OCCUPY WHITE SUPREMACY: What UC Davis Pepper Spraying Tells me about the racialized politics of sentimentality

So, let’s talk about another OWS….

Occupy white supremacy… and the machinery of whiteness…and structural racism…

When are we going to start talking about why the mainstream media is so ‘horrified’ and concerned, when certain people are ‘victims’ of police violence over others?

So, you say that “We are the 99%” is a particular socioeconimc class who have, thus far , possessed only 1% of the wealth and resources…

But what about those of the 99% who are getting represented in the media who have been victims of police violence? Why is it that it takes police violence against seemingly ‘peaceful’ and ‘non-threatening’ white students at a predominantly white university campus for the mainstream to suddenly ‘wake up’ to the police and state sanctioned violence that us brown, black, red, and/or ‘Muslim’ folk have been trying to get mainstream America to give a sh*t about for decades? I think what happened at UC Davis (which is my school by the way), needs to be part of a larger conversation about how the machinery of whiteness (as phrased by Steve Martinot a critical race scholar) still plays out.

Why are so many in the media giving so much attention to, and are horrified that, this particular group of “innocent” and “peaceful” protestors were pepper-sprayed?

Can we please have a conversation about how white bodies/white campuses/white middle class spaces are almost always constructed more as “innocent” and “non-threatening” than non-white racialized people who are collectively seen as ‘threatening’, even if they are peaceful ?

I am not diminishing what has happened at my school, but I think there needs to be this conversation, in general, and talk about the racialized politics of sentimentality, and whose suffering is worth more to the media than others. UC Davis and the town of Davis has had its share of racially profiling black and brown people and it seems like no one has really given a care, or that much of a care to address how traumatizing it is to come to university, only to be read as a ‘threat’ and ‘other’ by police, simply because you AREN’T WHITE.

Why does it take pepper spraying ‘unthreatening’, ‘peaceful’ and mostly white/light (because not all who look white or/are lighter are necessarily identifying as ‘white’) people for the USA (well, mainstream) to realize that the police can and do use ‘violence’ against human beings who aren’t physically threatening or violent?

Once again, I’m not diminishing what has happened at my school, but I am bringing up questions that aren’t just in my head, but are shared by a plethora of my black, brown, and/or Muslim friends and family; most of which who have been racially profiled and/or recipients of police brutality when they have done absolutely nothing wrong… but when we tell most of our white colleagues, friends, acquaintances, they can’t believe that the police would do something like that, unless we had done something “wrong ” or “threatening.”

I don’t think we can really begin to talk about Occupy Wall Street as only a socio-economic class ‘war’ until we hear the mainstream media also becoming horrified by how the machinery of whiteness operates.

If people want the chancellor to step down, this is not going to resolve the larger problem.

There are plenty of people in high administration and/or faculty positions at universities who have used the “taken for granted narrative” that “white” bodies are “innocent” and “non-threatening” while darker bodies are the opposite. They have felt “threatened” and use police and/or some component of the criminal justice system to assault this “dark” threat, even though this racialized person has done nothing wrong. Most recently, a black male student at University of California was trying to get into a building for a job interview, couldn’t get in because it was locked, and knocked on another door to have access to the building. A white administration woman working there thought he was a ‘criminal’ and told him to go away numerous times or she’d call the police. She called the police. Well, so much for him trying to be judged by the content of his character, and not, what Frantz Fanon calls, “historico-racial schema” that his skin color conveys to most white women he will encounter in his life… Let’s be straight up and say that she would not have done that if he had been a conventionally beautiful young white female college student. This is not disconnected to what happened the other night at Davis (pepper spray) but part of a grand and intricate narrative of police violence, how criminal justice system is used within the machinery of whiteness, and how a plethora of white people may intellectually know it is WRONG to be racist, but nonetheless respond to “dark” people in a somatic and dysconsciously racist way; yet, simultaneously, would not have such a deeply “threatened” and somatic response to someone who looks like Paris Hilton.

