Reform is just reactionary conservatism – their unwillingness to accept that systemic antagonisms cannot be fixed means their project is permeated with whiteness
Haritaworn et al. 14, Haritaworn is an assistant professor of sociology, “Queer Necropolitics,” http://www.deanspade.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Necropolitics-Collection-Article-Final.pdf, NN
Critical race theorists have supplied the concept of 'preservation through∂ transformation' to describe the neat trick that civil rights law performed in this∂ dynamic (Harris 2007: 1539-1582; Siegel1997: 1111-1148). In the face of∂ significant resistance to conditions of subjection, law reform tends to provide just∂ enough transfonnation to stabilize and preserve status quo conditions. In the case∂ of widespread black rebellion against white supremacy in the US, civil rights law∂ and colourblind constitutionalism have operated as formal reforms that masked a∂ pe11wtuation of the status quo of violence against and exploitation of black people.∂ Explicit exclusionary policies and practices became officially forbidden, yet the∂ disu·ibution of life chances remained the same or worsened with the growing∂ racialized concentration of wealth in the US, the dismantling of social welfare, and∂ the explosion of criminalization that has developed in the same period as the new∂ logic of race neutrality has declared fairness and justice achieved. Lesbian and gay∂ rights politics' reproduction of the Inythology of anti-discrimination law and the∂ non-stop invocation of'equal rights' frameworks by lesbian and gay rights politics∂ marks an .investment in the legal structures of anti-blackness that have emerged in∂ the wake of Brown. The emergence of the demand for LGBT inclusive hate crime∂ laws and the accomplishment of the Matthew Shepard and james Byrd, Jr. Hate∂ Crimes Prevention Act as a highly lauded federal legislative 'win' for lesbian and ∂ gay rights offers a particularly blatant site of the anti-blackness central to lesbian∂ and gay rights -literally an investment in the expansion ofcriminalization as a core∂ claim and desire of this purported 'frecdom'. 9 In the context of the foundational∂ nature of slavery in US political formation, it is perhaps not surprising to see a∂ political formation of white 'gay and lesbian Americans' articulate a demand fOr∂ fi-eedom that is contingent on the literal caging of black people.∂ The fantasy that fOrmal legal equality is all that is needed to eliminate∂ homophobia and transphobia is harmfUl not only because it participates in the antiblack∂ US progress narrative that civil rights law reforms resolved anti-blackness in∂ the US (thus any remaining suffering or disparity is solely an issue of 'personal∂ responsibility'), 1IJ but also because it constructs an agenda that is harmful to black∂ queer and trans people and other queer and trans people experiencing violent∂ systems mobilized by anti-blackness. Formal marriage rights will not help poor∂ people, people vvhose kids will be stolen by a racially targeted child welfire system∂ regardless of whether or not they can get married, people who do not have∂ immigration status or health benefits to share with a spouse if they had one, people∂ who have no property to pass on to their partners, or people who have no need to∂ be shielded from estate tax. In fact, the current wave of same-sex marriage advocacy∂ emerges at the same rime as another pro-marriage trend, the push by the right wing∂ to reverse feminist wins that had made marriage easier to get out of and the Bushera∂ development of marriage promotion programmes (continued by Obama)∂ targeted at women on welfare (Adams and Coltrane 2007: 17-34; Alternatives to∂ l\!larriage Project 2007; Coltrane and Adams 2003: 363-372; Feld, Rosier and∂ Manning 2002: 173-183; Pear and Kirkpatrick 2007; Rector and Pardue 2004).∂ The explicitly anti-black focus of the attacks on welfare and the mobilization of∂ racialized-genclered images to do this go hand in hand with the pro-marriage gay∂ rights frame that similarly invests in notions of 'personal responsibility', and∂ racializecl--gendered family formation norm enforcement. The articulation of a∂ desire for legal inclusion in the explicitly anti-black, anti-poor governance regime∂ of marriage, and the centralization of marriage rights as the most resourced equality∂ claim of gay and lesbian rights politics, affirms its alliance with anti-blackness.∂ It is easy to imagine other queer political interventions that would take a∂ different approach to concerns about parental rights, child custody and other∂ family law problems. Such approaches centre the experiences of queers facing the∂ worst violence of family law, those whose problems -will not be resolved by samesex∂ marriage - parents in prison, parents facing deportation, parents with∂ disabilities, youth in foster care and juvenile punishment systems, parents whose∂ children have been removed because of 'neglect' clue to their poverty. The choice∂ of seeking marriage rights, like the choice to pursue hate crime laws rather than∂ decriminalization, the choice to pursue the Uniting American Families Act 11∂ rather than opposing immigration enforcement and the war on terror, the choice∂ to pursue military service rather than demilitarization, is a choice to pursue a place∂ fOr white gay and lesbian people in constitutively anti-black legal structures.
