We begin with the introduction to Afrolantica Legacies by Derrick Bell The only ethical demand available to modern politics

is that of the Slave and the Savage, the demand for the end of America itself. This cry, born out of the belly of slave ships and the churning vertigo of constitutive genocide, exposes the grammar of the Affirmative’s calls for larger institutional access as a fundamental fortification of White Settler and Slave Master civil society by its diversionary focus on the ethicality of the policies and practices of the United States as opposed to the a priori question its very existence. This silence of the Affirmative’s assumptive logic renders them unaccountable to the revolutionary political ontology of Redness and Blackness and thereby sets the stage for the various dramas of conflictual relationships i.e. class struggle, gender conflict, immigrants rights, etc. that are made possible by the antagonism between Settler and Savage, Master and Slave. Wilderson 2010 (Frank B., killed apartheid officials in South Africa, nuff said, Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms, pages 1-5) WHEN i WAS a young student at Columbia University in New York there was a Black woman who used to stand outside the gate and yell at Whites, Latinos, and East and South Asian students, staff, and faculty as they entered the university She accused them of having stolen her sofa and of selling her into slavery She always winked at the Blacks, though we didn't wink back. Some of us thought her outbursts bigoted and out of step with the burgeoning ethos of multicultural-ism and "rainbow coalitions." But others did not wink back because we were too fearful of the possibility that her isolation would become our isolation, and we had come to Columbia for the precise, though largely assumed and unspoken, purpose of foreclosing on that peril. Besides, people said she was crazy. Later, when I attended the University of California at Berkeley, I saw a Native American man sitting on the sidewalk of Telegraph Avenue. On the ground in front of him was an upside-down hat and a sign informing pedestrians that here they could settle the "Land Lease Accounts" that they had neglected to settle all of their lives. He, too, was "crazy. "Leaving aside for the moment their state of mind, it would seem that the structure, that is to say the rebar, or better still the grammar of their demands— and, by extension, the grammar of their suffering—was indeed an ethical grammar. Perhaps it is the only ethical grammar available to modern politics and modernity writ large, for it draws our attention not to how space and time are used and abused by enfranchised and violently powerful interests, but to the violence that underwrites the modern world's capacity to think, act, and exist spatially and temporally . The violence that robbed her of her body and him of his land provided the stage on which other violent and consensual dramas could be enacted. Thus, they would have to be crazy, crazy enough to call not merely the actions of the world but the world itself to account, and to account for them no less! The woman at Columbia was not demanding to be a participant in an unethical network of distribution: she was not demanding a place within capital, a piece of the pie (the demand for her sofa notwithstanding). Rather, she was articulating a triangulation between two things. On the one hand was the loss of her body, the very dereliction of her corporeal integrity, what Hortense Spillers charts as the transition from being a being to becoming a "being for the captor,"1 the drama of value (the stage on which surplus value is extracted from labor power through commodity production and sale). On the other was the corporeal integrity that, once ripped from her body, fortified and extended the corporeal integrity of everyone else on the street. She gave birth to the commodity and to the Human, yet she had neither subjectivity nor a sofa to show for it. In her eyes, the world—not its myriad discriminatory practices, but the world itself—was unethical. And yet, the world passes by her without the slightest inclination to stop and disabuse her of her claim. Instead, it calls her "crazy." And to what does the world attribute the Native American mans insanity? "He's crazy if he thinks he's getting any money out of us"? Surely, that doesn't make him crazy. Rather it is simply an indication that he does not have a big enough gun. What are we to make of a world that responds to the most lucid enunciation of ethics with violence? What are the foundational questions of the ethico-political? Why are these questions so scandalous that they are rarely posed politically, intellectually, and cinematically—unless they are posed obliquely and unconsciously, as if by accident? Give Turtle Island back to the "Savage." Give life itself back to the Slave. Two simple sentences, fourteen simple words, and the structure of U.S. (and perhaps global)

