Trayvon Martin's murder verdict and the thing about blackness ...

Fire engulfed streets of London and other cities in England two years ago, after a police officer killed Mark Duggan in Tottenham; fires have engulfed the streets of Los Angeles more than a few times in the past five decades - Watts in1965 and the whole of South Central LA in 1992, to mention two of them. Fires  follow justice ... Obama says that the US is a nation of laws ... of laws and justice? Laws are justice? Law=Justice? For as long as I can remember black and brown people in Brazil - the whole of the Americas I say until someone proves otherwise - live and die with/because/in spite of racial violence (by which I mean the original incapacity of liberal administration of justice to address racial subjugation and its (the liberal structure, that is) mandate to fulfil, protect, and re-enact the logic of obliteration.) Back in 1999  I was paralised by the Diallo's case verdict. My dissertation became a book which is only, all, about his and all the other killings. I have no book to write now.

I am trying to finish this piece on global affirmative action. I am trying to finish this piece and procrastinating as we all do, I check to facebook ... On Facebook I find the expected, my f-friends going at it, as paralized as I am ... they, you, I write ... respond, share, reply ... Fire engulfs us all ... Fire burns words ... theses, explanations, experiences, memories ... Fires clear the terrain and challenge us to think, to think differently, to think more and better ... otherwise; to think away the constraints of thinking, which always finds a reasonable explanation for why that Black person's killing was found just ... this time: What the is the problem? There are so many problems. But now I am concerned with how we think.

Don't we know that justice fails the racial other in its realisation? Don't we know that a black family's loss will be explained away as its own failure because the killing of your father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister will always be explained away as self-defense? Don't we know that the Blacks and Brown folk (Chicano, Mexican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Cuban, Brazilian, Colombian, or Venezuelan and also jamaican, Trinidadian or Haitian, or Indian, Pakistani ... no matter how many generations over born in the US or Europe)  will be killed with the protection of the law - self-defence (as I argue in Nobodies: Law, Raciality and Violence) is the other term for racial violence. The state's ... the vigilant's ... Jury's ... justice ... self-preservation ...  Zimmerman is Latino? White latino ... we have a whole country filled with them in Brazil ... and many of them are black too. His mother says they are Peruvians proud of their black heritage? The thing about blackness, one learns after living in Latin America, the US, Australia, and Europe, is that, as a racial signifier, it floats (Hall said it about race, the signifier), as an excuse and a defense for finding someone deserving or excused for killing ... it floats ...

For those of us who are Black, the racial signifier blackness never floats  beyond the reach of the logic of obliteration ... Not long ago, about two or three months ago I was chastised at a meeting of US black scholars because I sounded like I valued black male's life over women's - black and Muslim's - right to walk the streets unharmed whether they wear or do not wear the veil. I was never given a real chance to say that I do not, that my writings about  racial violence do not disavowal violence against women. I could not say that, at that moment, in that room, I assumed a certain common view of the range and the particularities of racial subjugation. I had given myself permission to speak about blackness and to highlight racial violence and its patriarchal charge on black males. This is the thing about patriarchy, it has a plan and structures of violence for males and females. I was not given the chance of saying any of that ... but I don't apologise for not qualifying what I said then.

I am still refusing to apologise now. I am writing as the friend and cousin of black and brown young men; I am writing as a daughter, sister, aunt, and (at times) sweetheart of young and older black men ... I am writing as a black woman who has been threatened by cops when a teenager ... who has spent my whole life - because of the times they arrested my father and when they killed my male relatives -  with racial violence ... as a black woman who lives with the threat of just-ified killing over my male and female, old and young relatives, neighbours and friends ... who live lives fully determined by violence, specially, police violence, that is, racial violence.

This is the thing about existing, living as a Black or Brown person. We live ... the thing about blackness, because of its being a construct of racial power, it mandates our obliteration. But blackness does not exhaust black people's lives, though it t does resolve how our deaths (and how we live) will be accounted for ...

Viva black people's lives and may the fires revive Black people, my the fires burn and revive blackness. May the fires burn  everything that only survives by betting on our end ...

I am tired, pissed off, and giving a damn to contrived political speeches which stop short of the call.

May the fires this time burn in our minds any illusions of justice from within the liberal text ... what is to come awaits our willingness to let it become.