The Impossible possibility of Belief: Advent and the question of (dis)belief outside the limits of whiteness alone

I believe you when you say that you’ve lost all faith/but you must believe in Something.

In a matter of hours Advent will come to an end and Christmastide will begin. Advent is supposed to be a season of waiting , anticipation and hope. At this point in time , I’m lacking in all three areas; after a year like 2014 I feel as though there is little to hope for and nothing good to anticipate. 

Why is this the case?

The defining feature of 2014 is the naked assertion of white supremacy. The police have been killing Black people with impunity for as long as they have existed so 2014 isn’t really different from previous years, but lets not get it twisted: this year was wack. What has come to light this year is the failure of the discourse of “white privilege”. This term does not even begin to dig beneath the surface and the way in which the term has been popularized actually makes it difficult for voices from the tradition of Black radicalism to be heard at full volume. Whenever I see a think piece with the word “white privilege” in the title , I’m inclined to think it was written by a white liberal. But this is still the soft end of this year! Black bodies are piling up in the streets; men , women , young , old , LGBTQ , poor , middle-class , skinny , tall , fat , etc. The black body in all its different shapes and sizes is the body upon which order stands. The police did not go on rampage in 2014 , they simply did they’re normal police work and it produced death. Layers of death! It wasn’t just bullet wounds or chokeholds that did the killing , it was leaving the bodies out in the streets as an example , as a mockery. It was refusing the victim medical attention , it was keeping them from their family after their death.  It was the teargassing and shooting of protestors (or anyone in sight) , it was the incarceration of woman trying to defend herself from domestic violence.Buber’s dialogic principle does not apply to the Black body. We can be shot at, denied citizenship , incarcerated, and left to rot in the streets.We can’t even be sick with being identified with illness itself (i’m referring to the Ebola controversy). This has nothing to do with ‘white privilege’ this is anti-blackness.

What witnessed and experienced in 2014 is the ongoing productivity of the spatio-cultural imagination named ‘The West’. It’s tentacles reach all the way from Ferguson to New York to The Alexander docks on the Red River. In my own city we were confronted with the news of Tina Fontaine’s murder. Once again we were greeted with the naked assertion of white supremacy, as her death was simply brushed aside by our prime minister and of course we cannot forget the role of the police. Now at this point there are some reoccurring themes we can point out ,the first being regulation.  If we think of whiteness spatially we can say that the police are given the task of regulating the borders of whiteness. I risk ontologizing whiteness by saying this , but whiteness has content and one of the pillars of whiteness is heteropatriachy.  To state things clearly: The police are the extension of the state given the task of regulating the borders of whiteness in order to uphold the White Hetero-Masculine.  This is why state violence against Black bodies , indigenous bodies , Queer and trans bodies are not unrelated to one another.

The problem of Advent: Why we cannot hope for more Christianity

What has made Advent 2014 especially disorienting is the fact that the disregard for Black life that we have been sing all year is a Christian operation, and not accidentally! From Saint Paul to Officer Darren Wilson, Difference has been the greatest problem for Christianity; and how can we forget its long history of favoring imperialism? This is a history that is often affirmed in contemporary theological discourse. It is the totalizing nature of Christianity , along with the fact that it is thoroughly complicit in white supremacy that raises the question of disbelief.  In order for white supremacy we must be found unbelieving when it comes to the faith of the (Christian) King. By disbelief I mean the refusal to swear allegiance to the god of the present order.

Christian theologians often try to make a move similar to what I am doing here. For some reason it is edgy to maintain the belief that “only Christianity can truly embrace unbelief”. This is not what I have in mind , as I follow Ashon Crawley by saying that I am not particularly interested in atheism (at least the kind that keeps Radically Orthodox theologians awake at night); furthermore I, like Crawley think that Black disbelief and atheism can be distinguishable from atheism. I would like to think of Black life itself as a form of disbelief. It is important to state that Black disbelief does not rest upon conversion , as it is not a movement from belief to disbelief and vice versa. Black life exists within the now, and the present moment consists of both belief and disbelief. However , the form of belief that is produced by Black life is belief in that which produced and is producing our ongoing disbelief. In other words , Black life creates a space in which belief and disbelief can work together, and opens the possibility of naming God outside the regulations of whiteness. Disbelief in belief as determined by the present order , and belief undetermined by the present order, work together by bearing witness against the falsehood that upholds the current state of affairs. This is possible because Black life is a form of life that disbelieves in the ground of our being-in-the-world and simultaneously affirms (believes in?) the subject of disbelief. For theologian M.Shawn Copeland , the fruit of this (dis)believing form of life is a “distinctive religious expression , exquisite music and song , powerful rhetoric and literature , practical invention and creative art”. With Frank Ocean we can say “Jehovah Jireh” and “Fuck the police” at the same time as  two sides of one act. In conclusion I would like to share one of my favorite examples of Black life operating in the form of (dis)belief. The great anti-apartheid singer Brenda Fassie. I offer no explanation: 

