Philosophy Program Presents
Friday, October 2, 2020
The Riot of Disorder
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm EST/GMT-5
Dana Francisco Miranda ’14, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts BostonReflecting on this hot summer of political unrest, where many took to the streets to protest against police brutality and antiblack violence, it is typical for many people to review past racial uprisings in order to understand the current Black Lives Matter movement. For instance, the civil disorders of the 1960s are a favorite of many scholars and journalists. In these discussions, the social movements of today are compared directly against popular perceptions of (non)violence. What is less discussed or analyzed is the state of “peace” that defines or frames the political order we live under. Yet, I would argue that it is ordinary to view political orders as nonviolent. This attitude is also why it is typical to portray uprisings as disturbances or outbreaks of violence. However, inherent in this attitude is an assumption that everyday life and the politics which frame it is actually peaceful. Drawing on the works of Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Cedric Robinson and Frantz Fanon, this work will first examine how political orders come to be thought of as peaceful even if they enact state violence or condone interpersonal violence on oppressed people. It will also interrogate how this status quo is said to positively represent “law and order” in direct contrast to social movements led by Black people, which are classified as “riots” or “disorders.” Lastly, through the writings of Avia Pasternak, Martin Luther King Jr., and Vicky Osterweil, I will end with discussing the utility of political rioting.
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Time: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm EST/GMT-5
Location: Online Event