“ When you cut facilities, slash jobs, abuse power, discriminate, drive people into deeper poverty & shoot people dead whilst refusing to provide answers or justice, the people will rise up & express their anger & frustration if you refuse to hear their cries. A riot is the language of the unheard.
— Martin Luther King Jr. (via anarcho-queer)
“ Why are police calling the people of Ferguson animals and yelling at them to “bring it”? Because those officers in their riot gear, with their tear gas and dogs, want a justification for slaughter. But inexplicably…we turn our attention to the rioters, the people with less power, but justifiable anger, and say, “You are the problem.” No. A cop killing an unarmed teenager who had his hands in the air is the problem. Anger is a perfectly reasonable response. So is rage.
…How dare people preach and condescend to these people and tell them not to loot, not to riot? Yes, those are destructive forms of anger, but frankly I would rather these people take their anger out on property and products rather than on other people.
No, I don’t support looting. But I question a society that always sees the product of the provocation and never the provocation itself. I question a society that values property over black life. But I know that our particular system of law was conceived on the founding premise that black lives are white property…
Nothing makes white people more uncomfortable than black anger. But nothing is more threatening to black people on a systemic level than white anger. It won’t show up in mass killings. It will show up in overpolicing, mass incarceration, the gutting of the social safety net, and the occasional dead black kid. Of late, though, these killings have been far more than occasional. We should sit up and pay attention to where this trail of black bodies leads us….
“ Language is power. When you turn “torture” into “enhanced interrogation,” or murdered children into “collateral damage,” you break the power of language to convey meaning, to make us see, feel, and care.
“ When you are an affluent-seeming white man and you ask for things that don’t belong to you, sometimes you’re not really asking. It’s sort like Bill Clinton asking Monica Lewinsky to have sex with him. There’s a context behind the asking.
When you ask a serviceperson for something that doesn’t belong to you, there is often a subtext of, “If I complain to your manager, you know your manager is going to listen to me. Just look at me, and look at you.”
And sometimes, of course, this is not the case at all, and you’re just being a garden-variety annoying customer. Or a bully.
If you seem to be “getting everything you want,” you should probably examine whether you’re getting it at someone’s expense, or whether you’re just constantly, in small ways, making the world worse.
“ The notion of the “terrorist” does not simply delegitimate violence by non-state actors that threaten a particular state; rather, it is embedded in the framework of liberal politics. Terror is “an epistemological object” defined by modernity and attributed to the “nonmodern” and “nonliberal.” The U.S.-led War on Terror is based on these assumptions and embedded in a binary framework: a state that does not promote terror fighting a network of non-state actors who inflict terror. Because terrorists do not resemble a “conventional enemy” and can presumably blend into the citizenry, they must be contained by cultural as well as military tactics of repression. Counterinsurgency thus has a cultural front that rests on racialized understandings of populations. Practices of state terror are often justified by distinctions between premodern and modern subjects, “civilized” people who deserve “rights” versus those who are evicted from the modern political community. These distinctions form the core of imperial thinking about “loyal” citizen-subjects and “enemy aliens” and have a long history in the United States, as evident in the vilification, deportation, and incarceration of targeted groups during the Palmer Raids of 1919-1920, the internment of Japanese Americans in World War 2, and the Red Scare of the cold war era. Thus, the disciplining practices of the War on Terror extend well before the events of 9/11 and the Patriot Act: the profiling of Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in the United States is not exceptional but is shaped by U.S. interests in consolidating its hegemony after the cold war.
“ It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on this earth as though I had a right to be here.
— James Baldwin (via buddingblackflower)
“ We’re taught at such an early age to be against the communists, yet most of us don’t have the faintest idea what communism is. Only a fool lets somebody else tell him who his enemy is.
— Assata Shakur (born July 16, 1947)