"I find myself as indifferent to the destruction of property as dominant culture is to the hunting and murdering of black people, indigenous people, latinx people in this country. It literally takes a snuff film to get white and white adjacent American people’s to feel a need to perform indignation. I am not trying to be in these streets with a deadly virus patrolling just as hard as the cops and national guard. Protest pointless. No@law in this land exists to protect black people. Politicians useless. The quest for power is not analogous with a quest for justice. Fire this time. Fire this time. FIRE THIS TIME." - Cauleen Smith, Instagram, 31 May, 2020
TABLEAU I SPY:
Episode 15: BLACK AND BLUE OVER YOU (after Bas Jan Adele) 2010.
Made while contemplating profound loss. Offered as we confront another obscene state-sanctioned murder. Of course I’m speaking of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. But the problem is, there are too many names. And now, increasingly there are too many videos. The videos make white claims of shock and innocence hollow. But they also titillate a culture that entertained itself on lynching memorabilia for decades. I will not reproduce images of violence. But I thank the witnesses who ignite our outrage. It’s all the pain we’re are left with and the disgust... these things are hard. Struggle continues. So I offer this meditation. Aided by #anthonybraxton with gratitude. (Cauleen Smith's Instagram 29 May)
How James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time still lights the way towards equality by Steven W Thrasher (The Guardian)
"His 1962 classic The Fire Next Time was originally a letter, written by Baldwin to his nephew on the 100th anniversary of the so-called emancipation of black America. In the letter’s penultimate paragraph, Baldwin writes: “This is your home, my friend, do not be driven from it; great men have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what America must become.” It is rhythmically similar to Trump’s red-hatted mantra – but there’s a big difference between trying to make America “great again” and focusing on what it once was, rather than what it “must become”.