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Lecture 8

VIC136H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Serbian Nationalism, Barack Obama, English Canada

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Ivan Kalmar

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Lecture — Week 8: Nationality and Sacrifice
The Chetniks, a Serbian nationalist group, who stated: “Freedom or death!” They were a nationalist
militia group in WWII who some describe as war criminals but some describe as freedom fighters, all
depends on interpretation.
The skull on their flag is like a pirate flag. Pirates are not bound by law, they deal and risk death. The flag
is also black and white and if you think of that metaphor, “black and white” it means that they are
determined, they know what is right and what is wrong and will do anything to complete their task.
This black and white motif is also present in terrorist group ISIS’ flag. If you choose black and white, you
are saying that you are incredibly determined.
Chetniks’ flag ISIS flag
Terrorists sacrifice themselves but they also kill other people and there will always be groups that
appreciate it. For example, for the Boston Marathon, both Paris attacks, and the recent attack in Brussels
were perpetrated by brothers who are close-knit and share the same appreciation for radical, terrorist
In order to be remembered, suicide bombers made a statement to their group to proclaim why they did it
and to spread their message. It’s an act of communication.
On the other hand, just regular soldiers (non-terrorist) sacrifice their lives for a group, the military, who
believe that it’s a good thing and necessary.
Groups that force you to sacrifice yourself to be a member:
— Gangs
— State nation religion gangs
“What is your nationality?”
It’s all about how you feel, what you identify with. Some people are born in Canada but when asked,
would say they are Greek. Some people are immigrants to Canada and still say Canadian. It’s all about
your feelings toward natioanlity and citizenship.
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Nationality: a) citizenship, b) ethnic group (= “background”)
Mixed “background”: one-drop rule, if you have a little bit of black in you but mostly white, you’re
Barrack Obama is mixed and technically you can say he’s white but it is not anthropologically appropriate
in our society, he is black.
The historic reason is that white people were privileged and they wanted to keep out people who were not
white and this is where this “mixed” term comes from, you are excluded, almost, from white culture and
the white status because you reproduced with a non-white partner.
French Québec: quebecois de souche — an ethnic Québecer
It arises a lot of hostility in English Canada because they do not understand that sort of feeling, there is
not English Canadian feeling per se and it seems like like French Quebecois feeling is almost racist. They
all feel like they are a family and have descended from the same ancestors.
Some people feel like Anglo-Canadians are “boring” and say that even though their families have been
here for centuries, they are still 1/16th Irish, 1/4ths Greek, etc — they feel the need to be something else.
Being white and a British descendent can sometimes seem like nothing in this society but it is just as
much a nationality than any other nationality.
“Slovakia for Slovaks” — meaning that anyone who isn’t a “god-given Slovak” does not have the right to
be in the country (radical nationalism)
UN declared that there is a “right of nations to self-determination” and there have been many fights about
what constitutes a nation. How many nations are in Canada then? Greece? Spain? Iraq?
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