Posts tagged violence.


The Sweet Wizard in Remission: I take anarchism very seriously


but not when it requires wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. Especially given that Time Warner has a copyright to the image of the mask because of their bastardization of V for Vendetta.

Guy Fawkes tried to kill members of Parliament to replace the British government with a…

Contrary to popular belief, the “Guy Fawkes” mask is not of Guy Fawkes, it is of the Pope. When Catholics eventually received equal rights in England, the government decided they needed to find something a little more politically correct. And now, the day isn’t even known as Guy Fawke’s day. It’s called bonfire night and it’s no longer popular to burn the effigies. The masks have always symbolized the rejection of religion and the promotion of separating church and state. They are a  true symbol of anarchism, and always have been. It just been mis-assumed through history.

And no, Time Warner does not have copyrights to the image of the “Guy Fawkes” mask. Sorry to disappoint you, but you’re wrong.

Maybe I should have been more clear? I really am not interested in commenting on the actual holiday, since I have never been somewhere that celebrates it. I’m not even interested on commenting on the masks themselves or how they were used through history, but it definitely is interesting to be reading about. I didn’t know how the holiday had changed, so thank you for pointing me in that direction.

This topic of the masks themselves definitely isn’t super important to me, it just shows again my frustration with the lack of research and critique going in to stuff that’s currently thought of as radical, right now being the “occupations.” I don’t want to put anyone down for learning about something from a movie instead of books, because I think that’s still totally cool. And if that’s the working knowledge people have of anarchism, then cool, that’s a start. But there’s a silly amount of hypocrisy in wearing something that does symbolize anarchism but not knowing anything about anarchism that wasn’t put together in a Time Warner movie, and especially when it refers back to an attempted act of violence but at the same time you will condemn people around you for what you’ve defined as violence.

Is breaking a window violence? Is self-defense violence? Is property damage in response to racial violence, itself violence? These are open ended questions, and I am interested in how people choose to consciously define violence (I am not, however, interested in people’s regurgitation of what a violent society has told them real violence is).

I don’t even care so much about people having to pick sides (although I feel like that’s what I’m doing, like forcing people to choose violence vs. nonviolence when I know it’s not like that at all); I just want to see work that is being done with a level of critique and self-reflection that it is not so obviously hypocritical. Just because someone breaks a bank window doesn’t make them a bad person, and it’s insulting to assume it makes them an agent provocateur; sometimes people are mad about state violence, and very often banks are agents of violence. Maybe depending on the type of violence we should be asking whose violence was worst, or whose was unprovoked, or who’s gaining what from inflicting violence?

Again, there are no solid answers, but I really hesitate to call work truly radical until it is trying to build working answers to these types of questions, or at least to engage with them to a level beyond the hypocrisy I’m seeing right now.

Here is an open letter by someone involved in Occupy Oakland, trying to ask these very questions about violence, given that people who damaged property are now being condemned as violent and “not what our movement is about” (which makes me curious, then, what the movement is about).

Finally, the link I posted with the claim that Time Warner has a copyright on the image of that mask is here again; it comes from Time magazine, as in Time Warner, so I’m guessing they got this right about their own company. Obviously this wasn’t true until a few years ago; it’s also not the first time a corporation has been allowed to “own” the rights to a popular culture image that they didn’t create but simply made money from co-opting.

Responses to wondering what to do about teenager homocide victim who some of my students probably knew:

  1. name-redacted said: The next time it’s appropriate, mention you’re willing to listen if anyone wants to talk privately. Your charges seem to respect and trust you enough to know you’re serious about that kind of thing and will take you up if they need to. 
  2. expandedcircle answered: despite not fitting the demographic at all, i have lived through this and i think just a brief offering of an open ear can mean the world
  3. browngurlwfro answered: be there

Thanks, friends! It didn’t come up today, but I wasn’t working with any of the kids that I know went to the same school as him or live in his neighborhood. I’ll keep my ears open for anyone talking about it.


A 13 year old kid was shot and killed last night in the next neighborhood over from ours. Not right near our house, but where I bike home from work if I take the scenic route. He went to a grade school across town where several of my students went. Nobody mentioned it at school today to me, but it’s pretty likely that some of my kids knew him; they might not have been friends since he’s younger, but probably some of them knew him.