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28 comments on “The Impossible possibility of Belief: Advent and the question of (dis)belief outside the limits of whiteness alone

  1. Gerald Ens says:

    I’ve gone over this post a number of times now, and I fail to see how it does anything other than objectify black people. This runs from the claim that in our society black people are pure victims (you don’t say this, but the “black bodies everywhere” rant seems to accomplish as much) to the claim that black people living together have the answer to the problems of our society. Such claims are a disservice to the difficult and multifaceted struggles of oppressed peoples and (at best) a gross oversimplification of the great diversity and complexity of the world’s various black and interracial communities (at best, because in its gross oversimplification I suspect it is simply a misnomer.)

    Audre Lorde said: “What woman here is so enamoured of her own oppression that she cannot see her heelprint upon another woman’s face?” She is directing her attack at white feminists who are ignorant of and complicit in the oppression of black women. However, along with bell hooks who says that as a group black men are the most sexist group she knows of, we may also direct this line of questioning at those who want to assert black communities as the pure victims and pure saviors of our time. I recently read an article about how rampant and unreportable rape is in Kenya, due to the (for me unbelievable) level of police complicity. The black people in those communities are in a place far more nuanced than an objectification of black reality allows for.

    To quote Lorde again: “When you impale me
    upon your lances of narrow blackness
    before you hear my heart speak
    mourn your own borrowed blood
    your own borrowed visions.”
    I often find Lorde’s poetry inaccessible (possibly because I am not a black lesbian), but I quite like the one this quote’s from, “Between Ourselves.” If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, I’d recommend it.

    I also don’t understand your reasoning for why the discourse of white privilege has failed. Because when people use such a discourse you think of people you don’t like?

    • Hi Gerald Ens,

      The reason why you found Taps’s as objectifying Black people is perhaps because you objectify Black people and stereotype them as having a “pure victims'” mentality. Of course, this notion is based on Western culture’s anti-black racist discourse and the idea of the slaveability of black bodies. You are thoroughly unable to read a post written by a Black Man of Color without YOUR objectifying White gaze.

      #2, The mention of “the world’s various black and interracial communities” is really in fact a derail from the conversation. Variation and diversity within black populations does not prove that White privilege has failed. In fact, it makes the case for it. I can point to the particular examples of Black (Africans) in Cuba and South America, the darkest skinned tribal persons in Brazil, and even progressive place like France, that approaches to racism like yours ARE PART of the problem. Your analysis fails because you continue to see blackness as biological when Blackness functions as an ontology free from the White Gaze. It is a creative power and the indigenuity of those from the bottom of the latter.

      #3 All privilege talk is for profit. Thank you Tommy Curry!:

    • tapji says:

      Gerald,

      I’m well aware of the fact that Black lives are complex. I am one of those lives after all. With that said I really can’t take this comment (lengthy whitesplanation) seriously. No, I do not objectify Black people.

  2. Pooja says:

    A quick caveat before I begin: what I am concerned about (and therefore, also hesitant in writing this comment) is that this discussion on anti-black racism in the United States is taking place without any black people in this conversation. It is discomforting to have a white person (you) and non-black WOC (me) to discuss the black experience.

    That said, Gerald, I disagree – I don’t see this piece as objectifying black people nor do I think that this piece simply serves to victimize black people. Or rather, if this article comes off as victimizing, I would say it’s because black people are victimized in American society. (Though I do concede your point that homophobia, sexism, and other prejudices do exist within black communities. In fact, anti-black racism continues to exist within communities of people of color, such as South Asian communities, as well and ought to be critiqued.) What this article is pointing out with these myriad examples of police violence is the fundamental disregard of the value of black lives in the United States. The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag as the touchstone for this current movement underscores this. I believe that the movement in the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Antonio Martin, and countless other black men, black women, black trans women, and others who have routinely been the victims of police violence are participating in a larger project of exposing that the violence against black lives occurs at all levels: through economic, political, social, cultural disenfranchisement. Given that policing and surveillance practices emerge from the need to protect property, government policy and neoliberalism have always worked together to disavow the value of black life.

