Settler Colonialism and the
Personification of Capitalism
No Jew can smell out with keener instinct an opportunity
where money can be made to grow than can a Chinaman.
—Atlantic Monthly, 1900
Racial Capital
In August 2012, Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney issued a pub-
lic apology for purging an image of a female Asian scientist from the
newly designed one-hundred-dollar polymer banknote. She was re-
placed by a “Caucasian-looking woman”1 who is seen peering through
a microscope (figure I.1). In the foreground appears a bottle of insu-
lin that symbolizes nationalist ingenuity through medical innovation.
Based on internal reports obtained by the Canadian Press, the deci-
sion to remove the Asian scientist came in response to focus groups
who previewed the design in Montreal and Charlottetown and felt
that her Asian appearance “did not represent Canada”2 and was “ex-
clusionary . . . since the banknote didn’t represent other ethnici-
ties.”3 Although the bank declined requests to release the initial de-
sign to the public, a bank spokesperson indicated that the image of a
“Caucasian-looking woman” was substituted to “restore neutral eth-
nicity.”4 News of the bank’s decision met sharp criticism from Asian
advocacy groups, particularly the Chinese Canadian National Coun-
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