Plurarlist reform is a smokescreen for whiteness to remain unchallenged – legal equality is breadcrumbs for the state to legitimize itself as the savior of black people
Wilderson 10, Frank B Wilderson is a professor at UC Irvine, “Red, White, and Black: Cinema and Structure of US Antagonisms,” NN
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 today’s intellectual protocols are not informed by Fanon’s insistence that “ontology—once it is finally admitted as leaving existence by the wayside—does 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 academy’s 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 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 exacerbates—or, more precisely, mystifies and veils—the 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 Blackness—academic 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.
The ontological status of black bodies cant be fixed with a law just like you can’t pass a law to end capitalism – the affirmative’s method of reform not only fails but also means blacks are in a constant state of emergency
Wilderson 10, Frank B Wilderson is a professor at UC Irvine, “Red, White, and Black: Cinema and Structure of US Antagonisms,” NN
As stated above, in the 1960s and 70s, as White radicalism’s discourse and political common sense found authorization in the ethical dilemmas of embodied incapacity (the ontological status of Blacks as accumulated and fungible objects), White cinema’s proclivity to embrace dispossession through the vectors of capacity (the ontological status of the Human as an exploited and alienated subject) became profoundly disturbed. In some films this proclivity was so deeply disturbed that while many socially and politically engaged film script and cinematic strategies did not surrender completely to incapacity (that is, to the authority of the Slave’s grammar of suffering), they also failed to assert the legitimacy of White ethical dilemmas (the supremacy of exploitation and alienation as a grammar of suffering) with which cinema had been historically preoccupied.xiii The period of COINTELPRO’S crushing of the Black Panthers and then the Black Liberation Army also witnessed the flowering of Blackness’s political power —not so much as institutional capacity but as a zeitgeist, a demand that authorized White radicalism. But by 1980, White radicalism had comfortably re-embraced capacity without the threat of disturbance—it returned to the discontents of civil society with the same formal tenacity as it had from 1532xiv to 1967, only now that formal tenacity was emboldened by a wider range of alibis than simply Free Speech or the anti-War Movement; it had, for example, the women’s, gay, anti-nuke, environmental, and immigrants’ rights movements as lines of flight from the absolute ethics of Redness and Blackness. It was able to reform (reorganize) an unethical world and still sleep at night. Today, such intra-settler discussions are now the foundation of the “radical” agenda.
The state will always be bad for blackness – black bodies are in a perpetual state of warfare against systems of oppression
Rodriguez 2010, Dylan Rodriguez is a Professor at UCR of Latin American Studies, “The Terms of Engagement: Warfare, White Locality, and Abolition”, http://crs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/36/1/151, NN
Thus, behind the din of progressive and liberal reformist struggles over public policy, civil liberties, and law, and beneath the infrequent mobilizations of activity to defend against the next onslaught of racist, classist, ageist, and misogynist criminalization, there is an unspoken politics of assumption that takes for granted the mystified permanence of domestic warfare as a constant production of targeted and massive suffering, guided by the logic of normalized and mundane black, brown, and indigenous subjection to the expediencies and essential violence of the American (global) nation-building project. To put it differently: despite the unprecedented forms of imprisonment, social and political repression, and violent policing that compose the mosaic of our historical time, the establishment left (within and perhaps beyond the USA) really does not care to envision, much less politically prioritize, the abolition of US domestic warfare and its structuring white supremacist social logic as its most urgent task of the present and future. The non-profit and NGO left, in particular, seems content to engage in desperate (and usually well-intentioned) attempts to manage the casualties of domestic warfare, foregoing the urgency of an abolitionist praxis that openly, critically, and radically addresses the moral, cultural, and political premises of these wars. In so many ways, the US progressive/left establishment is filling the void created by what Ruth Wilson Gilmore has called the violent 'abandonments' of the state, which forfeits and implodes its own social welfare capacities (which were already insufficient at best) while transforming and (productively) exploding its domestic warmaking functionalities —which Gilmore (2007b: 44—5) says are guided by a 'frightening willingness to engage in human sacrifice'. Yet, at the same time that the state has been openly galvanizing itself to declare and wage violent struggle against strategically targeted local populations, the establishment left remains relatively unwilling and therefore institutionally unable to address the questions of social survival, grass roots mobilization, radical social justice, and social transformation on the concrete and everyday terms of the very domestic war(s) that the state has so openly and repeatedly declared as the premises of its own coherence. Given that domestic warfare composes both the common narrative language and concrete material production of the state, the question remains as to why the establishment left has not understood this statecraft as the state of emergency that the condition so openly, institutionally encompasses (war!). Perhaps it is because critical intellectuals, scholar activists, and progressive organizers are underestimating the skill and reach of the state as a pedagogical (teaching) apparatus, that they have generally undertheorized how the state so skillfully generates (and often politically accommodates) sanctioned spaces of political contradiction that engulf 'dissent' and counter-state, antiracist, and antiviolence organizing. Italian political prisoner Antonio Gramscis thoughts on the formation of contemporary pedagogical state are instructive here: The State does have and request consent, but it also 'educates' this consent, by means of the political and syndical associations; these, however, are private organisms, left to the private initiative of the ruling class. (Gramsci 1995: 259).