This afternoon in my program, a couple of my kids were talking about violence and shootings in their neighborhoods. All of us live in neighborhoods with a lot of shootings and police presence, and where it seems like all that is escalating, so we were all talking about that. All of us were saying that we hear gunshots and don’t pay it that much attention anymore. Of course, then, one of the knuckleheads had to turn the conversation into totally ridiculous stuff; in hindsight, though, maybe it was getting too heavy for him and he needed comic relief.

I know I’m really lucky to have never had a friend killed by a gun. I’ve known people who were killed, but never someone I was friends with. To be black and make it to 25 years old and be able to say that is really fucking rare. Most of my kids can’t say that. I worry about them all the time, and sometimes when messed up things happen I get devastated to realize that I can’t protect them from everything, and I know I don’t entirely want to anyway. You learn by having shitty, messy things happen in your adolescence, I understand that; but as much as I can, I want to just shield them from all that, and I really can’t.

Does anyone know what might be the best course of action? I don’t know if I want to bring it up to kids who went to that school and live in that area, because I don’t want to open fresh wounds unnecessarily. If kids mention it, I will definitely do what I can to support them, but it won’t be from my own experience because of how lucky I’ve been. Anyone have experience supporting young people in these situations?

9/11: related

Wikipedia research. These things are related, if only tangentially. Not necessarily relationships where one event causes another; I’m not trying to place blame. But they are parts of a system, and all events whose anniversaries are also September 11.

If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it’s wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it’s wrong for America to draft us and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country.

Malcolm X (via jadedfucker)


(via jadedfucker-deactivated20120302)

fetishizing guns pt. II



[TRIGGER WARNING]: guns, violence

About three months ago, I posted this and didn’t get any really satisfying conversations out of it.  I’d like to think my thoughts have developed some since then, and it’s a conversation I’m still interested in having.  To reiterate what I was saying in the first post: I’m basically thinking about radical and “scene kid” culture (which in my experience has comprised mostly of upper class, white kids, who have lived in the U.S. their whole lives) that like to glamorize gun imagery— both in posting on their blog and in clothes and jewelry, creating this hip violence aesthetic.  So, I’m questioning if this is somehow appropriative or fucked up.

I feel like I’m reaching the conclusion that for folks who have never interacted with guns before (both in using one or having one used against them), it is appropriative and fetishizing other peoples experiences to sport this imagery.  As I stated before, as someone who is queer/trans/a survivor, I can fully understand wanting to own a gun, and having there be an option of bashing back feel safer.  However, I see the reality of wanting a gun as something completely different from people who have never interacted with a gun posting pictures of blinged out pink guns, etc.  The latter seems like a fetishization of other people’s struggles for safety or resistance, coming from a really privileged standpoint, and a lack of understanding of those experiences.  This fetishization is something I have definitely participated in, in the past, and I want to own up to that and work on deconstructing where that came from.

Additionally, I feel that the way I see this imagery being used totally ignores that it could be triggering for someone.  I think it’s much easier to be aroused by gun imagery and violent rhetoric when it hasn’t been a constant reality in yr life.  This appraisal of guns seems like a blatant disregard to the fact that those images carry a lot more weight for some folks, and that guns have had hugely damaging effects on peoples lives and should not be something that is uncritically praised, especially by folks who are really financially/racially privileged in hella liberal, rich, white towns (oh hey, Olympia and Arlington.)  After all, guns are not only a tool of resistance they are a tool used to oppressed, they mean different things based on who is holding them.

I also think in some cases, this use of gun aesthetic play into a larger trend of a really awful fetishization of violence.  There were some posts from kavitiya and waiflike on the racist and imperialistic aspects of white, western anarchists glorifying “riot porn” footage from other countries.  Somewhat related to this, I’ve also seen recently, a “reclamation” of the word terrorist coupled with glorifying 9/11 from anarchists.  Presumably it’s because they are “enemies of the state” and are seemingly comparing themselves with the people who bombed the twin towers, which seems to carry similar appropriative undertones the posts I linked above.  I don’t have very developed thoughts, or much knowledge around the use of the word terrorist, and I’d be interested in hearing from other folks.

i don’t know the posts yr referring to, but to take this in a slightly different direction: it’s also definitely very common for white radicals—or more generally for people who’ve never had to turn to violence as an act of survival— to glamorize oppressed people using guns, rioting, or whatever. i know i’m guilty as charged too. there’s a fine line between being like, ‘hell yeah, i’m stoked to see people rise up and fight back and maybe even go on the offensive’— and being appropriative and fetishizing such actions.  there are very few situations— the zapatista’s being the most obvious— where leaders of said groups of people have encouraged the fetishization of guns. i was watching a film recently that showed subcommandante marcos posing with his ak for marie claire and other fashion magazines. even though they’ve de-emphasized guerilla warfare, the zapatistas have nurtured this image a bit, but this doesn’t necessarily open up the floodgates and declare that anything goes.

