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A Time for Treason
A reading list created by a group of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Muslim, and Jewish people who are writers, organizers, teachers, anti-fascists, anti-capitalists, and radicals.
“We know, having been asked to register ourselves before, that it was an unmitigated disaster–a hollow, bad faith gesture from the U.S. government. Now is the time to learn from Muslims what experiences they have already had and how they managed to survive them. Many Muslims feel that our non-Muslim community members didn’t show up for us before. The time to show up was already then; it’s also now.”
“if you are able-bodied, if you have money, if you have resources, if you are seen as white, hetero, cis, if you have had the opportunity to develop your politics through theory rather than through forced violations against your body and your people, then take that backseat, offer a share of your resources to help organizers and activists travel and stay sheltered, protect and stand with communities you are not from, but do not take up space. Humbleness is what fuels a courageous fight that does not center you as savior.”
“Many white people are struggling to figure out if they should speak and what they might say to their white kin now, in this moment. (Kin here means, all of those recognized by the self–in some fundamental, indelible way–as being like the self.) They are wondering if they should be silent or if they should broach the election with their intimates, with the people who are closest to them and who occupy different points of view, who voted differently, who apprehend the world in ways they self-report as deeply antithetical or inimical to their own. They acknowledge that the lives of people, not them, are at stake. They take to the streets to protest, and yet some speak this fear of potential loss of kin into the same ether as their co-workers, friends, and colleagues who are marked (as Black/Muslim/refugee/Latinx/immigrant/LGBTQI/differently abled/Asian and Native American/undocumented) and are in imminent danger. They equivocate at the thought and reality of losing kin, and at probable discomfort and pain; and in that interjacent space of equivocation, they reconstitute and re-enflesh that ghost of a past that is not yet past.”
“oh country, my new and brief country. how I walk from you
full & into the wreckage. how I wish you everywhere now.”
“U.S. liberalism is a toxic ideology, at home and abroad, but jettisoning “identity politics”–the defense of vulnerable people on issues that are matters of life and death–is the absolute wrong lesson to take from a four percent swing among registered voters who actually decided to vote. Trump’s campaign was itself based on identity: whiteness. The response is not abandoning identity in politics, but developing a more radical version of it that advocates equality within a socialist critique of an economic system designed by and for predominantly white men with capital.”
“One day there will be an administration that will want, for example, to revive the torture program or vastly expand the drone campaign and there will be no precedent on the books preventing it from doing so. On counterterrorism policy, the courts have been more or less AWOL. With few exceptions, the courts have stood by while the executive branch claimed authorities that even a generation ago would’ve been viewed as beyond the pale.”
“I don’t quite know how to respond to this, because I wonder what nightmares he’s known thus prior, and whether they look like mine; all I can say is “Welcome.”
“The solution is not to turn around and reinforce Jeffersonian democracy, because that vision of the United States is not only flawed, it is also fundamentally violent. To refuse to acknowledge this is to create its own insularity. It is to shield people from the truths of history.”