The Whip of Racism

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By JEAN PAUL D'ANTONY*

A new kind of whip slips day by dayour days, in post-colonialism, in the bodies of new subjects pós colonial

Every day black or black. Please wait a second. It is complicated to choose the appropriate linguistic expression because they all seem to push us into the trap of structural racism, into a representation of this prejudice that may be socio-culturally more or less acceptable. Perhaps the symbolic reframing of these lexicons, in their identity constitutions, is much more important than their choice. Let's start like this, every day black people, in this so-called postmodern civilization, are persecuted and violated in their rights, in their morals, in their dignity, in their right to be, and the so-called democratic state of law usurps their existences with the argument for attacking a criminality that, in the overwhelming majority of cases, is an instrument of a larger project of eugenics inherited from the slave state. What happened to George Floyd is the reflection, the example of thousands around the world, like here in Brazil every day.

From December 18, 1865, when the United States abolished slavery through the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, to May 13, 1888 here in Brazil, where the Golden Law was nothing more than a legal device to inject labor into the market, leaving serious questions about the supposed humanist action and its consequences, structural racism has been incorporated and instrumentalized through several modernized webs of colonial practices and representations that invade the notion of body and identity power of each of these nations and their singularities. Every presentation of violence, subjugation of the other, dehumanization, is different and reinvented based on the needs of each space of power. It's like that in the US as well as in Brazil.

And so, a new type of whip slides, day after day, in postcolonialism, in the bodies of new postcolonial subjects.

The colonies are present, the stigma of colonization is stamped on all the sidewalks, in the reflection of shop windows, on the cameras in shopping malls, on each black body extended by impunity for the erased histories of those who were violated and defeated, and had to adapt to the fantasy of a new world whose narrative was one of freedom and equality. Landlords today are called businessmen and many are involved in politics, acting with hands that are not invisible, have names and fingerprints, in favor of maintaining a structural racism that does not retreat, it only advances visibly and incorporated, continuously, at the ethos several Slogans.

Now, it happens that, most of the time, the maintenance of racist violence is instrumentalized from the consumer industry in order to anesthetize enlightenment, the senses, critical reason and the feeling of pulsating slavery in many corners, in many necks, in many batons, inside many invaded houses, in many bullets that are said to be lost and in many speech spaces, creating a greenhouse that muffles the screams, feeds oblivion, mutilations in the soul and deaths. The isolation of classes, gender and race has always been present, with the scenario of Covid-19 this isolation has become more violent. How long will the maintenance of this dystopia be evaluated only by windows, lenses, music and only by words of “sorry” (when these still present themselves)? The dystopia of racism is a cancer that crosses ancestry, it must be isolated, extinguished, in order to promote a society where the spaces of differences are shared, not divided, no longer categorized. The spaces of differences must be experienced in order to share experiences/existences, not as a demarcation of stories and memories that subjugate others, without demarcations. I'm not talking here about homogenization, I'm talking about respect, living-with, existing-with.

The history of the winners continues to operationalize the discourse where inclusion policies are offered to the population as bread and circus policies, as a simple and difficult favor, erasing the right of resistance and the historical-political-existential right of inclusion. George Floyd and João Pedro, and many Georges and many Joãos, like the boy Miguel Otávio, are not numbers of a thanatos-politics, of the necro-politics of many nations, they are the results of genocides extended like drops of acid and blood in the eyes and on the skin of blacks and all isolated groups of rights and voice that are targets of these actions every day. Centuries of Asphyxiation.

The pulse is still beating, the pulse is still beating, the pulse is still beating, and in every drop of acid, and in every drop of blood, a pulsing avalanche of people will take to the streets screaming and seeking space for peace in current history. Avalanche versus Peace, contradictory? No! The poetics of despair, the poetics of muted voices that have already overflowed. What oozes is pain, and may this pain become the arrow that will tear (once and for all, constantly in the air, without falling, like a Herald) the movement of those who insist on fragmenting and subjugating humanity based on their prejudices . It shouldn't be like that, but unfortunately death (no! murders!) also awakens the rage of resistance. Resistance must always pulsate, vigilantly, and not just scream at every right and every suffocated life. Perhaps that way, very perhaps, it remains to believe that the pain that today takes the streets of the USA and the world is the window of a new humanity. In truth, memory shows that many of these actions have gone down in history, but they have not been forgotten, they have become the gunpowder that sails through the exploding air, fueling the journey. Whatever! So it's not enough just to believe. Contradicting isolation and distance, as Geraldo Vandré’s song says, “Pra Não Dizer Que Não Falai De Flores”, “Walking and singing / And following the song / We are all the same / Arm in arm or not / In schools, in the streets / Fields, buildings / Walking and singing (…), the reference here is a cry of the voice of resistance and union, as the masks in the streets suffocate less than a knee on the neck or a bullet in the chest. Against death caused by asphyxiation of covid-19. Against the death caused by the suffocation of racism. What disease kills the most?

Racism always tries to disfigure its victim's identity in order to subjugate him and make his existence a pittance in the face of aggression, as well as make aggression a pittance with the purpose of not justifying the application of justice. What aggression does not take into account is that every human being is a house that shelters different identities. This house is your body where the library of your stories, memories, remembrances inhabit and, as such, must be respected. You don't invade the other person's house, their privacy, because any type of invasion is violence, therefore, a crime.

It is imperative that we do not leave the transparency of the denial of racism in all spaces in charge of time. Time proved to be anodyne, fueling the connivance of those who leave the erasure of racist violence up to them. Those who use this premise are mistaken. Racism is the aesthetics of cruelty, whose narratives are not fictions that we can dwell on with the pleasure drive of reading. Racism is a sick legacy, a cancer that has been spreading from the holds of slave ships to the bright spaces of the great boulevards of this new century and exposed in every window reflection, as well as in every promise of the consumer industry and its bio-power for the regulation of a false social ascension, of a rough and dull reflection of freedom and identity recognition, dressing bodies and consciences, often emptied of enlightenment, in order to serve a whitish aesthetic for the acceptance of oneself and the another oppressor. Every oppressor is, aware or not of his space and role before the oppressed, educated or domesticated also by a post-colonial culture, heir to new niches and methods of racism and its history of widely spaced branches, which must be contemplated and problematized so that vigilance never lets its guard down or sits open-mouthed waiting for the ephemeral anesthetizing of the broad existential right. May the avalanche advance, may the whip no longer crack, or the strident and ironic orchestra will only continue to feed on a crowd, whose sound of the whip lasts day after day, into the night, and many voices that were silenced will continue to scream without being heard. : “Lord God of the wretched! / You tell me, Lord God! / If it's madness... if it's true / So much horror before the heavens?!.

*Jean Paul d'Antony is a professor at the Federal University of Sergipe, editor-in-chief of the journal Entheoria: Letters and Humanities.

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