Truthout, May 29, 2020
This morning the president of the United States threatened state-sanctioned murder in response to “looting,” laying bare the way in which white supremacy, capitalism and the state work together to violently repress people who defend Black life.
But Trump’s angry outburst is not the only blatantly racist response we should be interrogating. We also must confront the way in which both conservatives and liberals have responded to the Minneapolis uprisings by condemning “looting.”
Protesters in Minneapolis and around the country are rising up against a lynching and state violence. How should we respond to a lynching? Should our goal simply be to publicize it, in the hope that such publicity will generate condemnation and prevent future lynchings? This logic is flawed, in part, because lynchings thrive off of spectatorship. For white supremacists, the act of killing is also an act of fellowship and opportunity for indoctrination.