Media coverage of recent police killings of Black citizens, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the related Black Lives Matter protests, have reignited a long-smouldering national conversation about race in America.
In October 2016, as the US election loomed, Farage (2016) wrote in an opinion piece in The Telegraph, a symbol of his media prominence: The similarities between the different sides in this election are very like our own recent battle. As the rich get richer and big companies dominate the global economy, voters all across the West are being left behind.
For my part at least, I have been provoked by Du Bois to reflect on how the spectacle of white supremacy also relies on white privilege, in the way the latter helps cultivate a social production of moral indifference which can facilitate the former. I appreciate this is not straightforward, but I think it is an error to adopt an overly formalistic position to deny it in a way that negates the linkages. One example is the suggestion that we can only describe systems of racism, but cannot attribute any agency to individuals that benefit from and preserve such systems.
On April 15, 2013, two pressure-cooker bombs exploded at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon, killing five and injuring 264. In the absence of information about who the bombers were, Salon.com published liberal commentator David Sirota’s piece ‘Let’s Hope the Boston Marathon Bomber is a White American’.
As federal troops begin heading out of Portland, Oregon, one way to assess the violent clashes is by zooming in on the mobilization of human shields. It began with hundreds of mothers who wore yellow shirts, bike helmets and improvised goggles as they placed their bodies in the line of fire to protect the Black Lives Matter protestors.
If we are to assume the Shakespearean platitude that ‘the eyes are the windows of the soul’, then it is not beyond our comprehension that visual images used by NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in their advertisements are carefully curated ideas over who or what is ‘seen’, and more importantly ‘how’ it is seen, and for whom.