Monday, March 30, 2009

"Waiting for the Barbarians": Contagious cultures, Strategies of Containment, and the Construction of Race in the Mexico "Drug Wars"

"...power is never something that someone possesses, anymore than it is something that emanates from someone. Power does not belong to anyone or even to a group; there is only power because there is dispersion, relays, networks, reciprocal supports, differences of potential, discrepancies, etcetera. It is in this system of differences, which have to be analyzed, that power can start to function." - Foucault "Psychiatric Power" November 7, 1973

"The outbreak narrative fuses the transformative force of myth with the authority of science. It animates the figures and maps the spaces of global modernity. It also accrues contradictions: the obsolescence and tenacity of borders, the attraction and threat, and especially the destructive and formative power of contagion. It both acknowledges and obscures the interactions and global formations that challenge national belonging in particular." - Priscilla Wald "Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative" 

"The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms also are sending more personnel to the border. The effort also will place a spotlight on existing technological programs, such as backscatter mobile x-rays, fingerprinting databases and ATF's weapons tracking system called e-Trace" quoted in "Napolitano announces border plan"

Mobile x-rays, "e-traces", fingerprints, and databases. Such technologies and techniques, tactics and regimes, signify a series of methodological and categorical relations; they register and codify certain affects and effects, bodies and subjectivities, places and spaces. That is, they point to a particular associative vocabulary: medical (i.e in terms of the management and regulation of illnesses and diseases) eugenic (databases are enlisted for purposes of technical arrangement and categorization, they speak their own languages of bureaucratic memory, control, documentation, insidious detail, etcetera), and surveillance (not just a matter of what bodies enter the United States, but also about how, where, when, and why these bodies move.) All three vocabularies have been formalized and mobilized in recent public policies and discourses surrounding the so-called "Drug wars" in Mexico. They converge and disperse in new discursive formations that at one moment can be called a "preemptive response" (remember the "preemptive power" of the Bush Administration) and at another, a strategy of containment, or a form of benevolent "protectionism". Regardless of their shifting names, these formations contain within them (produced as their "effects") systems of references and representations that point to more pernicious narratives: narratives about globally "illicit" flows and economies, the populations that "carry" or disperse these flows into "our" first-world cities, suburbs, and paranoid selves, as well as the "necessary" preventive (again the medical language) measures, techniques, and epistemologies that must be mobilized in response. In light of the current media talk concerning Mexico's "drug wars" (a phrase that implies a battle on both sides of the border, a race war between purity and criminality.), it may be helpful to insert or translate Priscilla Wald's concept of the "outbreak narrative" in terms of the global flows of drugs, guns, and violence within the context of the U.S.-Mexico "drug wars". 
Dominant media have indeed reported (as they always do) that the convergence of cartel violence, weapons-trafficking, thousands of femicidal murders, and a centralization of police and military power in the border state of Sonora, "exploded" virtually out of nowhere. An "outbreak" implies a kind of chaotically corrosive, random emergence of a disease and a panic, one without a knowable/identifiable site of origin. Such a production is intentional: it establishes the validity of its own affects/effects by pointing to the ultimate uncertainty of its objects. The "outbreak narrative" can produce official reports, statistics, documents, and figures, but these assemblages point more to the fact that the object of analysis must become knowable (and thus regulated, surveilled, and conditioned) but never "known". This epistemological instability is created in order to make supposedly "obvious" conclusions become more visible, ready-made, and available. "Obvious conclusions" activate racial sterotypes formed in previous im(em)perial histories, projects, and formations. They channel previous, racially embedded figures, images,and  vocabularies into newly productive networks and paranoid national desires. From the immigration debates of the 1980's, 1990's, and 2000's, we "know" that Mexicans are "violent", "dangerous",and "threatening"; we "know" that the conditions of globalization, "free trade" and late modernity have established "promiscuously" porous borders, borders that "threaten" white security, supremacy, and privilege. 