and not merely its policies and practices. are so unspeakable in intellectual meditations. And yet.S. and Black Liberation Army soldiers. and socially engaged feature films began to speak the unspeakable. and with them a spate of feature films that became authorized. or a filmmaker. prior to his 1968 shift. Even Bobby Kennedy (as a U. and to a lesser extent Indians. an activist. then certainly by a revolutionary Zeitgeist. however. to the paradigmatic Zeitgeist of the Black Panthers. and even socially and politically engaged feature films. Radicals and progressives could deride. or chastise armed struggle mercilessly and cavalierly with respect to tactics and the possibility of "success. to Bobby Kennedy Democrats) were accountable. such as class struggle. Consequently. circulated too widely to wed the United States and ethics credibly. to manifest itself at the ethical core of cinematic discourse when this dream is no longer a constituent element of political discourse in the streets or of intellectual discourse in the academy? The answer is "no" in the sense that. Gone are not only the young and vibrant voices that effected a seismic shift on the political landscape. or thirty years. political broadsides. but also the intellectual protocols of inquiry. that is. however. and at the gates of the academy where the "crazies" shout at passersby. Neoliberalism with a Black face is neither the index of a revolutionary advance nor the end of anti-Blackness as a constituent element of U. Between 1967 and 1980. albeit like the somatic compliance of hysterical symptoms—it registers in both cinema and scholarship as a symptom of awareness of the structural antagonisms. if not by an unabashed revolutionary polemic. a dream of the Settlement and the Slave estate's destruction. and immigrants' rights. we could think cinemati-cally and intellectually of Blackness and Redness as having the coherence of full-blown discourses. these fourteen words not only render their speaker "crazy" but become themselves impossible to imagine. such as ours. in their rhetorical machinations. AIM warriors. what cannot be articulated as political discourse in the streets is doubly foreclosed on in screenplays and in scholarly prose.S. the election of Obama enables a plethora of shaming discourses in response to revolutionary politics and "legitimates" widespread disavowal of any notion that the United States itself. antagonisms. gender conflict.3 One could (and many did) acknowledge America's strength and power. The question lies buried in the graves of young Black Panthers. The raw force of COINTELPRO put an end to this trajectory toward a possible hegemony of ethical accountability. This grammar can be discerned in the cinematic . to the Julian Bond and Marion Barry faction of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Clearly they can be spoken. what is also clear—if the filmographies of socially and politically engaged directors. left-leaning scholarship. even a child could speak those lines. questions of political ontology. the power of Blackness and Redness to pose the question—and the power to pose the question is the greatest power of all—retreated as did White radicals and progressives who "retired" from the struggle. but "yes" in the sense that in even the most taciturn historical moments. as unspoken grammars. twenty. This seldom rose to the level of an ethical assessment. If anything. so they would pose no problem for a scholar. or in prison cells where so many of them have been rotting (some in solitary confinement) for ten. Is it still possible for a dream of unfettered ethics. reject. attorney general) mused that the law and its enforcers had no ethical standing in the presence of Blacks. to the Tom Hayden wing of Students for Democratic Society. The election of President Barack Obama does not mitigate the claim that this is a taciturn historical moment. Those steadfast in their conviction that there remained a discernable quantum of ethics in the United States writ large (and here I am speaking of everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. as history has shown. and the Weather Underground. remaining instead an assessment of the "balance of forces. and the plethora of left-wing broadsides are anything to go by—is that what can so easily be spoken is now (500 years and 250 million Settlers/Masters on) so ubiquitously unspoken that these two simple sentences.2 In the 1960s and early 1970s the questions asked by radical politics and scholarship were not Should the United States be overthrown? or even Would it be overthrown? but when and how—and." The political discourse of Blacks. the American Indian Movement. for some. From there we could busy ourselves with important conflicts that have been promoted to the level of antagonisms. is unethical. One cannot but wonder why questions that go to the heart of the ethico-political. From 1980 to the present. the grammar of Black and Red suffering breaks in on this foreclosure. Soon it will be forty years since radical politics. what would come in its wake." but they could not dismiss revolution-as-ethic because they could not make a convincing case—by way of a paradigmatic analysis—that the United States was an ethical formation and still hope to maintain credibility as radicals and progressives. An "ethical modernity" would no longer sound like an oxymoron. Blackness and Redness manifest only in the rebar of cinematic and intellectual (political) discourse.antagonisms would be dismantled. the archive of progressive scholars.