it’s fine to support and be excited by oppressed people revolting due to their conditions and  using force or ‘violence’ (often ambiguously defined and meaning something more like self-defense or extensional self-defense) as a means of resistance. but, when you’ve never been in a position where use of violence, as a response to your conditions- was a condition for your survival or dignity, then carrying that imagery can become a very different thing.

and calling yourself an anarchist or communist or whatever doesn’t put you in a vaccuum where your race, class, immigration status, gender, sexuality, ability, etc. are irrelevant because anarchists, communists and other radicals are persecuted and repressed by the state. because  those movements, especially when they take place at several intersections of privilege, as they most often do in the us and kanada, have often been oppressive and repressive to different intersections of oppressed and marginalized people. many people of color, even apocs see white anarchists oppressors—and minus the rhetoric and lifestyle, not very different than the dominant culture. and part of that has to do with us fetishizing their struggles while remaining a predominantly white subculture that as a whole has failed to display sincere solidarity with people of color.

anyway, i really appreciate your post. i know readnfight and mytongusforked have both written a lot of rad stuff on this subject in the past.

I wrote about this a while back, specifically about Queers With Guns, a regional meet-up of queer and trans people who learn how to use all kinds of different guns at a shooting range somewhere in New England. I was getting invited to it, and it made me really nervous. For the most part, how I feel about it was said well above. It seems like an easy thing to adopt and think is cool or glamorous when it hasn’t been an unwelcome part of your life. I grew up on the Southside of Chicago, in a relatively “safe” neighborhood, so I didn’t have nearly as much gun-related violence going on right around me, but it was still present. People get shot and killed in Chicago almost every single day.

Now I live in New Haven, which is faaaaar less intense than Chicago, but there is plenty of violence present in our neighborhood. And working with high schoolers who live in the same or similar neighborhoods, and many of whom know someone who’s been shot, that shit is very real to me; I am very protective of my kids and worry about them a lot.

Having lived in both of those places, it is difficult for me to jump on the bandwagon of thinking guns are cool or sexy. Guns are a threat to my students, in their neighborhoods. Guns are a threat to entire neighborhoods where I grew up—I am not exaggerating. Random drive-bys happen pretty often in Chicago; it’s not a place where you are safe just by not being a part of a gang or drug trade. Why would I turn around and embrace that for its sexiness? Especially why would I embrace that amongst white radicals, being a woman of color? I’m not giving them the okay on that if it isn’t something they’ve lived.

This is also why I’m interested in the POC antiviolence work that I’ve been getting involved in the past few months, that it’s rooted in what is more realistically helpful for communities of color. A lot of it centers around finding ways for young people of color to feel safe in their communities without relying on guns.

#guns  #violence  #race  

Main said it’s not unusual for groups to beat people up in poorer parts of Chicago. When the violence spilled into the affluent parts of town, Main said, “The concern was that it would drive away conventions and … tourists who are visiting during the warm months.”

Chicago’s battle against youth mobs, Elizabeth Fiedler, NewsWorks Staff on Yahoo News

Focusing on who really matters here. So blatant.

I do not wish to kill nor to be killed, but I can foresee circumstances in which both these things would be by me unavoidable. We preserve the so-called peace of our community by deeds of petty violence every day. Look at the policeman’s billy and handcuffs! Look at the jail! Look at the gallows! Look at the chaplain of the regiment! We are hoping only to live safely on the outskirts of this provisional army. So we defend ourselves and our hen-roosts, and maintain slavery. … What sort of violence is that which is encouraged, not by soldiers, but by peaceable citizens?

Henry David Thoreau, "A Plea for Captain John Brown." Glad this is the first thing that I’ve finally read by Thoreau, and it’s not about pacifism.

Arizona shooting victim arrested after threat ›

I’m sorry, WHAT, all around:

PHOENIX – One of the Arizona shooting victims was arrested Saturday and then taken for a psychiatric evaluation after authorities said he took a picture of a tea party leader at televised town hall meeting and yelled: “you’re dead.”

James Eric Fuller, 63, objected to something Trent Humphries said during the forum taped for a special edition of ABC’s “This Week” with Christiane Amanpour, Pima County sheriff’s spokesman Jason Ogan said. Fuller was in the front row and apparently became upset when Humphries suggested that any conversations about gun control should be delayed until all the dead were buried, KGUN-TV in Tucson reported.

