Survivors -- Black Anarchism Kritik.docx - Black Anarchism Kritik 1NCs SP 1 \u201cIt was past midnight and Harriet Powell was still on the dance floor At

Survivors -- Black Anarchism Kritik.docx - Black Anarchism...

This preview shows page 1 out of 325 pages.

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 325 pages?

Unformatted text preview: Black Anarchism Kritik 1NCs SP 1 “It was past midnight and Harriet Powell was still on the dance floor. At first, she couldn’t make sense of what the police officer said. She was under arrest? For what? […] How had the state come to set its sights on a seventeen- year-old black girl and make her the target of its violence? Even after the police officer uttered the words: You are under arrest, she protested, insisting that she had done nothing wrong. How had living become a crime?” (Saidiya Hartman, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval, 2019, p. 217) Harriet Powell, like so many Black girls, proves the radical ungovernability of Black girlhood—revolution in a minor key, anarchist in the way those forms of life constitute a crime against the world. This radical form of living calls into question not just the content, but the very form of the 1AC and its politics. Hartman 19 (Hartman, Saidiya. Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval. W W Norton, 2019, pages 190-197)//Squirms Esther Brown did not write a political tract on the refusal to be governed, or draft a plan for mutual aid or outline a memoir of her sexual adventures. A manifesto of the wayward—Own Nothing. Refuse the Given. Live on What You Need and No More. Get Ready to Be Free—was not found among the items in her case file. She didn’t pen any song lines: My mama says I’m reckless, My daddy says I’m wild, I ain’t good looking, but I’m somebody’s angel child. She didn’t commit to paper her ruminations on freedom: With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of potentialities? The cardboard placards for the tumult and upheaval hers was a struggle without formal declarations of policy, slogan, or credo. It required no party platform or ten-point program . Walking through the streets of New York, she and she incited might have said: “Don’t mess with me. I am not afraid to smash things up.” But Emma Goldman crossed paths but failed to recognize each other. When Hubert Harrison encountered her in the lobby of the Renaissance Casino after he delivered his lecture on “Marriage Esther never pulled a soapbox onto the corner of 135th Street and Lenox Avenue to make a speech about autonomy, the global reach of the color line, involuntary servitude, free motherhood, or the promise of a future world, but she well understood that the desire to move as she wanted was nothing short of treason . She knew first-hand that the offense most punished by the state was trying to live free. To wander through the streets of Harlem, to want better than what she had, and to be propelled by her whims and desires was to be ungovernable. Her way of living was nothing short of anarchy. Had anyone ever found the rough notes for reconstruction jotted in the marginalia of her grocery list or correlated the numbers circled most often in her dog-eared dream book with routes of escape not to be found in McNally’s atlas or seen the love letters written to her girlfriend about how they would live at the end of the world, the master philosophers and cardholding radicals, in all likelihood, would have said that her analysis was insufficient, dismissed her for failing to understand those key passages in the Grundrisse about the exslave’s refusal to work and emphasized the limits of black feminist politics. They have ceased to be slaves, but not in order to Versus Free Love” for the Socialist Club, he noticed only that she had a pretty face and a big ass. become wage labourers, she had amened in enthusiastic agreement at all the wrong places, content with producing only what is strictly necessary for their own consumption and embraced What did untested militants and smug ideologues know of Truth and Tubman? Unlike unruly colored women, they failed to recognize that experience was capable of opening up new ways, yielding a thousand new forms and improvisations. Could they ever understand the dreams of another world that didn’t trouble the distinction between state, law, settler, and master? Or recount the struggle against servitude, captivity, property, and enclosure that began in the barracoon wholeheartedly indulgence and idleness as the real luxury good. and continued on the ship, where some fought, some jumped, some refused to eat . Others set the plantation and the fields on fire, poisoned the master. They had never listened to Lucy Parsons; they had never read Ida B. Wells. Or envisioned the riot as a rally cry and refusal of fungible life. Only a misreading of the key texts of anarchism could ever imagine a place for wayward colored girls. No, Kropotkin never described black women’s mutual aid societies or the chorus in Mutual Aid, although he imagined animal sociality in its rich varieties