The new side of this story can be found in Foucault's insight that power contains "discrepancies" as well as "differences of potential". Secretary of State Clinton's recent public admission that the United States has failed its own "Drug war", supposedly establishes a break in this narrative. These "breaks" or ruptures have recently increased in number, Senator John Kerry's recent op-ed noted that the United States is equally responsible for the flow of weapons into Mexico. However, even such breaks have a productive impulse. By admitting to U.S. failures, a discursive and material (real, actual) space of intervention is actualized. Now the the U.S. must "correct" its failures (which means discipline, punish, and intern its own "contagious cultures") and contain the failures of Mexican governance (of course those unruly, uncivilized people can't contain their reprehensible and infectious flow of drugs, violence, and death across "our" borders"). Further, this space of intervention acts as threat to racialized populations currently living within the U.S. (already constructed as "impossible subjects", who know full well the sinister scope of a digitized panoptic gaze that establishes the very texture of reality in terms of the constant threat of arrest, internment, disappearance, and death), as well a further convergence between state-security apparatuses and immigration control. What under Bush was a convergence between the "war on terror" (a phrase that Obama administration, under advice from the pentagon, has removed from official discourse) and immigration control, has become under Obama , another racialized project of "protectionism" that decontextualizes as it narrates. What is apparent from this rhetorical "shift" is that power contains the ability to cut-off certain narrative flows and reterritorialize or "disperse"( in Foucault's terms) them in other moments, conjectures contexts, and events: 
"1.Yes the U.S. does sell weapons to Mexican drug cartels, but those who sell weapons are "criminal" individuals, not actors of the state. The mexican cartels however, are clearly state agents that constitute a threat to "American" sovereignty, security, and life. 
2. Look what globalization has done! We give them "free trade", new "economic opportunities" and incentives, and "they" return the favor by killing "our" citizens and themselves. 
3. Mexico is the site of origin where drugs, violence, criminal culture "enters" "our" communities and now "we" are forced to "respond". The U.S. state clearly has no investment in illicit economies and black markets, "we" are the ones that since Regan, have declared a "war" on all drugs (and thus propped up murderous authoritarian regimes in almost every country in South America, impoverishing millions and creating the global labor chains that "give" "third world citizens" the "opportunity" to "find" a "better life" in the "land of tolerance and equality").

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Discursive Sovereignty and the decision: Part II on the U.N. Conference on Racism

A word on the recent Israeli military campaign in Gaza in relation to Obama's boycott:
The recent "invasion" of Gaza, a word which is disarmingly curious, demands an occasion for reflection, and indeed there are numerous things of which I have considered worthy of reflection. The use of the word "invasion" is curious in itself along all lines of its deployment, from American protest movements, social action networks, IDF media scripts, Israeli government appearances, to Hamas statements and speeches. It is curious for the reason, (especially in the context of Israel and its allies), in that it affirms, in the violence of the present, a strange rhetorical reality or figure of rights, duties, and sovereignties that Israeli occuption, ghettoization, dispossession, and annilihation of Palestinian political, material, and social life has attempted to bury beneath its bombs and the violence of its narratives. The particular historical-legal-military framework signified by the use of such a word, carries with it a particular structure of recognition (an ironically Hegelian kind of murderous recognition) and legitimacy. However it is a grotesque irony that recognizes Palestine not as a nation and the Palestinians as a people, but as victims, as blood-stained corpses or tearful women and children- faces Western media outlets have greedily lusted for as images of a Palestinian national culture of death, tragedy, helplessness and sorrow. The white polity of the west has always demonstrated a collective desire and will continue to desire these endless images of suffering, contorted, and charred brown bodies, whether in the discourses of human rights and military intervention (Darfur) or as signifiers of Western superiority, decency, civility, and above all-empathy- the great insult of those whose tax dollars fund the IDF's military technology. The grand irony of course being that this cycle repeated itself as the "humanitarian crisis" of the Gaza campaign worsened. But let me be absolutely clear on this point, what took place in the streets of Gaza, in its hospitals and in its morgues, was not a "humanitarian crisis" at all, rather it was a totalizing violence (epistemic, ideological, material, political, even aesthetic) against the rights of the Palestinian people to exist. Its targets have ranged from cultural and educational institutions (always the target of a colonizing force that seeks to humiliate, degrade, and destroy the highest hopes of a people forced to live in the exhaustive and rotten squalor that only Israel- with its stolen wealth robbed from the graves of all Palestinians, and its immense depositories of Western aid- could dream up), to ambulances, demonstrators, journalists, doctors, aid workers, and anyone who dares to dream that their streets are indeed their own and not pathways for IDF tanks.

