hierarchy of violence

it terrifies me that so many young people are being told that violence & hierarchy are necessary for passion & intimacy, and that “aftercare” will fulfil their need for comfort & security.  sex can do that!!  sex doesn’t have to terrorize you so that aftercare can comfort you.  sexual intimacy can (should) be an enjoyable experience, not The Gauntlet you have to run before cuddling

Blake Brockington’s death was NOT a suicide, it was a murder. He was killed by Trans-bigotry, White Supremacy and the oppressive state violence that we encounter DAILY as Black trans and gender non-conforming people.

If we truly believe ALL #BlackLivesMatter we must fight against depression, we must fight against isolation, we must heal from trauma, and we must be committed to each other, and we must fight to create a world where we want to LIVE, and we must reclaim our right to take up space in a world where we are deemed unworthy, undesirable, and disposable.

Each day we are fighting against a mental, spiritual, and physical death.

Audre Lorde taught the world that, “There is No Hierarchy of Oppression” and I’m saying, There is No Hierarchy of Violence. Whether we die at the hands of the police or oppression and state-induced suicide, we must address all violence and death with the URGENCY OF NOW!

Empowerment lies not in adjusting to patriarchal gender norms for women but in destroying them. It’s choosing collective liberation over the feelings of individuals. It’s fighting and striving to free women from everything based in the gender hierarchy, in male violence, in female subordination and objectification. Empowerment is not what feels good for you but what does good for women as a class.

She also sent me a message on chat ending with “ I believe in co-existing, just like our prophet co-existed.”

Yeah because i’m sure mohammed would definitely approve of my atheist, liberal pansexual ass. And i’m sure he’d appreciate my views on male hierarchies, child marriage, violence and sexism in islam.

bdsm practitioners who criticise “50 shades of grey” for being a harmful, inaccurate description of their lifestyle are such hypocrites.  when bdsm practitioners are criticised for fetishising abuse, hierarchy, & violence, their response is “it’s just fantasy!  it’s just play-acting!  it stays in the bedroom!”  but isn’t a film just play-acting?  isn’t it fantasy?  couldn’t it conceivably stay in the theatre?

but that’s transparently untrue, right?  the media we consume impacts us - our understanding of self, our relationships with others, our judgement of what’s normal, acceptable, or healthy, etc.  it’s not “just fantasy”.  and the same goes for our intimate relationships.  if it’s wrong to romanticise & glamourise simulated abuse on screen, it’s wrong to romanticise & glamourise simulated abuse in our personal relationships.

The lack of remorse, empathy, and/or the willingness to change among police officers is better grasped when we understand that the power afforded through policing inevitably leads to the mentality of an abuser. And, as has been the individual and collective history of abusers, they never change unless they are forced to change. Lundy Bancroft put it best:

“An abuser doesn’t change because he feels guilty or gets sober or finds God. He doesn’t change after seeing the fear in his children’s eyes or feeling them drift away from him. It doesn’t suddenly dawn on him that his partner deserves better treatment. Because of his self-focus, combined with the many rewards he gets from controlling you, an abuser changes only when he has to, so the most important element in creating a context for change in an abuser is placing him in a situation where he has no other choice. Otherwise, it is highly unlikely that he will ever change his behavior.”

Transposed onto the institution of policing and its officers, Darren Wilson felt no remorse for slaying Michael Brown. It did not suddenly dawn on Daniel Pantaleo that Eric Garner might deserve better treatment than being choked to death on a Staten Island sidewalk. Because of policing’s self-focus on the preservation of a world where cops gain power from controlling other people, they will only change when they have to, so the most important element in creating a context for change of any kind, whether reforms or abolition, is placing policing itself in a situation where the institution of it and its officers have no choice.

[A]fter the killings of Officers Liu and Ramos of the NYPD, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted “When police officers are murdered, it tears at the foundation of our society. This heinous attack was an attack on our entire city.” On July 18th, the day after Eric Garner, a longtime New Yorker and father of six, was choked to death by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, the mayor of of the Big Apple had only this to say: “On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Eric Garner.”