and which underwrites cinematic speech (in this book. image composition. but it gets worse…. unarmed. discourse elaborated in direct relation to radical action). rather then conflictual. Berkeley. Social Identities. This represents an affirmation of the banality of white supremacy and is the source of White tenacity and power. or positions. it is. nonetheless. spectacle. young. II wrote in the aftermath of Tyisha Miller’s murder by the police: It is heartbreaking to be an American citizen and have to say this. camera angles. or the ‘deep psychology’ of rogue elements and become complicit in perpetuating white supremacy. or cinematic. and I stress almost. even when the script labors for the spectator to imagine social turmoil through the rubric of conflict (i.171-172] Most theories of white supremacy seek to plumb the depths of its excessiveness. but I do have to say this. a structure of suffering. Film & Media Studies School of Humanities at UC Irvine Ph. the resolution of which is not dialectical but entails the obliteration of one of the positions). Harris is right. our grammar goes unspoken. White. This notwithstanding. Red. An affirmative ballot means affirming the banality of events like Trayvon and Diallo's death and ignoring them as okay in white civil society. We have almost.strategies (lighting. to the legitimacy white supremacy says it has. Steve is a lecturer at San Francisco State University in the Center for Interdisciplinary Programs Jared is Associate Professor African American Studies School of Humanities Associate Professor. even its possible acknowledgement.. black males. relation to one another (despite the fact that antagonists themselves may not be aware of the ontological position from which they speak). and cinema assume an ontological grammar. political discourse. a rubric of problems that can be posed and conceptually solved) as opposed to the rubric of antagonism (an irreconcilable struggle between entities. “The Avant-Garde of White Supremacy. The most egregious aspect of this banality is our tacit acquiescence to the rules of race and power. That in itself is bad enough. Number 2. In other words. For some time now. To put a finer point on it. 2003 p. He continues: . yet he also sells himself out because he acquiesces in the process of decrying acquiescence. Semiotics and linguistics teach us that when we speak. they miss the fact that racism is a mundane affair. Now we have police killing our young black females. Those theories overlook that fact in favor of extant extravagance.5 Likewise. That said banality is how and why Whiteness operates. and acoustic design). By staying complacent with the system in the status quo. the grammar of political ethics— the grammar of assumptions regarding the ontology of suffering—which underwrites film theory and political discourse (in this book. The reality is an invidious ethos of excess that. It is the structure through which the labor of speech is possible. structures of ontological suffering stand in antagonistic.. The fundamental excess of the paradigm of policing which infuses this culture is wholly banal. Martinot & Sexton 2003 [Steve & Jared. and one was at one time inclined to think it couldn't get any worse. The affirmative's active choice to remain complicit with this police impunity represents the ignorability of the legal system that reifies anti-blackness. become accustomed to police shooting innocent. University of California. the nonnarrative. regardless of the sentiment of the film or the spirit of unity mobilized by the political discourse in question. And this structure of suffering crowds out others. and Black films from the mid1960s to the present) is also unspoken. even when films narrate a story in which Blacks or Indians are beleaguered with problems that the script insists are conceptually coherent (usually having to do with poverty or the absence of "family values"). the intellectual quest for racism’s supposedly hidden meaning has afforded a refuge from confrontations with this banality. Our "tacit acquiescence" is the real silent source of white supremacist tenacity and power. Though this is perhaps the most controversial and out-of-step claim of this book.D. constitutes the surface of everything in this society. Our grammar is assumed. the affirmative acts as though that system is so normal and obvious that there is no reason mentioning it. It can't get any worse than that. Harris. As William C. instead. strategies of the film often disrupt this coherence by posing the irreconcilable questions of Red and Black political ontology—or nonontology. regardless of their total violation of reason and comprehensibility. film theory. Volume 9.e. the foundation of the close reading of feature films and political theory that follows. beyond the ordinary. He does not draw the line between respect for persons and impunity. Comparative Ethnic Studies. The grammar of antagonism breaks in on the mendacity of conflict.