I love that Occupy movement is happening. I love the growing number of people who are sick of being without basic needs, because the greedy 1% don’t want us to have food, water, clean environment, a home, etc that we should be able to get… But I feel like I can no longer be quiet about how the racialized politics of sentimentality operate…

OCCUPY WHITE SUPREMACY

0 thoughts on “OCCUPY WHITE SUPREMACY: What UC Davis Pepper Spraying Tells me about the racialized politics of sentimentality

  1. Because there is video of it. Police brutality, even fatal, against white people without video gets little to no attention, and against nonwhite people with video it gets massive media attention.

  2. I agree with @Decius, a camera makes a “Big Difference”. No witness, no crime.

    But could it be a guilt thang. I see fear in the eyes of white folks and despise. Some have remorse, knowing what their kind did to us. And many would prefer that things should go back to the time, when we had no voice.

    But in my black perspective, look at sports(never mind our contributions to Sciences, Medicine and Government), I have heard it many times “Why did we let them in, in the first place ? Why ? We dominate, even white women have thoughts about black men(many a white woman has asked “Is it true what they say about Black men ?) When I was young, if I dated a white woman, white men wanted to kill me, yet it was cool for them to date Black women.

    But the average white associates us with being savages(from the Jungle), but we are known for that, any tyrant should fear whose whom they exploited. Regardless of skin tone, people will rebel against any tyrannical state…

    But when S@it happens to white folks, it’s a concern, subject us to the same treatment, OH well their just N@%#ers ! Which is indicative of there perception of us. But as we mix, all races become less clear. My youngest daughters Grandmother, said the N word ten times in every sentence. But now that she has an interracial grandchild, I never hear use that word, at least not in my presents, not that that means S@it to me, but she loves her grandchild. She would prefer a white son-in-law, but a black mixed man hit that first.

    In a hundred years who will be pure blood(Black or White), that is what the KKK fear(and any that believe in that ideology), and fear us they should, we are the new Gen. taking over. Them and their mind set are going the way of the Dodo Bird, “Extinct”…

    Our children(mixed races) are the new standard of Humankind, color will fade away, as with the racists mind, but as I said before, change is generational…

    1Luv Breeze…

  3. It is no great surprise that the white media would be biased towards whites, similarly, crime in middle class (white) neighbourhoods is taken as more important and serious than crime in working class neighbourhoods. Most people have an allegiance to their own group, what is interesting is where they draw the boundaries of ‘their’ group. Is it their family, their sex, class, nation, their species? I am not defending this but surely you also have a slight bias towards your group? Even if your group is ‘humans’ if not then why are you sympathetic to indigenous people using animals? However, I think it is offensive to call this behaviour supremacist, offensive to the victims of actual supremacist violence. You mention your ‘Muslim’ friends’ which is interesting because you could not find a better example of an actual supremacist force that that of Islam. A religion where everyone is to obey the same religious laws, to eat cruelly slaughtered Halal meat, where women have to cover their faces in public, anti-gay and anti-Jewish.

  4. This story and the media storm surrounding it reminds me of the response to the Stanford Prisoner Experiment (1971). For decades before and since the experiment, actually prisoners (majority non-white) complained and continue to call attention to the brutality and torture received at the hands of guards. Yet, while these claims are often marginalize, or more often dismissed as whining, people were “shocked” and “horrified” by these same brutal behaviors when “innocent” college students (white) were the recipients of the exact same treatment.

    Of course, the question is which bodies do we consider worthy of protection, dignity, and respect. The constant dehumanizing of the other is the first step towards building a generally abusive society which will then extend outward to include the cruel treatment of non-human animals (factory-farm system, etc.). Something that you have quite eloquently pointed out in many of your postings.

  5. Greetings Breeze,

    I would respond to Mr. Walsh but I was warned not to waste my time with those who are severely misguided and so I will not.