    I think that this article is asking how can a black person believe in a white Christian god and in that, find a space for survival? This is a really interesting question and I just don’t know enough religious history to speak to this. What I will point to is the suggestion that, “Black life creates a space in which belief and disbelief can work together, and opens the possibility of naming God outside the regulations of whiteness.” Although theology is in no way my area of expertise, I think the author is attempting to point towards an important way for black people to carve out safe spaces (a church community, for instance) for frank discussions on self-determination and for critiques of white supremacy. Not only that, but I would suggest that these black or POC-only safe spaces allow for self-care and self-preservation as well.

    Finally, as for the issue of white privilege, I agree that the discussion in this piece is muddled and misleading. What I would say instead, is that oftentimes I find that leftist white people who have the capacity to call themselves out on their privilege does not do enough to fundamentally dismantle the structures of white supremacy from which they benefit. That is, it is easier to critique these structures from a stable position of power, than it is to actively dismantle them and for white people to actively and willingly cede the positions of power they currently occupy.

  3. Tapji, Thank you for your post. You raise some very interesting ideas. Here is an attempt at a summary:

    Advent is time of hopeful, waiting, and expectation for a Christian King. But this 2014 Advent sucked.

    There was a lot of white people that got away with killing black people. This isn’t white privilege; it is too weak of a discourse to name these events with. It is not radical enough to stop the oppression and killing of black people. Christianity, “by nature”, and from the beginning, is complicit in this white privilege/supremacy and unable to work non-violently with Difference. Therefore “we” (Black Bodies) must not believe in a “(Christian) King” because Christianity inherently affirms white supremacy: white supremacy kills black bodies. Thus, black life should not share the faith (Christianity) of the present order because it is something inherently harmful to them.

    I think perhaps that this post could be expanded into a number of posts to address some of the claims you make in more detail.

    1. Is Christianity “by nature” complicit in white supremacy?
    2. Is there any “discourse” that can be radical enough to fight white supremacy? If so, what might might it look like?
    3. Where does white privilege originate and how does that correspond to the Jewish man called Christ, and the Jewish man called st. Paul?
    4. Is the fact that there is suffering within Christianity completely negate it?
    5. “By disbelief I mean the refusal to swear allegiance to the god of the present order.” Are you advocating a (potentially Christian?) god that is not of the present order but that could be better revealed through more work by Black theologians?

    • tapji says:

      Hi Joel,

      1. Is Christianity “by nature” complicit in white supremacy? If by Christianity you mean ‘Western Christianity’, then yes and no. Yes,because I cannot think of western Christianity outside of the framework of white supremacy,as that which produced it from antagonisms and problematics that already existed (I’m referring to the problem of supersessionism and Ethnic reasoning within the tradition. See, the work of Denise Buell for a better explanation of this). However, I wouldn’t use the term “by nature” , because it might carry essentialist connotations with, when used in a discussions about religion. Even though Western Christianity is hegemonic, it is still a particularity among other particularities, and so there are other forms of Christianity that exist, and can exist. Though given the normative status of western Christianity (in both religious & secular modalities) other modes of Christian practice exist within a globalized socio-political space that is determined by western Christianity.

      2.Any discourse radical enough to fight white supremacy? Yes. The modes of expression produced by the underside of modernity (which connects to what I mean by Black Life). This discourse is simply the modes of expression produced by those living under/within our current onto-political (or onto-theological) order of racialized sovereignty. This discourse moves beyond the discourse of white privilege, because isn’t centered around the education of white people or their being-in-the-world as subjects racialized as white. To quote M.Shawn Copeland again: “distinctive religious expression , exquisite music and song , powerful rhetoric and literature , practical invention and creative art”.

      It’s also worth noting, that what sets this discourse apart from the regulations of racialized sovereignty, is its lawlessness. In other words, it is a mode of social life that does not rest upon regulation (determining who is in and who is out) and thus resists the logic of purity that grounds whiteness. To be sure this discourse is particular, but it is ecumenical.

      3. Where does white privilege originate and how does it relate to the Jewish Paul and Jewish Jesus? There is no short answer to this question, and I lack the competence to give you a satisfying short-ish answer. But there are books! The works of J.Kameron Carter, Daniel Boyarin and Daniel Colucciello Barber are very helpful on this topic.

      4. Does suffering in Christianity negate it? No, I don’t think so. It is certainly something to be dealt with. The repeated production of particular forms of suffering (racialized, gendered, etc) , does call for an interrogation of Historically dominant Christianity.