And therein it hides. a system of social categorization dropped over the heads of people like clothes. Harris. and in the wealth of slavery. there is nothing beyond it to give it legitimacy. However. it was not a transformation of property as such. it is a juridical structure. its truth lies in the rituals that sustain its circuitous contentless logic. It does not conceal anything. once brought to the light of reason. When we claim that the U. Nationalism is rooted in a mentality to further a White Nation. it simply renders it unrecognizable. The indigenous people's . Police impunity serves to distinguish between the racial uniform itself and the elsewhere that mandates it. No. America was founded on slavery and its advancement is therefore an ontological re-entrenchment of the enslavement of the black body. but a transformation to property of that which was not. will surpass other states. lecturer at San Francisco State University in the Center for Interdisciplinary Programs. Their nationalist call for hegemonic power is not colorblind. In other words. as a "white nation. at whim. as the desire to separate from England in the mid-18th century. its unending return to violence. who looks and cannot see. it is the police uniform that is producing re-racialization. Police spectacle is not the effect of the racial uniform. 1 (2003). it is a claim to the individuality of the state in comparison to other nations. Spectacle is a form of camouflage. . for example. That act of seizure created the land as property in the first place. It stops and starts self-referentially. or psychological necessity for its repetition. (The ideological and cultural structure that conceives of and enables doing that to a person in the first place is inarticulable. that seizure did not consist in a change of ownership. To theorize some political. and both expressed a consciousness of the U. The gratuitousness of its repetition bestows upon white supremacy an inherent discontinuity.) The inner dynamic of our attempts to understand its supposedly underlying meaning or purpose masks its ethic of impunity from us. "what is repeated is the emptiness of repetition. It resided in the seemingly endless land to be transformed into property. name the fact of Albert Woodfox’s nearly 30-year solitary confinement in Angola Prison. police spectacle is itself the form of appearance of this banality. nothing beneath it nor outside of it to give it justification. its need to kill is to lose a grasp on that gratuitousness by thinking its performance is representable. The land of the American continent was seized from its indigenous inhabitants. was it necessary to shoot at her twenty-seven times? I know it’s less than 41. looks at acquiescence and cannot see it.S. and the defense of slavery after the Revolution. “The Cultural Roots of Interventionism in the US. pp. nothing but its very practices.S. Martinot 2003 [Steve. a social relation. If the hegemony of white supremacy is already (and only) excessive." an articulation that "does not speak and yet has always been said" (Foucault 54).. Why isn’t one bullet too many times to shoot anybody? It is the job of the spectacular (and sensational reports about the subtle) to draw attention away from the banality of police murder as standard operating procedure. in fact. It appears in disguise. The property relation is not inherent in things. that individualism is characterized by the slave economy that allowed America to thrive." The English had discovered and seized two vast sources of wealth on the American continent. We can. Camouflage is a relationship between the one dissimulating their appearance and the one who is fooled.S. The structure of its banality is the surface on which it operates. In each instance of repetition. but it exceeds the capacity of representation. Like racialization as a system of meanings assigned to the body. Their endless assault reflects the idea that race is a social envelope. While the Spanish found riches in gold they could transport to Europe.. 19-20] Nationalism first took form in the U. yellow or white" (emphasis added). There is no dark corner that. They constitute the distinction between those whose human being is put permanently in question and those for whom it goes without saying. brown."Even if she grabbed a gun. Its secret is that it has no depth. economic. they dissolve its excessiveness into invisibility as simply daily occurrence. 30. it is. will unravel its system. for example. Whatever mythic content it pretends to claim is a priori empty. and could not be transported. rather. the wealth the English "found" was more stationary. its acts of repetition are its access to unrepresentability.” Social Justice Vol. One looks at it and does not see it. but that's still too many times to shoot at a sleeping female—black. White supremacy is nothing more than what we perceive of it. Both reflected the distinct economic development of the continental colonies.