    I applaud this piece and identify it on a number of levels. As a mixed race Muslim from NEw York City I can definitely relate to being treated differently and seeing others treated differently by law enforcement not only because of whiteness or blackness but being light skinned and dark skinned as well. I am treated with more respect than my darker skinner brothers by law enforcement – they will speak to me as an ally rather than an enemy or a thug. There are brothers I know who are in medical school that have been harassed just for being dark skinned.

    I am also at UC Davis right now and am a part of the occupy movement here, which by the way has been catalyzed by a number of food activists here on campus. Yes, they are almost all white but they are also race-conscious and aware of their privilege and have expressed sincere interest in holding anti-racism trainings in the Sacred Space which lies in a geodesic dome on the quad. These trainings are happening and supporting dialogue that would not otherwise take place on this campus.

    I have attended many general assemblies on the quad and right off the bat since the pepper spraying race, class, gender and privilege have always come up and people have mic-checked their feelings about everything from the word ‘occupy’ and changing the name to de-colonize (I personally prefer de-capitalize) to making sure we contact the indigenous nation’s peoples to apologize and ask for their permission to remain here on the quad and also invite them to join us and bring the struggle for civil rights for indigenous peoples to the fore. These conversations are happening but you will not read about them in any newspaper or see them covered on mainstream television.

    Everyone is focused on the chancellor – that is because a tremendous effort is being made by the UCD administration to make sure she is not only the scapegoat but also the center of attention. Check out this link to see what I am talking about: http://chancellor.ucdavis.edu/initiatives/campus_protests/

    The students are not shown once in this page and there are no quotes from students listed there either. So as we can see – even with all that is happening – as the world is watching – the University is not interested in letting the voice of students be heard and the hierarchies this movement aims to disintegrate are shaken but still standing in place. The fundamental changes we seek: to have a say in who our chancellor is and what their job entails based on fair democratic elections, to be given a course of action to remove the chancellor is she/he is not living up to their responsibilities or being accountable for their actions and to have transparency in the roles and responsibilities of the administrative positions including chancellor, vice chancellor, deans, presidents and so forth.

    We are working towards having a student of color caucus and I hope this will be successful in eradicating the fear many students have of even discussing biases and privileges based upon morphological features.

    For more on on occupy uc davis check this out: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupy-UC-Davis/262907633759444

    Peace,

    1. I can appreciate anyone not wanting to waste their time with the severely misguided. For my part, I find almost all religious people severely misguided but I nevertheless attempt a reasonable conversation with them. The occupy movement champions notions of equality and justice however, the greatest injustice today is the suffering inflicted on non-human sentient animals. I visited the Occupy UC Davis facebook page that was ‘catalyzed by a number of food activists’, to immediately find posts excited about a forthcoming ‘turkey dinner’. In my opinion we will never approach social justice until we first address our anthropocentrism. It’s the 99% that are causing 99% of the cruelty to animals. The question I have is, why are people, any people, more important than other animals? Thank you.

      1. I am not of the opinion that killing is the same as suffering. I agree that humans act as though they have privilege over other animals, but don’t see what is wrong with that.

        What measure are you using that quantifies suffering?

  6. In reply to Decius. Killing is not the same as suffering although all the animals we kill also suffer prior to being killed. Even the so-called welfare/free range ones.
    If you have no problem when, ‘humans act as though they have privilege over other animals’, then you should have no problem when humans act as though they have privilege over other groups of humans. This is because there is no morally relevant difference between humans and non-human sentient animals. For this reason it makes no sense to talk about justice and equality without including non-human animals or to justify the use animals for cultural, spiritual, religious reasons or the greater human good.

    1. I don’t agree that there is no morally relevant distinction between animals capable of indicating consent and those incapable of consenting. I also don’t think that inflicting suffering is a prerequisite to slaughtering.

      What are your ethical premises, and what characteristic creates a morally relevant distinction according to those premises?

      1. Well if you don’t agree that there is no morally relevant distinction between humans and non-human sentient animals (not sure ‘consent’ is the same here) what is the distinction? That was my question.
        And what animals – that we eat now – don’t suffer before being slaughtered?

