Ferguson

From my feminist mothering studies standpoint, all violence is connected. Violence towards children, women, LGBT people, racalized people (and, of course, all the ways that many of us are have been or are all of these identities at once) is all about who has the right of protection from the state and who doesn’t. Who counts as a citizen? Who is seen as worthy of protection? Which people’s bodies are seen as in need of physical discipline? As I argued in my recent essay “Disciplining the Unruly (National) Body in Staceyann Chin’s The Other Side of Paradise” in Small Axe, which you are welcome to download from my academia.edu page, violence in the Americas is rooted in colonialism and slavery. All of our societies in the Americas have roots in notions of freedom that is exclusionary and in public spaces that need to be policed violently in order to keep them segregated by race and gender to maintain the image of a white national body politic. And so the Black, brown, Native body has long been considered dangerous as many scholars have written about, but as I argue was actually dangerous to notions of exclusionary racist nationalism. The presence of people of color in public spaces challenges the idea of the nation space as being always already white. So to explain this to white people, this is how you get police practices or violence enacted by white people in “self-defense”  that see people of color as inherently suspicious and dangerous because by the logics of racist nationalism they are.

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