In my previous post, I examined the Obama administration's decision to boycott an upcoming U.N. conference on racism. In this post, I intend to revise and expand several previous points in the hopes of widening the frames of understanding through which President Obama's regimes of governance can be theorized. The concept of "discursive sovereignty" is a phrase I have coined in order to establish a general way of looking at political language, discourses, speech-acts, and networks or "circuits" (Foucault) of textuality under the Obama regime. "Sovereignty" in the sense I am using it, refers to executive judicial power, power that intervenes, narrates, and conceptualizes its own particular logics, epistemologies, concepts, and methodologies in terms of a "decision" or a response. However, the space of this "decision" is one that is in itself, constituted through sovereign claims and representations. What initially sounds like a vague tautological construction, a circle and circling of statements, is in essence, the dizzying core of a right of power that has no demarcations of limits or conditions of application. 
The space of the "decision" is a network of densely active channels, zones, and sites; a network firmly located outside of communicative politics and foundational liberal notions of governance i.e. : consent, debate, the division of powers etc. Carl Schmitt calls this space the "situation":

"... For a legal order to make sense, a normal situation must exist, and he is sovereign who definitely decides whether this normal decision situation actually (concretely) exists. ... The sovereign produces and guarantees the situation in its totality." 

To return to Obama's own sovereign decision to boycott the upcoming U.N. conference on racism, we can ask what is the "normal situation" of  the state "global racism"? In what ways is the state of Israel an "exceptional" state, and how have these "exceptions" been actively produced, constructed, and guaranteed? The possible answers are of course, to complicated to attempt here. However the purpose of such questions is to open considerations of the particular logics, truths, and rationalities embedded in such a sovereign decision, a decision rooted not in legal "situations" and norms, but in a discursive regime that decides upon something far more important than a particular legal event or act, the definitions, truths, and specific content of global classes of racisms. The sovereign power to not only decide what constitutes racism, but also narrates the content and histories of racism, is a power that intervenes at the precise moment that it begins to loose its grip. 

 As an event, the decision to boycott the conference marks a deeper relation between what Michael Omi and Howard Winant call the project of "racial neoliberalism" and new regimes of tolerance; tolerance as an impossible response to a "problem" that both the United Nations and the U.S. have failed to understand. At a time when "rabid neoliberalism" (Giroux) has reached an untenable crisis, the post-racial impulses of the Obama administration points to a politics of cynicism so embedded in the "hope" of American exceptionalism, that it cannot even see the realities that are everywhere apparent. Obama's televised spectacles of emotion, from his recent "anger" over the AIG bonuses, to his insulting style of presidential humor on the tonight with Jay Leno (insulting in the sense that he would address the nation on the state of the economy from a location as deadly mediocre as Jay Leno's studio) , are so removed from genuine political despair and the 