      2. The distinction is that adult humans can communicate assent to a contract, and nonhuman animals cannot. That means some proxy for consent must be used.

        I’m not sure how detailed you want me to discuss butchering, but I can’t conceive of suffering occurring during a period of unconsiousness leading to death.

        1. Most non human animals are not unconscious before being killed for human consumption in the USA at least. Also, non human animals are conscious of the fact they will be killed because they see it happening to the other animals and hear it. John Balcombe writes about animals and their capacity to suffer immense emotional and physical pain and suffering.

          I am interested in how whose suffering “counts” on a cross species level as well. I remember reading that white slave masters argued that black slaves didn’t really suffer and or had a higher “tolerance” for pain and suffering that the “civilized” white people. I am the camp that thinks, unless I am a non human animal and experienced their life, I can never know for sure whether they suffer before being killed for human consumption. I personally play it safe and assume they do suffer so I don’t consume them. I feel like when humans dictate whether or not “other” beings suffer or not is usually connected to the deciding party’s investment in the exploitation of that “other” species or even other group of human beings such as the logic behind native American genocide and black chattel slavery.

          Peter, I hear you about the thanksgiving dinner of turkey that many people at UC Davis and beyond, looked forward to. I am assuming that most of them are unaware of how turkeys have emotional lives and suffer hell on earth . I never knew that turkeys were “smart” until I researched it. Why? Because I was taught the myth that the animals we in the USA eat are dumb and machines and can’t feel pain or miss their family members who have been killed for dinner. Same thing wad said about black slave humans .

          Sent from an iPhone. Please excuse typos.

      3. I don’t speak for or about anyone except myself. I have no basis to talk about ‘most’ of anything; I just claim that animals can be raised for slaughter in a manner that involves no more suffering than raising animals for sale as pets.

        Human suffering doesn’t enter my ethics at all. An act moral iff it has the noncoetcrd consent of all participants. Animals, or humans without agency, like infants, catatonics, and some of the severely mentally ill, must be treated along an axis of morality different from the one which can measure actions involving only active moral agents. I think it contrary to reason to consider a human adult in the same way as a newborn rabbit, but deny a human fetus the same level of consideration.

        Rabbits behave the same whenever a liittermate is removed and sold to a breeder, sold as a pet, sold as snake food, or butchered for human consumption and pelt. Based on that observation, I conclude that those that remain experience no suffering as a result of what happens outside of their sensory perception.

        The messy and bloody parts of meat preparation are performed on newly dead meat, not on soon-to-be-dead animals. The difference is not always readily apparent, since every organ other than the brain and many nervous autonomic functions continue after death.

  7. Peter….Um, last time I checked, Muslim faith was not a monolith, just like Christianity is not a monolith, so that comment didn’t make any sense at all. Since 9/11, Muslims have been racially profiled A LOT, and subjected to state sanctioned violence in ways that white bodies do not, so that is what I’m talking about. And I’m also thinking about my friend who is Muslim, vegan, and lesbian and how she has received a lot of crap from Islamaphobic people, and people threatening to kill her. So, I’m just trying to understand the comment you made.

    And there are plenty of Muslims, by the way, who practice veganism or vegetarianism because that is how they have interpreted their religious text.