      5. Yes, i think that is more or less a good way to put it. One can think of the Black theology project as an attempt to name God outside (and against) the confines of white supremacy. And in other ways as well. I’m still thinking about what the ‘Naming of God’. I’ll probably write about that some more in the future.

      • JoeL says:

        This is really helpful. Thanks for the resources. So, the question should really be, where is revolutionary potential? One place it is found is in the modes of expression on the underside of modernity (as you call it). The inclusion of the Brenda Fassie is one such an example.

        I look forward to more posts.

      • JoeL says:

        One quick clarification.

        You say that you wouldn’t use the term “by nature” for a number of reasons. However, in your original post you write “the totalizing nature of Christianity.” What is your reasoning behind your word choice in the original post?

        • tapji says:

          Totalizing nature, simply refers to the fact that Western Christianity is hegemonic. There is no outside. And this it’s totalizing. Nature isn’t being used here, in any technical sense.

          • JoeL says:

            Thanks, that’s helpful. If you will allow me, some further discussion on this “totalizing nature of Christianity.”

            You say: “Even though Western Christianity is hegemonic, it is still a particularity among other particularities, and so there are other forms of Christianity that exist, and can exist. Though given the normative status of western Christianity (in both religious & secular modalities)[,] other modes of Christian practice exist within a globalized socio-political space that is determined by western Christianity.”

            Here you say in the first sentence that other “forms of Christianity that exist, can exist” that are not Western. In the next sentence you say that “other modes of Christian practice exist within a globalized socio-political space that is determined by western Christianity.” In the first case, there can be non-western Christianity; in the second case, all spaces where Christianity exist are determined by western Christianity. In short, do you mean to say that there is no such thing as non-western Christianity?

            • tapji says:

              There is most certainly is such a thing as non-western Christianity. However non-western Christianity (like religion in general) is determined by the Christian-Secular socio-political space. Let me unpack this: Following Gil Anidjar I like to think of Western Christianity(Christianity for short) , as that which is neither religion or politics, rather it is that which distinguishes between religion and politics. To make his point Anidjar draws on the medieval doctrine of the king’s two bodies. The Pope deals with the church (the religious sphere) and the King deals with governance and the sphere of politics. The pope is obviously a Christian and has authority over his religious subjects, one of whom happens to be the king. And so we can say the King is answerable to the Pope, but still belongs to the sphere of politics. The pope(religious sphere) and the King(political sphere) are both Christian (one under the authority of the other). So if both spheres are Christian,then for Anidjar it follows that Christianity as such, does not belong in either category. Instead we can speak of both religion and politics being *within* Christianity, so that Christianity (or Christendom) is the name we give to the totality of the to spheres (and all the institutions and stuff that flows from them).

              Okay, the institutions & modes of governance produced by Christianity becomes globalized (via colonialism and other things) , as well as secularized. This is why I say that Christianity in both religious and secularity modalities is totalizing , because now there is no outside of the structures it gave birth to. Including the category of religion (and here I would highly recommend the work of Peter Van der Veer & Tomoko Masuzawa, on the Christian invention of religion and globalization of Christianity). And its for this reason that non-western Christianity (and non-Christian religion in general) exists within a space determined by Western Christianity. at least at a normative level. There are ways to push back against this (the Iranian revolution being an important example).

  4. Gerald Ens says:

    Thanks a lot for the engagement, Pooja. I really appreciate your comment. (On the caveat: discomfort acknowledged and shared.)

    I think it is worthwhile to clarify some of our terminology around victimhood. I agree entirely with your claim that black people are victimized in American society, and that naming specific oppressions is important. My comment is not at all directed against the BlackLivesMatter movement (I suspect we would agree that the idiotic response that “all lives matter” is not an expansion, but an erasure, to put it mildly). My comment comes from a variety of places and concerns, but one of these is that this article does a disservice to the BlackLivesMatter movement in its collapsing of the various forms of black life. And it’s important to note here that this article deliberately does not restrict itself to American situations (recall the Ebola references).

    So, when I speak of pure victims or victimization I’m talking about a discourse that, in its efforts to display the oppression of persons, robs them of their agency. They are only the fact that they are oppressed; they are only “bodies lying in the street”; they are objects. You don’t see this, so it’s quite possible that I’m missing something about or unfairly exaggerating the article’s rhetoric.