a liberation–not of place. Shively.276 Given the emphasis on parables– including Bell’s–as reorienting through disorientation . Unlike Camelots and Shangri-las. The liberation is one of openness and of possibility. Indeed.”286 Second. but when the first group of ships arrived. They manifest both what is–the realities now unfolded by critique–and the possibilities of what may be. in the market value calculated for their persons. First. blacks venturing on to the land underwent an experience of “heightened self-esteem. In sum. Atchison and Panetta. The wealth of slavery. says to narrator Bell that Afrolantica is real. they transform. “[T]he miracle of Afrolantica was replaced by a greater miracle. and cotton ? depended on their mass production by plantation agro-business deploying huge labor forces. however. they all agreed. [these] majoritarian myths . the slave trade. In effect. Feeling this was. and Boggs are on the bench for this round. Bluebeard’s Castle intends to elicit a similar liberation of mind. but of mind. 283 Legal narrative acts as well as a “counterstory” to jar majoritarian stories. describe variously how narratives can act as “paradigm-shifting. and third.”244 Many blacks contemplated migrating to Afrolantica’s shores.277 I particularly want to attend the function of disorientation as explored in general narrative analysis.243 In fact. the wealth the English "found" lay not in what it was. Nevertheless. Afrolantica is a fictional creation of Bell’s that first appeared in the tale.242 As explorers to the land found. it had a special pecularity: its air could be breathed by blacks but not whites. and was erased by the land's transformation into property at English hands. Moreover. again as property. an Afrolantica Awakening. the seizure of the land was a juridical act (backed immediately by military force). they unmask as stories what the racial majority deem to be “truths”285 and “objective standards.” Afrolantica is instead “a reflection of that world: one offering a perspective that enlightens and encourages people wherever they are. It is this performance of the narrative that forces people to be aware even when they refuse to care or listen. Kathryn Abrams and Richard Delgado. did consist in the seizure and transportation of what contained its riches? the labor of Africans taken from their distant land. they reorient by disorienting. Bell’s fictional counterpart. Bluebeard’s Castle comprises one of Bell’s “Afrolantica Legacies” in the book of the same name. rice. it was incommensurable with the property relation. two of the most prominent scholars of legal narrative. Geneva Crenshaw. Only by adjoining one to the other were this seized labor and endless land made into wealth. . This is also a reason to forget framework for the round. of liberation. people on board discovered they were not in fact dismayed.relation to the land was not one of property.”278 as rupturing 279 and revelatory.”282 In part legal narrative acts to disrupt the doctrinal form of analysis of legal discourse. it was the condition on which the slave trade itself became the most profitable of all the colonial industries Our affirmation of creating Afrolantica within the debate space is a call to create a mental liberation of blackness.248 What Bell ascribes to critical race theory in general applies directly to his own work: it is “transformatively aspirational. stories challenge nonstories.”246 As an Afrolantica legacy.284 The challenge posed by these counterstories is twofold. Blacks discovered that they themselves actually possessed the qualities of liberation they had hoped to realize on their new homeland. In the concluding pages of Afrolantica Legacies. of waking up. All the crops by which the continental colonial economy established a major position in international markets ? tobacco. The recitation and alignment with Bell's legal narrative of Afrolantica reorients our legal scholarship in the debate round to destroy the form of knowledge production that re-entrenches whiteness by disorienting the dominant narrative of whiteness.”Narratives can operate in a number of ways. indigo. uprooted from their cultural and economic origins and foundations.281 as “shatter[ing] complacency and challeng[ing] the status quo. the counterstories “displace or overturn . the endlessness of the land made slavery possible as a system of production (its "necessity" was a different ethical question for the settlers). it also resided in the act of seizure. a chapter in Faces at the Bottom of the Well. and transformed into bond-laborers.245 As the ships turned around to go back to the United States. they were met by the entire land mass sinking back into the ocean.”247 Bell’s fictions are parables: they have poetic power.”280 as jarring or displacing. 241 Afrolantica was a giant land mass that arose unexpectedly in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Afrolantica Awakening. which “all are envisioned as escapes from the real world. their chattel existence as a category of self-augmenting capital. . but in the peculiar (European) manner of its seizure ? the transformation of what was not property into property.

gender. It is a space in which academic achievement is performed according to the intelligibility of one’s race. it .comm. They seek from their readers more than simple rational or abstract understanding. 295 If. In other words.” The UDL program is housed in over fourteen American cities and targets inner city youths of color to increase their access to debate training. then mapping the intelligibility of the stereotype within public discourse and the attempts to resist such intelligibility is a critical tool in the battle to end racial domination. and federal governments. some cultures unfortunately have less ambition and ability than others. The debate community serves as a microcosm of the broader educational space within which racial ideologies are operating. and sexuality. Education theorist Ludwig Pongratz argues that the testing focus in the standards and accountability movement is “probably the most effective means of realizing disciplinary procedures.pdf) The attempts at educational reform are not limited to institutional actors such as the local.290 Narratives also operate differently than arms-length. The program has been fairly successful and has received wide scale media attention. How are black students integrated into a competitive educational community from which they have traditionally been excluded? How are they represented in public and media discourse about their participation. and shared understandings” that on the one hand are little attended and simply presumed and that on the other form the cognitive grounds on whose bases legal and political decision occurs.”291 Narratives as well seek to lure the reader into a story. Such training of students defined as “at risk” is designed to offset the negative statistics associated with black educational achievement.”287 Counterstories can expose the lie contained in majoritarian narratives.” 