Monday, March 9, 2009

What the Obama U.N. Racism Conference boycott means Part I

 The Obama administration's recent decision to boycott a U.N. conference, (focused on the state of progress made on a 2001 World Summit Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance) has already be criticized in the liberal-left blogosphere from Alternet to Race Wire and beyond. The specific criticisms can be summarized under the claim that Obama's decision reflects one of the first "Post-Racial" acts of state, lending one to believe that the intent of a such a maneuver was rooted in the basic tenets of post-raciality and the end of racism. However, it appears to me that these criticisms, have in some sense, entirely missed the ideological and discursive subtleties of Obama's political gesture of refusal. To begin, I will briefly summarize both the two central issues that led the Obama administration to boycott the conference and some of the alternative media's receptions, criticisms, and arguments made against the boycott. Read together, I hope to demonstrate how these two ideological positions work to obscure the central project of Obama's decision. That is, 1. Obama's decision does reflect an official "post-racial" act of state,  in a newly inaugurated state that has been rhetorically and discursively imagined as "post-racial". However, the notion that this decision is a reflection of post-raciality's central claims, is to me, an error. At least, in the sense that I have written and theorized the "post-racial" until this time. What is new about the specifically "post-racial" content of Obama's decision is not that it follows the logic of the annilihation of identity politics from the sphere of international politics, or that it attempts to proclaim the ends of global racism (i.e. that enough progress has been made on those goals from 2001, I don't even known the U.N.'s method for measuring such "progress"), but rather, such a decision indicates that the U.S. has declared the power to decide what exactly racism is and what it isn't. From this decision it has become perfectly clear, that post-raciality as a mode of global govermentality (Foucault), narrates and decides the terms and conditions from which official definitions of racism can emerge as "objectively" valid or confirmed classes of racisms. "Objectively" means of course, that it has been sanctioned by the U.S, and I don't think I need to remind anyone that the Bush administration drafted a similar politics of "objectivity" concerning its interactions with the U.N. during the buildup to the invasion of Iraq. Further, by declaring the power to decide on the ontology of global racism, the Obama administration has completely depoliticized, decontextualized, and annihilhated any concept of racism rooted in historical, social, and economic histories of white supremacy and domination. 
In the case of the specifics, (that certain provisions of the draft document on the conference had to be removed before the U.S. would participate), the first condition: "that the United States would reconsider its position only if the negotiators stripped out provisions criticizing Israel's occupation of Palestinian Lands", demonstrates perfectly the notion racism is only racism when it has absolutely nothing to do with American geopolitical interests. That the specific provision is essentially concerned with the violence of settler and colonial occupation, (forms of colonial rule) firmly embedded in the history of the U.S., attests to the particularly post-racial notion that racism is more of a concept than a historical, living actuality. 

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ryan Seacrest and the "Slumdog Millionaire" Interview

TV Guide interview

Two days before the Academy Awards, an article appeared in the New York Times pointing to the not so subtle fact that the Award ceremony, had in no sense altered its budget or its pointless spectacle of nauseating extravagances, despite the ever-looming "financial crisis" (which to the credit of dominant media, has still not been named a "collapse", ""rupture" or even a "depression"). It is unfortunate however, that the Academy couldn't excercise at least some right to the preservation of its own "decency "by allowing Ryan Seacrest to skulk the red carpet (with a microphone and a cameraman) freely. At a time, when the Oscar's sheer stupidity and utterly grotesque display of capital couldn't have been more obvious, (it's obviousness was part of the point), Seacrest's "interview" full of loosely veiled condescension, (although I think he is too stupid to understand the difference between condescension and the inane "pleasantries" required of red carpet interviews, that is, the duties of his "job") and visibly racist commentary on the children standing in front of him, demonstrated how "post-racial" racism was equally present in all the competitive stupidity of the night. 
That Seacrest interviewed the cast collectively and not individually (they were introduced as "a whole bunch of kids from "Slumdog Millionaire"" is just one indication of the ways in which individualism (and with that, a whole world of seeing and doing, speaking and thinking) is reserved only for white adult subjects. That is, "kids can be spoken to collectively as a horde because they are not fully human, and thus silly or irrational. (Keep in mind that Seacrest did not even introduce the cast as actors, but as "a bunch of children from Slumdog Millionaire"). Children of color from India, enforce this kind of blindly paternal chauvinism, because they are assumed to be "wide-eyed, kids from a "backwards" and a completely different country. Their ignorance is "natural" and "obvious", they are "afraid" or "nervous". This fear and nervousness is obvious enough, but it is the condition of child actors who are afraid and nervous in the presence of a nakedly ignorant creep. It might even have been more than those two conditions, it could have been boredom or anxious irritation, but either way the child cast of "Slumdog Millionaire" understood in some sense the ways they were being interviewed, and they did not like it. 

Seacrests's inability to pronounce all of "their" names (again the collectivizing impulse that understands children of color as a mass and not as individuals with agency, personality, or identities) and his decision to hold a piece of paper (not even to hold it up clearly or directly so that it could be properly visible to the camera) with all of "their" names written on it, was an indication of his "post-racially" racist style; the logic of which is: "It's not my fault I cannot pronounce "their" names", its "theirs". At least I attempted to give "them" some sort of identification". Victimage, arrogance, stupidity, and a whole pattern of blatantly obvious assumptions characterized an interview that "peaked" with Seacrests' comment, "she speaks good english". His first attempt at a question in the form of an actual address, failed when he received no response, but it actually failed, when he repeated "he doesn't speak English" to the listening audience. If one watches other red carpets interviews with the cast, it becomes perfectly clear that members of the cast gave incredibly articulate (for young children) responses to all kinds of questions. Seacrest's perfectly post-racial moment, from his stress on the importance of English, to his lack of concern with his own racist condescension, demonstrates the structured ignorance and disavowal at the heart of post-raciality.  

