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Revelations: #Katrina10

August 30, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Eco-Justice, Economic Terrorism, Intersectionality, Sunday Music Flashback

Ten Years Since Katrina: A Meditation on New Orleans
We are black and alive, still, despite what the pictures say

Environment, Disaster, and Race After Katrina

Gentrification’s Ground Zero

Revelations: Welcome to #Dismaland

August 23, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Eco-Justice, Intersectionality, What People are Doing to Change the World

from Dismalnd, Bansky 2015

from Dismalnd, Bansky 2015

Dismaland: Amusements and Anarchism, Banksy 2015

Bansky’s Orca/Anti-SeaWorld Art

SeaWorld sees profits plunge 84% as customers desert controversial park

Blackfish

CI: #MikeBrown and #Ferguson, Special Issue of ProudFlesh

August 19, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Arts and Culture, Intersectionality, Police Brutality, Police State, Prison Industrial Complex

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.

 

#MikeBrown and #Ferguson, Special Issue of ProudFlesh
from nancy a heitzeg

PF pngProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics, and Consciousness recently published a Special Issue on Mike Brown and Ferguson. Guest Editors for this Special Edition are myself  and Rose M. Brewer, Ph.D. Professor of African American & African Studies, University of Minnesota.Much gratitude to her and the many contributors.

ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics and Consciousness is a peer-reviewed journal, a terrain for promoting exchange, thinking, for igniting the common impulse to create, to perform, to interrogate in spite of the odds fueled by repression and rootlessness.

This Special On-line Issue is modeled after the Special Issue Dedicated to Trayvon Martin, offers a collection of critical responses to Ferguson in the first six months of the struggle. It begins with the death of Mike Brown and closes with the Department of Justice Report on Ferguson,

Of course this is just the beginning, but one year on, it is important to look back top see what has been won/lost, which directions the movement has taken now, which voices have been lifted and those from whom we need to hear more.

Hope you read it — the issue is available for free and forever. You will jsut be asked to create aan account an dlogin to fully access al articles.

For the Struggle…

 

PF png

Criminal InJustice: Aileen

July 29, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Corrupt Judiciary, Criminal Defense, Criminal Injustice Series, Intersectionality, Media Conglomeration, Police State, Prison Industrial Complex, Prisoner Rights

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm CST

Aileen
comments by nancy a heitzeg

I’m in Chicago — at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting — preparing to speak later this week on the School to Prison Pipeline: Mapping Solutions. More on that soon.

In my absence, the Sociology of Deviance is watching and writing on Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer, the second of two documentary films on Aileen Wuornos by Nicholas Broomfield and Joan Churchill.

If you haven’t seen it, you should. It is a complex tragedy of victim become offender, of trauma and slipping sanity, of unending betrayal, of the possibility – at least initially — of self-defense. It is a story too of media sensationalism, of the social construction of a Monster who fulfilled the worst nightmares and the stuff of stereotypes — angry lesbian serial killer hitch-hiking prostitute whose victims also were sullied. It is a story of systemic corruption — cops on the take, snitches, inept attorneys, a death machine that overlooked madness in the lust for vengeance, and then Florida Governor Jeb Bush who cashed in the political capital.

There is more to say here — there is everything to say here – but for now, Say Her Name too.

Aileen.

Revelations: Mean Streets

July 26, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Eco-Justice, Intersectionality

alligator

Stray alligator found wandering the streets of New York City has died

“…people are enchanted by tiny alligators only to lose interest as they grow.

“There is this misconception that zoos will take them,” he said. “They can’t be released. They can’t be let go. It’s really sad.’ ‘

***

Criminal InJustice: Captivity, Control and Resistance

July 08, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Criminal Injustice Series, Eco-Justice, Economic Terrorism, Intersectionality, Prison Industrial Complex

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6

 

Captivity, Control and Resistance
by nancy a heitzeg

The so-called “Land of the Free” is a nation of cages. Our late capitalist economy is now based almost entirely on commodification, capture, and control of people, other species, the planet.

But this cannot stand. Repression breeds resistance and all life tends towards – not just survival – but freedom.

We will break out together.

Revelations: If A Tree Falls…

July 05, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Eco-Justice, Intersectionality

“Eco-terrorism” and the Green Scare, Green is the New Red

Criminal InJustice: To Break the Chain

June 24, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Gun Culture, Intersectionality, Media Conglomeration, Prison Industrial Complex

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.

 

To Break the Chain
by nancy a heitzeg

Charleston.  The latest USA edition of the “race-tinged death story”.

Although the racial motivations were clear from the outset (survivors told the tale), this did not deter mainstream media and invested policy makers from spinning the familiar script. Liberals pointed towards guns and debate erupted over which language of the carceral state to adopt — was this hate crime or terrorism? The Right feigned confusion or claimed that it was really just Christians who were under attack..

The white shooter, typically,  was both isolated and humanized – arrested without a scratch, fed Burger King, described as a lone wolf who may be mentally ill or exceptionally evil, ultimately unknowable. In the words of South Carolina Governor Nikki Hayley, “We’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another.”

Until we did. The discovery of Dylann Roof’s last racist screed laid bare the motives, and set off another round of spin. The fact that Roof named the Council of Conservative Citizens, as both source and inspiration, induced a panic-stricken flow of returned campaign contributions, the fine line between “extremist” hate and the GOP mainstay, erased.

Exposed now, attention then turned quickly to the Confederate Flag and calls for its’ removal as remedy. The flag, which should have never flown, was long embraced by slavers and segregationists, and served as key code in the deployment of the ostensibly color-blind “Southern Strategy”. But perhaps now the costs had finally come to outweigh the benefits. Perhaps too, in keeping with the climate of premature forgiveness and healing, it was time for rapid reversal from those who had ridden the undead Confederacy to power.

As Glen Ford notes in The Perils of the Politics of Symbolism:

The demand that South Carolina remove the “Stars and Bars” from in front of the state capital building is wholly symbolic, directly affecting one pole and one piece of cloth.  The state’s governor and top Republican legislators would never consider letting go of the flag if it had not already become as much a burden as an asset to the Party… “Reconciliation,” therefore, comes cheap – and, in fact, redounds to the benefit of the former offender. Whites in South Carolina will get the chance to feel as good about voting the Confederate-free Republican ticket, as white Democrats in Iowa felt voting for Obama. Power relationships are unaffected…”

So the Flag may come down – forever or just for one day. Or it may not. It may be banned from Wal*Mart and Amazon and eBay for as long as Duck Dynasty was off the air or more. Regardless, the effects of the performance of contrition and distancing will have been achieved for those who rose to power on this very white supremacist imagery and the blood money it raised.  And we will be approaching peak color-blindness, an entire uninterrupted landscape of racism without racists, replete with complete denial-ability but deep structures which remain, untouched.

The juxtaposition of last week’s news-maker, the “trans-racial” Rachel Dolezal, with the trajectory of the unfolding Charleston story is unsettling. The singular message is this: race and racism are individualized performances that allow for both white appropriation of Blackness when convenient and white supremacist denial of structural racism viz a viz its’ projection onto a disposable Symbol. Elusive; ephemeral.

The reality is, flag or no, the structural white supremacy that is the bedrock foundation of this country has never been redressed. The Civil War has never been over. Slavery has been unwilling to die, morphing via the “reform ” offered by the 13th Amendment into the prison industrial complex and the punishing state. And the promises of “due process”, “equal protection” and the franchise, continue to be denied.

Until there is that full accounting – in word, deed and reparation – that flag, even figuratively, will continue to fly.