english reading note work

notes, Free Trade/Fair Trade Forum

So I was sitting there struggling with the overcomplixified MS access relational tables structure trying to figure out how to establish a data report based on four interrelated (two one-to-many and one one-to-one relations.. I think there is something going on when you drag a premade report into the report design field, though), when Octavio says “I’m going to this debate at Mac, where is the chapel?” And I 1) didn’t know Octavio was talking there (which is, so ironic! Larry Weiss debated Raymond Robertson when he had the exact same position, in 2002!) and 2) didn’t know it was happening today – I assumed it was the weekend even though had no intentions of going. So remembering our little name thing with MPIRG earlier, I look up the new promotional email which now says “MPIRG, Mac Fair Trade, MPJC, and others.” and notice the phrase “Dinner too!”. I’m like, “I’m going!” and he will give me a ride if I write a story on the forum for the RCTA. Sure, fine. First, some memos.

Free Trade/Fair Trade Forum
March 9, 5:00-7:00pm. Weyerhauser Chapel, Macalester College.
organized by MPIRG. Cosponsored by MSFT, MPJC, SLAC
Presenters: Charlie Wunsch (Member Services/Consumer Affairs, Mississippi Market), Octavio Ruiz (Director, MN Fair Trade Coalition at the Resource Center of the Americas), Mindy Ahler-Olmstead (10,000 Villages), Raymond Robertson (Associate Professor of Economics at Macalester College)

english Freedom Movements reading note

after watching Malcolm X so when chicano activists…

after watching Malcolm X

so, when chicano activists say “we did not cross the border, the border crossed us”, are they borrowing from Malcolm X’s saying in the NYC church, “we did not come to Plymouth, Plymouth came to us”?

the “did you know brother minister what so and so did before going to heaven? to eat” was sharp.

english race reading note

memos, Joy Ann James Keynote Speech

Duchess Harris quote: (not exact)

I’m the chair of American Studies, we deal with comparative Racial Formations and we are excited to be part of the curriculum

ow! existential crisis!

African American Studies Conference
Incarcerated Intelligence: African Americans and the Prison Industrial Complex

Joy Ann James keynote speech: Democracy and Captivity


James shows two maps that were oft used during and after the 2004 elections to make the point that republicans were racist: a map of 19th century “free states” and “slave states” matching in color with the blue/color divide in the 2004 elections. This was a discourse used by democratic, reformist, radical and otherwise whites to make the point that a similar ideology ran undercurrent in the so called “left”. Too simplistic!

A more meaningful comparison is the distribution and sprawal of prisons across the U.S., with a slide from 1900, 1950, 1990 and 2004. The process of expansion was gradual and did not make a distinction between the so-called “blue” and “red” states. I think I saw a main hub going from MA to MN, another one sweeping the southern coast, and another circular sprawal around L.A.

What is at stake in the whole rhetoric concerning “racist republicans”, James explains, is a neoslave narrative. A Neoslave narrative is defined as a recylcing of the fear/hate of the black body.

19th c slave narrative, as expounded by the likes of Harriot Jackobs, Frederick Douglas.
in the process of reproduction, prisoner’s bodies become commodified.
the narrative promises a redemption, or a reborn, if the slave crosses over to the “free” states.

James did not push this point forward, as it was obvious, but similarly in a neoslave narrative, the slave can be redeemed by simply voting democrat. (An epistemiological singularity)

Jackobson: it’s not just the prison that is the problem, it’s the prison-state. [is he twistinc the nation-state here?]

[I kept thinking it was a “pheno-state” where she was saying “penal” state]

new abolitionists

in the narrative: master, abolitionist, slave

emancipation is “given”
freedom is “taken” <- ontological individual


plantation – place/sites – modern prison
similarities: argument to restrict the body, substandard health (HIV) – criticism that touches upon the CDC's rather plain report on black women and AIDS and p6's comment, forced migration, dnial of birth family and kin,

more on women: high rates due to males coming back from prison and transmitting the disease – thus prison walls are permeable.

slave narrative is imagined as an antebellum reality.

def of slave is contended (ref to Matthe Man Siems) slavery and social debt

existential wealth of the white.
political currency

  • vote
  • to be "tough" on crime (nixon)

upperstate NY: movement of black bodies from NYC to prisons in the rural area. now, because the population increases, white dwellers in those rural areas get more congressional votes, but they become more influential because these black prisoners, who count as inhabitants, can't vote (thus white residents cast their votes in lieu of the black prisoners)

electoral college


Paul Dosh: in CA prison system, prisoners separated as black, white, mexican, and others. when a black prisoner does a wrong, every black prisoner is punished. thus reinforcement of categories..
RE: collective punishment, used also in international politics. In Ittaca, prisoners resisted this by calling themselves "the prison race", which is not to ignore the races within, but to present themselves as a prison race

