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#racism

“I spent eight days in Ferguson, and in that time I developed a kind of between-the-world-and-Ferguson view of the events surrounding Brown’s death. I was once a linebacker-sized eighteen-year-old, too. What I knew then, what black people have been required to know, is that there are few things more dangerous than the perception that one is a danger. I’m embarrassed to recall that my adolescent love of words doubled as a strategy to assuage those fears; it was both a pitiable desire for acceptance and a practical necessity for survival. I know, to this day, the element of inadvertent intimidation that colors the most innocuous interactions, particularly with white people. There are protocols for this. I sometimes let slip that I’m a professor or that I’m scarcely even familiar with the rules of football, minor biographical facts that stand in for a broader, unspoken statement of reassurance: there is no danger here. And the result is civil small talk and feeble smiles and a sense of having compromised. Other times, in an elevator or crossing a darkened parking lot, when I am six feet away but the world remains between us, I remain silent and simply let whatever miasma of stereotype or fear might be there fill the void.”

Between the World and Ferguson by Jelani Cobb (August 26, 2014)

Further Reading

thenewinquiry:

To Supplement Dr. Christina Sharpe’s essay, Black Life, Annotated, TNI asked Sharpe to create a syllabus for further reading on the subject and she graciously obliged, with help from Mariame Kaba and Dr. Tamara Nopper.

Introduction to The Prison Industrial Complex

I recommend everything on the blog Prison Culture “How the PIC Structures Our World…”

The Black Youth Project

Young People Continue To Talk About the Cops

Louder Than A Bomb 2014: Chicago Youth Have Their Say 

Nicholas K. Peart, “Why Is the N.Y.P.D. After Me?

C Angel Torres and Naima Paz, Young Women’s Empowerment Project’s Bad Encounter Line zine

Rose Brewer and Nancy Heitzeg, The Racialization of Crime and Punishment: Criminal Justice, Color-Blind Racism, and the Political Economy of the Prison Industrial Complex

Sylvia Wynter, “No Humans Involved: An Open Letter to My Colleagues

On Fugitivity and Captivity

Slave narratives, from Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl: Written by Herself, to Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave: Written by Himself, to David Walker’s Appeal, to Ida B. Well’s The Red Record

Keguro Macharia, fugitivity

Fred Moten and Stefano Harvey, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study

Tavia Nyong’o, Black Survival in the Uchromatic Dark

Making sense of it.

Remembering it. The feeling.

In the hours of first hearing about terrible event X, whatever moment I still can’t name. An incident, a tragedy, a violence. An event you don’t want to name after the person who perpetrated it - namely because it doesn’t feel like a one-person action. An event you don’t want to name after a place, because it happens every where.

In the minutes after I hear myself yelling at the radio, cringing at the language used by reporters - reporting just to report, not to dig deep, not to understand, not to make sense of it because who can make sense of it in the minutes hours days after such things happen - I find myself thirsting for logic. Craving a voice of rage, not of reason. Often, these come best in the form of frantic emails to close friends, stream of consciousness rambles, the raw anger that is allowed, allowed, allowed.

My way of processing these things have changed lately. I used to be tempted to do as many do: share articles the day of, the day after, the days after. To share them, as if that act of sharing lets others know you are reading about the same death(s), the same women, that you are remembering their names. Names like Loretta. Christina. And when they aren’t named, remembering their ages, the voices of their parents, their friends. Often it makes me relive the awful sinking feeling I felt the first time I heard of the awful thing, the awful thing I can’t yet name. 

So, nearly a month later, after remembering to breathe, and reading to try and make sense of things, I think I can do it. Because it feels important to share these words. Because their words helped me sleep at night, to know that people are naming these things, finding the words when I and so many others still cannot.

“What is the role of settler Canadians in a relentless emergency that has become – and has long been – everyday life for so many Native people? What is our role in a situation where front-line services reinforce experiences of dispossession and trauma, where scores of Indigenous communities live without potable water or decent shelter, and where Indigenous women face unconscionable levels of abuse, violence, and humiliation?”

– Andrew Loewen, from Briarpatch Magazine. (via batarde)

“Us ladies” are NOT a team… consider women in music who align themselves with charities and causes that don’t reflect their lived experience in order to seem like they’re doing great things for poor, suffering women—the Other. Look at female artists who use background dancers of other races as props… Look at women in music who publicly shame other women for exercising bodily autonomy, like Warpaint making offensive comments about Beyoncé and Rihanna’s wardrobe choices.

And look at the way articles published in the name of feminism and community end up reading like a list of ways to avoid confronting the complicated way that being surrounded by cis dudes has made you feel. We have a responsibility to support and empower each other in our fight against these damaging systems, not teach each other how to avoid punishment by mimicking the behavior of our oppressors, or staying small and quiet.

Meredith Graves, in NOT ALL WOMEN: A REFLECTION ON BEING A MUSICIAN AND FEMALE by Allison Crutchfield (May 27, 2014)

Major props to Meredith for being the only person in these interviews to call attention to the major fuck ups when talking about the challenge of being the “only girl” in an all-dude band. The original article was gross (and feeds into my general opinion of VICE) but SO FEW PEOPLE challenged the author not only its failings re: sexism, but also how it is absolutely essential to talk about how that culture of misogyny and “just suck it up” intersects with racist, heteronormative and gender essentialist bullshit. 

Failing on the part of this article was only interviewing young white women on this issue (I’m making that assumption based on the photos and passing knowledge I have of these artists) but still worth a read. 

patrickat:

White privilege is posting a manifesto on Youtube and carrying out a mass shooting that causes more deaths than the Boston Marathon bombing and the media doesn’t label you a terrorist.

heavenrants:

creativetime:

The cat is out of the bag! The New York Times previews Kara Walker’s upcoming exhibition, which opens May 10 at the Domino Sugar Factory.

“Rising to the rafters and stretching 75 feet from paws to rump is a great sphinx, demure as her Egyptian cousin but glowing from a recent sugar coating. It is a sight so unlikely it seems Photoshopped.”

We can’t wait to share it with all of you!

“Sugar crystallizes something in our American Soul. It is emblematic of all Industrial Processes. And of the idea of becoming white. White Being equated with pure and ‘true’ it takes a lot of energy to turn brown things into white things. A lot of pressure.” — Kara Walker

kabinessence:

tUnE-yArDs // Real Thing

I come from the land of slaves
Let’s go Redskins, let’s go Braves
You want the truth in tones
Dig this dirt and sift out the bones

Is this the best protest song I’ve heard in 2014? I think so.

You can stream the full album here.

“The fashion world is an industry that largely incorporates non-white people only as the labor to hem and stitch and toil and nothing else. Certain bodies belong and others do not. Anything that differs from this structure must be an affront to its natural order. In fashion, it is inherently “not good” and “not right” because it is different. It is not white.”

For fashion, if it’s all white, it’s all right: Kanye West’s recent ‘fashion rants’ about the industry’s racism and classism are necessary by Britt Julious (November 4, 2013)