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Cool Runnings" :Toward the Origins of Post-Raciality

The great mistake of recent critical commentary on the emergence of post-racial discourse, rhetoric, and electoral politics, has been its lack of historical, social, and cultural contextualization. Post-raciality does not finds its origins in the rise of President Obama or the "diverse" cast of CNN anchors, but rather within particular historical, political, and social convergences whose ideological legitimacy serves to isolate such a complex network of relations from their conditions of emergence. I thinking through various objects in the history of post-raciality, the film "Cool Runnings" stands as an object of preliminary demarcation, a moment where the deterritorialized and reterritorialized  lines of post-raciality's central productions collapse and converge. Since this is a preliminary investigation, I will only outline what I hope to be a kind of small genealogy of one specific circuit in which post-racial visual and popular culture operates: 
          1. the aesthetic-politics/ political aesthetics of sports and competition: within this structural relation eugenic claims on the nature of the body, the racialized body, proper "fitness", civilized/savage binaries
         2. Legacies of Colonization and post-colonality: within the film, Jamacia's colonial history is never outwardly addressed. That Jamaica remains to this day a British commonwealth is a fact that film never addresses. However each character fits into the social structure of colonial society, representing a fragment of colonized sociality, most visibly along class lines and representations. 
3. The figure of the nation and nationalism as liberation: one ongoing narrative in the film is centered upon the main characters feeling of suffocation, isolation, and lack of social, political, and personal mobility on "the Island". Jamaica as a nation, is continually positioned within a dialectic of aversion (shame, backwardness, stupidity, immobility, and provincialism) and belonging. The central climax of the film involves Derice's fascination with Swiss mannerisms, phrases, and ways of conduct, and his eventual return to his "roots" as a proud Jamaican.  Here the figure of the nation is both affirmed and disavowed through "cultural practices", rituals, and desires. 
4. Within this positioning of the figure of the nation, the modernity/premodernity binary is in full force. Jamaica is overdetermined as premodern through a complex procedure of discursive productions ranging from the "privatism" of the "island" bar where we (the viewer) are to assume the majority of the population (no specific cities or localities are even mentioned when scenes take place in Jamaica, whereas the scenes during the olympics in Canada are always identified by location, city name, etc) gathers to watch the olympics are their lone single television, to the technological, financial, and completely material lacks of the main characters both societally and in terms of their competition at the olympics. 
5. The Whiteness of the Olympics: It is perfectly fitting that the winter olympics takes places in Calgary, Alberta Canada, both in terms of the "incredible" contrast between Jamaican life and Canadian life and the particular "frontier" connotations that Calgary inspires. The olympics themselves, especially the bobsled events feature the whitest "world" athletes possible. Not a single scene set outside of Jamaica features a single person of color beyond the Jamaican athletes themselves. This has a wider meaning in terms of the fact that the olympics signify a "global" event.
6. Stereotypical roles: Rich boy, Poor boy, the stoner "rasta", model-minority athlete, John Candy's love of the "rasta hat". 
7. Difference deferred: a constant theme in the film involves the main characters negotiation of their "differences" (which are strategically abstract and decontextualized) and these differences are constantly negotiated through a framework of the desire for social ascendency, class mobility, whiteness (temporarily in Derice's fascination with the Swiss team), and the notion that through capitalism liberation is possible and that a production of meaning/belonging will result from such a desire. 
8. Race and reconciliation: the complete and total racism (institutional in terms of the olympic committee's treatment of the Jamaican team as "jokes, fools, and idiots" and their constant enforcement that the team must prove/demonstrates its "qualifications".) that the teams faces both from fellow athletes (the Swiss, the embodiment of white purity, athletic finesse, respect and seriousness) the population of Alberta (the infamous bar fight scene is perhaps the most grotesque demonstration of this) as well as the broadcast commentators during the "runs" is coupled with the almost instant "jamaica fever" that follows the teams successful runs. The scene where both the broadcast commentators reveal Jamaica shirts beneath their jackets as well as the rampant display of both Jamaican and American flags in the crowd during races, points to this "minute" example of the power of deracialized "racial harmony". 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Inaugurating the Post-Racial State: Official Discursivity and Scene of Narration

