Tim Wise has, as ever, told it like it is about race and America. (NB I am not saying my own country, Australia, is any less screwed up).
However much has changed in the U.S. since the 1960s, or for that matter the 1860s, make note of it that at least this much has not: black folks are still, in the eyes of far too many whites, a problem to be addressed, a riddle to be solved. And deprived of the old mechanisms of social control to which we were once so wedded — formal segregation, regular lynchings, forced sterilization, even enslavement — we have opted for the development of new forms: racial profiling, gated communities into which we shall police entry, zoning laws that limit who can live among us, and mass incarceration for non-violent drug offenses, among others.
Oh, and here’s Stan Goff, over at “Feral Scholar”;
That this desire to kill is inculcated into men as part of their socialization (much of which is now accomplished with television, movies, and games) is the first thing that has to be rationalized away, because before men actually learn to do it (kill), they see killing as a form of redemptive violence that is enfolded in masculine actualization – always done in the name of a higher good of some kind (with the added bonus of that ‘special’ status, the killer-male mystique). We have all been trained by this story convention. That is why we so valorize the military, the police, and the vigilante.
When the story goes awry, when villagers are massacred without an operations order, or a black teen-aged young man is stalked and shot through the heart by a suburban gunslinger (who is not the police), we seek any other explanation except the one that says, “men are encouraged to want to kill.” We seek medical explanations for soldiers, with post-traumatic stress disorder as the first line of defense. Zimmerman is a tougher proposition, but we will medicalize his acts soon enough; because the dominant white culture still does not want to recognize that if Trayvon Martin had been white, he would never have been considered “suspicious”; and he would be alive today. Zimmerman is not allowed to do that; racial profiling is the purview of police.
PS More posts on movements and ego-fodder and how to get beyond that will appear here once I’ve thought of something worth writing! I am very keen to hear what readers of those recent posts have to say!