11 He argues further that the contemporary “reformist drive” sweeping western nations is a tool designed to replicate normative practices. understanding of a narrative is affective.288 They challenge “accounts by which majoritarians make sense of their world. Reid-Brinkley 08 (Shanara Rose Reid-Brinkley. but instead through the positioning of social bodies to engage in self-control. 296 the story’s goal–to make one see 297 –will fail. stories such as: without intent. the reader refuses to be open to the text’s world but stands steadfast in his or her own. and to produce college matriculation rates of 71 to 91%. to improve grade-point averages by 8 to 10%.” 294 Narratives ask the reader to reconcile two worlds: the text’s and the reader’s. One such organization. including reform efforts. The UDL program creates a substantial pool of racial minorities with debate training coming out of high school. the Urban Debate League. an internalization of the discourse of institutional power . we have all the civil rights legislation we need–any more would disadvantage innocent whites.”289 Counterstories provide a means for undermining the “presuppositions.and narratives. no discrimination. class. however. “THE HARSH REALITIES OF “ACTING BLACK”: HOW AFRICAN-AMERICAN POLICY DEBATERS NEGOTIATE REPRESENTATION THROUGH RACIAL PERFORMANCE AND STYLE. it offers a unique opportunity to engage the impact of desegregation and diversification of American education . claims that “Urban Debate Leagues have proven to increase literacy scores by 25%. beliefs and behaviors consistent with the broader society . “objective” doctrinal analysis. The success of the program has also generated renewed interest amongst college debate programs in increasing direct efforts at recruitment of racial and ethnic minorities. they work noncoercively 292 and insinuatively 293 as they ask the reader to “suspend judgment. that college debate directors may tap to diversify their own teams. outright racism is rare and sporadic. to achieve high school graduation rates of nearly 100%. and so on. received wisdoms. Pongratz argues that the educational system. values. building on the work of Michel Foucault. function as a disciplinary “apparatus” that shapes and molds social bodies into normalized social systems . As policy debate is intellectually rigorous and has historically been closed to those marked by social difference. and how do they rhetorically respond to such representations? If racial ideology is perpetuated within discourse through the stereotype.298 Our discussion of the discursive constructions that make racial domination possible is key to stop it and spills over into the broader educational space. Non-profit organizations dedicated to alleviating the black/white achievement gap have also proliferated. http://www. 12 The disciplinary character of modern education systems do not operate through institutional control. The racist disciplinary power of the debate community that marginalizes blackness can only be sustained and instituted by those within it—we all must say NO MORE and shed the chains of exclusionary white oppression.pitt. more lived.edu/faculty/documents/reid-brinkley_shanara_r_200805_phd. Pongratz notes that “in this way. Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Communications as well as the Director of Debate at the University of Pittsburgh.” 2008. state. “visceral.

particularly that which revolves around the black/ white achievement gap. What is missing from the study of education reform and the black/white “achievement gap” is an analysis of the discursive construction of racial “images and stereotypes with which” the public is “confronted.becomes possible to integrate school pupils into the school’s institutional framework more effectively than ever before . from experts to politicians to the news media. social norms are incorporated in the body of the individual subject . class. the disciplinary character of the school system only functions in so much as disciplinary parameters can be internalized by the members of a social body. Stickney argues that the discourse supporting educational reform functions to discipline educators into a compliance that belies any attempt to critique and engage the viability of the reform effort to the specific contexts educators find themselves working within. In essence. like those attached to public education in the U.” 13 Acclaimed French Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’ theory of habitus is useful here. and gender imagery that is intelligible to the general public.” 14 Gender theorist Terry Lovell argues “Through habitus. 20 While Stickney is interested in engaging such discourse for the purpose of furthering theoretical scholarship on curriculum development. “can only be efficacious if it is objectified in bodies in the form of durable dispositions that recognize and comply with the specific demands of a given institutional area of activity .S. Education reform engages in a discourse of “paradigm shift. his study raises the question of how the public discourse surrounding education reform may function to discipline its differently situated stakeholders. For Bourdieu. Philosophy of education scholar Jeff Stickney argues that scholars interested in the production of education reform discourse should be concerned with “how a change of perception is to be brought about or secured.” 15 An institution.” 16 In other words.” 17 Public discourse about education reform. requires the use of race.” 18 In essence there is a discursive consistency amongst education reform proponents for characterizing reform efforts as a change in perspective from previous values and beliefs about how best to educate America’s youth. . public representations of black underachievement and reform efforts depend on the versatility of social and cultural stereotypes consistent with the argumentative structures and social ideologies that make rhetorical efforts at reform intelligible. habitas represents the incorporation of the “social into the corporeal.” 19 In other words.

