American Politics

Out Here

Out Here

An interview with photographer Nicole Buchanan

Every way we’re photographing Black men, and women, and children, whoever, needs to be humanizing. Photography has always dehumanized African and other African-descendent people. Early photographers documented slaves, so if they ran away, you’d have a photograph to know what your slave looked like. That’s the history, and as photographers now we have a duty to show Black life in a positive light. If we take that humanity away, we’re back at the beginning.

Community Defense in Minneapolis

Community Defense in Minneapolis

We are not yet after a revolution

Abolition—the notion that prisons and policing are directly linked to slavery and thus antithetical to human liberation—is not new, but it is to some people. That is lamentable, and not unrelated to the challenges associated with social transformation, but it is not avoidable. We need to prepare the ground, look for nascent and emerging practices and nourish them.

Coronavirus and Chronopolitics

Coronavirus and Chronopolitics

The young are trying to save the old

It is important to understand that chronopolitics is nothing more than the political and cultural modality in which class conflict in recent decades has appeared: the conflict between generations is not fundamental but is rather the outcome of specific historical developments, which have turned age into the medium of conflicts flowing from the relations of property. But this does not make generational conflict superficial, any more than the mediation of class through race makes race superficial. There is a genuine divergence in life chances and social power along the lines of age.

The Bad Feature

The Bad Feature

“Your daddy did my lips”

This is the problem with the politics of desire. The parasite is already within us, and our desires are not our own. It’s not that a “real” self has been colonized by the infrastructures of desire, but that the very thing that we call “self” is composed of that colonization; the self does not exist without it.

Free the Horses, Cage the Pigs!

Free the Horses, Cage the Pigs!

The officials who had endorsed reform would only cede the state’s unique power to kill, to ruin, under incredible pressure

On Friday, during the protest, it became apparent that the State House and the mall were looking out for each other, government and business close collaborators in urban fortification. The mall is one of a handful of grotesqueries visited upon the city’s historic downtown as part of mayor Buddy Cianci’s urban renaissance. It is most notable today for being America’s largest carpeted indoor shopping center, and—suddenly relevant—for the abundance of windows along its facade.

Ground Zero

Ground Zero

Melanin and accents are ineffective binding substances 

No matter how far away you were from New York that day, no matter how distant your connection to that day was, no matter how much lower than zero the count of the people you lost on that day was, if you were white, 9/11 happened to you personally, with blunt and scalding force. Because the antithesis of an American is an immigrant and because we could not be victims in the public eye, we became suspects. And so September 11 changed the immigration landscape forever. Muslims and Sikhs became the targets of hate crimes. ICE was the creation of 9/11 paranoia.

Everything Could Be Free

Everything Could Be Free

The cops called us “bodies”

Each additional arrestee meant more strain on the NYPD’s capacity, another extended shift for an arresting officer, another public embarrassment. Lacking speed, strength, or tactical skill, and having nothing better to do for the moment than sit in a jail cell, I resolved to attend protests with the goal of protecting other people from the violence of the cops—and if that meant being arrested, so be it.

Extinction Event

Given what is to come, schools of every kind are now at risk

Tuition and fees, for decades the apparently inexhaustible engine of growth in higher ed—backed as they are by federal student loan guarantees—have begun to hit a ceiling. Tuition and rental income has long been the gold standard of revenue in higher education: unlike private gifts, federal grants, or state appropriations, it has no restrictions on its use, and can be deployed freely to pay the staff salaries, pension liabilities, debt service payments, and other operational expenses that regrettably cannot be embossed with a donor’s name.

No Close Encounters of Any Kind

No Close Encounters of Any Kind

At a certain point in the pandemic, finding synonyms for empty feels beside the point

He tells me he’s driving a transport van instead of a truck because the Border Patrol is now sending pretty much everyone it apprehends right back to Mexico, as quickly as possible. “Expel” is the Trump Administration’s choice of verb. It has taken the pandemic as an opportunity to effectively seal off the border to asylum seekers; unprecedentedly, even unaccompanied children haven’t been spared. “Asylum is cancelled,” is how the agent interprets and articulates this. The policy is a violation of the Refugee Act of 1980.