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The Black Precedents of a Black President: White Supremacy and the Killing of Walter Scott

This morning, I woke up in Paris to the terrible news that yet another unarmed black man, Walter Scott, had been shot to death by a white police officer in the United States. While the killing happened over the weekend, it took several days for the story to traverse the Atlantic and reach my consciousness here in France, where I am currently completing a book on French racism and the legacies of slavery.

As I watched the traumatic video of officer Michael Slager shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott — a father and Coast Guard veteran — two questions immediately came to mind:

What kind of a person shoots an unarmed human being in the back, then handcuffs them as they lay dying?

Even more to the point:

What kind of society allows black people to be routinely violated and killed by the state?

While I don’t have an answer to the first question, the second query is more straightforward. Anti-racist scholars have demonstrated that we are still living in a white supremacist society. As historian George Lipsitz (2006: xviii) writes in his brilliant book The Possessive Investment in Whiteness “the power, property and politics of race in our society continue to contain unacknowledged and unacceptable allegiances to white supremacy”. Continue reading “The Black Precedents of a Black President: White Supremacy and the Killing of Walter Scott”

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Brunch

I haven’t posted food lately, so.. get ready for an avalanche of overdue vegan & vegetarian dishes from the past months ..

Let’s start with this delicious brunch from today:

Spinach, mushroom & bell pepper scramble, hashbrowns, beans & cilantro, meatless meatballs in herbes de provence gravy .. with gluten free toast and homemade fruit beer cocktail.

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Yep. That was good. “Better than any restaurant,” she said.

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Heavy Histories

feministkilljoys

So many heavy words, we feel the weight of them; we feel the weight each time, every time, all the time.

Black, brown, race, racism: words that come up; words you bring up.

Heavy; down.

Slow, frown.

It is not that we only feel the weight through words. The load does not lighten when light remains white. Whiteness is a lightening of a load.

Not white: loaded.

When you bring up racism it is like you introduce something that would not have otherwise existed. It is racism that makes “racism” a foreign word, a foreigner word, what you impose on others, what gets in the way of happiness, reconciliation.

Smile: things will get better!

Smile: they won’t.

No wonder words matter. Words are materials. We build worlds with words. We make words from worlds.

This is why: so much of contemporary politics, we might call this so much “happy multiculturalism”…

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3.1.2 – Human Capabilites and the Racial Contract

Interesting read, as I am thinking/writing on Mills and Nussbaum in my book ‘Resurrecting Slavery’ ..

SPECTRA

Human capabilities and the racial contract: Avoiding the epistemology of ignorance of liberal contractarianism
Claudio D’Amato
claudio1@vt.edu

Abstract: Global relations are largely shaped by what Charles Mills calls “the racial contract”: the sometimes explicit and sometimes unspoken agreement that social arrangements must favor whites over nonwhites. This bias is strong among white political philosophers and especially in the liberal contractarian theories of Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Kant, and, most recently, Rawls. While these theories pay lip service to nominal equality in the name of universalism, they also ignore the inequality and disadvantage that nonwhites suffer at the hands of whites, and thus they contribute to epistemic obscurantism and racial domination. In this paper, first, I strengthen Mills’s argument by providing an even more convincing objection against the procedural requirements of John Rawls’s theory of justice; second, I argue that this objection gives us a good reason to distinguish between Rawls’s liberal…

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granovetter rejection!

scatterplot

You may think I’m talking about the Nobel. But I’m not. Here is the 1969 rejection letter and reviews of an early version of Granovetter’s “the strength of weak ties” paper. It was rejected by ASR.

I asked Mark if I could share this; he agreed. He also wrote, “I’d note also that this rejection illustrates the importance of framing. I framed the original draft, which I wrote in grad school, as a treatment of “alienation”, more or less in response to the ideas of Louis Wirth and others that the city was an “alienating” place. The editor therefore sent the paper to reviewers who seemed to be European-oriented alienation theorists, who rightly saw that I was not talking about alienation as Marx did, but failed to imagine that there might be any other valid way to talk about it, as you can see from their comments. When I later…

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Indigenous Feminism/ Indigenous Feminism Without Apology

Like a Whisper

asmith

In keeping with my goal of highlighting some of the major thinkers, texts, or figures in women of color feminism,today’s text comes from Nobel Prize nominated Indigenous feminist scholar, Andrea Smith. I have taught her book Conquest since it came out in my social movements, feminist theory, and race, class, gender courses. It was such an impressive and timely piece of research that I am already intrigued by the upcoming release of her new book: Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances. I was recently asked who I thought was one of the defining voices of feminist theory in the last ten years and her name immediately came to mind. Not only does she write theory but she also does some of the most extensive research I have seen in a single book in a long time, and I am a researcher who covers…

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Portland & Ogunquit ME

Although we got a bit sick, ran into some technical problems with the car and had to drive through the remnants of a hurricane, we nonetheless had a wonderful time visiting my mom in Portland, ME.  She was an extraordinary host, whipping up delicious, healing, gourmet dishes and nursing us back to health.

Yes, that’s my mom — not my younger sister..!
Fireworks in Portland
Fireworks in Portland
Now you see where I get it from.
Now you see where I get it from.

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Photo Jul 08, 8 36 57 AM
Mom’s cantakerous cat, Samantha

We had a synchronicity/matrix-moment during this trip that was pretty cool.  When K and I decided we wanted to see the coast, we looked up a list of “Maine’s best beaches” and settled on Ogunquit, not knowing anything about it other than the fact that the name supposedly means “beautiful place by the sea” in the Abenaki Native Americans.  (Others suggest that it actually means “coastal lagoon”). By the way, trying to look up any information about the indigenous population that lived in Ogunquit before European colonization was a lesson in cultural erasure. Most of the websites we found were awful, celebratory portraits of the colonial “encounter” that provided very little information about the original people living there.

Just as just as we were sort of wondering “Hmm, will this place be lesbian-couple-friendly”,  I came across this line in the town’s Wikipedia page: “Over the past 100 years, Ogunquit has become a destination for LGBT tourists, and features numerous LGBT-owned and -operated hotels,restaurants, bars, theaters, and other businesses.”  Basically, unbeknownst to us, the Universe had led us to the gayest, most beautiful beach town in Maine!

   

We had a delicious, inexpensive lunch (burger, lobster roll and strawberry mojitos) at Frills–an easy, breezy, beautiful beach shack nestled away under umbrellas and trees.   Then we went a few doors up the street for frozen yogurt and ice cream. Yummmm.

Sand on my face.

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The Kaleesi Burger

PornBurger

“Moon of my Stars”… “Mother of Dragons”… Call this smoldering dinosaur kale burger what you will, just don’t call it weak. Smokey morsels of crisped shiitake “bacon,” crown a regal beet gratin, smothered in Red Dragon cheese on top of a crunchy, berberre-rubbed kale patty, heirloom tomato, and slathering of sumac aioli. Dracarys! (Translation: “Fuck raw horse heart!”)

serious h/t to  J. Kenji Lopez for the mushroom bacon

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