Abstract

This article is a cultural analysis of the racial, sexual, and colonial aspects of homegrown terrorist assemblages in the American heartland. Applying Jasbir K. Puar's theories in Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times to the 2008 remarks by Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern, who said that homosexuality is a worse threat than terrorism or Islam, this study illuminates how some conservative lawmakers declare states of emergency for political gain and to advance neoliberal policies. The article first reads Kern's nationally protested statements through the lens of Puar's work and in the context of the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995, then examines Kern's 2011 book as a narrative of white oppression grounded in an erasure of racism and imperialism, and concludes that her regular endorsement of emergency clauses in legislation corresponds with the apocalyptic temporality that characterizes her theological outlook. Even as it critically analyzes Kern's discourse and politics, this study cautions against reading her or the state she represents as retrograde, backward, or anti-modern, lest it perpetuates the spatiotemporal binaries that anchor civilizing missions and their homonationalist impulses.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2151-7371
Print ISSN
2151-7363
Pages
pp. 153-173
Launched on MUSE
2013-09-05
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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