The dichotomy between white ethics [the discourse of civil society] and its irrelevance to the violence of police profiling is not dialectical; the two are incommensurable whenever one attempts to speak about the paradigm of policing, one is forced back into a discussion of particular events– high-profile homicides and their related courtroom battles, for instance (Martinot and Sexton, 2002: 6; emphasis added).
It makes no difference that in the U.S. the “casbah” and the “European” zone are laid one on top of the other. What is being asserted here is an isomorphic schematic relation– the schematic interchangeability– between Fanon’s settler society and Martinot and Sexton’s policing paradigm. For Fanon, it is the policeman and soldier (not the discursive, or hegemonic, agents) of colonialism that make one town white and the other Black. For Martinot and Sexton, this Manichean delirium manifests itself by way of the U.S. paradigm of policing that (re)produces, repetitively, the inside/outside, the civil society/Black world, by virtue of the difference between those bodies that do not magnetize bullets and those that do. “Police impunity serves to distinguish between the racial itself and the elsewhere that mandates it…the distinction between those whose human being is put permanently in question and those for whom it goes without saying” (Ibid.: 8). In such a paradigm, white people are, ipso facto, deputized in the face of Black people, whether they know it (consciously) or not. Whiteness, then, and by extension civil society, cannot be solely “represented” as some monumentalized coherence of phallic signifiers, but must first be understood as a social formation of contemporaries who do not magnetize bullets. This is the essence of their construction through an asignifying absence; their signifying presence is manifested by the fact that they are, if only by default, deputized against those who do magnetize bullets. In short, white people are not simply “protected” by the police, they are– in their very corporeality— the police. (Frank Wilderson III – The Prison Slave as Hegemony’s (Silent) Scandal)
Dominique C. Hill
Sometimes we get tired of analyzing dense tomes of theory. Sometimes we wanna cut up, dance, cry, scream poetry, two-step, etc. Well: the wonderful, sweet, and fiercely talented and intelligent Dominique C. Hill (see above!) is going to do a workshop with us! It will include: dancing! poetry! giggles! probably food! maybe yelling! Get ready to have your minds blown! Details will be posted as soon as possible.
In the meantime, here are a couple of other artists I hardcore adore.
Sex positivity as a supposedly coherent social movement would be only a paper tiger; rather, the object of this essay is to disrupt the attachment to sex as it has lived in feminism and popular imagination, and it is a relation that lives well beyond the past 30 years of “sex positive feminism.”
This week we’re reading Undoing Sex: Against Sexual Optimism from LIES volume 1, pages 15-43.
“As all advocates of feminist politics know, most people do not
understand sexism, or if they do, they think it is not a problem.
Masses of people think that feminism is always and only about
women seeking to be equal to men. And a huge majority of these
folks think feminism is anti-male. Their misunderstanding of feminist
politics reflects the reality that most folks learn about feminism
from patriarchal mass media.”
This week we’re re-reading the first four chapters of Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks (pages 1-24).
“SCUM will not picket, demonstrate, march or strike to attempt to achieve its ends. Such tactics are for nice, genteel ladies who scrupulously take only such action as is guaranteed to be ineffective. In addition, only decent, clean-living male women, highly trained in submerging themselves in the species, act on a mob basis. SCUM consists of individuals; SCUM is not a mob, a blob. Only as many SCUM will do a job as are needed for the job. Also SCUM, being cool and selfish, will not subject to getting itself rapped on the head with billy clubs; that’s for the nice, `privileged, educated’, middle-class ladies with a high regard for the touching faith in the essential goodness of Daddy and policemen. If SCUM ever marches, it will be over the President’s stupid, sickening face; if SCUM ever strikes, it will be in the dark with a six-inch blade.”
This week we’re re-reading the SCUM Manifesto, by Valerie Solanas!
This week (for Jan. 17th) we’re reading a debate between bell hooks and Judith Butler that problematizes subversion, centered around the documentary Paris is Burning. The clip above supplements the texts well, but you should definitely try to watch the whole movie (it’s on youtube!).
We’ve posted the readings earlier than usual because we’re ingesting a lot of media for this week. As always, don’t worry about it if you can’t complete the reading, we’ll have someone summarize things and we often discuss things tangential to the reading anyways.
See ya there!
Readings are up for the week. Should be a good discussion. See ya’ll Thursday.
Readings up for this week at the last minute! Sorry. See ya tomorrow.