Iggy profits from the cultural performativity and forms of survival that Black women have perfected, without having to encounter and deal with the social problem that is the Black female body, with its perceived excesses, unruliness, loudness and lewdness. If she existed in hip hop at a moment when Black women could still get play, where it would take more than one hand to count all the mainstream Black women rap artists, I would have no problem. Iggy would be one among the many. But in this moment, she represents a problem of co-optation. She represents the ways in which hip hop is on a crash course to take exactly the path that rock ‘n roll took such that 20 years from now, people my nephew’s age, will look at the Macklemores and Iggys of the world as representative of Hip Hop Culture, with nary a Black soul making their top ten list of hip hop greats.

Iggy Azalea’s post-racial mess: America’s oldest race tale, remixed

As a white female rapper mistakes appropriation for artistry, here’s how black women remain pushed to the sidelines


After four nights of rioting in Ferguson *NOW* they decide to go dig up some tired ass bald-headed washed up black cop “from the community”. Now he’s so god damn concerned. Where was all of his concern when they shot Michael Brown?

Make no mistake, the strategic superficial shift from a militarized aesthetic to a “community-based” aesthetic is not the result of any police department’s feigned concern about the situation of black people in Ferguson, Missouri or anywhere else in America. The State finally ran up against a wall that it couldn’t break through, and for this it has learned to walk the long way around right back to more Mike Browns, only this time with black hands holding the guns.

—  Josh Baltimore
Iggy profits from the cultural performativity and forms of survival that Black women have perfected, without having to encounter and deal with the social problem that is the Black female body, with its perceived excesses, unruliness, loudness and lewdness. If she existed in hip hop at a moment when Black women could still get play, where it would take more than one hand to count all the mainstream Black women rap artists, I would have no problem. Iggy would be one among the many. But in this moment, she represents a problem of co-optation. She represents the ways in which hip hop is on a crash course to take exactly the path that rock ‘n roll took such that 20 years from now, people my nephew’s age, will look at the Macklemores and Iggys of the world as representative of Hip Hop Culture, with nary a Black soul making their top ten list of hip hop greats. This kind of cultural appropriation of Black women’s labor and creativity for white women’s gain, white men’s gain and Black men’s gain, is not new at all. It is the oldest race tale on American soil, remixed for a new era. And I ain’t got no love for that.
—  Brittney Cooper contributing writer at Salon
Branding. That’s how the climate crisis is going to be solved. We are in an era [of] postmodern social movements. The image (not ideology) comes first and shapes the reality. The P.R. and marketing determines the tactics, the messaging, the organizing, and the strategy. Whether [ the People’s Climate March] can have a positive effect is a different question, and it’s why I encourage everyone to participate. The future is unknowable. But left to their own devices the organizers will lead the movement into the graveyard of the Democratic Party.

Arun Gupta | How the People’s Climate March Became a Corporate PR Campaign

To better place this in context, Gupta is making the case that we ought to be highly skeptical of the corporatization of social movements, which in turn make them palatable for co-optation by opportunistic party politics. He is further stating the implicit contradiction of such, saying “encouraging bankers to march [is] like saying Blackwater mercenaries should join an antiwar protest.”

While the People’s Climate March potentially will be helpful in generating awareness about global warming, as usual, we need to be critical about what its end-goals could possibly be. Namely, does the People’s Climate March move us closer toward radical divergence from the capitalist paradigm that is murdering our planet, or does it send the message, with its deep funding, P.R. sloganism, and uncritical “inclusiveness”, that we can buy our way out of this calamity with symbolic actions and donations to NGO’S like 350.org? 

Gupta’s critique continues, “So we have a corporate-designed protest march to support a corporate-dominated world body to implement a corporate policy to counter climate change caused by the corporations of the world, which are located just a few miles away but which will never feel the wrath of the People’s Climate March.”

