“ The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do. ”
A silent protest in Love Park, downtown Philadelphia orchestrated by performance artists protesting the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The onslaught of passerby’s wanting to take photos with the statue exemplifies the disconnect in American society. Simply frame out the dead body, and it doesn’t exist.
Here are some observations by one of the artists involved in the event:
I don’t know who any of these folks are.
They were tourists I presume.
But I heard most of what everything they said. A few lines in particular stood out. There’s one guy not featured in the photos. His friends were trying to get him to join the picture but he couldn’t take his eyes off the body.
"Something about this doesn’t feel right. I’m going to sit this one out, guys." "Com’on man… he’s already dead."
There were a billion little quips I heard today. Some broke my heart. Some restored my faith in humanity. There was an older white couple who wanted to take a picture under the statue.
The older gentleman: “Why do they have to always have to shove their politics down our throats.” Older woman: “They’re black kids, honey. They don’t have anything better to do.”
One woman even stepped over the body to get her picture. But as luck would have it the wind blew the caution tape and it got tangle around her foot. She had to stop and take the tape off. She still took her photo.
There was a guy who yelled at us… “We need more dead like them. Yay for the white man!”
"One young guy just cried and then gave me a hug and said ‘thank you. It’s nice to know SOMEBODY sees me.’
“ I don’t care if Mike Brown was going to college soon. This should not matter. We should not have to prove Mike Brown was worthy of living. We should not have to account for the ways in which he is suitably respectable. We should not have to prove that his body did not deserve to be riddled with bullets. His community should not have to silence their anger so they won’t be accused of rioting, so they won’t become targets too. ”
What were the protesters in Ferguson actually protesting on Sunday night? More than the death of an innocent black man, they were protesting the very disposability of the Black Body. The disposition of ‘ontological death’, meaning what constitutes a ‘full person’ (by any interpretation) is not recognized in the black population of America by the prevailing social institutions. So little significance does the Black Body hold that the media would rather talk about broken windows and burned out corner stores than the death of a living, breathing, human being.
The murder of Michael Brown was not a coincidence nor is it unrelated in the scope of American history. It must be contextualized in a long and ongoing lineage of violence against the Black Body and specifically that national oppression of Black peoples which works on behalf of the racist white supremacist capitalism of the United States. Michael Brown wasn’t the first innocent Black man to be murdered by racist pigs and he won’t be the last if we cannot change the course of the future.
There is a war being waged right now against the most basic existence of an entire population, and it’s happening on your street. The systemic oppression of the black population is integral to the very development of the United States as has been observed historically. Black people were and still are the free labor, they were and still are the most poor and vulnerable, they were and still are the ‘societal excess’ by which every ‘symptom’ of capital accumulation could be blamed upon. The war against the Black community is an ‘American war’ in the most authentic sense of the phrase.”
Lets do an experiment: reblog if you would feel safer hanging out with trans women (regardless of what genitals they currently posses) than Cis women who are transphobic and deny trans women’s obvious womanhood.
“ There are no spaces for life. No place to return. All of Gaza bids farewell to herself every night and congratulates those who remain alive the morning of another day. They inspect their bodies then run their hands over the living. They close their eyes then open them, and once again call the members of their families one by one…so that the memory of their names does not fail and their spirits do not disappear. ”
Hedaya Shamun, “I Do Not Wish For You To See Gaza As Anything But a Rose" (translated by Ghada Mourad and Tyson Patros)
On many street corners in São Paulo, we’re seeing more and more vendors hocking Brazilian flags, jerseys and noisemakers. With just a day before the start of the World Cup, people seem finally ready to celebrate (rather than protest) their country hosting the soccer tournament.
Well, FINALLY. All this poverty and abjectness has really been cramping my enjoyment of football.