and the forms of cooperation and mutuality found among ants, monkeys, and ruminants. Impossible, recalcitrant domestics weren’t yet in his view or anyone else’s. So Esther Brown’s minor history of insurrection went unnoted until she was apprehended by the police. (It would be a decade and a half before Ella Baker and Marvel Cooke wrote their essay, “The Bronx Slave Market,” and over two decades before Claudia Jones’s “An End to the Neglect of the Problems of the Negro Woman.”) The revolt of black women against “the personal degradation of their work” and “unjust labor conditions,” expressed itself in militant refusals: “ ‘soldiering,’ sullenness, petty pilfering, unreliability, and fast and fruitless changes of masters.” Yet it had no chronicler. None responded to the call to write the great servant-girl novel. It is not surprising that a Negress would be guilty of conflating idleness with resistance or exalting the struggle for mere survival or confusing petty acts for insurrection or imagining that a minor figure might be capable of some significant shit or mistaking laziness and inefficiency for a general strike or recasting theft as a kind of cheap socialism for too-fast girls and questionable women or esteeming wild ideas as radical thought. At best, the case of Esther Brown provides another example of the tendency to exaggeration and excess that is common to the race (and further proof of the fanciful thinking that mistakes loafing and shirking for embodied protest and a flock of black girls at rest for radical assembly). Nobody remembers the evening she and her friends raised hell on 132nd Street or turned out Edmond’s Cellar or made such a beautiful noise during the riot that their screams and shouts were improvised music, so that even the tone-deaf journalists from the New York Times described the black noise of disorderly women as a jazz chorus. Esther Brown hated to work, the conditions of work as much as the very idea of work. Her reasons for quitting said as much. Housework: Wages too small. Laundry work: Too hard, ran away. General housework: Tired of work. Sewing buttons on shirts: Tired of work. Dishwasher: Tired of work. Housework: Man too cross. Live-in service: I might as well be a slave. At age fifteen, when Esther left school, she experienced the violence endemic to domestic work and tired quickly of the demand to care for others who didn’t care for you. She ran the streets because nowhere else in the world was there anything for her. She stayed in the streets to escape the suffocation of her mother’s small apartment, which was packed with lodgers, men who took up too much space and who were too easy with their hands, men who might molest a girl, then propose to marry her. She had been going around and mixing it up for a few years, but only because she liked doing it. She never went with men only for money. She was no prostitute. After the disappointment of a short-lived marriage to a man who wasn’t her baby’s father (he had offered to marry her, but she rejected his proposal), she went to live with her sister and grandmother, and they helped raise her son. She had several lovers to whom she was bound by need and want, not by the law. Esther’s only luxury was idleness, and she was fond of saying to her friends, “If you get up in the morning and feel tired, go back to sleep and then go to the theatre at night.” With the support of her sister and grandmother and help from friends, lovers, dates, and consorts, she didn’t need to work on a regular basis. She picked up day work when she was in a pinch and endured a six-week stretch of “Yes, Missus, I’ll get to it” when coerced by need. So really, she was doing fine and Service carried the stigma of slavery; white girls sought to avoid it for the same reason— it was nigger work, the kind of hard, unskilled work no one else wanted, the kind of work that possessed the entire person, not just her labortime but her lifetime. The servant in the house—the ubiquitous figure of the captive maternal—was conscripted to be friend, nurse, confidante, nanny, and bed-warmer. The insult was that she was expected to be grateful, as if cooking and scrubbing were the colored woman’s piano day, as if her sole talents were the ability to “wash and iron until her fingers bled and had nearly perfected the art of surviving without having to scrape and bow. She hated being a servant, as did every general house worker. burned” and sacrificial devotion. Had her employers suspected that the better the servant, the more severe the hatred of the mistress, Esther would not have been “entrusted to care for their Why should she toil in a kitchen or laundry in order to survive? Why should she work herself to the bone? She preferred strolling along Harlem’s wide avenues to staying home and staring at four walls, and enjoyed losing herself in cabarets and movie houses. The streets offered a display of talents and ambitions. An everyday choreography of the possible unfolded in the collective movement, which was headless and spilling out in all directions , strollers drifted