On Safari (book excerpts)

Making Race Matter: Bodies, Space and Identities, Edited by Claire Alexander and Caroline Knowles (2004)
Youth in society: Contemporary Theory, Policy and Practice, edited by Jeremy Roche (2005)

[there is] a gendered construction of black masculinity [Stuart Hall says]. This notion is loaded with a whole range of connotations… [it has] characterised young people as being individually attractive and glamorous while at the same time [whites are] fearful of them collectively. The duality of fear and desire [exists]… where contradictory feelings towards black subjects can be felt simultaneously

[in exploring] the complex psychological legacy of racism … [fanon’s] aim [1967] was to deconstruct the white masks which racism imposed on black people, or as Komi Bhabha puts it ‘the white man’s artifice inscribed on the black man’s body’… [whites] appropriate these images as part of their selfhood
… Complex configurations of identity emerge in a situation where ‘the shadow of the other falls upon the self.
…these stereotypes of blackness are really the property of white folks, ‘a black image but a white artefact’
… the liberal impulse to promote tolerance through valuing cultural differences is redundant in the context of the multi-faceted nature of racist culture. (Police and criminal evidence act) PACE…
… [images are] processed whereby groups have come to be marked or signified in racial terms…

The association of a sense of identity through such naming associations is a powerful rhetorical device for inscribing myths of origins and destiny in social prides of place. It can be very difficult to detach these labels once they have officially been made to stick. More than this these identities can be a prison as well as a refuge.

Fanon wrote that the moment a black man is ‘seen’ by the colonising European gaze, he becomes objectified… he ceases to exist for himself, but instead he becomes objectified as a black man; no longer a unified subject. Merely a representational iconic body… that can be read in a transparent chain of signification; the black body reduced to stereotype and metaphor signifying drugs, guns sexual hedonism and so on, depending on the time and place… its power to penetrate the self-consciousness of the black African, to alienate the black subject from his own experiences of his body so that he comes to see himself through the dominant perspective of the legislative gaze of the other

Berker (1981) introduces the concepts of ‘new racism’ to describe the processes by which racialisation works through cultural rather than biological differences.

Race was initially founded upon visible differences such as skin colour, hair texture, facial features and so on … The relationship between and across ‘non-white’ others is complicated and ‘colourism’ and ‘shadism’ is depressingly commonplace… The Hollywood star system throughout my mothers childhood and young adulthood was famous for its inherent racism and its manipulation of acceptable forms … the tradition of white artists performing blackness was well known and accepted as witnessed … but also in less obvious ways… the black body is ‘in fact’ the white body in masquerade. Thus the exotic other is a whitewash … the Hollywood system effectively reflected the way fear and desire for the other is controlled and the fiction of racial purity is maintained both on and off screen, by having a well known ‘white’ woman play the role of an ‘exotic’ black woman.

Much misunderstanding arises from the naïve belief that there is a certain type of person who is a criminal and that only ‘criminal types’ commit criminal acts. Most people will break the law at some point in their life. Similarly, people who would once have been considered criminals (e.g. homosexual men) no longer are. The fact that criminalising is so widespread varied and historically specific means that we must search for different explanation for different criminal behaviour.
… in order to avoid re-offending it would be necessary to teach the person an alternative way.
… research has shown that accurate diagnosis depends upon the doctor obtaining accurate information from the client.

Racism … assumes new forms and articulates new antagonisms in different situations … the idea that blacks comprise a problem, or more accurately a series of problems, it today expressed at the core of racist reasoning… capacity to evacuate any historical dimension to black life remains a fundamental achievement of racist ideologies in this country. It generates complex problems in racial politics which will not be easily solved. Racism is not akin to a coat of paint on the external structure of social relations which can be scraped off if the right ideological tools and political elbow grease are conscientiously applied to the task. Seeing racism in this was, as something peripheral, marginal to the essential patterns of social and political life can, in its worst manifestations, simply endorse the view of blacks as an external problem, an alien presence visited on Britain from the outside … racism rests on the ability to contain blacks in the present, to repress and to deny the past … in Britain ‘race’ cannot be adequately understood if it is falsely divorced or abstracted from other social relations … race cannot be reduced to the effects of these other relations.

[The] process of adjusting memories to be with expectations, beliefs and stereotypes is known as confabulation
Woodall and Matthews 1993

*to be edited.

About omalone1

I live I die I write
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One Response to On Safari (book excerpts)

  1. Excellent article!

    Please read the psychopathic racial personality by dr. Bobby Wright.

    It touches on this fascination.

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