If “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” is an expression of “humanity,” as one tweet has it, we must ask for whom that humanity is available. In fact, the insistent repetition of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” by black bodies across the U.S. might offer a less promising narrative: it might suggest the banality with which black life forms can never gain access to the vernaculars of the human. Keguro, “hands up, don’t shoot” (via antiblacknessisatheory)
To put the matter differently, the “Negro question” eclipsed the question of the social in the United States. Racism retarded the development of social rights; perhaps the amazing indifference to blacks’ physical and material needs resulted from the ascription of blacks as the ultimate bearers of the bodily and/or to the quieted needs of the white working class effected through an imagined racial integrity - that is, membership in a grand and incorruptible social body that enabled an escape from the immediacy of needs. Let me suggest that blacks have largely occluded and represented the social, and by dint of this the issue of social rights was neglected until the New Deal. Worse yet, when social rights were belatedly addressed, they were configured to maintain racial inequality and segregation. When one is examining the social question from this historical vantage point, it is clear that the history of enslavement and racism shaped the emergence of the social in the United States. Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 168-169 (via antiblacknessisatheory)
Traditionally, in american society, it is the members of oppressed, objectified groups who are expected to stretch out and bridge the gap between the actualities of our lives and the consciousness of our oppressor. For in order to survive, those of us for whom oppression is as american as apple pie have always had to be watchers to become familiar with the language and manners of the oppressor, even sometimes adopting them for some illusion of protection. Whenever the need for some pretense of communication arises, those who profit from our oppression call upon us to share our knowledge with them. In other words, it is the responsibility of the oppressed to teach the oppressors their mistakes. I am responsible for educating teachers who dismiss my children’s culture in school. Black and Third World people are expected to educate whir people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future. ~ Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider, Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference, pgs 114-115)
Don’t get too high and mighty, ladies. Don’t step out of line. Don’t do anything to upset or disappoint men who feel entitled to your time, bodies, affection or attention. Your bared body can always be used as a weapon against you. You bared body can always be used to shame and humiliate you. Your bared body is at once desired and loathed. Roxane Gay: The Great Naked Celebrity Photo Leak of 2014 is just the beginning (via guardian)
I wrote this(via roxanegay)
Are we more concerned with the size, power and wealth of our society or with creating a more just society? The failure to pursue justice is not only a moral default. Without it social tensions will grow and the turbulence in the streets will persist despite disapproval or repressive action. Even more, a withered sense of justice in an expanding society leads to corruption of the lives of all Americans. All too many of those who live in affluent America ignore those who exist in poor America; in doing so, the affluent Americans will eventually have to face themselves with the question that Eichmann chose to ignore: How responsible am I for the well-being of my fellows? To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Taken from his last book “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” (1967) (pages 85-86)
← Earlier posts Page 1 of 565