    Your claim that “this article is asking how can a black person believe in a white Christian god and in that, find a space for survival?” helps me to both better understand and appreciate this article. I agree that it is an interesting and important question, and also that it is a question that needs to be asked in (primarily if not exclusively) “black or POC-only safe spaces allow for self-care and self-preservation.” Where I stumble is that I don’t see this article asking anything. I see only assertion. “Black disbelief does not rest upon conversion, as it is not a movement from belief to disbelief and vice versa. Black life exists within the now, and the present moment consists of both belief and disbelief. However, the form of belief that is produced by black life is belief in that which produced our ongoing disbelief.” The assertion is that this is a feature of all black life (or is there something I’m missing really missing?). There are no exceptions. There are no examples of specific communities or people (from ardent atheist, to fundamentalist Christian, to newly converted Muslim, to name only some of the religions involved). There is no accounting for the huge variety of lifestyles and beliefs held by black people. I’ve read many essays, poems, stories detailing specific life-giving practices that have been born out of American black experiences (and some, though fewer, on life-giving practices coming out of African black experiences), but none are named here. We’re simply told black life has created and continues to create the space we need.

    • Gerald,

      You continue to push this ridiculous idea of “pure victimology” when it’s not there. You are playing with a Black-painted strawman. Admit it, you are just terrified of using the language of White Supremacy because it will be forcing you to look at the truth.

  5. Gerald Ens says:

    Joel, I know that your comment is addressed to Tapji, not me, so I’ll try to keep it brief. First, I’d also be interested to see the questions you ask answered in further detail. Second, while I find your summary helpful, a few changes are needed to get at what I was reacting against. “Therefore “we” (Black Bodies) must not believe…” needs to be changed to “do not believe,” and “black life should not share the faith…” needs to be changed to “does not share.” Finally, I would add a final sentence. “Rather, black life effectively brings belief and disbelief together such that God is named truthfully.” Now, if your summary is more accurate to the original article than my changes, then I will probably have to retract most of my comment.

  6. I’m not sure. I think I need Tapji to clarify the sentence in question. “In order for white supremacy [to do what?] we must be found unbelieving when it comes to the faith of the (Christian) King.” I took it to mean that to believe in an oppressive and harmful God who favors whites over blacks would mean add further insult to injury. In this particular sentence, I take Tapji to be giving a lot of choice and agency to the oppressed: “therefore we do not believe” is automatic “therefore we must” is an imperative. Likewise in the “do not” vs “should not”. But, I’d really prefer if Tapji clarified. Any help Tapji?

  7. […] discourse of white privilege is one topic that a recent discussion over at Ortus Memoria has touched on. A fellow commenter has well-articulated one of the general […]

  8. Gerald, have you considered that your comment was the first to this post and how it framed any further comments? Your first line suggested your weighty consideration of the post (having gone over it ‘a number of times’). After which you move into the decisive comment that you ‘ fail to see how it does anything other than objectify black people.’
    To be honest I have hard time reading anything after that. I read Tapji’s post as a reflection on how black skin/bodies continue to be an ‘object’ of violence (there is nothing of pure victimhood or thinking individual black people are all saints) and how these and other bodies are entangled in social and theological realities. Your initial framing dismissed the reality of that space and of someone who literally has skin in this game.
    In my mind your comment performed an element of the critique Tapji was making. Your comment performed the failure of privilege discourse because it did not account for the space created in which non-white bodies and lives move but assumed that your ‘awareness’ of black thought was sufficient as a response (leveraging Lorde).
    As Tapji said,
    “[White privilege] does not even begin to dig beneath the surface and the way in which the term has been popularized actually makes it difficult for voices from the tradition of Black radicalism to be heard at full volume. “

  9. Gerald Ens says:

    David, thank you for your comment. I’m still digesting it, but here are some initial responses.
    No, I have not yet considered the way being the first to comment would frame the discussion, but you are right that I would have done well to. I have reconsidered my rhetoric in my first comment, particularly in the first comment. Your response – “I have a hard time reading anything after that” – confirms to me that it was overly forceful and assertive.
    At the same time, I am not sure where I dismiss the reality or space of black oppression. Is it that my form was enough to do this, no matter the argument I was trying to make? My point is that this article does a disservice to such a space in naming it poorly, which affirms its reality and significance. You think the article names well the reality of black suffering. I do make an effort to cite and show what is and is not in this post that “objectifies,” and I would be happy to be shown wrong.
    Finally, with the exception of the last two sentences of my first comment, I don’t employ privilege discourse at all; neither do I suggest that this is what is lacking from Tapji’s post. I may have performed an element of Tapji’s critique with my comments (perhaps even in failing to recognize my own privilege, given that I do not have skin in the game in the same way), but I don’t see how this performs the failure of the discourse of privilege. Is it that the discourse of white privilege is so closely linked to the white silencing of (radical) black voices?

