Negative 1nc – Afro-Pessimism K



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Property links

Concepts of property and privacy are only applicable to white life – blackness is never situated as a subject but rather object – this means that none of the surveillance reform the aff solves for is applicable to black bodies


Smith 14, Andrea Lee Smith is an intellectual, feminist, and anti-violence activist. Smith's work focuses on issues of violence against women of color and their communities, specifically Native American women. A co-founder of INCITE!, “The Colonialism That is Settled and the Colonialism That Never Happened,” https://decolonization.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/the-colonialism-that-is-settled-and-the-colonialism-that-never-happened/, NN

I begin my analysis with the infamous Dred Scott (1857) decision. In this decision, Justice Daniel explains in his concurring opinion, that Black peoples have the ontological status of property that derives from their origins in Africa, the property of Europe. Consequently, this ontological status does not change simply because one’s owner relinquishes his property rights. Black peoples remain property whether or not an individual owns them Because Africa is deemed the property of Europe, Africa must then appear as always, already colonized. Native studies is often articulated as concerned being primarily with colonization (and, subsequently, decolonization) while Black studies is articulated as concerned primarily with race (and, subsequently, anti-racism). However, this distinction is itself a product of anti-Blacknesss. The colonization of Africa must disappear so that Africa can appear as ontologically colonized. According to Justice Daniel, since only “nations” can be colonized, nations in African can never have existed. It is only through the disavowal of colonization that Black peoples can be ontologically relegated to the status of property. Within the Dred Scott decision, Native peoples by contrast, are situated as potential citizens. Native peoples are described as “free” people, albeit “uncivilized.” While because of their child-like primitive state, they are not worthy of citizenship at the moment, they may eventually become citizens if they were to renounce their relationship to their Native nation and demonstrate the “maturity” required to become a citizen. Native peoples can claim a certain kind of nation; however, it is nation that must disappear. Thus, Native peoples’ apparent proximity to whiteness should not be understood as a pathway to freedom but as a pathway to genocide. Indigenous nations are supposed to disappear into whiteness (or, to borrow from Maile Arvin, to be possessed by whiteness) in order to effectuate their genocide.∂ As Robert Nichols notes in his essay in Theorizing Native Studies, settler colonialism sets the very terms of its contestation. And the terms of contestation set by settler colonialism is anti-racism. That is, the way we are supposed to contest settler democracy is to contest the gap between what settler democracy promises and what it performs. But as Nichols notes, contesting the racial gap of setter democracy is the most effective way of actually ensuring its universality. Thus, borrowing from this analysis, settler colonialism does not merely operate by racializing Native peoples, positioning them as racial minorities rather than as colonized nations, but also through domesticating Black struggle within the framework of anti-racist rather than anti-colonial struggle. Anti-Blackness is effectuated through the disappearance of colonialism in order to render Black peoples as the internal property of the United States, such that anti-Black struggle must be contained within a domesticated anti-racist framework that cannot challenge the settler state itself. Why, for example, is Martin Luther King always described as a civil rights leader rather than an anti-colonial organizer, despite his clear anti-colonial organizing against the war in Vietnam? Through anti-Blackness, not only are Black peoples rendered the property of the settler state, but Black struggle itself remains its property – solely containable within the confines of the settler state.∂ Thus, the colonialism that never happened – anti-Blackness – helps reinforce the colonialism that is settled – the genocide of Indigenous peoples. For the so-called ‘Indian problem’ to disappear, the United States must itself appear hermetically sealed from both internal and external threats that would threaten its legitimacy and continued existence. Indigenous peoples must be made to disappear as internal threats, made to exist in a constant state of vanishing, in no position to unsettle the settler state. Meanwhile the external threat posed by a global Black anti-colonial struggle is made to disappear by rendering Africa as the property of the United States and, subsequently, no longer external to it. Anti-Blackness, then, is not only constitutive of the settler nation of the United States, but integral to the normalization of its continuance.∂ The colonialism that is settled and the colonialism that never happened are further effectuated through colonial constructs of labor. In Johnson v. M’Intosh (1823), the Supreme Court held that, while Indigenous people had a right to occupancy, they could not hold title to land on the basis of the doctrine of discovery. The European nation that “discovered” the land had the right to legal title. Native peoples were disqualified from being “discoverers” because they did not properly work: “The tribes of Indians inhabiting this country were fierce savages, whose occupation was war, and whose subsistence was drawn chiefly from the forest. To leave them in possession of their country, was to leave the country a wilderness.” As they did not work, Native peoples had the ontological status of things to be discovered – the status of nature.∂ Similarly, in Lowe v. United States (1902), the court held that the Kickapoo, who had relocated to Mexico during the Civil War, did not have the legal ability to remain there without the permission of the United States in part because of their status as non-workers. Because Native peoples are legally incompetent (i.e. non-workers) they cannot create property in/on land and, subsequently, they cannot acquire a domicile.