Ben Mearns: it's great that you pulled that map, because it really counters what white liberals are saying about how they are supposedly less racist for the sole fact of being liberals [or something of that order: we later chatted on how Ben put it more blatantly for those so-called-do-goodie-"liberals" at Mac, and he references a former email of his: ]
RE: localize "evil" as embodied by republicans. once you locate racism in the south, it's very easy for whites in the north to just sit and blame everything to the southerners. they don't have to do anything, they "become antiracist" for the sole fact of not being located in the south. for instance, the south was known for having "chain gangs". now AZ, which is not the "deep south" establishjed chain gangs. further reference on chattel slavery, reoncstruction, convict prisoner, segregation & jim crow, prison state

slave traume syndrome

[here I followed an idea of the core white business center/ inner ring/suburbs as an economic model that allows the production of surplus value as there is abundant unemployed black body + not yet legalized immigrant bodies available at a very low cost, surrouding the business downtowns; also relating to early industrial development of the u.s. also, how the killing of blacks might be related to postindustrialization, as excess labor is not needed?]

two bush things:
bush talked about working with churches for social justice, such as fostering children whose parents went to prison. there is no mention of the structural forces incarcerating children, but simply sending children to foster centers. now, there's something Dorothe comparingfostering with captivity, because the links are lost.
in the 2005 state of the union address, he talks about death penalty [I missed her point on this one, but James talked about Bush's killing record and how Alberto Gonzales simply "forgot" the fact that those on the death row were actually innocent, with purges from the police, the accusers, etc etc]

Hmong man Killing several people in december 2004
RE: before emancipation, victims of lynching and prisoners were mostly white. after emancipation, they became black. so, one body representing all (insofar as it is symbolic) when charles mason killed a bunch of people, no one from the "white community" stood up and said "that's not a typical behavior of a white person", for there is no social pressure. in another case, (chicago park?) where a group of black youngsters were charged with raping a white woman, where at the end it was found to not be true, but the audience was mostly black and latino, but they would not look at the youngsters into their face for fear of association. they wanted to dissociate themselves from those feautrees.

Alessandra Williams: so what do they fear?
RE: affluent white body is assumed to be aesthetic to the space, unlike the black body which destabilizes it. I start with Foucault because he cannot deal with the black body. He talks of the normative body [missed the line here]. So whites are building an identity of supremacy through the lack thereof in the black body. They fear realizing that it's actually what's missing in the whites.

She talked about love, and how there are infinite ways to resist oppression.

english race reading note

aurora levins morales

aurora levins morales talk, 12:00pm

sense of history -> resistance

destruction of memory -> subjugation (makes oppressedness seem like a natural aspect of the peoples lives)

self as an counterexample “adwomenster (sp)”
Nelson Myers 1898, spanish war, great plains, arabian peninsula, immigrants

Puerto Rico, intermediaries, the work of women, produce ginger, used for the working class (ginger bread) in Shakespeare’s England

tiva arriving out of africa -> geographical/racial?

Railroad women
labor movement, struggles as anyone else

antiwar activist
67 left PR
denied tenure in UPR
76 Berkeley CA

english Freedom Movements reading note

film notes, bamboozled

is Delacroix playing the west indian?
misrep people?

why is his room (the white boss) full of “negro” stuff?
“variety skit show”

boss at the middle, evaluators to the side, the performer in the middle
is he wearing the arab stuff on purpose?

english Freedom Movements reading note

white supremacy, racism, racialism

in “White Supremacy: a comparative sutyd in american and south african history”, frederickson makes the distinction between white supremacy and racism.

first, racism is too ambiguous. second, racism is an essentialistic mode of thought that gives racial attributes to given populations. (frederickson characterizes them as “the fact that populations groups that can be distinguished by ancestr are likely to differn in culture, status, and power” (p.xii)

racists, then, make the claim that those are natural and bypass historical ciscumstances. white supremacists claim tha these differences favor whites.

frederickson introduces white supremacy as an alternative, attitudinal term to racism, while leaving racism to the realm of the epistemic.

the first reason is that in everyday discourse no one admits to being a racist anymore, because it has been conflated with a multitude of overlapping, and differing, meanings. it has been a blind spot for criticism. many administrators in south africa still admit to being white supremacists, however. alabama had a state motto praising the virtues of white supremacy.

second reason is that scholars can deal more purely with the study of white supremacists practices, without getting stuck at accusing and pointing out the moral wrongs of racism.

(so both reasons given by frederickson are of a methodological nature, not by some theoretical reason, such as the one given by appiah.)

kwame anthony appiah claims in “in my father’s house” that racialism is the mode of thought where racial differences exist. then racism, is the judgement involving the placement of blacks and other colored peoples in an inferior relationship to the white race. he argues this in ch.1, “the invention of africa”, p.13, while trying to make a case for Crummell. i think he also mentions DuBois as an example of racialist thought.

so frederickson seems to be borrowing on appiah’s theoretical framework of the epistemic aspect and activist (?) aspect of racism. but they differ in terminology

appiah -> concept -> frederickson -> public discourse
racialism -> epistemic division of races by attributes -> racism -> racism
racism -> black and other races are inferior -> white supremacy -> racism

now, rachleff briefly presented the idea of racial prejudice and racial discrimination as sub-branches of appiah’s “racism”, i don’t where he brought it from (his own?).
appiah -> rachleff -> notion -> frederickson -> public discourse
racism -> racial prejudice -> to claim some form of hierarchical racial order -> (no term) -> racism (reverse discrimination if the agent is not white)
racism -> racial discrimination -> to execute out racial prejudice, e.g. school segregation -> white supremacy -> racism (terrorist, if agent is not white)

now maybe racial discrimination and the rest of the concepts needs to be separated, because racial discrimination is a form of praxis, while the others are forms of cognition?

back to the book..