. settler regime.

In a world where whiteness co-opts every social justice movement and recenters the white settler in the discussion of liberation, this is the kind of allyship I am interested in. If you really would like to help decolonize, move back to Europe. If you are unable to, organize other white people to move back to Europe. Talk to them, trick them, do what you got to do to get them to leave.