On Charleston

by Jonathan Sterne on June 18, 2015

I don’t normally post on social media about horrific events as they happen, simply because I never have anything profound to say. Expressing my outrage here simply does nothing for the people who are actually suffering, and it doesn’t make me feel any better.

But I’ll say this about Charleston, coming on top of all the police violence against African-Americans in the last year.

When I read about the Charleston shooting, coming on top of a year of police violence against African-Americans, a part of me reacts with the hope that this violence is the last, desperate paroxysm of white supremacy as it stumbles off its pedestal into the fog of history, like so many other imperial formations before it.

Another part of me fears that it’s just business as usual.

We won’t have a way to be sure of the difference, except — I hope, one day — in retrospect.

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