dominant ideologies allowed the social structure to reproduce itself without ensuing conflict. both dominance and resistance are likely to be active in varying degrees. Ideology functioned to naturalize the dominant structure encouraging individuals to participate by engaging in practices and behaviors designed to maintain that system . We can agree that ideology is both produced by and produces economic and social structures. ” 66 Such a conception of ideology was necessary to explain why the working class did not rise up against the ruling class. I utilize ideological criticism as a rhetorical method. this project is not simply interested in the study of the production and maintenance of dominant ideologies. somewhere out there. However. and sexuality within the public conversation about race and education . bred within institutional structures. then social subjects become agent-less. In essence. Instead of realizing that they have endorsed a system of discursive violence. Noted theorists. The Marxist conception of ideology. an internalization of ideological discourse as inscribed through various apparatuses of power . third. binding individuals to the imaginary reality. ideology is defined as a result of economic structures. as media and communications scholar Nicolas Garnham cautions. More importantly. They become simply social beings produced by the superstructure. particularly. 69 He notes that it is the responsibility of intellectuals to map out structural and social dominance. if the individual or the subject is not critical to the development of such ideological structures. uninfluenced by ideology.pdf) To begin an investigation of these questions of race. we must look to the manner in which social actors engage in resistance efforts within and through such dominant ideologies.” 2008. This project is interested in the ideological discourses and representations of race. but simply productive of it. current scholarship has been expressly critical of such a conceptualization of ideology. and Stuart Hall have offered significant critiques of such a view of the relations of power in social system. representation and performance. And. reformulated and popularized by Louis Althusser.comm. the focus on resistance in cultural studies can prevent us from studying the manner in which dominance is maintained.It is your responsibility as an intellectual to map out the structures that support social dominance because it is individual participation that sustains it. both through structure and discourse. Thus. as Foucault argues. Althusser argues that “ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence. as its material. http://www. it remains significantly useful in the study of social domination. Raymond Williams. Reid-Brinkley 08 (Shanara Rose Reid-Brinkley. Social actors participate in the production and maintenance of culture. ideologies were thought to construct an imaginary reality by which social beings became dependent on the structure as it functions. Contemporary racism is reproduced and maintained through discursive constructions . Such ideologies were theorized as part of the superstructure resulting in the limited ability of subjects to exercise agency. Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Communications as well as the Director of Debate at the University of Pittsburgh. gender. “ideology stands in a secondary position relative to something which functions as its infrastructure. The affirmative has made an active choice in the 1ac to endorse an ideology that discursively advances the basis of white privilege. etc. One criticism of this version of ideology is that it assumes there is a truth. as it made the critical turn away from the study of dominant ideology and toward the cultural and everyday practices by which subjects engage ideological domination. both dominant and subordinate. within the field of cultural studies.” 68 In other words. simultaneously. ideology was considered to be deterministic. We can agree that there is not some true expression of reality out there that we are somehow blinded from seeing . but are instead determined by them. “THE HARSH REALITIES OF “ACTING BLACK”: HOW AFRICAN-AMERICAN POLICY DEBATERS NEGOTIATE REPRESENTATION THROUGH RACIAL PERFORMANCE AND STYLE. Thus. they have reapplied a complete eradication of difference within the debate sphere by running framework. Yet. In any given situation. And. we can agree that social actors and their actions are not determined by ideology as much as social actors are strongly influenced toward accepting those ideologies as within their best interest. must be interrogated for processes of normalization implicated in the success and achievement of black students in American society.pitt. including Michel Foucault. 67 Second. the economic structures are preexistent and thus. Despite significant criticism of the concept of ideology. that we are unable to ascertain because of the false consciousness produced through ideological discourses. an ideological analysis provides us with an opportunity to critically analyze the networks of power through which ideologies flow and gain discursive and representative dominance . For Althusser. revolves around the assumption that social bodies are trapped within a “false consciousness” that blinds them to the truth . The dominant narratives. class.edu/faculty/documents/reid-brinkley_shanara_r_200805_phd. in order to make sense of their very lives. economic determinant. In other words.

that has received wide media representation. Ideologies help to make stereotypical representations intelligible to an audience. as well as. In this chapter we are interested in how a majority white community responds to confrontational protest rhetoric in resistance narratives centered around racial representation and performance . To engage in the ideological analysis of race and education discourse. Looking to specific contexts through which we analyze the significance of racial ideologies allows us as scholars to map out the forces of power active through racial difference. And. . In this chapter. a rhetorical focus can map the public discursive maneuvers that (re)produce and resist these social ideologies. I have chosen a localized context from which to interrogate the ideological representations of race that may operate in any given American educational context. 70 It is an extracurricular activity that pits students against one another in a rigorous mental and verbal challenge. racial ideologies will likely remain a critical tool by which racial difference is signified. as ideologies often function to dominate. and gender status to be redeemed in news media representation. It is the students’ ability to mimic the performative dynamics of success that allows their race. Thus. I conclude that such a practice demonstrates the social significance of the stereotype even in positive portrayals of inner city black youths.that are circulated through ideologies. I argue that the use of subcultural style offers a means for the Louisville students to resist the norms of white privilege that permeates the traditional debate landscape . I argue that successful black students are scapegoated in news media representation and then redeemed by their debate participation . Chapter Two is an analysis of a non-profit organization for minority. I argue that the news media relies on racial stereotypes of black youths to make the UDL participants intelligible to the viewing and reading audience. As long as racism remains a social phenomenon in our society. The rising interest in diversifying policy debate at the high school level through non-profit organizations has fueled attempts to diversify at the college level. Chapter Four is an analysis of the debate community’s response to the Louisville Project. culture. gender. Chapter Three is an analysis of race and performance in national college policy debate. the Urban Debate League. class. I analyze the representation of UDL participants in local and national newspapers. an extended primetime story by 60 minutes on the Baltimore Urban Debate League. This chapter analyzes the University of Louisville Malcolm X debate program as it pushes the debate community to confront its race and class privilege. privilege. Specifically. contemporary ideological representations of race have changed and in some ways remained the same. We must interrogate the use of ideological representations of race. This project seeks to engage both dominance and resistance. to engage in a critical re-negotiation of intellectual knowledge making practices within the debate community. I argue further that the Louisville students engage in rhetorical practices that violate the genre of policy debate speechmaking. I ask how do black students respond to the racial ideologies surrounding their debate participation? What are the rhetorical strategies by which they engage a majority white audience in public discussion about race. class. they also create circumstances for resistance . And. inner city youths. It is necessary for the audience to view the students as “at risk” in order to later demonstrate their exemplary status. It is quite clear. More specifically. including signifyin’. Instead of an outright rejection of the Louisville Project. and black popular culture such as gospel and hip hop. and how those affected by that dominance attempt to resist it. The activity dates back to the early 1900’s in American history. sexuality and context . I argue that the debate community engages in anti-movement resistance strategies. The rhetoric surrounding race and education offers one space from which to analyze the social reproduction of racial dominance . All racial ideologies do not function the same way. In this chapter. We must understand the strategies of signification that are most persuasive and powerful to the general public audience. To engage in this investigation I review three elimination round debates at the CrossExamination Debate Association’s National Championship Tournament. I analyze three case studies within American policy debate and its representation. Academic policy debate is a competitive activity available to high school and college students. and performance within educational discourse is of critical importance to the future course of educational opportunity in American society. it is important to read the social actors involved and watching as embodied. and performance? I argue that these students use black sub-cultural styles. gender. the debate community attacks the Project’s violation of the community’s notion of order and decorum . how racial ideologies reproduce social dominance. and sexuality as rhetorical strategy in public deliberations . they are often complicated by intersections of class. I specifically focus on the most successful of the Louisville teams made up of the partnership between Elizabeth Jones and Tonia Green. What representations of racial others are most intelligible to the public and how might racial others respond to that intelligibility? As our previous discussion of the “acting white” thesis and the rise of cultural explanations of racial difference indicate. The rhetoric surrounding race. that the public discourse surrounding race and education is extensive and far beyond the space allotted for this project.

. This project takes seriously the use of performative and cultural style as a strategic and rhetorical engagement with contemporary racism in America. I seek to demonstrate the connection between the public representation of blackness and the performative strategies engaged in by Blacks in the attempt to resist the stereotypes associated with such representations.Through these three case studies.

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