It is not necessarily a zero-sum game, but for it not to go the way of “green capitalism,” or into the coffins of past social movements derailed by mainstream politics, radicals will need to show up and be heard. Further still, they (we) will need to generate support for more substantive tactics, i.e., direct action and other insurrectionary activities. If a few who attend the march on Sunday decide to show up to the Flood Wall Street campaign the following Monday, at least by some measure, that will have been a small but substantive success. 


Decolonizing the Anti-Violence Movement and Domestic Violence Awareness Month Reading List.

Week 4: The Non-Profit Industrial Complex and Co-Opting of the Movement

1. The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (in full): http://www.academia.edu/5959367/The_Revolution_Will_Not_Be_Funded_Beyond_the_Non-Profit_Industrial_Complex

2. My Exile From the Anti-Rape and Anti-Domestic Violence Fields  http://www.usprisonculture.com/blog/2012/05/14/my-exile-from-the-anti-rape-the-anti-domestic-violence-fields/

3. Summer School: NPIC, AIC, and co-optation http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7TNxg8cYhBY 4. Summer School: NPIC, AIC, and co-optation pt. 2: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7TNxg8cYhBY 5. The Anti-Violence and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex https://archive.org/details/AndreaSmithTheAntiviolenceMovementAndTheNon-profitIndustrialComplex 6. Government shutdown leaves domestic violence victims stranded http://www.salon.com/2013/10/04/government_shutdown_leaves_domestic_violence_victims_stranded/ 7. Disrupting the relationship between the anti-violence movement and the PIC http://www.usprisonculture.com/blog/2012/09/06/guest-post-disrupting-the-relationship-between-the-anti-violence-movement-and-the-pic-by-chez-rump/ 8. Disloyal to Feminism: Abuse of Survivors Within the Domestic Violence Shelter System http://eminism.org/readings/pdf-rdg/disloyal.pdf 9. Abusive Power and Control With the Domestic Violence Shelter http://eminism.org/readings/pdf-rdg/wheel-sheet.pdf 10. Chanel: Co-opting feminism at Paris Fashion Week http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/30/chanel-karl-lagerfeld-feminism-paris-fashion-week 11. Women’s NGOs Under Conditions of Occupation and War: http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/576 12. How feminism became capitalisms handmaiden - and how to reclaim it http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/14/feminism-capitalist-handmaiden-neoliberal 13. Forget the Foundations http://inthesetimes.com/article/3229/forget_the_foundations 14. Repressing Social Movements http://monthlyreview.org/2013/01/01/repressing-social-movements/ 15. Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence On the Left Enables State Violence In Radical Movements http://inciteblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/why-misogynists-make-great-informants-how-gender-violence-on-the-left-enables-state-violence-in-radical-movements/ 16. How corporations and spy agencies use “security” to defend profiteering and crush activism http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/nov/28/war-on-democracy-corporations-spy-profit-activism 17. The Facebook Manipulation Study’s Mysterious Connection to the Military http://mashable.com/2014/07/02/facebook-study-military-connection/ 18. When Feminist Hashtag Activism Goes Corporate http://www.refinery29.com/when-feminist-activism-goes-corporate 19. Raving Amazons: Anti-Blackness and Misogynoir in Social Media http://modelviewculture.com/pieces/raving-amazons-antiblackness-and-misogynoir-in-social-media 20. Everyone Watches, Nobody Sees: How Black Women Disrupt Surveillance Theory http://modelviewculture.com/pieces/everyone-watches-nobody-sees-how-black-women-disrupt-surveillance-theory 21. Hashtags as Decolonial Projects with Radical Origins https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/hashtags-as-decolonial-projects-with-radical-origins 22. In Defense of Twitter Feminism https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/in-defense-of-twitter-feminism 23. Interlopers on Social Media: Feminism, Women of Color, and Opression http://www.usprisonculture.com/blog/2014/01/30/interlopers-on-social-media-feminism-women-of-color-and-oppression/
Ci facciamo un panino?

