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Dept. of Just Keep Swimming

Long Day

Long day, long week, no brain - or at least little brain - tired body (but I'm managing to exercise at least 5 days out of 7). Getting a little more gutted by Face the Raven each day, which I think shows the power of that episode. Maybe I'll talk about it tomorrow.

More gutted, by news of the Laquan McDonald tragedy and travesty. I'm the sister of a police officer, but I feel no hesitation at all in saying yes, the system of policing in this country (and probably on this continent) is built to reinforce racism, despite the best efforts of good police officers, built to maintain systemic destruction of black bodies, minds, lives, and futures. It does so in the service of a culture that does not think The Other is part of it. Each death, and each denial that it's racism - or misogyny, or transphobia, take your pick -  kills democracy just that little bit more.

Going out now for miso soup, green tea, some mackerel, and relaxation. Back later. Love y'all.


This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/389044.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
eaweek
Nov. 26th, 2015 12:39 am (UTC)
Big hugs. Hope you're going to have a relaxing holiday!
kaffyr
Nov. 26th, 2015 02:41 am (UTC)
I'm going to try; I have to work on Friday, but I'll be largely free of editors that day, so I can try catching up on things that need catching up on. And tomorrow I'll be with friends and family, so that's good.

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday is a good one, with all the good parts of family, and none of the bad parts, little or no stress, and lots of good memories when the day is done.
gerisullivan
Nov. 26th, 2015 02:09 am (UTC)
I'm the sister of a police officer, but I feel no hesitation at all in saying yes, the system of policing in this country (and probably on this continent) is built to reinforce racism, despite the best efforts of good police officers, built to maintain systemic destruction of black bodies, minds, lives, and futures. It does so in the service of a culture that does not think The Other is part of it. Each death, and each denial that it's racism - or misogyny, or transphobia, take your pick - kills democracy just that little bit more.


I wish so very much that I could argue with you on this, but the closest I can come is to wonder how much of it is the system and how much is due to the culture of policing as well as the wider culture of country (or continent). And even that doesn't matter -- the factors are acting in concert with each other, and if one weakens over time, the other will surely strengthen to maintain the utterly sickening status quo.

Thank you for the clarity, beauty, and power of your prose. And congratulations on the exercise front! That's huge in a different way, though it also speaks to the ability of humans to made individual changes, hard though they may be. Enough of those can change the world, and give us hope for a better future.

Love you, dear. I'm so very thankful for our friendship, and for the honor of reading your posts here.

kaffyr
Nov. 26th, 2015 03:07 am (UTC)
My dear, your words about what I've written are extremely kind; thank you.

but the closest I can come is to wonder how much of it is the system and how much is due to the culture of policing as well as the wider culture of country

That's the thing, though: our culture is maintained in huge part by policing as it is now - our infrastructure comprises an unholy melding of corporatism and militarized police - because racism calls for the systemic removal of power from anyone that the group in power deems The Other. That you and I are deemed part of Real People allows us to see the pattern from above. God help those who see it from the ground level point of view of The Other.

All I can say is go and find a copy of "Between The World And Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates and read it.

I love you too, my dear. I am very lucky to know you, and very thankful!
gerisullivan
Nov. 26th, 2015 06:40 am (UTC)
Thank you for the reminder -- I've been intending to read Between the World and Me ever since it came out this summer. I've just added it to the next book order I place.

kaffyr
Nov. 26th, 2015 06:06 pm (UTC)
Hurrah! once you get around to reading it, I'd like to hear what you think of it.
maruad
Nov. 26th, 2015 02:15 am (UTC)
I think in Canada, the system is similar but you need to replace black with First Nations.
kaffyr
Nov. 26th, 2015 03:08 am (UTC)
I suspect that sadly, it's just "in addition to" rather than "replace," because in North American culture, anything that is not deemed to be in the (highly artificial) category of "white" is The Other, and therefore fit only for plunder and control.
a_phoenixdragon
Nov. 26th, 2015 04:10 am (UTC)
You have hit my feelings on the head. As the layers the past decade have been peeled back, you see the horror underneath, not gone, but festering and growing. The categorization of all citizens - poor, rich, white, black, Christian, Muslim - it all leads to distancing, Othering and the police-force (which has sadly, always been this way), is responding more and more aggressively and with the fear that is just...boggling. The militarization and the over-arming of our police (combined with the US vs THEM mentality) overlaid with the ease of reporting, vidding and viraling the horrid, shocking behaviors shows what a cesspool our country has turned into. It is not the cause, but the symptom of corporatizing, branding and numbering everything from people to freedoms, then splashing 'my god is the best god ever and you all are heathens' over every stinking bit of it.

The rate we are crabwalking backwards in thinking is alarming, even as our tech shoots through the sky, de-socializing the masses and easing the spread of these disease-like, primitive thoughts and actions.

I wanna cry. It gets harder to remember the good in people, when we are surrounded by the few (and the loud) who are...not good.

*HUGS YOU*
kaffyr
Nov. 26th, 2015 06:02 pm (UTC)
As the layers the past decade have been peeled back, you see the horror underneath, not gone, but festering and growing.

I think it's actually been growing for a much longer time. In terms of solely the racism, I think, as BB once said to me, that the country has been going through a slow-motion convulsion, almost a riot, at least as far back as the Second World War, when Truman started reintegrating the military, and this society of ours, which, economically, was based to a frightening degree on slaves (and not just in the South) started reacting. It accelerated in the 1960s, and it's still going on; it's never stopped.

And on another level, the Othering lies at the heart of our society. In the last century and a half, we've created the completely artificial category of White, drawn a circle around it, and Othered (and thereby demoted to "not us, not human, OK to oppress and use" status) anyone else. Within the magic circle, there's Othering, too: women, non-heterosexuals, etc. In fact, gender and sex help separate the powerful from the not-powerful right through the racial lines. And classism is laid over it. A poor black person may have fewer outs than a poor white person, but not by bloody much. And the old white men at the top of the heap make sure to keep racism and sexism alive, because that separates people who should be allies, weakens them, and keeps them from the old white men's doors.

AAAAargh! Just thinking about it makes me weep.

But I'm not going to stop trying to make it better. Nor, I suspect, are you. As my icon says: Don't mourn; organize.

Edited at 2015-11-26 06:02 pm (UTC)
supergee
Nov. 26th, 2015 10:12 am (UTC)
As Gen. Sheridan said about Native Americans, I knew a good Chicago cop, but she’s dead. Bernadette’s sister was injured in the line of duty when she stepped between a brother officer and a handcuffed prisoner he was clubbing.


kaffyr
Nov. 26th, 2015 06:06 pm (UTC)
She was a good cop indeed, then. I'm sorry that her bravery and sense of proper duty resulted in her injury.

There are good cops all over; I have covered the cop shop in every beat I've handled, and there are good men and women in every department. But when they're walking into an infrastructure built, historically, not to serve everyone, but to enforce the status quo for a given number of people and that's that, there's little they can do, and a lot of danger that they'll give up, become corrupted by the system, fall into the Thin Blue Line way of thinking ... yeah, good cops don't stand much of a chance of staying good, or of doing good, in our system.
lost_spook
Nov. 26th, 2015 02:13 pm (UTC)
Hope you're managing to have a nice day! ♥
kaffyr
Nov. 26th, 2015 06:17 pm (UTC)
I'm responding to you on Thanksgiving, and I can tell you that I'm having a quiet day thus far. That's good for me. I hope your Thursday has gone well, too! ♥
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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