" For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus- and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of the Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself.." - President Barack Obama's Inauguration speech

" The all-governing expanse of this open relational context is the world of this historical people. Only from and in this expanse does the nation first return to itself for the fulfillment of its vocation." - Heidegger The Origin of the Work of Art 

The specific expanse that Heidegger was referencing was the Greek temple, for us the national mall in the capital can be our stand-in. Either way the tone of Heidegger and the scene of President Obama's national imaginings demonstrate a strange alignment both of terms of figure and image. For the figure of post-raciality, a certain unstoppable sense of mobilized historical telos, progress, and unity, and the image- the record crowds under the "shadow of Lincoln" (to paraphrase from Obama's brief statement on Martin Luther King day) accomplish the "fulfillment of our national vocation". Much has been said in the realm of oppositional media (blogs, ethnic media organizations, and even occasionally in the op-ed columns of major newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times) against the official rhetoric of Post-Racial America, and yet such claims of refutation (while urgently necessary) have in some sensed glossed over the importance of Post-raciality's universalizing claims. The questions that cast their ghostly specters over such critical interruptions, can lead us to the skeletal operations now establishing themselves as the new rhetorical agents of a newly inaugurated discursive state apparatus, truth-regime, and social contract. These questions are not: why and for whom is this post-raciality addressed but rather (questions whose answers cannot be other than the maintenance, regulation, and growth of white supremacy and privilege), what such discursive regimes mean as official utterances, as state-sanctioned sovereign speech acts, and morally-juridically-politically coded truths. That is, what do these statements actually say? And where can we find the scenes, spaces/places, and localities from where these speech acts and multiple rhetorics emerge in their sheltered ambivalences? In cultural studies and political philosophy, these scenes have been conceptualized as the "scene of the address" or the "concept of the address" contextualized within specific "histories of determination" that establish and ground the possibility of normalizing political rhetoric. However, the discursive truths of the post-racial state while firmly related to a very specific kind of address: the Right of Reconciliation, the universal telos of racial transcendence at the of racial history, and the national destiny of hope and continuance, are equally and intersectionally a scene of narration (political, aesthetic, ahistorical etc). President Obama's own speeches, personal statements/comments, jokes, and hyper-aestheticized national performances constitute a densely complex of network of address and narration. In speaking to the nation (whose nation? what nation? do his speech acts themselves constitute the narration of a new state (the post-racial state) or do they establish a kind of liminal indeterminateness between a racialized nation and deraced state?), President Obama also performs a kind of radically busy textuality of personhood, nationhood, Empire, and state, one that narrates as it addresses, ruptures as it recuperates, and signifies as it signs an (un)locatable authorship. To clarify, the concepts of address and narration cannot be distinguished by their dialectical opposition and separateness, nor do the two synthesize as a unified totality. We are not working within a binary, but rather, within intensely active circuits of a deeply ambivalent texuality. Further, the notion of a scene should be understood in some sense in its literalness. In the case of President Obama's inauguration speech, both the scene of the address and the narration/address itself signified an ideologically coded production, a violent discursive silence. That President Obama spoke in the national mall built entirely by slave labor, in front of buildings that officially sanctioned legal white supremacy (the Supreme Court, Congress,), where slaves were bought and sold, is just one example of the ways in which specific "histories of determination" and discursive economies of exclusion, were erased or displaced in the moment of national address and narration. Such a displacement is in itself a political narrative that establishes itself along the logical lines of post-raciality's central themes: forgetting or disremembering, gestural politics or performative politics devoid of both agency and power relations, and the centrality of speech acts and rhetoric. The moment of Obama's inaugural address then signified a kind of of politics of displacement and projection- the violent  projection and displacement of so-called "racial tensions" out of the temporality of the present and into the promise of Democracy at the ends of history.