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Unformatted text preview: cut, the mechanism that
elaborates the division between the non-niggerness and slavery, the difference between the living and the
dead. Whereas Humans exist on some plane of being and thus can become existentially present through
some struggle for/of/through recognition, Blacks cannot attain the plane of recognition (West 82). Spillers,
Fanon, and Hartman maintain that the violence that has positioned and repetitively re-positions the Black as a
void of historical movement is without analog in the suffering dynamics of the ontologically alive. The violence
that turns the African into a thing is without analog because it does not simply oppress the Black through tactile
and empirical technologies of oppression, like the “little family quarrels” which for Fanon exemplify the Jewish
Holocaust. Rather, the gratuitous violence of the Black’s first ontological instance, the Middle Passage, “wiped
out [his/her] metaphysics…his [her] customs and sources on which they are based” (BSWM 110). Jews went
into Auschwitz and came out as Jews. Africans went into the ships and came out as Blacks. The former is
a Human holocaust; the latter is a Human and a metaphysical holocaust. That is why it makes little sense
to attempt analogy: the Jews have the Dead (the Muselmenn)...
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- Spring '14