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Anti-Palestinian Gendered and Racial Childism/Motherhoods in the Toronto Public School System
I argue that gendered and racial childism reveals settler colonial political anxieties wherein degrees of self-knowledge are applied differentially across race and gender categories. I argue that anti-Palestinian childism is distinct in that it mobilizes white motherhood/maternal/pedagogical aptitudes as superior to racial motherhoods by operating as a benevolent process of saving Palestinian children from their families and themselves. Simultaneously, white mothers fragment Palestinian children from their embodied knowledges through “cultural gaslighting" (Ruiz). Black and feminized Palestinian students are targeted in different ways than Palestinian boys and their allies in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), in accordance with social and cultural phenomenon such as rape culture, gendered discourses of peace and dialogue practices, as well as imperial white feminist discourses. My paper explores a case study wherein, following the proposed inclusion of the IHRA definition of antisemitism into the Toronto District School Board’s child abuse and neglect policy in the Fall of 2022, the Palestinian community learned that educators with leadership roles in the TDSB were proposing to involve child protective services in reinforcing this definition. These measures are justified as protecting the Palestinian children. I argue that there is an incongruent application of agency to children based on imperial and settler colonial political anxieties and distinctions. This pattern is in distinct congruence with the longstanding Canadian legacy of weaponizing white motherhood and the settler colonial project of the fragmentation of indigenous families and their cultural-political transmissions.
Political Science
Geographic Area
West Bank
Sub Area