Thinking of my Mami, today is her birthday
I believe that frankly, there does not structurally exist an effective, i.e., preventative, humane way to deal with crime and its racist, classist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic production and reproduction of it by the very forces that provide the delusion (for whom really, any more? or ever!) of maintaining order. That picture of a cop beatin the shit outta some one, or sprayin the shit outta some one, speaks volumes about the status quo’s delusion of order and chaos, for those who know what’s goin on, or who have been paying attention to the bloody parade of targeted people of color, or, really, any one else who dares step outta line, not really targeting across class, but on a race, sexuality, trans and gender across-them-all-basis, one drawn out, pooled, cracked, ripped open, meaty, dark thick soakin the soil of our hoods.
Of course we are all animals, but I mean it specifically about the police when I think savages, animales asesinos. I just got this great new book by Jean Franco, Cruel Modernity, she had an earlier book on gender and Mexico (Plotting Women Gender & Representation in Mexico) I had read 15 years ago. So far as I have read, her argument is that cruelty is completely modern, not primitive (with all those planned and played out default racial connotations that that implies), as in we are not beyond that stage, but modernity has centered it into its every-day machinations and its very existence. We have a long, long list of modern savages – the Nazis, the long shadow of kings and queens of all the European nations, Pinochet y sus socios asquerosos structured/backed by the Milton Friedman-trained Chicago Boys, los architectos del proceso en Argentina, las caravanas de muerte, el ejercito de Guatemala, la muerte de Roque Dalton, Tlateloco in 1968, Jim Crow, Black Codes, lynchins, apartheid, the occupation of Palestine, neoliberalism, Tianamen Square, los paracos y la Masacre del Alto Naya, ¡Vivos se los llevaron y vivos los queremos!, femicide in Cuidad Juarez, other hatreds/tortures/killings of straight, bi, and lesbian women, of homos, trans women, mass graves all over, rape as a tool of war. To name a few, in a code switchin in da tellin kinda way just now, but it is clear that technological progress, in learning and reason has also meant the perpetuation today in the application of old techniques of torture and cruelty, and human debasement. Samplin Jean Franco, I wouldn’t say a more sophisticated implementation of such methods, crude and cruel as they continue to be, just lots more convoluted justifications, aka, Dick Cheney as one of the latest exhibits NUMERO UNO.
I, with many others have survived a police attack. What tied our accused bruised hearts together in our particular instance, and our bodies shoulder to shoulder, those 4 years after it, was a lot of hard work, deeply lived political analysis, lots of backin each other up and just as importantly, that by compas/famila/comrades/community lawyers en lucha who were not at that very specific moment targeted, that one very night, the beginnin of some light teeth suckin amongst each other that never played out, but rather, listening to and hearing each other out. Some times the g works, some times no. The attack fractured us in our in-formation political work together, and we used it to tie us together, thinkin on that thanks to Ruth Wilson Gilmore for those insights about partitions, that provide spaces to connect and encounter. And we exploit them, in the sense of take advantage, tomar ventaja, not in the sense of use and discard. And I still always regret the lack of a community-wide pachanga when we won! Además, we defeated two jails in the South Bronx, TWO!
In thinking of people who cannot seem to wrap their heads around the abolition of prisons, jails, punishment and police, I think of as kinda lookin at them more than sideways, if we had been there ala dear Octavia Butler, seeing people who supported, idly or otherwise, the kidnapping, shackling and displacement of millions of Africans, and the generational shacklin that got ingrained, institutionalized and reproduced for way, way too long, and crushed too many. And built the U.S., the rest of the Americas and the Caribbean with no reparations,
Still, the higher education institution goes along with the targeting accusation against me of racism against white people? Because I recognized the unequal law enforcement of the war on drugs (targeting poor and working class people of color as its basis), the no arrest zones in bougie white neighborhoods, and what the slave traders/owners did for 400 years? How is that about white people?
Not that surprised though, in the come mierda piece-of-the-pie hoarding and eating contest. Proves Jean Franco’s book – breaking down the rational, fair, rights oh so modern project.
But, of course, that is not the final story because we fight, fight, fight for a totally different world based on totally different principles than those that have been enforced on us. A little respite here and there, to keep on keepin on.
And as Maya Angelou reminds us, “And still we RISE!”.
And then the mass uprisings, resulting through the daily constructions of new societies with new/long forgotten/surgiendo gender, race, class, sexuality relations that knock down these partitions to create places of liberation together – palenques, maroons, quilombos!