Fuller was arrested on misdemeanor disorderly conduct and threat charges, Ogan said. While Fuller was being escorted out, deputies decided he needed a mental health evaluation and he was taken to a hospital, where he remained Saturday evening.

The hospital will determine when he will be released, Ogan said.

Fuller was one of 19 people shot at a Safeway store Jan. 8. Six people died and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remains in critical condition with a bullet wound to the head.

Fuller described the shootings as “a bad crime drama” in an interview on CBS’ “The Early Show.” He said he felt a bullet that hit his knee but didn’t know he had also been struck in the back. Fuller, a naval air veteran, drove himself to Northwest Hospital after being shot, according to the Arizona Daily Star. He was later taken to University Medical Center where he was released two days later.

The show was videotaped at St. Odilia’s Catholic Church in Tucson. Victims, witnesses, emergency responders and some of those hailed as heroes after the shooting discussed the tragedy.

The special will air Sunday on “This Week” with Christiane Amanpour.

Whaaat. Dude survives this shooting, says, “You’re dead” to a tea-party dude a few days later, and gets locked up in a psych hospital against his will?? While they’re talking about gun control on a station called KGUN. I’m sorry, what the f. Let people grieve. Let people deal with their traumas, don’t traumatize them further by arresting and institutionalizing them. Shit’s a mess.

Why is Nobody Calling Jared Loughner a Terrorist? ›

Well put:

Jared Lee Loughner allegedly tried to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at a meeting with constituents in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday. In the wake of the attack, the 22-year-old Loughner has been called everything from “crazed” to “unhinged.” What he’s not been called, however, at least by the media, is a terrorist.

According to the United States Law Code, terrorism is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” New evidence alleges that Loughner possibly planned for years to assassinate Giffords, a prominent politician. Sounds a lot like terrorism to me. But a whole host of major media outlets seem to disagree.

The Wall Street Journal today says Loughner “raged against the government” and “discussed terrorism,” which, when you actually think about it, is a vague, nearly meaningless sentence (who hasn’t discussed terrorism in the past decade?). In the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the main story is that Loughner was denied entry into the military because he failed a drug test, while the only talk of terrorism comes in a confusing quote from a blog posting from Loughner himself: “If you call me a terrorist then the argument to call me a terrorist is ad hominem.” And, in the Los Angeles Timeslead story on Loughner today, the word “terror” doesn’t appear once.

Compare this nebulous coverage to that on Nidal Hasan in November 2009. If you’ll remember, Hasan is the only suspect in the Fort Hood shooting in Texas that left 13 people dead and 30 more wounded. Hasan is also Muslim, a fact every news outlet won’t let you forget, while also speculating about his terrorist ties.

Four days after the attack on Fort Hood, the Wall Street Journal published two stories suggesting that Hasan was a terrorist, one of which included the assertion that it was a terrorist act because Hasan spoke Arabic while he shot. The Los Angeles Times spoke to counterterrorism experts for this piece on Hasan. And, in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, blogger Kyle Wingfield actually gave credence to a Forbes argument claiming that Hasan “went Muslim.”

Some will argue that Hasan’s terrorist intentions were proved by communications he had with radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki, but, in fact, experts who reviewed the pair’s e-mail exchange deemed it totally innocuous.

It should be noted that the FBI Director Robert Mueller has said he’s not ruling out terrorism charges against Loughner, but nothing’s certain yet. And today in Dubai, Hillary Clinton called Loughner an “extremist,” though, like the media, she stopped short of calling him a terrorist. From the sidelines, the message this sends is pretty obvious and very insidious: When a white man executes a political attack, he’s likely crazy; when it’s a Muslim doing the shooting, he’s likely a terrorist.

This came up also with the guy who flew his plane into the IRS building, who was allowed the complexity of a guy whose patriotism had been disappointed. I was actually interested in how that was framed, because it was allowed in the media to be a little more complex than when things like this happen. And that’s important, because this is complex. And it just keeps happening with no resolutions, until we can start talking about things that are going on in ways that aren’t so two-dimensional.

24 Murdered. None White ›

Here in New Haven:

A 2010 crime breakdown shows 23 of the city’s 24 homicide victims were black. One was Latino. None were white.

Why was that?

