And besides, in the first place, anyone can do as much. You just have to close your eyes.
It’s on the other side of life.
Anonymous asked: what do you wear on a daily basis?
Black. And far too much of it. :)
Anonymous asked: lovely blog! always great stuff
Thank you, anon!
The Beatitudes - Vladimir Martynov
As thousands in Khartoum, Sudan, and surrounding areas took the streets at the end of September and Twitter blew up under the hashtag #SudanRevolts, I waited patiently for Western media to catch up. When it finally addressed that something was happening in Sudan, their message was clear: “Amidst Riots, President Bashir won’t be attending the UN conference.” read one headline. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised. Even though the same media had been enthralled by the mass protests in Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, Greece, and Spain; Sudan’s mass protests received three short paragraphs, focused on their effects on the nation’s president, with “Riots” in the headline.
I’ve been to protests In Istanbul and Greece. I’ve seen windows smashed, graffiti drawn, Molotovs prepared, and things set alight. Still, the situations where lighter skinned people were filling the photographs: protests. When darker skinned people are involved? Riots. The decision to call one riots and the other protests has nothing to do with the amount of violence in the demonstrations. Violence is a realistic factor, and sometimes, a tactic, in all of these protests. Resisting is never peaceful. If the State fears you, it will crack down on you violently, despite your kumbaya circle.
Protesters’ natural response to a State’s violent crackdown (usually police brutality) is self-defense. The self-defense is often barricades — blocking the police from getting to the crowd of people. Barricades can be formed with large objects, fires, or human beings. Those on the front lines can use their bodies as buffers between the police and the rest of the crowd, stopping the police from getting to the masses. Rocks may be thrown at the police to push them back. In the face of police brutality, without self-defense, a protest usually cannot survive.
With the destruction of property, violence can turn from an aspect of self-defense to a useful offensive tactic. Nothing gets the attention of the elite like taking away or destroying what they value above all else: property. In America, property is racial. It always has been. Consider the racist violence which stretches from slavery to lynching to the ongoing extrajudicial killings of black men and women. For 300 years, the very idea of a black person’s freedom was a direct threat to white men’s property. After slavery, lynchings were often targeted at blacks who had gained relative wealth and therefore, challenged the wealth and property of white men. This year, George Zimmerman was found not guilty for killing an unarmed black child-who he assumed was breaking into homes in his gated, white community, or threatening the property of his white neighborhood. When property is destroyed by black protesters, it must always be understood in the context of the historical racialization of property. When the same system that refuses to protect black children comes out to protect windows, what is valued over black people in America becomes very clear.
One cannot discuss the immorality of damaging property without devaluing the rage that brought protesters to this point. You, too, have to decide which one you value more: human life or property. As Vinz so eloquently says in the film La Haine, when rage spills into the streets after a brutal police beating left a young man from the ghetto on life support: “A homeboy’s dying; fuck your car.”
Looking forward to watching The Great Beauty tonight. I’ll be reminiscing of my time spent in Rome, I’m sure.