  8. My comment was in relation to suprematism and without more details of the particular Muslim faith you are talking about I am referring to our dominant everyday experience of Islam.
    I’m genuinely sorry to hear that your vegan, lesbian, Muslim friend has received threats from people. I too have lesbian and gay friends who have received homophobic threats. On top of this, in London and much of Europe we also have to suffer ever-increasing violence from the Islamic Muslim community.
    http://www.wikiislam.net/wiki/Persecution_of_Homosexuals_(United_Kingdom)
    It is incorrect to suggest that the LGBT community has an irrational fear of Islam. Islamic preaching of hatred is all too real and therefore I would challenge your use of the word Islamophobia and instead suggest we use Islamorealistic. I think Pat Condell gets it right when he says, ‘Islamophobia is a word recently invented by Islamic supremacists as a way to silence critics to Islamic brutality, intolerance, misogyny, homophobia and antisemitism and to stigmatise those who oppose religious fascism by inferring they have a mental disorder’…. ‘According to the FBI there are 10 times more hate crimes against Jews and gays in America than there are against Muslims.’
    But returning to non-human animals, I’m saying no group has a special privilege to use them, be they religious, or indigenous people or anyone else. Last week I visited the British Museum to see photographs and artefacts belonging to indigenous people of America, Africa and the Inuit. You could not have found more fur and leather in their clothes and equipment. I fully realise that this was all that was available at the time but to suggest, as you recently have, that veganism is an indigenous/original people’s thing would mean interpreting the meaning of ‘vegan’ so widely that the word is meaningless. Similarly for Muslims to interpret Islam as non-supremacist would be so far removed from our everyday experience of Islam as to render the word meaningless. Peter (straight, white, atheist, vegan, not hater of religious people)

  9. and what about people who are plainly individuals and don’t fit into any of there categories? we keep pushing people back into the pits that they want to climb out of. I agree with many points Peter Walsh has made on here about religion. If you ever lived in a state such as Iran, you would know what religion means (if it becomes politics – no seperation of “church” and state). My best friend is gonna be executed there for blogging. If racism is an issue, then religious hatred is an issue too.The monetary world is one we are all affected by, I think that’s what the 99% percent idea kind of expresses.

    1. I agree with Breeze and find the parallel with black slaves particularly relevant. Abolitionism is the same for non-human animals as it is for humans: the right not to be owned. http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/
      The welfare movement alone would never have ended slavery just like it will never end non-human animal suffering. It just serves to make people feel better about using others as resources.
      Decius, ‘communicating assent’ (even if non-human animals could not do that) is not a morally relevant distinction between humans and non-human animals. If it was, then we would treat humans who were unable to communicate assent (for whatever reason, illness, coma etc) the same way we treat non-human animals ie with severely reduced rights.
      You say you, ‘can’t conceive of suffering occurring during a period of unconsciousness leading to death’? For the vast majority of food and resource animals the whole of their life is suffering before death. If we treated humans that way it would be called torture.

      1. Just to be clear, my claim is that “inflicting suffering is not a prerequisite to slaughtering.” Your counterargument works equally well against keeping pets.

        What characteristic is defining for the presence of rights? Do plants have a right not to be owned? Do minerals? What about arthropods? Is it suffering when I cause a feral animal to be surgically sterilized? Does suffering occur when wild animals reproduce in a manner which causes overpopulation and starvation? From what principle does the right to not suffer spring?

      2. Sure. End of life decisions are harder to make for nonhuman members of the family, because of the difficultly of establishing consent.

        “Euthanasia is distinct from animal slaughter and pest control, which are performed for purposes other than an act of mercy, although in some cases the killing procedure is the same.” (emphasis added)

        And yes, my family understands that I have instructions to my doctors to, under very specific sets of conditions, provide palliative care until my organs can be harvested for transplant.

  10. Decius …“inflicting suffering is not a prerequisite to slaughtering.” Yes, in theory. In practice however, the vast majority of the non-human animals that we use do suffer. But even if they didn’t, they have interests and wanted to go on living. I’m also against raising animals for pets. I’m basing rights on sentience so plants and minerals would not (to my current knowledge) qualify. I’m not sure about all insects but this doesn’t alter the fact that we know our food and laboratory animals suffer and we shouldn’t try to avoid our moral responsibility towards them by philosophizing about where to draw the line. It’s really more about ownership, one group does not own another group with interests.

    1. What assumptions must you make to conclude what a creature incapable of nuanced communication wants?

      My dictionary defines sentient as “Capable of feeling: having perception”. I’ve encountered other definitions centered around ‘self-aware’ or ‘intelligent’. What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for a type of animal to be sentient?

