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Strings and Stitches Group

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The forging of the US Constitution exemplifies this assertion in the debates over the worth of black slaves. Each was considered three-fifths of one person for purposes of counting the population of an individual state. Such a move specifically linked issues of economic and political power in the then emerging republic, since population correlated with (and still operates as the metric by which each state determines) the numbers of legislators sent to the House of Representatives. In this example, race consolidates citizenship and white supremacy as the basis for the articulated system of American democracy. To be a black slave in the late 18th-century United States was to be seen from the national perspective as not quite human. In the rhetorical and material acts that founded the American polity and formalized the government of the United States, race performs by marking and instantiating a division between citizens (qua subjects with certain inalienable rights) and those deemed expendable, less than human.2

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Such legal and social formulations of race do not obtain only in the United States, although systems of governance that rely on explicit racial differentiation enable one to see plainly many of the ways in which race matters. For example, South African apartheid (in effect from 1948 to 1991) formalized structures of racial discrimination and segregation through policies and laws such as the 1949 Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, which initially prohibited wedlock between white and black people. Eventually the law expanded to bar matrimony between white folks and people of any other race as defined by the government. These kinds of injunctions did not simply proscribe relations between existing categories of people; rather they brought into being new taxonomies (efforts to define what exactly constitutes black, for example) that set certain conditions of possibility through which subjects can emerge. Under such a legal system, who can imagine the self as an individual with agency to choose, in the South African case, where to live, what schools to attend, whom to wed? Such questions became complicated in a space like apartheid-era South Africa because the state constructed racial classifications, yet simultaneously justified such constructions by arguing that it described, rather than invented, genetically continuous groups, each of which had a different relationship to the purported ideal of whiteness.

The adjudication of race in both the United States and South Africa has involved a variety of evidential bases. These elements include most obviously physical traits narrated as racial characteristics (e.g., certain textures of hair or shades of skin color being deemed black). They also include behaviors ranging from language use to eating habits. Factors such as employment (or ostensible dispositions for certain kinds of labor) and place of residence have also provided means of racial identification. Perhaps more frequently in the millennial era, race has been increasingly re-linked to genetics.3 Such uses of evidence all depend on social construction, even when they seem to be about immutable traits, insofar as they depend on narratives that ground shared assumptions about reality.

I was responsible not only for my body but also for my race and my ancestors. I cast an objective gaze over myself, discovered my blackness, my ethnic features; deafened by cannibalism, backwardness, fetishism, racial stigmas, slave traders, and above all, yes, above all, the grinning Y a bon Banania.22

When the remnants of Tropical Storm Gaston rolled over CentralVirginia this past summer, meteorologists predicted it would quicklypass through the region. Instead it hung over Richmond, pounding thestate's capital with sheets of driving rain.

(Catching my breathe) Now I take you back to Black Men and emotions. An identity that since Slavery was beaten, stripped from their families, mauled by dogs, sprayed by water hoses, hung from trees, dragged by horses, snatched from beds, hunted by police, we can keep going... must stop to breathe about the "bullshit" happening at the white house. Black men must stop and notice that everyone is surprise that what happened early January of 2021 has caused a flux of frustrations to most of their racial counterparts in the workplace. I get it - it hurts, it hurts to see your identity on the screen behaving in a manner that you feel is unethical. Imagine having to watch your identity on every side street struggling, every movie being beaten, every law being passed relating to the death of Black bodies. Then sit with the counterpart of your racial identity deciding what happens in your community and dismissing the most important parts that contribute to their survival, better yet their ability to thrive.

GENERAL: A negro man was hung to-night at Dr. G. R. Jacobs', six miles from here, by bushwhackers. This was in accordance with a previous notice and order from them that all blacks were to leave in ten days or be killed by them. They alleged they had killed another at Stephens' same day. Of course our blacks are in terrible alarm. I desire to tell you, general, that we now have nearly about 4,000 colored people in this county, and as many, I expect, in Callaway and Howard Counties. What is to be done for their protection? Something, surely. They

She recounted one rejection like this. "Once I disclosed to them that I was an open transgender woman presenting as my true self, the person said, 'No, we'll have nothing like that in this house' and hung up the phone," she said.

Ramos followed the rules in issuing the three penalties against Williams. He did his job. And yet he has been hung out to dry, recklessly accused of motives that are supported by no evidence whatsoever. 041b061a72

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