Con una persona puoi dire di sentirti davvero a tuo agio e di essere in sintonia quando entrambi avete pensato di non rifugiarvi nella solita pizzeria o ristorante ma optate per un panino con mortadella e salame da divorare su una panchina qualunque o anche sui gradini di scale strette situate tra due palazzi, senza preoccuparvi di niente. Non so, per me mangiare un panino e bere una birra o una coca ovunque senza essere comodamente seduti - come solitamente accade quando si programmano incontri - mi dà l’idea che ci sia molta intimità e un forte legame, rompendo quel classico formalismo.

Still pro-women’s self-defense:

I still don’t get or support anti-women’s self-defense arguments. I’m still not convinced by these arguments that ignore the Second Wave, Radical Feminist, and Lesbian Feminist origins of and contributions to the Women’s Self-Defense Movement which was also fueled by the Battered Women’s Movement, the Anti-Rape Movement, and the RiotGrrl movement/scene. Martha McCaughey’s literature also ties in ultra-confident and assertive feMCs (female rappers), or what the author called “b-tchy rap music”, as also being a part of the ambience of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement.

The point that the WSDM [Women’s Self-Defense Movement] has been co-opted by capitalism was something one of the biggest proponents of women’s self-defense and the founder of Physical Feminism, named Martha McCaughey, warned about.

However, this capitalist-”state co-optation” didn’t make her want to become anti-women’s self-defense training, teaching, and/or education. Despite the sociological research on the positive impacts and benefits of women’s self-defense classes, especially female-only classes, so many feminists of this generation are headstrong about trashing the entire Women’s Self-Defense Movement, either arguing that teaching women how to fight back against violent male oppressors/assailants is akin to victim-blaming, or by stating against evidence (and there is evidence) that women’s self-defense training is never-ever effective anyway so, “What’s the point?” (ignoring empirical and anecdotal evidence to the contrary), or by pointing to how capitalism has made an industry out of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement and how opportunistic entrepreneurs and businesses are making bank off of “women’s fears of being attacked” (so the argument typically goes, and one that frames that particular issue in a way I disagree with and I think, in the long run, is more harmful to feminism and women than just importantly pointing out what capitalism can do to a well-intended, and relatively positive part of Women’s Lib).

What I’ve also observed is that, hypocritically or ironically, the very same feminists that oppose women’s self-defense are sometimes spontaneously pro-feminist vigilantism, street justice, and mob justice, at least in motto, sentiment, or theory. #KillYoRapist-type statements, stage-performances, and other demonstrations, that support reactive, defensive, violence committed by women against male abusers is all the rage* (popular, edgy, and trendy*) … until it’s not, or until you actually mean it.

Getting savvy

Patriarchal tactics

  • Trying to silence a woman who speaks up by calling her a man hater, a lesbian, or a feminist. To the patriarchal mind, these three names are interchangeable – all refer to women who are not dedicating their lives to the support of men.
  • Distraction, or the verbal bait-and-switch. For instance, women who oppose pornography often are asked why they are so prudish.
  • Appeals to “femininity” are designed to keep women from claiming greater power, and such gallant-sounding appeals often contain threats. For instance, men may say that political activity is “too dirty” for women.
  • Trivializing women’s demands for freedom and equality.
  • Guilt-tripping.
  • Divide and conquer. Feminists have learned that “you are not like those other women” or “I can talk to you” are not compliments, even though presented as such by men.
  • Co-optation.
  • Acceding to some minor demands made by women. Here changes that are allegedly designed to increase fairness may be turned against women.

Loving to Survive by Dee L.R. Graham

There is the undeniable fact that black people, even black youth, are treated systematically different in this country. We can no longer afford for this truth to be ignored. The cost of this continued ignorance comes at the cost of more black lives. This is a truth that is unacceptable in any society that wants to claim to be post-anything.

With reporter Gary Webb back in the spotlight, the thing that is missing from these headlines is what the black community has always known – that the CIA was flooding black communities with crack cocaine. This served to benefit the US in two ways: it 1. allowed for the US to fund the Nicaraguan Contras without directly linking themselves, and 2. ), in relation to this article, they were able to interrupt the black liberation movement of the 60s-70s by criminalizing the black community, disrupting black advancement and stealing black wealth. Reaganomics and these racist policies was a great tactic that continues to support white supremacy and capitalism over black Americans.