      For that matter, what situations constitute suffering, and why am I obligated to not cause it? (In a meta-ethical sense)

      1. “One could not stand and watch very long without being philosophi­cal, without beginning to deal in symbols and similes, and to hear the hog-squeal of the universe..­.. Each of them had an individual­ity of his own, a will of his own, a hope and a heart’s desire; each was full of self-confi­dence, of self-impor­tance, and a sense of dignity.

        And trusting and strong in faith he had gone about his business, the while a black shadow hung over him, and a horrid Fate in his pathway. Now suddenly it had swooped upon him, and had seized him by the leg.

        Relentless­, remorseles­s, all his protests, his screams were nothing to it. It did its cruel will with him, as if his wishes, his feelings, had simply no existence at all; it cut his throat and watched him gasp out his life.”

        Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)

        “The shriek was followed by another, louder and yet more agonizing.­..for once started upon that journey, the hog never came back. One by one the men hooked up the hogs and slit their throats.

        There was a line of hogs with squeals and lifeblood ebbing away… until at last each vanished into a huge vat of boiling water (some still alive). The hogs were so innocent. They came so very trustingly­. They were so very human in their protests. They had done nothing to deserve it.”

        Upton Sinclair

      2. I don’t know any ‘creature’ that is incapable of nuanced communication. Every animal is able to communicate that it seeks to avoid pain, that it desires its natural habitat, that it wants to continue living.
        You are not …‘obligated to not cause suffering’ but if you look back you will see that we started this thread with me saying that if you had no problem with causing suffering to non-human animals then you should have no problems with groups of people suffering at the hands of other groups of people. If you are going to accept speciesism then you have to allow for racism, sexism etc.

      3. Peter- I disagree. Nuanced communication would include more than ‘I am in pain’ or ‘I desire this.’ Something as simple as being able to communicate ‘Eating these pills will stop the fleas from biting.’ would be several breakthroughs in veterinary science.

        None of my questions have been rhetorical, by the way. I’m trying to figure out exactly where and why your opinions differ from mine. Do you consider the extension of life (of oneself and of others) to be a primary responsibility?

  11. Exposing the Student Body: Stanford Joins U.C. Berkeley in Controversial Genetic Testing of Students. Heated debate surrounds the ethics of the universities’ decisions to analyze student DNA.

    This week, the University of California, Berkeley will mail saliva sample kits to every incoming freshman and transfer student. Students can choose to use the kits to submit their DNA for genetic analysis, as part of an orientation program on the topic of personalized medicine. But U.C. Berkeley isn’t the only university offering its students genetic testing. Stanford University’s summer session started two weeks ago, including a class on personal genomics that gives medical and graduate students the chance to sequence their genotypes and study the results.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=exposing-the-student-body

  12. Decius, ‘Nuanced communication’, as you describe it, is not a morally relevant distinction between human and non-human animals. If it was, we would severely limit the rights of those humans who lack the capacity for nuanced communication. I believe there is a primary responsibility for us not to cause unnecessary suffering to others including of course, sentient non-human animals.

    1. We do severely limit the rights of certain groups of humans. Children may not vote, enter into contracts, or consume certain classes of drugs, for example.

      Do you believe that individual non-sentient humans have the same rights as the class of sentient animals?

      1. Decius, that is not ‘severely limited rights’ that you mention for children. Severely limited rights (basically no rights) could be summed up in one word ‘ownership’.
        I believe that individual non-sentient humans have less of a claim to rights than sentient non-human animals. However there is no need to reduce the rights of such a human. The overwhelming issue is that sentient non-human animals should not be treated as is they can be owned.

      2. Hi Decius. I am just wondering if you have read anything in the critical animal studies canon? There is a lot of interesting stuff, especially in the journals Journal for Critical Animal Studies and Animals and Society that give a context to where Peter and I are coming from. Let me know if you’d be interested in some citations. Also, please share literature with me that you have read that has helped shaped how you yourself view relationships humans have to non-human animals.