Privacy and property lead to the idea of owning ourselves – this mentality of autonomy leads to possession of our property and that system has racial implications that we don’t think of


Ladson-Billings and Tate 95, Both Gloria Ladson-Billings and William Tate are professors at the University of Wisconsin, “Toward a Critical Race Theoryof Education,”

Bell examined the events leading up to the Constitution’s development∂ and concluded that there exists a tension between property rights∂ and human rights.3 4 This tension was greatly exacerbated by the presence∂ of African peoples as slaves in America. The purpose of the government∂ was to protect the main object of society—property. The slave status of∂ most African Americans (as well as women and children) resulted in∂ their being objectified as property. And, a government constructed to∂ protect the rights of property owners lacked the incentive to secure∂ human rights for the African American.3 5∂ According to Bell “the concept of individual rights, unconnected to∂ property rights, was totally foreign to these men of property; and thus,∂ despite two decades of civil rights gains, most Blacks remain disadvantaged∂ and deprived because of their race.”3 6∂ The grand narrative of U.S. history is replete with tensions and struggles∂ over property—in its various forms. From the removal of Indians (and∂ later Japanese Americans) from the land, to military conquest of the Mexic∂ a n s ,37 to the construction of Africans as property,3 8 the ability to define,∂ possess, and own property has been a central feature of power in America.∂ We do not suggest that other nations have not fought over and defined∂ themselves by property and landownership.3 9 However, the contradiction∂ of a reified symbolic individual juxtaposed tdo the reality of “real estate”∂ means that emphasis on the centrality of property can be disguised. Thus,∂ we talk about the importance of the individual, individual rights, and civil∂ rights while social benefits accrue largely to property owners.40∂ Property relates to education in explicit and implicit ways. Recurring∂ discussions about property tax relief indicate that more affluent communities∂ (which have higher property values, hence higher tax assessments)∂ resent paying for a public school system whose clientele is largely nonwhite∂ and poor.4 1 In the simplest of equations, those with “better” propCritical∂ Race Theory 53∂ erty are entitled to “better” schools. Kozol illustrates the disparities:∂ “Average expenditures per pupil in the city of New York in 1987 were∂ some $5,500. In the highest spending suburbs of New York (Great Neck∂ or Manhasset, for example, on Long Island) funding levels rose above∂ $11,000, with the highest districts in the state at $15,000.”4 2∂ But the property differences manifest themselves in other ways. For∂ example, curriculum represents a form of “intellectual property.”4 3 T h e∂ quality and quantity of the curriculum varies with the “property values”∂ of the school. The use of a critical race story4 4 appropriately represents∂ this notion:∂ The teenage son of one of the authors of this article was preparing∂ to attend high school. A friend had a youngster of similar age who∂ also was preparing to enter high school. The boys excitedly poured∂ over course offerings in their respective schools’ catalogues. One∂ boy was planning on attending school in an upper-middle-class white∂ community. The other would be attending school in an urban,∂ largely African-American district. The difference between the course∂ offerings as specified in the catalogues was striking. The boy attending∂ the white, middle-class school had his choice of many foreign∂ languages—Spanish, French, German, Latin, Greek, Italian, Chinese,∂ and Japanese. His mathematics offerings included algebra,∂ geometry, trigonometry, calculus, statistics, general math, and business∂ math. The science department at this school offered biology,∂ chemistry, physics, geology, science in society, biochemistry, and∂ general science. The other boy’s curriculum choices were not nearly∂ as broad. His foreign language choices were Spanish and French.∂ His mathematics choices were general math, business math, and∂ algebra (there were no geometry or trig classes offered). His science∂ choices were general science, life science, biology, and physical science.∂ The differences in electives were even more pronounced, with∂ the affluent school offering courses such as Film as Literature, Asian∂ Studies, computer programming, and journalism. Very few elective∂ courses were offered at the African-American school, which had no∂ band, orchestra, or school newspaper.∂ The availability of “rich” (or enriched) intellectual property delimits∂ what is now called “opportunity to learn”4 5—the presumption that along∂ with providing educational “standards”4 6 that detail what students should∂ know and be able to do, they must have the material resources that support∂ their learning. Thus, intellectual property must be undergirded by∂ “real” property, that is, science labs, computers and other state-of-the-art∂ technologies, appropriately certified and prepared teachers. Of course,∂ 54 Teachers College Record∂ Kozol demonstrated that schools that serve poor students of color are∂ unlikely to have access to these resources and, consequently, students will∂ have little or no opportunity to learn despite the attempt to mandate∂ educational standards.4 7



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