en masse, like a swarm or the swell of an ocean; it was a long poem of black hunger and striving. It was the wild rush from house service on the part of all who [could] scramble or run . It was a manner of walking that threatened to undo the city, steal back the body, break all the windows. The people ambling through the block and passing time on corners and hanging out on front steps were an assembly of the wretched and the visionary, the indolent and the dangerous. All the modalities sing a part in this chorus, and the refrains were of infinite variety. The rhythm and stride announced the possibilities, even if most were fleeting and too often unrealized. The map of what might be was not restricted to the literal trail of Esther’s footsteps or anyone else’s, and this unregulated movement encouraged the belief that something precious darlings.” great could happen despite everything you knew, despite the ruin and the obstacles. What might be was unforeseen, and improvisation was the art of reckoning with chance and accident. Hers Wandering and drifting was how she engaged the world and how she understood it; this repertoire of practices composed her knowledge. Her thoughts were indistinguishable from the transient rush and flight of black folks in this city-within-thewas an errant path cut through the heart of Harlem in search of the open city, l’ouverture, inside the ghetto. city. The flow of it carried everyone along, propelled and encouraged all to keep on moving. As she drifted through the streets, a thousand ideas about who she might be and what she might do rushed into her head, but she was uncertain what to make of them. Her thoughts were inchoate, fragmentary, wild. How they might become a blueprint for something better was unclear. Esther was fiercely intelligent. She had a bright, alert face and piercing eyes that announced her interest in the world. This combined with a noticeable pride made the seventeenyear-old appear substantial, a force in her own right. Even the white teachers at the training school, who disliked her and were reluctant to give a colored girl any undue praise, conceded that she was very smart, although quick to anger because of too much pride. She insisted on being treated no differently from the The brutality she experienced at the Hudson Training School for Girls taught her to fight back, to strike out. The teachers told the authorities that she had enjoyed too much freedom. It had ruined her and made her into the kind of young woman who would not hesitate to smash things up. Freedom in her hands, if not a crime, was an offense, and a threat to public order and moral decency. Excessive liberty had ruined her. The social worker concurred, “With no social considerations to constrain her, she was ungovernable.” Esther Brown longed for another world. She was hungry for more, for otherwise, for better. She was hungry for beauty. In her case, the aesthetic wasn’t a realm separate and distinct from the daily challenges of survival; rather, the aim was to make an art of subsistence. She did not try to create a poem or song or painting. What she created was Esther Brown. That was the offering, the bit of art, that could not come from any other. She would polish and hone that. She would celebrate that every day something had tried to kill her and failed. She would make a beautiful life. What is beauty, if not “the intense sensation of being pulled toward the animating force of life?” Or the yearning “to bring things into relation . . . with a kind of urgency as though one’s life depended upon it.” Or the love of the black ordinary? Or the capacity to make what we do and how we do it into sustenance and shield? What Negro doesn’t know that a few verses of song might be capable of stoking the hunger to live, might be the knowledge of freedom that leads you out of the enclosure? Brings you back from the dead or kills you a second time? Who could fail to understand seeking a way out, inhabiting a loophole of retreat, and escaping the imposed life as anything else, anything but beautiful? To the eyes of the world, Esther’s wild thoughts, her dreams of an otherwise, an elsewhere, her longing to escape from drudgery were likely to lead to tumult and upheaval, to open rebellion. She didn’t need a husband or a daddy or a boss telling her what to do. But a young woman who flitted from job to job and lover to lover was considered immoral and likely to become a threat to the social order, a menace to society. The police detective said as much when he arrested Esther and her friends . What the law designated as crime were the forms of life created by young black women in the city. The modes of intimacy and affiliation being fashioned, the refusal to labor, the ordinary forms of gathering and assembly, the practices of subsistence and making do were under surveillance and targeted not only by the police but also by the sociologists and the reformers who gathered the information and made the case against them, forging their lives into tragic biographies of crime and pathology . Subsistence—the