Words for Violence

I ran into three of my students while walking across the quad this afternoon. We stopped to talk. I planned to wave and nod, but they wanted to talk. All three are African-American.   They wanted to talk – or sound off, as much as anything – about “yet another” murder of an unarmed Black…

Unity and the Police

I don’t really consume any television news sources, so the tv at the gym has been a revelation. In the worst sense. Of course, as you might guess, most of it was a combination of endless heartbreak pieces about the dead police officers in Dallas and commentaries meant to focus and direct our response. I…

Police and Extra-Judicial Killing

I really have no idea what to say as another pair of high-profile killing make their way around our awareness. But I noticed something and here’s a note on that. Every few rounds of social media response to awful violence seem to generate a twist on vocabulary. In my corner of the world, I keep…

Philosophy, Decolonization, #NotAllWhites

When I posted this response to Garfield and Van Norden’s piece to my site, I figured it was a small concern, but worth writing out. I’m super gratified that it attracted a lot of interest and responses – some criticizing my claims, some ridiculing my motivations, some affirming the programme-of-sorts I tried to lay out…

Diversity, “Neutrality,” Philosophy

I was really happy to read a new opinion piece by Jay Garfield and Bryan Van Norden in The New York Times, reflecting on the state of philosophy as a discipline. Though I now identify professionally as an area studies person (Black or Africana studies), my disciplinary orientation is broadly philosophical. That orientation is not…

Eight Thoughts on Chi-Raq

Eight thoughts on Chi-Raq, which I’ve just rewatched after missing it at the theater. I have to say, it was a completely and totally different film than I’d been led to expect by blogs, reviews, and the normal blowup that comes with a Spike Lee joint.

Privacy, coloniality, identity

Here are my remarks from the roundtable discussion on James Baldwin and Privacy at the American Studies Association meeting in Los Angeles. They are short (a 5-8 minute slot), but I try here to think about colonialism as hyper-visibility and publicity and how Baldwin’s conception of Black cultural formation in the United States operates with…

Ideology and Shame

In recounting his falling out with Stokely Carmichael in Revolutionary Suicide, Huey Newton touches on a couple of key points, most of which are well-known to those familiar with Black Power/Black Panther history, But bear they repeating and reexamination because the conflict and division they identify raise enormously complex, enormously urgent questions. In this case,…