In 2007 we saw the largest theft of black wealth. Which only increased the systematic discrepancies between the loss of white homes and those who were black. It has been revealed that banks such as Wells Fargo purposely targeted black homeowners for their sub-prime loans. Was this on accident, or instead a calculated plot by financial institutions with the complicity of the US government to make sure that White Supremacy remains untouched? Both the US government and its institutions were built on white supremacy and anti-blackness. They have been colluding since the inception of this country to ensure that their empire remains intact.

With an unending threat on black lives – and the Christian State of White Supremacy still at large (read here for more on CSWS) – liberalism should be seen as much of a threat to black liberation as the white supremacist American justice system.  The dominant narrative of historical black resistance has been to use liberal tactics such as advocating for change through voting, reform and civil disobedience. These tactics are not only ineffectual but, given the complexity and structural corruption inherent in our system, are also intentionally complicit in our oppression.

Liberalism is used to pacify any attempts at disrupting and changing the system, because in fact liberalism benefits from that said system. If you look at the events in Ferguson, the power structure made many attempts to co-opt energy that was inspired by the killing of Mike Brown and many other killings of black people by the hands of the law. With the immediate condemning of the few acts of property destruction that took place, the “rioters” were then met by outside pacifiers, looking to quickly rebrand and attempt to gain control on the black youth lead revolt. You could see that as recent as Ferguson October ideological clashes occurred between the youth and the self appointed black leadership. The ones who are so necessary for white liberals, who are eagerly trying to figure out how to control black rage, or at least help redirect its anger to something more positive and less threatening to their way of life. On Twitter you could see the split between the weekend protesters and those who had consistently been on the ground.

 Here in Los Angeles, soon after the first spark of Ferguson hit the ground, Ezell Ford a 24-year-old black male was murdered by LAPD. A week later white liberal activists had quickly organized an event. The first event took place in front of the LA police headquarters and was full of erasure of black struggle, with white people chanting, “we are all Mike Brown” and “hands up, don’t shoot”.

The state has many tactics – liberalism and co-optation are some of them. Hierarchical revolutionaries are another. It is important that black resistance be fought in a horizontal way. The idea of leadership and false prophets should be deconstructed, and collectively shunned from uprisings. Whether that may be the head of the NAACP, the New Panthers, or some white liberal activist organization that claim they want to help fight in black struggle. Liberalism and those who serve to protect it only work in management positions. They cannot be seen as allies, but as compromised people who have a vested interest in maintaining that same structure that is used to terrorize, dehumanize, and execute us with impunity. This is done so with every liberal chant for peace and chants for non-violence.

The ones who have the means to the shotgun should not be organizing the ones who don’t even have access to a blade.




パンとサーカスは社会的堕落の象徴として後世しばしば話題にされ、帝国ローマの没落の一因とされることもある。また、「パンとサーカス」に没頭して働くことを放棄した者(これらの多くは土地を所有しない無産階級で proletari(プロレタリー) と呼ばれた、プロレタリアートの語源)と、富を求めて働く者と貧富の差が拡大したことも、ローマ社会に歪みをもたらすことになった。





…iam pridem, ex quo suffragia nulli
uendimus, effudit curas; nam qui dabat olim
imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se
continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat,
panem et circenses…



Western journalists build careers in Palestine - and then leave us in the dust
For far too long, our voices have been treated as secondary sources to bolster careers, rather than actually empower us

“With the increase of turmoil in the Arab world, our agency continues to be stripped and our efforts for justice repudiated by prognosticating internationals. While our intricate lives continue to serve as footnotes on resumes, and international voices are still idolised, not only must we fight the oppression directly affecting us, but now also the brutish employment of our pain.

This system of exploitation carries with it a problematic co-optation and should not only be exposed but also rejected. It has further hindered our genuine solidarity efforts and indirectly contributed to the perpetuation of our subjugation. Our voices, as the people whose fate is directly affected, must be primary sources, not secondary.”

shots fired. @ajanib