Let’s catch up on some reading and start some arguments.
- In Burkina Faso, Mansion Offers Glimpse into Revolution.
- The Struggle Continues in Baltimore.
- Black Faces in High Places Haven’t Helped Average Black People.
- On the Variety of Ways Not to Praise Charlie Hebdo.
- Texas Jails Teens for Skipping School.
- “every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials” for over twenty years.
- The Untouchable John Brennan:
Under Bush, Townsend had conceived of the job primarily as a counselor to the president. “You’re not the decision maker,” she told me. “You have a responsibility not to put your thumb on the scale. The president gets all the options as clear and concise as possible.” Brennan saw it differently. He didn’t simply enact the president’s policies; he shaped them.
What may well prove to be Obama’s most lasting legacy took shape in Brennan’s cramped quarters. It was here, 35 quick steps from the Oval Office, that Brennan built the drone program. He was the architect, the man responsible for taking the raw infrastructure the Bush administration had left behind and molding it into an institution that would survive. He selected the targets, and he brought their names to the president. Everything ran through him.
- Islamophobia as Narrative Device.
- The Most Diverse Cities are Often the Most Segregated.
- An Italian Futurist Building Still Sits in the Capital of Eritrea, Asmara’s Fiat Tagliero Station.
- Welfare is the Best Weapon against Nepotism.
- Most Togolese Support Term Limits, but They just Elected their President to a Third Term.
- #BlackLivesMatter, International Papal Edition, on remembering the Herero and Nama Genocide.
- The Last Message of a Free Syrian, Drowned in the Mediterranean:
Don’t worry Oh immigration department, I will never be a heavy burden on you.
Thank you Oh sea, because you accepted us without a visa or a passport.
Thanks to the fishes that will share me without asking about my religion or my political affiliation.
Thanks to the news channels that will share the news of our death for five minutes an hour for two days.
- Forcing Black Men Out of Society.
- Baltimore and the Language of Change.
- The Meaning of the Paris Commune.
- Achille Mbembe on South Africa’s xenophobic attacks.
- Where Traditionalist and Modernist Architecture Collide in Berlin.
- The Great and Beautiful Lost Kingdoms of Buddhist India.
- Counterproductive, on black bodies as productive but not human:
To call the riots counterproductive… isn’t to say that they are useless. They are not merely unproductive. Instead, they confirm the worst judgments held about those in question. They set back Progress. As in: it is the fault of those who riot that nothing productive happens.
But the relevant question isn’t productive as opposed to counterproductive, and never has been. The question is: productive of what?
America only accepted those who would come to be called black Americans because they were productive: because they were slaves who produced the material wealth on which American and Western power was built. Because they were not tolerated but kidnapped, sold, and killed, all to produce a population that was never just addendum, bonus, or small crutch which could have been foregone. Between 1500 to 1820, African slaves made up around 80 percent of all Atlantic passage westwards, the majority of lives on whom the rest rested and the necessary machinery to complete the Atlantic trade triangle. The nascent American state made this unmistakably clear by legally codifying slaves as actual property, as something to be mobilized for economic gain and which had no place outside those sites of production. They were to be hunted down and dragged back on escape: it was the legal obligation of citizens to return productive property to where it could be put to work again. There, they were policed and terrorized not as exception but as routine, as maintenance and training.