What is more American than a bunch of White people doing whatever they want with little or no consequence?

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What the world witnessed on Wednesday was a horrifying spectacle depicting everything which is wrong with the United States of America. We witnessed unapologetic expressions of White supremacy, White entitlement, and White violence. In a sense, we witnessed Whiteness in its purest form: action with no accountability.

It is Whiteness that allowed the people we are now calling the Insurrectionists to waltz into the Capitol, guns in hand. It is Whiteness that allowed for them to film themselves while doing it — even apparently taking selfies with cops — . …

And do they see themselves?

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Blackness, as a condition of Otherness, imposes a certain level of awareness. The way I perceive the world around me is determined largely by the fact that I am a Black man. And a queer Black man, at that. My awareness of this fact is also largely due to my being of colour.

As an Other, I have no choice but to constantly look at myself. I am constantly aware of my body, how it is perceived, how people interact with it, with me. As a Black man, I cannot escape my condition. I cannot afford to not be aware…

And it might be our most important political tool

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My response to racism is anger. I have lived with that anger, on that anger, beneath that anger, on top of that anger, ignoring that anger, feeding upon that anger, learning to use that anger before it laid my visions to waste, for most of my life. Once I did it in silence, afraid of the weight of that anger. My fear of that anger taught me nothing. Your fear of that anger will teach you nothing, also.

— Audre Lorde

I write this text from a place of anger.

Anger because for the past two weeks, not a day…

Experiencing French Racial Relations After Lockdown

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With the end of strict lockdown measures in France, I was happy to finally be allowed to freely inhabit the city once again. I was happy to be able to see my friends, explore other neighbourhoods, and enjoy what is left of Parisian spring. However, I had naively forgotten what “inhabiting the world” really means to people of colour.

In all honesty, I am fully aware that this “forgetfulness” is a sign of privilege. …

We are sick of being murdered by those who are supposed to protect us

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I am heartbroken.

I am heartbroken because my country’s government and institutions hate me and those who look like me.

I am heartbroken because society taught me that human life has intrinsic value but this same society cannot seem to stop killing Black people. People who look like me.

I am heartbroken because it is hard to live with the knowledge that I was lied to. The knowledge that my life does not have intrinsic value in the eyes of white society. The knowledge that I am surplus. That we are surplus.

I am heartbroken because in spite of all…

On English and the Coloniality of Language

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During a dinner party I attended a while ago, one of the guests — whose political views I respect and generally agree with — said that, though he masters the language, he refuses to speak English. While one can question the pertinence or efficacy of such a position, it is clear how language here is seen as one of the ramifications of the coloniality of power. For this person — a white Brazilian cisgender man — refusing to speak English equals taking an anti-imperialist/anti-colonial stance.

With the exception of an American woman and a French man — both white —…

Freedom of thought in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic

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I believe that the importance and implications of the question of whether or not people have a right to be and remain wilfully “stupid” — as a consequence of our inalienable right to freedom of thought — are often downplayed. What are the limits to freedom of thought and belief, if there are any? Can we believe whatever we want regardless of proof or evidence?

On the one hand, one could argue that, as long as it is not a matter of bigotry, people should be able to hold whatever beliefs they want to or that are dear to them…

Displacement, loneliness, and the intersection of race and class

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By now, it is sort of a theoretical commonplace to say that we can’t talk about issues such as class, gender, or sexuality without also talking about race. Intersectionality has revolutionised our approach to sociology and social criticism in general.

So it comes as no surprise that we should strive to complexify the way we address our experience of class by replacing it within the scope of racialised discourse.

For a long time, I struggled to make sense of my experience as a middle-class individual. I felt that tackling the issue in my writing would be too much like…

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I’m part of an “LGBT” choir. It’s a special choir because differently from most of the other “LGBT” ones in the city, it’s a mixed choir, that is, open to both women and men. The use of the terms “women” and “men” here is not incidental. Nor are the quotation marks on “LGBT”. The truth is the choir’s slogan is “gay and lesbian choir”. Not LGBT or LGBTQ or some other term that would refer to the diversity of the community the choir theoretically represents. None of that. Simply “gay and lesbian choir”.

After some members pointed out that…

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This week was National Black Consciousness Day in Brazil, a day of both remembrance and celebration. Its date, November 20th, pays homage to Zumbi dos Palmares, one of the most prominent Black figures in Brazilian colonial history. The date is also presented as a moment for Brazilian society to reflect on the importance of its Black citizens, the influence they had on general Brazilian culture, and the struggles they face in the process of being integrated. …

D. H. Alves

Gender — Race Theory — Theology — Diasporic Black Literature. Paris, France.

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