Manuel Ramirez: “Securing Racial Borders”

Read Manuel Ramirez (UConn) and Fae Chubin's (Bradley University) article in Sociological Inquiry, "Securing Racial Borders: A Comparative Study of Settler‐Racial Ideology and State Border Violence."

The Palestinian “Great March of Return” in 2018, marked by the Israeli government’s brutal attacks on Palestinians who were demonstrating at the Gaza border, nearly coincided with the Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy in which the unauthorized border crossing of Latinx immigrants came under an ever severe attack. This article offers a comparative content analysis of the “border security” discourses of the two settler‐colonial states of the United States and Israel by examining American and Israeli government officials’ public comments on state violence at borders. We place our study within a settler‐colonial framework to provide a historically grounded analysis of the U.S. and Israel’s racial ideologies and the colorblind rhetoric of “border security.” Through a content analysis of the speeches, interviews, social media posts, and press releases of American and Israeli government officials, we identified a settler‐racial ideology shared by the two states comprised of three distinct and overlapping frames: (1) obscuring settler colonialism, (2) vilification of those constructed as non‐native, and (3) glorification of the state. By bridging theories of settler colonialism and structural racism, we demonstrate that a settler‐racial ideology is central to maintaining the ongoing systems of border violence within settler‐colonial states.