        Best,
        Breeze

      3. Peter- I don’t believe that you actually said that infants and comatose people have the right of self-determination.Do you believe that rights can be independent of responsibilities?

        Breeze: I’m certain that something I’ve read had been in the critical animal studies canon. I’m still in the process of catching up on the last reference I got from you, but I’m willing to add to my backlog.

        My opinions have been formed from broad but not particularly deep readings into ethics and philosophy. The classical “Justice is treating equal things equally, and inequal things inequally.” probably forms a solid basis for all three of our opinions.

        In your opinion, do humans have the same rights to be free from injury or suffering caused by animals that animals have from humans? Must animals respect the rights of other animals? If not, then what is the relevant distinction?

  13. decius – Yes, I believe that rights are independent of responsibilities. Not every animal needs the same rights of course. For instance the right to free speech or the right to vote. We wouldn’t expect animals to respect the rights of other animals – they have no concept of rights. Rights are a human concept with all animals having the right not to be owned and not to suffer as a resource for humans.

    1. There’s one point of disagreement. Rights always come with the complementary responsibilities. The right to self determination comes with the responsibility for ones own fate; the right to freedom from suffering inflicted by others comes with the responsibility to refrain from inflicting suffering on others.

      I agree that nonhuman animals have no inherent responsibilities; I think that implies that they have no inherent rights. If they do have rights, is there a taxonomical level where those rights end? Are you discussing every member of kingdom Animalia as a single entity?

      1. I am wondering what this conversation would look like if it wasn’t talking about non-human animals and ‘rights’, but looking at a different animal liberation philosophy, such as the canon on a feminist ethics of care for animals, which does not draw on a ‘rights’ based approach to animal liberation. Is anyone else familiar with this canon?

      2. Honestly, I can’t even parse that direct object. Is that the canon of a specific unique ethics, or the canon of any ethics that is feminist and relating to care of animals, and the implicit assertion that all of those ethics do not draw on a ‘rights’ approach? Or is it the canon of any ethics of animal care which has the qualities: Feminist and does not draw on a ‘rights’ based approach?

        1. It is called “Feminist ethics of care” and the scholars of the canon are Marti Kheel, Josephine Donovan, Carol J Adams, Greta Gaard. There are many more, but those are the top names.

          What do yo mean, ” I can’t even parse that direct object.” ?

      3. “the canon on a feminist ethics of care for animals, which does not draw on a ‘rights’ based approach to animal liberation.”- By which you meant “The works of Marti Kheel, Josephine Donovan, Carol J Adams, Greta Gaard, et al.

        Clearly, some of those words mean different things to each of us. I suspect ‘ethics’ means something to you besides “A method of creating and justifying rules of behavior (morals).

      4. The senses that are so devalued in patriarchal society are critical parts of our communicative pathways. We might, for example, decide on an abstract plane that it is morally acceptable to eat meat, but if we were to see, hear, and smell the horrendous environment in which animals are raised and slaughtered for meat, we might conclude otherwise. If we feel horror or discomfort at seeing their pain, we might question the ethics of indirectly supporting these practices through our financial and dietary choices.
        – Marti Kheel, Communicating care: An Ecofeminist View.

        Granting that it is possible to determine on an abstract plane that eating meat is morally acceptable, why assume that every given individual finds the existence of farm animals abhorrent?

  14. I just posted this on a friend’s wall, I pose the same considerations to you.
    http://geologuey.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/we-are-not-victims-of-racism-we-are-victims-of-identity/
    Interested in your careful consideration of these musings. I know this is totally anathema, but I think a certain complacency about identity and how to approach racism has, and will permanently, stall efforts to bring critical reflections on race, and oppression more broadly, into the mainstream. Not that this will be any easier for dumbed down americans to understand but at least it resolves the double standards that infect identity politics, whereby people fighting for the same thing turn against each other because they’ve been so distracted by labels.

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