Race and Racism

The Speculator

The Speculator

Six hundred and ten square feet of possibility

My home was a commodity with a life of its own. It operated within DC’s cycle of displacement, increasing in value without much input from me, and regardless of my politics or morals. My income, which in my third year at HUD would approach six figures, made me an economic gentrifier. It had allowed me to pay an absurd amount for 610 square feet.

BLM in the Billionaire Wilderness

BLM in the Billionaire Wilderness

A channel for movement at the grindingly slow pace of government

Our new group joined around a hundred people who stood on the grass and the sidewalk in front of the courthouse. A counter-protest formed on the sidewalk across the street—they numbered around ten, all men, all white, some with assault rifles strapped across their chests. Together they held one sign, a large piece of cardboard with Sharpie letters that read ALL LIVES MATTER FCK SOROS AND ANTEFA [sic]. It was mostly silent—a modern-day Western standoff, with two opposing factions staring each other down and a man in a MAGA hat on horseback circling both groups.

From the Lockdown Protests to the Capitol

From the Lockdown Protests to the Capitol

January 6 and the enduring lessons of Black Lives Matter

We cannot police our way out of authoritarianism. An increasingly authoritarian police state in the hands of the “right” bourgeois elites will not suppress the far right; it will instead train a new generation of far-right foot soldiers and target, disorganize, and destroy fascism’s most dogged opponents among the far left.

Fire in the Hold

Fire in the Hold

On Afropessimism

Inasmuch as the end of the world already feels imminent — we are, after all, staring down mass racial injustice, environmental catastrophe, and a global pandemic — vague gestures toward a radical restructuring of society without even a basic blueprint feel, if not incomplete, indicative of a failure of imagination.

Yell: A Documentary of My Time Here

Yell: A Documentary of My Time Here

WHITE PEOPLE SAY THE WORD PEDAGOGY TO ME

How I hate that I ignore more calls from my mother than I answer. How I can’t leave !!!!!!!!!!! even though I feel unfulfilled in my second week. How that would be its own sort of tragedy for my mother, because at least for the next three years when I ignore her calls she knows where I am. How I want to KMS but I’m too much of a narcissist to go through with it. I’m too afraid of what my mama would do if I did. So I’ll just do it here. On the page and see if I still feel the same afterwards.

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.

Such Things Have Done Harm

Such Things Have Done Harm

The only people I ever hear saying the world needs stories are the people involved in telling them

We should be willing to demand more than fellow feeling. The New York City Council crowed about its progressivism in passing a billion-dollar reduction in the NYPD’s budget. That number would just about return the department budget to the levels it was under Mayor Bloomberg’s administration. It is indicative of a dangerous lack of imagination if the best we can do is make a tacit admission that it was unwise to give the police more resources in the years after the rise of Black Lives Matter.