Virtual Solitary Confinement of Local Hearts and Minds

The album’s first track begins with a voice bearing clear pronunciation, tonal and inflectional marks of my stereotypic twenty-something, northern USan, college-educated, working class, urban, black male. “Hello? “Hello? “Can you hear me?  Is anybody in there? “I have no way of knowing if you can hear me.” Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau Albert Einstein: “I […]

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Amerika, Hu Akbar! A people of Mammon, or Love in a Land of Fear

Provocaine: “Love and Duty and Charity and Patriotism; That’s what makes America Great.” Barack Obama’s speech, second term election victory, 2012 You see! It all seems to need to be merged into One Human Society, with common language and rules of behavior called “law”, an easily managed Human Capital Unit (HUCU) grouping of occupational and […]

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Invisible Freedoms

It is the singular affliction of whiteness to suffer the slings and arrows of righteous indignation on the rare occasion its privileges are infringed by the power structures meant to secure them. High on the list of stuff white people don’t like is surveillance, at least when its traditional contours are involuted, the lidless eye […]

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Libya: What Revolution? Whose Revolution?

If David Cameron had been known for modeling his speeches on old Monty Python films, then he might be praised for his witty and clever genius in devising such a politically and morally fraudulent speech such as the one above. He opens with gushing sentiment about a “new beginning for Libya,” hailing freedom from violence even as his jets pound Libyan targets. As always before, the British love to set an example on how politics are to be done, and it was usually with a good whipping followed by tutorials on how to best mimic the master, with powdered wigs, robes, and a broken sense of self….

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Bush’s Ugly America: Is It Obama’s?

Reproduced from The Black Commentator (Issue No 26, 23 January 2003) “The spirit was freedom and justice And its keepers seem generous and kind Its leaders were supposed to serve the country But now they won’t pay it no mind ‘Cause the people grew fat and got lazy And now their vote is a meaningless […]

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Iraq 1492

IRAQ 1492 Reflecting on the (in)capacity of scholars, and even some indigenous leaders, to learn from the history they researched or the history they survived, I circulated a poem back in 2003 that juxtaposed the invasion of Iraq with Columbus’ invasion of the indigenous Caribbean. It was on a scholars’ listserv, from where it has […]

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Information Traffickers of the Imperial State: American Anthropologists and Other Academics

From the Homeland Security Act of 2002: “The Secretary, acting through the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, shall designate a university-based center or several university-based centers for homeland security. The purpose of the center or these centers shall be to establish a coordinated, university-based system to enhance the nation’s homeland security.” Uniform “Research” We […]

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Multiplying Human Terrain Dreams of Victory and Fortune

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Task Force Cyclone Human Terrain Team’s, 1st Lt. Raphael Howard, research manager, speaks with village members of Shaykh Ali, Parwan province, Afghanistan, Dec. 19, 2009. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. William E. Henry, Task Force Cyclone, 38th Infantry Division) It is increasingly apparent that even if TRADOC’s Human Terrain System were […]

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0.178: The Social Production of Science and Anthropology as Knowledge for Domination

The intellectual heritage of European expansion that we inherit as anthropologists – certainly not without modification and criticism – is again the subject in this series. If Immanuel Wallerstein explained which agendas became dominant with the institutionalization of the social sciences, with some notes on why they became dominant, Pierre Bourdieu provides some explanation as […]

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0.179: Imperialism, Americanization, and the Social Sciences

Cultural imperialism rests on the power to universalize particularisms linked to a singular historical tradition by causing them to be misrecognized as such. (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1999, p. 41) If the social sciences are Eurocentric, does this also mean that they are imperialist? Where Immanuel Wallerstein finds liberalism as the underpinning of the geoculture of […]

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