The visual essay emerges from 2.5 years of ethnographic and arts-based research on the politics of race, citizenship, and military recruiting among Latinx youth in Texas. The essay juxtaposes two examples of how the military intersects with racialized constructions of a patriotic citizen: 1) the case of Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem at NFL football games, and 2) the role of military-run Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs in teaching citizenship. Through the two cases, the essay challenges readers—and educators—to attend to how patriotism is linked to both white supremacy and militarization within the United States.

Author Biography

Jenna Christian

Jenna Christian received her PhD from the Pennsylvania State University in the Geography and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is currently working as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Bucknell University. Her research and activism engage art, feminist theory, and critical geography in the study of the U.S. military, citizenship, education, incarceration, and social movements.



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