Police Chief Frank Limon and Mayor John DeStefano were asked that question Wednesday at an annual crime data press conference at 1 Union Ave.

They announced that murders rose from 12 to 24 from 2009 to 2010. Twenty-two victims were black males, one a black female, and one Hispanic male.

Of 124 non-fatal shooting victims, 99 were black men; seven were black females; seven Hispanic males; one Hispanic female; eight white males; one white female; and 1 “other male.”

In 2009, almost all the city’s 12 homicide victims were black (11 black males, 1 Asian female).

DeStefano was also asked if he thinks officials would receive more pressure to stop killings if white people were dying, too.

“The city as a whole is actively conscious in terms of homicides,” he responded. He said he sees a bigger difference in the pressure New Haven receives from the outside based on who gets killed, citing the intense international round-the-clock coverage of the 2009 murder of Yale student Annie Le.

In remarks after the press conference, DeStefano cited a difference in the way people react to urban and suburban murders, too.

“The [2007] Cheshire homicides were awful and terrible,” he said. “We’ve had something like 65 homicides since. The public consciousness of the three versus the 65 is much greater. People can draw their own conclusions” as to why.

Loughner, Lovelle Mixon, and Our Quest for Narratives ›

Good post at Ta-Nehisi Coates’s blog by a guest blogger about the ways stories in the media get twisted and pulled out of context, this is an excerpt:

In the days following the shooting, the public reaction was unified in its condemnation of [Lovelle] Mixon. With just a handful of biographical details to complete their portraits, people decided who Mixon was. He was a cop killer, a monster. Unhinged at the very least, everyone agreed. Though not to his family he wasn’t.

Of course there are very different racial dynamics at play; Mixon was an undereducated poor black man with a criminal record. Loughner, a 22-year-old white man living in an Arizona desert town, may have been immersed in the politics of white nationalist groups.
We want a narrative so badly. All I’ve got right now is that we should watch our language closely, be mindful and respectful. The public officials and commentators who need to remember that most may not. But I think we already know the lessons Loughner’s shooting can offer. We already know political discourse in this country has reached a crazed, ear-splitting pitch.


“The problem isn’t outspoken and outrageous Tea Party remarks; the problem is the silent majority. (When people step over the line, arrest them. But for crying out loud, The New York Times editorialized today against someone hanging a politician in effigy). The problem isn’t that Sarah Palin asked the faithful to reload. The problem is mental illness. The problem isn’t the Second Amendment. The problem is that we have let crazy people exercise the Second Amendment.”

Palin and Tea Party Rhetoric Was Not the Reason Gabrielle Giffords Was Attacked — America’s Treatment of Mental Illness Is to Blame (via azspot)

this is abelist. “crazy” people aren’t anymore likely to be violent. this is just creating more animosity and discrimination against people with disabilities.

I gotta say, I wrote just a couple days before the Arizona shooting about how guns scare me and glorification of violence by anarchists makes me uneasy. But nothing has ever made me want to learn how to use a gun like this shit does. Like just to spite all the shit about how the world is being terrorized by us crazies with guns who just got clued in to the 2nd Amendment. Watch out y’all!

(via comradeclaudia)

#violence  #guns  

When I arrived in New York, at Kennedy Airport, I learned La Guardia Airport had been bombed. And I thought: Where there are insults to the dignity of people, acts of retaliatory violence endanger the lives of us all. Each of us pays in fear and anxiety—if not in actual loss of life—and it is a high price.

Alice Walker, “Lulls,” in In Search of our Mothers’ Gardens

How timely that I came across this last night!


Just so y’all are aware:

I’m reblogging this because I want to think about so-treu’s commentary. I’m not sure how I feel about it. It makes me uneasy, but then again, so do most things these days.

I think as always I want to see this be complicated. I don’t want to say that people’s mental health always makes them violent, I don’t want to say that people’s mental health never makes them violent. Dealing with mental health issues in a violent world, and in a world that wants you to fail, is hard to say the least. And like I touched on answering this question earlier tonight, I want to leave space for people to have very different feelings toward their mental health.

My mental “illness” (I said earlier I don’t like that word, at least for myself or to assume to use on others, but if other people want to use that for themselves I will absolutely respect that) feels like a draining struggle, one that I am hoping to get over someday but also that feels like it is going to suck me under. Even still, I try to see ways it might affect me positively. But then I’ve known other people with other mental “illnesses” who feel much more positively about them, and who have harnessed their brain functioning for creative output or a different insight, or whatever, or who see it as a hurdle but something they can live with.