art of scraping by and getting over—entailed an ongoing struggle to live in a context in which deprivation was taken for granted and domestic work or general housework defined the only opportunity available to black girls and women. The acts of the wayward—the wild thoughts, reckless dreams, interminable protests, spontaneous strikes, riotous behavior, nonparticipation, willfulness, and boldfaced refusal—redistributed the balance of need and want and sought a line of escape from debt and duty in the attempt to create a path elsewhere . Mere survival white girls, so they said she had a bad attitude. The problem was not her capacity; it was her attitude. was an achievement in a context so brutal. How could one enhance life or speak of its potentialities when confined in the ghetto, when subjected daily to racist assault and insult, and Survival required acts of collaboration and genius, guessing at the unforeseen. Esther’s imagination was geared toward the clarification of life—“what would sustain material life and enhance it, something that entailed more than the reproduction of physical existence.” The mutuality and creativity necessary to sustain living in the context of intermittent wages, controlled depletion, economic exclusion, coercion, and antiblack violence often bordered on the extralegal and the criminal. Esther’s beautiful, wayward experiments entailed an “open rebellion” against the world. conscripted to servitude? How can I live?—It was a question Esther reckoned with every day. Refusing contingent instances of arms sales is part and parcel of the cleansing of militarism’s sins Cooper 12. Professor Neil Cooper is Director of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State [“Humanitarian Arms Control and Processes of Securitization: Moving Weapons along the Security Continuum,” 2012, Contemporary Security Policy, DOI: 10.1080/13523260.2011.556855]//vikas Fourth, the success of campaigns on landmines and cluster munitions demonstrates how ‘moments of intervention’ undertaken on behalf of the voiceless by supposedly weak securitizing actors such as NGOs can, nevertheless, produce quite effective securitizations - in this case, the hyper-securitization of particular weapons technologies. Both campaigns also highlighted the ways in which actors can utilize media images and, through survivor activism that extended to the conference room, provide a context for the body to speak security. Moreover, the success of these campaigns highlights the ways in which the language of threat, survival, and security can be deployed to achieve positive security outcomes. At the same time however, the success of the humanitarian arms control agenda around landmines and cluster munitions in particular was only achieved because NGOs adopted exactly the same discourse around humanitarianism, human security and weapons precision that has been deployed to legitimize post-Cold War liberal peace interventionism and in the marketing of new weapons developments. On one reading, this might point to the potential for actors to deploy dominant forms of security speech in order to achieve progressive ends. On a more pessimistic reading however, it also highlights the profound limits involved in such approaches. To the extent that the extra-securitization of pariah technologies such as landmines has facilitated the relative desecuritization of major conventional weapons transfers it has also made the current framework of control look like an example of ethical advance at the same time as creating space for the deproblematization of arms transfers in general. Ultimately then, the moments of intervention represented by the campaigns on landmines and cluster munitions were successful because they did not threaten, and in many ways were quite consistent with, the dominant security paradigm and security narratives of the post-Cold War era. Equally, whilst the regularized routines and working practices of the security professionals of the export licensing process are certainly important in understanding the treatment of defence transfers, this body of professionals were themselves, brought into being as a result of historical changes in the fundamental assumptions about security and economy. Moreover, their veiy working practices and modes of behaviour are currently being altered as a result of similar fundamental shifts in the paradigms of security and economy which, in turn, are a function of particular combinations of power and interest. Although these shifts certainly predated the post-Cold War era, they have become particularly concretized in this era. One consequence of all this is that a loud ethical discourse around the restriction of landmines, cluster munitions, and small arms has gone hand in hand with recent rises in both global military expenditure and arms transfers. For example, overall, world defence expenditure in 2008 was estimated to be $1,464 billion (of which NATO countries accounted for 60 per ...
View Full Document

  • Spring '14
  • Feldman,J

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture