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The AFF is speechless on the question of the object of gratuitous

violence. The Humanist politics off the AFF forecloses the paradigmatic
questioning that is necessary for black liberation. The Affs grounding in
contingent transgression reassures the system of cartographic and
temporal capacities foreclosing the discussion of the blacks grammar of
Wilderson 10 (Frank B., Professor of Drama @ UC Irvine- Red, White, and
Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms pg. 1-11)
I am calling for a different conceptual framework, predicated not on the subjecteffect
of cultural performance but on the structure of political ontology; one that allows us
to substitute a politics of culture for a culture of politics. The value in this rests not
simply in the way it would help us re-think cinema and performance, but in the way it
can help us theorize what is at present only intuitive and anecdotal: the unbridgeable
gap between Black being and Human life. To put a finer point on it, such a framework
might enhance the explanatory power of theory, art, and politics by destroying and
perhaps restructuring, the ethical range of our current ensemble of questions. This
has profound implications for non-Black film studies, Black film studies, and African
American Studies writ large because they are currently entangled in a multicultural
paradigm that takes an interest in an insufficiently critical comparative analysisthat
is, a comparative analysis which is in pursuit of a coalition politics (if not in practice
then at least as an theorizing metaphor) which, by its very nature, crowds out and
forecloses the Slaves grammar of suffering.

America is produced through gratuitous anti-black violence the coherence of

civil society relies on a prior ontological exclusion of black bodies to produce a
sense of social solidarity and identity, defining the citizenry by what it is not
slave, fugitive, unfree paradigms that fail to forefront the structural antagonism
between civil society and black positionality only reproduce anti-black violence
Wilderson 10 (Frank B., Professor of Drama @ UC Irvine- Red, White, and Black:
Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms pg. 1-11)

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 Eastand
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 didnt wink back. Some of us thought her outbursts too
bigoted and out of step with the burgeoning ethos of multiculturalism and rainbow
coalitions to endorse. 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 express, though largely assumed and unspoken, purpose of
foreclosing upon that peril. Besides, people said she was crazy. Later, when I
attended UC 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 was where they could settle the Land Lease
Accounts that they had neglected to settle all of their lives. He too, so went the
scuttlebutt, 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

demandsand, by extension, the grammar of their sufferingwas indeed an ethical

grammar. Perhaps their grammars are the only ethical grammars available to modern
politics and modernity writ large, for they draw our attention not to the way in which
space and time are used and abused by enfranchised and violently powerful
interests, but to the violence that underwrites the 6 Red, White, & Black: Cinema and
the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms modern worlds 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 upon 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 to account but to call 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, on the one hand, 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 (206), the drama of value
(the stage upon which surplus value is extracted from labor power through
commodity production and sale); and on the other, 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 worldand not its
myriad discriminatory practices, but the world itselfwas 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? Hes crazy if he thinks hes getting any money out of us?
Surely, that doesnt 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 7 Red, White, & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S.
Antagonisms are these questions so scandalous that they are rarely posed politically,
intellectually, and cinematicallyunless they are posed obliquely and unconsciously,
as if by accident? Return Turtle Island to the Savage. Repair the demolished
subjectivity of the Slave. Two simple sentences, thirteen simple words, and the
structure of U.S. (and perhaps global) antagonisms would be dismantled. An ethical
modernity would no longer sound like an oxymoron. From there we could busy
ourselves with important conflicts that have been promoted to the level of
antagonisms: class struggle, gender conflict, immigrants rights. When pared down to
thirteen words and two sentences, one cannot but wonder why questions that go to
the heart of the ethico-political, questions of political ontology, are so unspeakable in
intellectual meditations, political broadsides, and even socially and politically
engaged feature films. Clearly they can be spoken, even a child could speak those
lines, so they would pose no problem for a scholar, an activist, or a filmmaker. And
yet, what is also clearif the filmographies of socially and politically engaged
directors, the archive of progressive scholars, and the plethora of Left-wing
broadsides are anything to go byis that what can so easily be spoken is now (five
hundred years and two hundred fifty million Settlers/Masters on) so ubiquitously
unspoken that these two simple sentences, these thirteen words not only render their
speaker crazy but become themselves impossible to imagine. Soon it will be forty
years since radical politics, Left-leaning scholarship, and socially engaged feature
films began to speak the unspeakable.ii In the 1960s and early 1970s the questions
asked by radical politics and scholarship were not Should the U.S. be overthrown?
or even Would it be overthrown? but rather when and howand, for 8 Red, White,
& Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms some, whatwould come in
its wake. Those steadfast in their conviction that there remained a discernable
quantum of ethics in the U.S. writ large (and here I am speaking of everyone from

Martin Luther King, Jr., prior to his 1968 shift, to the Tom Hayden wing of SDS, to the
Julian Bond and Marion Barry faction of SNCC, to Bobbie Kennedy Democrats) were
accountable, in their rhetorical machinations, to the paradigmatic zeitgeist of the
Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement, and the Weather Underground.
Radicals and progressives could deride, reject, or chastise armed struggle mercilessly
and cavalierly with respect to tactics and the possibility of success, but they could
not dismiss revolution-as-ethic because they could not make a convincing caseby
way of a paradigmatic analysisthat the U.S. was an ethical formation and still hope
to maintain credibility as radicals and progressives. Even Bobby Kennedy (a U.S.
attorney general and presidential candidate) mused that the law and its enforcers
had no ethical standing in the presence of Blacks.iii One could (and many did)
acknowledge Americas strength and power. This seldom, however, rose to the level
of an ethical assessment, but rather remained an assessment of the so-called
balance of forces. The political discourse of Blacks, and to a lesser extent Indians,
circulated too widely to credibly wed the U.S. and ethics. The raw force of
COINTELPRO put an end to this trajectory toward a possible hegemony of ethical
accountability. Consequently, the power of Blackness and Redness to pose the
questionand the power to pose the question is the greatest power of allretreated
as did White radicals and progressives who retired from struggle. The questions
echo lies buried in the graves of young Black Panthers, AIM Warriors, and Black
Liberation Army soldiers, or in prison cells where so many of them have been rotting
(some in solitary confinement) for ten, twenty, thirty years, and at the gates of the 9
Red, White, & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms academy where
the crazies shout at passers-by. Gone are not only the young and vibrant voices
that affected a seismic shift on the political landscape, but also the intellectual
protocols of inquiry, and with them a spate of feature films that became authorized, if
not by an unabashed revolutionary polemic, then certainly by a revolutionary
zeitgeist. Is it still possible for a dream of unfettered ethics, a dream of the
Settlement and the Slave estatesiv destruction, 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 nor of intellectual discourse in the academy? The
answer is no in the sense that, as history has shown, what cannot be articulated as
political discourse in the streets is doubly foreclosed upon in screenplays and in
scholarly prose; but yes in the sense that in even the most taciturn historical
moments such as ours, the grammar of Black and Red suffering breaks in on this
foreclosure, albeit like the somatic compliance of hysterical symptomsit registers in
both cinema and scholarship as symptoms of awareness of the structural
antagonisms. Between 1967 and 1980, we could think cinematically and intellectually
of Blackness and Redness as having the coherence of full-blown discourses. But from
1980 to the present, Blackness and Redness manifests only in the rebar of cinematic
and intellectual (political) discourse, that is, as unspoken grammars. This grammar
can be discerned in the cinematic strategies (lighting, camera angles, image
composition, and acoustic strategies/design), even when the script labors for the
spectator to imagine social turmoil through the rubric of conflict (that is, a rubric of
problems that can be posed and conceptually solved) as opposed to the rubric of
antagonism (an irreconcilable struggle between entities, or positionalities, the
resolution 10 Red, White, & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms of
which is not dialectical but entails the obliteration of one of the positions). In other
words, 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 non-narrative, or cinematic,
strategies of the film often disrupt this coherence by posing the irreconcilable
questions of Red and Black political ontologyor non-ontology. The grammar of
antagonism breaks in on the mendacity of conflict. Semiotics and linguistics teach us
that when we speak, our grammar goes unspoken. Our grammar is assumed. It is the

structure through which the labor of speech is possible.v Likewise, the grammar of
political ethicsthe grammar of assumptions regarding the ontology of suffering
which underwrite Film Theory and political discourse (in this book, discourse
elaborated in direct relation to radical action), and which underwrite cinematic
speech (in this book, Red, White, and Black films from the mid-1960s to the present)
is also unspoken. This notwithstanding, film theory, political discourse, and cinema
assume an ontological grammar, a structure of suffering. And the structure of
suffering which film theory, political discourse, and cinema assume crowds out other
structures of suffering, regardless of the sentiment of the film or the spirit of unity
mobilized by the political discourse in question. To put a finer point on it, structures of
ontological suffering stand in antagonistic, rather then conflictual, relation to one
another (despite the fact that antagonists themselves may not be aware of the
ontological positionality from which they speak). Though this is perhaps the most
controversial and out-of-step claim of this book, it is, nonetheless, the foundation of
the close reading of feature films and political theory that follows. The difficulty of a
writing a book which seeks to uncover Red, Back, and White socially engaged feature
films as aesthetic accompaniments to grammars of suffering, predicated on the
subject positions of the Savage and the Slave is that todays intellectual protocols
are not informed by Fanons insistence that ontologyonce it is finally admitted as
leaving existence by the waysidedoes not permit us to understand the being of the
black man [sic] (Black Skin, White Masks 110). In sharp contrast to the late 60s and
early 70s, we now live in a political, academic, and cinematic milieu which stresses
diversity, unity, civic participation, hybridity, access, and contribution.
The radical fringe of political discourse amounts to little more than a passionate
dream of civic reform and social stability. The distance between the protester and the
police has narrowed considerably. The effect of this upon the academy is that
intellectual protocols tend to privilege two of the three domains of subjectivity,
namely preconscious interests (as evidenced in the work of social science around
political unity, social attitudes, civic participation, and diversity,) and
unconscious identification (as evidenced in the humanities postmodern regimes of
diversity, hybridity, and relative [rather than master] narratives). Since the
1980s, intellectual protocols aligned with structural positionality (except in the work
of die-hard Marxists) have been kicked to the curb. That is to say, it is hardly
fashionable anymore to think the vagaries of power through the generic positions
within a structure of power relations such as man/woman, worker/boss. Instead, the
academys ensembles of questions are fixated on specific and unique experience of
the myriad identities that make up those structural positions. This would fine if the
work led us back to a critique of the paradigm; but most of it does not. Again, the
upshot of this is that the intellectual protocols now in 12 Red, White, & Black: Cinema
and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms play, and the composite effect of cinematic
and political discourse since the 1980s, tend to hide rather than make explicit the
grammar of suffering which underwrites the US and its foundational antagonisms.
This state of affairs exacerbatesor, more precisely, mystifies and veilsthe
ontological death of the Slave and the Savage because (as in the 1950s) cinematic,
political, and intellectual discourse of the current milieu resists being sanctioned and
authorized by the irreconcilable demands of Indigenism and Blacknessacademic
enquiry is thus no more effective in pursuing a revolutionary critique than the
legislative antics of the loyal opposition. This is how Left-leaning scholars help civil
society recuperate and maintain stability. But this stability is a state of emergency for
Indians and Blacks.

Anti-blackness is the root cause of sovereignty and their analysis of

sovereignty only magnifies the link the natal alienation of the slave
produces the basis for the modern foundations of sovereignty and the

suture between law and life their failure to forefront the positionality
of the slave replicates anti-blackness
Sexton 10 (Jared Sexton, Director, African American Studies School of
Humanities @ UC-Irvine, People-of-Color-Blindness: Notes on the Afterlife of
Slavery, Social Text, 103 Vol. 28, No. 2 Summer 2010)
Agamben is correct to identify the permanent crisis of the political system of the
modern nation-state with the original biopolitical fracture of the third term of its
conceptual trinity: birth.44 The malfunction of the traditional mechanisms that used
to regulate the transformation of birth into nation, the failure of the inscription of
nativity upon which is founded the functional nexus between a determinate
localization (territory) and a determinate order (state) is remedied, as it were, by the
states increasingly direct management of the biological life of the nation.45 The
campa space in which, for all intents and purposes, the normal rule of law is
suspended and in which the fact that atrocities may or may not be committed does
not depend on the law but rather on the civility and ethical sense of the police
reinscribes naked life in the order of the nation-state by force. 46 The violence of this
reinscription is meant both to arrest and remove the people of the excluded (the
minority slated for indefinite isolation, expulsion, elimination, etc., even when in
the numerical majority) and to ensure the properly political existence of the
remainder of the population, the People as an integral body politic (the majority
whose integrity is nonetheless reduced to a remainder by virtue of their constitutive
exclusion from the space of the camp, even when in the numerical minority).47
Agamben is incorrect to date the onset of this crisis and the advent of the paradigm
of the camp with the new laws on citizenship and on the denationalization of
citizens in Europe of the interwar years, that is, the rise of martial law in the first
half of the twentieth century.48 The general failure of the inscription of nativity in the
order of the nation-state and the states management of the biological life of the
nation is predated and prepared by the strict prohibition of nativity under the regime
of racial slavery and the states management of the biological life of the enslaved
throughout the Atlantic world, most pointedly through the sexual regulation of race in
the British North American colonies and the United States.49 And the racial
circumscription of political life (bios) under slavery predates and prepares the rise of
the modern democratic state, providing Social Text 103 Summer 2010 41 the
central counterpoint and condition of possibility for the symbolic and material
articulation of its form and function.50 If in Agambens analysis the inscription of
nativity in Euro-America is disquieted in the twentieth century by postcolonial
immigration, the native-born black population in the United Statesknown in the
historic instance as the descendants of slavessuffers the status of being neither
the native nor the foreigner, neither the colonizer nor the colonized.51 The nativity of
the slave is not inscribed elsewhere in some other (even subordinated) jurisdiction,
but rather nowhere at all. The nativity of the slave is foreclosed, undermining from
within the potential for citizenship, but also opening the possibility of a truly
nonoriginal origin, a political existence that signifies the presence of an absence
that discloses the absence inherent in all presence and every present.52 Agamben
overestimates the extent to which the question of nativity is displaced by the figure
of the refugee. It is perhaps better to say that it is disturbed by the presence of
strangers in a strange land. More simply, we might say to the refugee that you may
lose your motherland, but you will not lose your mother.53 The latter condition, the
social death in which one is denied kinship entirely by the force of law, is reserved
for the natal alienation and genealogical isolation characterizing slavery. Here is
Orlando Patterson, from his encyclopedic 1982 study: I prefer the term natal
alienation because it goes directly to the heart of what is critical in the slaves forced
alienation, the loss of ties of birth in both ascending and descending generations. It
also has the important nuance of a loss of native status, of deracination. It was this

alienation of the slave from all formal, legally enforceable ties of blood, and from
any attachment to groups or localities other than those chosen for him by the
master, that gave the relation of slavery its peculiar value to the master. The slave
was the ultimate human tool, as imprintable and as disposable as the master wished.
And this was true, at least in theory, of all slaves, no matter how elevated.54 True,
even if one attains the income and educational levels of the mythic American middle
class, the celebrity of a Hollywood icon, or the political position of the so-called leader
of the free world. The alienation and isolation of the slave is not just vertical,
canceling out ties to past and future generations (the descendants of slaves now
understood as a strict oxymoron). It is also horizontal, canceling out ties to the
slaves contemporaries as well. The deracination of the slave, reduced to a tool, is
total, more fundamental than the displacement of the refugee, whose status obtains
in a network of persecuted human relations in exile rather than in a collection or
dispersal of a class of things. Crucially, deracination is strictly correlative to the
absolute submission mandated by law discussed by Hartman above, the most
perfect example of the space of purely formal obedience defining the jurisdictional
field of sovereignty. 4 2 Sexton Notes on the Afterlife of Slavery Because the forced
submission of the slave is absolute, any signs whatsoever of reasoning . . . intent
and rationality are recognized solely in the context of criminal liability. That is,
the slaves will [is] acknowledged only as it [is] prohibited or punished.55 A
criminal will, a criminal reasoning, a criminal intent, a criminal rationality: with these
erstwhile human capacities construed as indices of culpability before the law, even
the potentiality of slave resistance is rendered illegitimate and illegible a priori.
Again, this is true not only for the slaves resistance to submission to this or that
slaveholder but to the whole of the free population, what I called earlier the
unequally arrayed category of nonblackness.

Vote negative to endorse a fugitive politics unintelligible to the powers at be

only this can deconstruct status quo regimes of coding

Moten 8 (Fred, Member of the Undercommons. "Black optimism/Black

operation". PMLA, October 2008. Pgs. 17431747)

My field is black studies. In that field, Im trying to hoe the hard row of
beautiful things. I try to study them and I also try to make them. Elizabeth
Alexander says look for color everywhere. For me, color + beauty =
blackness which is not but nothing other than who, and deeper still, where I
am. This shell, this inhabitation, this space, this garmentthat I carry with
me on the various stages of my flight from the conditions of its makingis a
zone of chromatic saturation troubling any ascription of impoverishment of
any kind however much it is of, which is to say in emergence from, poverty
(which is, in turn, to say in emergence from or as an aesthetics or a poetics of
poverty). The highly cultivated nature of this situated volatility, this
emergent poetics of the emergency, is the open secret that has been the
preoccupation of black studies. But it must be said nowand Ill do so by
way of a cool kind of accident that has been afforded us by the danger and
saving power that is power pointthat there is a strain of black studies that
strains against black studies and its object, the critique of western
civilization, precisely insofar as it disavows its aim (blackness or the thinking
of blackness, which must be understood in what some not so strange
combination of Nahum Chandler and Martin Heidegger might call its

paraontological distinction from black people). There was a moment in

Rebeccas presentation when the image of a black saxophonist (I think, but
am not sure, that it was the great Chicago musician Fred Anderson) is given
to us as a representative, or better yet a denizen (as opposed to citizen), of
the space of the imagination. Whats cool here, and what is also precisely
the kind of thing that makes practitioners of what might be called the new
black studies really mad, is this racialization of the imagination which only
comes fully into its own when it is seen in opposition, say, to that set of faces
or folks who constituted what I know is just a part of Laurens tradition of
Marxist historiographical critique. That racialization has a long history and
begins to get codified in a certain Kantian discourse, one in which the
imagination is understood to produce nothing but nonsense, a condition
that requires that its wings be severely clipped by the imagination. What
Im interested in, but which I can only give a bare outline of, is a two-fold
black operationone in which Kant moves toward something like a thinking
of the imagination as blackness that fully recognizes the irreducible desire for
this formative and deformative, necessarily supplemental necessity; one in
which black studies ends up being unable to avoid a certain sense of itself as
a Kantian, which is to say anti-Kantian and ante-Kantian, endeavor. The new
black studies, or to be more precise, the old-new black studies, since every
iteration has had this ambivalence at its heart, cant help but get pissed at
the terrible irony of its irreducible Kantianness precisely because it works so
justifiably hard at critiquing that racialization of the imagination and the
racialized opposition of imagination (in its lawless, nonsense producing
freedom) and critique that turns out to be the condition of possibility of the
critical philosophical project. There is a voraciously instrumental antiessentialism, powered in an intense and terrible way by good intentions, that
is the intellectual platform from which black studies disavowal of its object
and aim is launched, even when that disavowal comes in something which
also thinks itself to be moving in the direction of that object and aim. Im
trying to move by way of a kind of resistance to that anti-essentialism, one
that requires a paleonymic relation to blackness; Im trying to own a certain
dispossession, the underprivilege of being-sentenced to this gift of constantly
escaping and to standing in for the fugitivity (to echo Natahaniel Mackey,
Daphne Brooks and Michel Foucault) (of the imagination) that is an irreducible
property of life, persisting in and against every disciplinary technique while
constituting and instantiating not just the thought but that actuality of the
outside that is what/where blackness isas space or spacing of the
imagination, as condition of possibility and constant troubling of critique. Its
annoying to perform what you oppose, but I just want you to know that I aint
mad. I loved these presentations, partly because I think they loved me or at
least my space, but mostly because they were beautiful. I love Kant, too, by
the way, though he doesnt love me, because I think hes beautiful too and,
as you know, a thing of beauty is a joy forever. But even though Im not mad,
Im not disavowing that strain of black studies that strains against the weight
or burden, the refrain, the strain of being-imaginative and not-being-critical
that is called blackness and that black people have had to carry. Black
Studies strains against a burden that, even when it is thought musically, is
inseparable from constraint. But my optimism, black optimism, is bound up
with what it is to claim blackness and the appositional, runaway black

operations that have been thrust upon it. The burden, the constraint, is the
aim, the paradoxically aleatory goal that animates escape in and the
possibility of escape from. Here is one such black opa specific, a capella
instantiation of strain, of resistance to constraint and instrumentalization, of
the propelling and constraining force of the refrain, that will allow me to get
to a little something concerning the temporal paradox of, and the irruption of
ecstatic temporality in, optimism, which is to say black optimism, which is to
say blackness. I play this in appreciation for being in Chicago, which is
everybodys sweet home, everybodys land of California, as Robert Johnson
puts it. This is music from a Head Start program in Mississippi in the midsixties and as you all know Chicago is a city in Mississippi, Mississippi a
(fugue) state of mind in Chicago. The temporal paradox of optimismthat it
is, on the one hand, necessarily futurial so that optimism is an attitude we
take towards that which is to come; but that it is, on the other hand, in its
proper Leibnizian formulation, an assertion not only of the necessity but also
of the rightness and the essential timelessness of the always already existing,
resonates in this recording. It is infused with that same impetus that drives a
certain movement, in Monadology, from the immutability of monads to that
enveloping of the moral world in the natural world that Leibniz calls, in
Augustinian echo/revision, the City of God. With respect to C. L. R. James
and Jos (Muoz), and a little respectful disrespect to Lee Edelman, these
children are the voices of the future in the past, the voices of the future in our
present. In this recording, this remainder, their fugitivity, remains, for me, in
the intensity of their refrain, of their straining against constraint, cause for
the optimism they perform. That optimism always lives, which is to say
escapes, in the assertion of a right to refuse, which is, as Gayatri Spivak says,
the first right: an instantiation of a collective negative tendency to differ, to
resist the regulative powers that resistance, that differing, call into being. To
think resistance as originary is to say, in a sense, that we have what we need,
that we can get there from here, that theres nothing wrong with us or even,
in this regard, with here, even as it requires us still to think about why it is
that difference calls the same, that resistance calls regulative power, into
existence, thereby securing the vast, empty brutality that characterizes here
and now. Nevertheless, however much I keep trouble in mind, and therefore,
in the interest of making as much trouble as possible, I remain hopeful insofar
as I will have been in this very collective negative tendency, this little school
within and beneath school that we gather together to be. For a bunch of little
whiles, this is our field (i.e., black studies), our commons or undercommons
or underground or outskirts and it will remain so as long as it claims its
fugitive proximity to blackness, which I will claim, with ridiculousness
boldness, is the condition of possibility of politics.