In his condolences there was no mention of a “heinous attack” against the actual people of New York City. There was no mention of the “tearing at the foundation of our society” either. Still further, in the case for the police officers, de Blasio went as far as to use the word “murdered” long before a shred of evidence was provided. Yet in the face of video footage (that pesky thing called evidence) of Eric Garner’s actual murder at the literal hands of an NYPD officer, de Blasio showed no “outrage”, only platitudinous sentiment.

Such reactions are typical, but there is nothing shocking about them when we understand that our society operates on a clearly defined, yet often unarticulated, hierarchy of violence, and that the function of politicians and police is to normalize and enforce that violence. Thus, as an institution, police act as state-sanctioned gangs charged with the task of upholding the violent, racist hierarchy of white supremacist capitalism and, whenever possible, furthering a monopoly of power where all violence from/by those higher on the hierarchy upon those lower can be normalized into business as usual.

Any deviation from this business as usual, any resistance — the threat of force displayed in massive protests after Garner’s death, or any displacement of state power whatsoever — by those lower on the hierarchy upon those higher is met with brutal repression. This is why cops are always present at protests. It is NOT to “Keep the peace.” We have seen their “peace” — tear gas, rubber and wooden bullets, mace, riot gear, sound cannons, and thousands of brutal cops leaving dead bodies. They are not there for peace, but rather to maintain at all times the explicit reminder of America’s power hierarchy through the brutalization of black and brown bodies above all others.

This is why de Blasio offered worthless platitudes to Eric Garner’s family instead of outrage or solidarity. To him, as heinous as choking an unarmed black person to death is, it was business as usual.

African Americans, for most of our history, have lived under the power of the criminal-justice system, not its authority. The dominant feature in the relationship between African Americans and their country is plunder, and plunder has made police authority an impossibility, and police power a necessity. The skepticism of Officer Darren Wilson’s account in the shooting of Michael Brown, for instance, emerges out of lack of police authority—which is to say it comes from a belief that the police are as likely to lie as any other citizen. When African American parents give their children “The Talk,” they do not urge them to make no sudden movements in the presence of police out of a profound respect for the democratic ideal, but out of the knowledge that police can, and will, kill them.

But for most Americans, the police—and the criminal-justice system—are figures of authority. The badge does not merely represent rule via lethal force, but rule through consent and legitimacy rooted in nobility. This is why whenever a liberal politician offers even the mildest criticism of the police, they must add that “the majority of officers are good, noble people.” Taken at face value this is not much of a defense—like a restaurant claiming that on most nights, there really are no rats in the dining room. But interpreted less literally the line is not meant to defend police officers, but to communicate the message that the speaker is not questioning police authority, which is to say the authority of our justice system, which is to say—in a democracy—the authority of the people themselves.

To build off what Peter Gelderloos said in his piece “The Nature of Police, the Role of the Left”, discussions in America operate by fixing the terms of debate firmly outside any solutions to the problem. This happens by first establishing “fierce polemics between two acceptable “opposites” that are so close they are almost touching”. Surrounding the national “discussion” about police terror, this has manifested as a polemic between “good cops” versus “bad cops”. Second, encourage participants toward lively debate, and to third “either ignore or criminalize anyone who stakes an independent position, especially one that throws into question the fundamental tenets that are naturalized and reinforced by both sides in the official debate.”

By creating a limited spectrum of discourse an ideological foundation is created for the hierarchy of violence [that dominates black and brown people’s lives). The end result is a set of normalized choices (reforms) which restrict or repress any competition an actual solution to the problem might bring. What is valued as acceptable within this limited spectrum then is only that which reflects the range of needs of those higher on the hierarchy of violence (reforms which gut radical resistance in order to maintain status quo power structures) and nothing more. In the current “discussion”, the prevailing and unapproachable axiom is that the police represent protection and justice, and therefore they are a legitimate presence in our lives. Anyone who says otherwise is an agent of chaos.

This narrowing of the discourse never allows us to deconstruct the fact that policing in our society has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with punishment.

[T]he State’s ability to command discipline and obedience from the worker ants who would be called upon to dispense their violence is so total, and the weapons of destruction available to them are so awesome that unity becomes a moot point for the State. But unity is indispensable to our side, and we have none.
—  Standing Deer | Violence and the State