EssaysFeatureRaceRace/isms

Will We See Justice for Alton Sterling or Philando Castile?

Less than two years ago, a Ferguson grand jury decided not to return an indictment in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The grand jury announced their decision on the evening of November 24, 2014. There had been about 70 hours of testimony and over 60 witnesses. (NPR has a helpful blog covering all the action.) Remembering what happened in Ferguson may help us to understand what may not happen in Baton Rouge and St. Anthony: an indictment or conviction of the officers who killed Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

In line with the adage that a determined prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich, the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office was criticized for its presentation of the evidence in Darren Wilson’s case, especially given its willingness to indict Ferguson protesters. The vote of the grand jury is secret, …

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EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionRaceRace/isms

Resisting Acts of Resistance

Precarious citizenship against the militarized police

In Brazil, police officers are rarely held accountable for murderous attacks on citizens. Whenever a member of the police shoots someone, the agent responsible can easily claim that he was counteracting resistance. An “act of resistance” is then written and immediately filed. This institutional and legal justification — which needs only to be unilaterally asserted by the agent — automatically exempts the police from any kind of formal responsibility, ultimately limiting the possibility of an official investigation.The fact that these acts of resistance most often concern a specific population — black poor youth from peripheral areas who are nevertheless formally protected by civil rights — poses the question of how control and repression of different people within the homogenous category of citizenship can vary. Even though they are fully recognized as Brazilian citizens, and thus entitled to all rights formally guaranteed by the state, …

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CapitalismEssaysFeatureMedia/PublicsRaceTheory & Practice

Theses On The Philosophy Of The FKA-Anthropocene, Feat. Shia LaBeouf, Part I

Walter Benjamin’s strategy in the Theses on the Philosophy of History was to focus on a non-human moment in human time and to present this instance on blast in his prose style. What I mean by “blast” here is the fact that the message had to be pirated past ideological hangers-on and historical barriers, past both Marxist and theotropic renditions, and also past the Nazi episode that might have been his more obvious target in 1940. His prose is clear but depth-charged, resonates at another frequency, still as if exploded past the imaginary proscriptions of Theodor Adorno, who was already in situ in New York …

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