Kelsey Blackwell's Race and the Body: Why Somatic Practices Are Essential for Racial Justice

“Racism is a visceral experience” - Coates


“Including the body…towards social justice…is the primary path forward” - Blackwell


“We focused our efforts in the wrong direction…white supremacy doesn’t live in our thinking brains…it lives and breathes in our body.” - Resmaa Menakem


“The only path forward requires dismantling who we think we are.” - Blackwell


“The body…says, this is true…this is happening…this is honest.” -Blackwell

“Few skills are more essential than the ability to settle your body.” - Menakem

{ This one. A superpower. Also, settle your body vs settle on your body or your land vs settle an argument. }

“There’s a saying in Guinea that ‘knowledge is only rumor until it’s in the muscle.'” - Blackwell

“Rocking, humming, and making physical contact with each other…” - Blackwell

{ Sitting, bowing, chanting, walking, eating, cooking, cleaning. To retreat, to practice. To leap like a tiger while sitting. }

Class warfare on Duolingo 🌹

Duo lingo lesson

Goings on about town: Iowa teen grew 7,000 pounds of veggies, then gave them all away

Over morning coffee, mixed with used iron goddess king tea leaves. Questions about things in paper.

kopi pagi tambah daun teh raja dewi besi

Why ya why ya why ya why ya why ya wanna why ya wanna

  1. Some people just have acres of arable land lying around to play with
  2. Why didn’t Lauren work with her family to give this land back to indigenous tribes? In 2022 tribes finally won 7 acres back after 200 years. If the Schroeder’s gave back their 2 acres, they would increase the footprint of sovereign native lands in Iowa by 30%.
  3. What happens if Lauren loses interest in this project? Or goes off to college? Will the people served by the food banks and other orgs she’s supporting suffer as a result?
  4. How is hunger an issue in a heavily agricultural state?
  5. Is this an acceptable form of child labor, especially with her two siblings also working with her?
  6. I wonder if Lauren offered the unnamed domestic violence survivor a chance to help with the project and give her kids a chance to grow their own food again.

Why did Dr. J shave his beard and mustache?

From the hunter to the tactical tornado. Man and his-story!

My soft animal body in the family of things

Passing along this Mary Oliver poem shared by Nate Mullen last week at the Metaspore Symposium in San Francisco. One his of white lady heroes. It’s the least my soft animal body in the family of things can do.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Excerpt from Decision Making in Brainless Organisms by Raechel Anne Jolie from collection Make the Golf Course a Public Sex Forests

TERFism studies: Naziism for Transmisogynist Feminists

I’m still processing far too much from Week 1.

Feminists Against Women: the Politics of Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism. This is a course I didn’t realize I needed. It’s been a no-brainer to support the trans community against the likes of J.K. Rowling and other “feminists” of late. Their fear of trans folks' perceived threat to women clearly seeks to (re)establish oppressive regimes over the gender category to which they feel a manifest privilege; through exclusionary membership. When my radar feed blipped with these reactionary dogmas — their cantankerous claims to categorical purity — I could easily flag as untrustworthy (and dangerous to trans folks). Something about the way that a very small group of people could inflame suspicion and panic…as someone with Jewish background, this always tickles heightened security.

Yay BISR! The chance to trace this thesis of hate back 50 years to reactionary “radical feminists” of the 70s like Mary Daly and Janice Raymond. They considered trans women another faction of patriarchal violence. Deceptive illusionists!

And then encounter secondary analysis alongside this hateful rhetoric from Naomi Joni Aliza Cohen and others that yank our investigation of TERF’s ideological roots as far back as the rise of National Socialism in Germany.

Cohen’s work in The Eradication of “Talmudic Abstractions”: Anti-Semitism, Transmisogyny and the National Socialist Project:

“Nazi political ontology understands the biological as one of, if not the most important terrains of political dispute. We know this in our understanding of Nazi race theory, but what has been neglected is the centrality of endocrinological purity and security to Nazi ideology. In this sense, endocrinological purity is the gender/sex corollary of the Nazi eugenic project of racial purity.”

EDIT 2023-06-06: I might have had more to say at the time…now forgotten. Let’s end it here.

White theft/entrepreneurship

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I’ve been reading two texts this week. Side-by-side they offer another reveal of the tragic double standard of black and white life in our America. That truth descends like an ashy film upon reaching 90 pages into Shoe Dog, Phil Knight’s memoir about creating Nike. On the one hand: a story about a white Christian rich kid manifesting a new destiny for himself away from mediocrity using military connections to build a business with a recently conquered nation; 1964, the year Knight starts Blue Ribbon Sports. On the other hand: I’m half-way through the drudge of Vann R. Newkirk II’s long-form in the Atlantic, The Great Land Robbery, about the vast land theft and wealth transfer during the civil rights era from blacks to whites in Mississipi. 1964: by this year almost 800,000 acres of land have transfered from blacks to whites as a result of legal discriminatory (racist) federal farm loan programs and private lenders.

Knight’s pop fantasy of himself and the pursuit of a vision to make life about “play” through footwear and lifestyling branding becomes even more willful cultural forgetting next to drivers of the globalization that were making cheap shoes possible – the return to exploitative capitalism (slavery), maintenance of a permamenent underlcass, etc… Land theft shifted majority voting power before blacks could vote, a calculated suppression. And the legacy grinds on as this robbing and stealing continues to enrich white investors, hedge fund managers, and agri-business who now own these once-black suffered farm lands.

Knight’s story is pop fun; maybe best for toilet reading. But it’s another insert into the canon of white neo-liberal colonialism. The American dream is still available for a white ruling class only – and those they selectively permit. Holding that heavy.