    • Gerald, and I quote:

      “However, along with bell hooks who says that as a group black men are the most sexist group she knows of, we may also direct this line of questioning at those who want to assert black communities as the pure victims and pure saviors of our time.”

      Misappropriating the work of black people to point out so called “divisions” in black populations. So not a white “privileged” strategy. Again, this quote points to a belief in the false mythology of Black people’s cultural backwardness, and Black men’s always being angry. This ain’t nothing new. I will say there’s also good pushback against this line of argumentation from Black womanists and feminsts, but I will let you do your own research. Slavery is over.

  10. I wasn’t concerned about force and assertion so much as your initial undermining of this post’s performance. You comment a few times that Tapji does not reference ‘particular’ communities or expressions as examples of what he is talking about. This post *is* a particular expression navigating death-dealing spaces and expressions. It may not resonant with you but to say that it ‘objectifies’ black people and denies agency comes off as a perverse irony of the post (you know, a black guy processing subjective and social realities as a form of agency).

  11. Kampen says:

    Gerald, in response to the query at the end of your first comment: “I also don’t understand your reasoning for why the discourse of white privilege has failed.” Perhaps it is effective for white people, as you suggest in your linked blog post, but it has failed precisely because it has failed to transform power structures, the evidence of which are the black bodies, shot by police, left for hours in the streets. (As Pooja also states well at the end of her comment). (And you seem to acknowledge this in your own post as well, but then go on to critique in anyway? I’m not sure what you’re after here if you recognize this as Tapji’s argument and don’t disagree with it). I don’t see this identification, this naming, of the Black bodies lying in the streets, as a making of pure victims or objectification. Indeed, because this is precisely how these Black people were treated, to say anything other than that would be to ignore the monstrosity of the act. I see this naming as a continued ACT of identifying-as-violence the objectification enacted by the White police officers.

    In some of your other comments, it seems that what bothers you is what you see as a generalization of Black Bodies and through that this act of objectification. One thing you point to as evidence of this is Tapji’s reference to Ebola – that this is outside the realm of the particular bodies/context he is speaking from/about. The stigma of Ebola IS in THIS context though. One need only to think of the Black boys that were attacked in NY and called Ebola. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/27/boys-called-ebola-attacked-bronx_n_6055406.html

  12. JoeL says:

    I think I would rather hear Tapji’s response to some of these questions and comments, especially the one about objectification. It seems to me that whether or not Melanie and David are correct is not really the most important issue here. What’s happening is we have non-Black people deciding what is, or is not, the objectification of Black people. I’m sorry, but I don’t think it is our (white people’s) place to decide that — our place is to listen, ask questions and engage. The last thing that white people should be doing is continually speaking over minorities and telling them what counts as productive discourse.

    • Joel,

      I (as a Blac MoC) totally agree, but I think the accusation of “objectification” was a derail. In fact, it’s completely false because Taps uses Black music at the beginning and the end of his post. That’s not “all blacks are pure victims”; that is hey, Black people are creative enough and work to dismantle racism without the help of White Privileged Allies.

  13. Taps, awesome, amazing essay. Here’s why:

    “Whenever I see a think piece with the word “white privilege” in the title , I’m inclined to think it was written by a white liberal. But this is still the soft end of this year! Black bodies are piling up in the streets; men , women , young , old , LGBTQ , poor , middle-class , skinny , tall , fat , etc. The black body in all its different shapes and sizes is the body upon which order stands. The police did not go on rampage in 2014 , they simply did they’re normal police work and it produced death. Layers of death! ”

    White Privilege talk refuses to talk about the history of White Violence and black death (Black genocide on slave ships, lynchings, the death penalty, unjust wars versus PoC countries, colonialism) and would rather keep the focus on economic status. This is the difference, and why it is important to talk about White Supremacy instead.

  14. PURE VICTIMOLOGY RIGHT HERE FOLKS! COME AND GET IT!

    “This is possible because Black life is a form of life that disbelieves in the ground of our being-in-the-world and simultaneously affirms (believes in?) the subject of disbelief. For theologian M.Shawn Copeland , the fruit of this (dis)believing form of life is a “distinctive religious expression , exquisite music and song , powerful rhetoric and literature , practical invention and creative art”.”- Taps, this very article.

    Gerald Ens really hadn’t read this post over and over. I seriously doubt he had.

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