Marissa Jackson Sow, ‘Whiteness as Contract’

The year 2020 forced scholars, policymakers, and activists alike to grapple with the impact of ‘twin pandemics’ – the COVID-19 pandemic, which has devastated Black and Indigenous communities, and the scourge of structural and physical state violence against those same communities – upon American society. As atrocious acts of anti-Black violence and harassment by law enforcement officers and white civilians are captured on recording devices, the gap between the human and civil rights to which Black people are entitled and their living conditions has become readily apparent. Less visible human rights abuses, too, camouflaged as private commercial matters, and thus out of the reach of the state, are also increasingly exposed as social and financial inequalities have become ever starker. These abuses are not effectively reached by anti-discrimination law, leaving Black and Indigenous people with rights, but no remedies, as they are forced to navigate a degraded existence suspended somewhere citizen and foreigner, and more importantly, between life and death …

Jackson Sow, Marissa, Whiteness as Contract (January 4, 2021).

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