Also, with regard to the study, I don’t really find it surprising that white people don’t see people of color as fully human or deserving of empathy. I think that’s pretty predictable. I guess what I’m saying is, I get that maybe the aim is to pathologize white supremacy, to say white supremacy is a mental illness, or something that gets in the way of decent functioning. I don’t really know if that’s a necessary step, and I don’t know if that approach would be helpful. It might just be alienating. But I’ll be thinking about it.

So as with everything…. I think it’s complicated. And I want that to be okay. And I will be thinking about what so-treu wrote below, and how that might help complicate this.

Also here is a link to the study referenced.




I’m mentally ill.

The most violent thing I’ve ever done is fight with my sister, fights where she was almost always the aggressor.

Mental illness and violence are two very different things that have very little to do with one another.

And if you think that shooting someone is axiomatically proof that the shooter is “deranged” or “unstable” or “psycho” or anything along those lines, unfollow me right fucking now, because when you say that? You are hurting all people with mental illness, including me.

Well, not all of them. I’m mentally ill (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) and I have very violent tendencies as a result. Other people on here can vouch for this. I do agree that not all mental illness causes violence or violent tendencies, but some of it does. I was not like this before I developed PTSD, and now I am. That says something, I think. Blanket statements like the above can lead to untruths — while I am sure that very, VERY many mentally ill people are not violent, it’s important to acknowledge that some of us are.

augh i don’t even know what i’m trying to say here. I just feel like… it’s not going to help anything or anyone if we pretend that mental illness NEVER CAUSES VIOLENCE EVER. Because it does, sometimes.

oh god i’m just going to shut up and never speak again

you know what though? ^this. and im sure i’m gonna get shit for it, but i really can’t get down with the whole “crazy is a slur and shouldn’t be used ever” position. because as several people have pointed out, incuding dinokitten here, “crazy” and violence are not always mutually exclusive. ilykadamen says it amazingly so i’m just gonna copy and paste:

You can be crazy “with depression” or “with alcoholism” or “with an eating disorder” (I can claim at least 1-1/2 of the three; two, if I weren’t in denial) and you can also be crazy with “No, but for real:  Why shouldn’t I torture, rape, and kill people?—No, I mean, give me a logical reason.”  Have you ever had that argument with somebody?  Yeah, well, I HAVE.  Turns out the definition of “logic” for such people is “suggest to me even one scenario in which this might negatively affect me—so I can refute the likelihood of it ever coming to pass.”  May you never, ever, EVER meet up with that brand of crazy.  I mean it.  Even if I hate you, I mean it.

It’s too broad a word, crazy.  This term fucking sucks, okay!  It means too many things!  It’s unsuitable to claim as an identity until we clear some shit up!  Which fucking kind of crazy do you mean?  Because yeah actually, there is a kind of crazy you can have that is going to make me go, “Okay, fine, but YOU HAVE TO STAY OVER THERE, away from me.  Love you, but get the fuck out.”

and i keep returning to radicallyhottoff’s point that it’s about compassion and multiplicity of the definition of crazy . and how in communities of color, for example, you’ll hear things like “white people done lost they minds.” especially these days. and it doesn’t sit well with me, the idea of going up to a person who has been historically marginalized in ways not only relating to color class gender but also of mental health (for ex the idea of black women being pathologically, irrationally angry) and being like YOU SHOULDN’T USE THAT WORD. because one, that’s missing the point, and their positionality, but also because it that moment it seems obvious that they’re not referring to people with bipolar disorder, or depression, etc. they’re referring to whiteness and the sick way that it has ordered the world so that it is constantly at the center of it. there was a study that was released within the past year about how when white people look at a white person doing something, then look at a poc doing the same thing, their brains don’t recognize them as human. certain signals that were sent to the brain with white folks were absent when they looked at colored folks. (and im mangling the results of this study horribly, but i can’t find the actual study right now but if anyone knows what im talking about i’d appreciate a link) and you can’t tell me that’s not a form of mental illness, i’m sorry. to look at a human being and NOT be able to recognize them as human? how is that NOT crazy?

i’m not saying that crazy isn’t ableist, or that it can’t be used as a slur. it can and it does. but i think that there’s more than one definition, and that there’s a danger of taking away a potential tool of critique for whole communities if we don’t recognize that. and im thinking of my folks specifically, and how we can call george bush and the tea party crazy, but if someone dares refer to that one family member with mental illness as crazy that somebody is getting snatched up with a quickness.