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Call for Papers: Race and State Violence in Arizona and Beyond

Ya Basta! End State Violence, Race Baiting and Thuggery, Auto da Fe of Knowledge, and Militarized Nativism in the Arizona and México Borderlands

This issue of Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life invites submission from 1k-3k words and original art work that provides insight into the acts of state sponsored biopower in the Arizona-México borderlands in terms of immigration, education, incarceration policies and practices, and any insight into the complexities and anxieties of borderlands spaces.

As we enter 2011, Arizona is trying to enforce HB 2281 that attempts to ban the teaching Ethnic Studies and Mexican American studies in Tucson area public schools. This House Bill was spear headed by recently departed Superintendent Tom Horne who is now attempting to enforce this law in his elected position as Attorney General. In thinking about the auto da fe on a Chicano, indigenous and ethnic studies curriculum, let us expose the hyper-solidification of a neo-colonial system of knowledge in the school systems that normalize white Eurocentric supremacy (as mirrored in the Texas curriculum overhaul). Send us critiques of SB 1070 that obligate local police to act as ICE enforcers and racially profile those whose skin color does not belong to the colonizing ancestors of manifest destiny. We are also interested in highlighting sites of community, intellectual and creative resistance or the lack thereof in Arizona and beyond including Chicana/o Studies, Chicanos por la Causa, and Yaqui, O’odham, Diné, Hopi, and other indigenous activism. Other areas of critique that we welcome are insights into the role of the private prison industry in backing Russell Pearce, the intellectual author of SB 1070, as a way to increase their revenue stream by warehousing subjects caught in these racist schemes of criminalization and deportation.

Most recent the January 8, 2011 shoot spree in the Safeway parking lot that resulted in the death of a federal judge, and a nine year old child, among others and an attempted murder of US representative Gabrielle Gifford. This shooting spree was characterized by Sheriff Dupnik’s insightful comments that characterize Arizona as a “mecca of prejudice” and “bigotry” fueled by “vitriolic rhetoric” in the news media that unduly influence unstable individuals. In this regard, Sarah Palin refuses to assume any sense of responsibility or any real compassion after featuring crosshairs on her organization’s swing district map along with her controversial metaphor “don’t retreat, reload.” Her position falls into a larger pattern of the warfare waged by the extreme right led by well paid pundits like Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan whose racist, homophobic, and chauvinist stances are central to fueling an increasing violence of intolerance. We want submissions that can critique the roles of the right wing media, Jan Brewer’s falsehoods, afactual fear mongering, and other tactics to rally public and political bigotry.

We would welcome critiques of Sherriff Joe’s obsession with his racialized paranoiac hetero-normative masculinities and his enforcement of pink underwear on inmates and his state sponsored thuggery towards those he perceives as others. In particular, we would like to see critiques of his glorified use of slavery era chain gangs, his state sponsored shaming of working class peoples, women of color, teens and especially Chicana and Native American mothers.

Other areas of interest are pieces that consider how the racial and neocolonial politics in Arizona are not just an insolated space of vitriol and bigotry, but perhaps a magnification and bas-relief of the larger anxieties in the US nation state on the browning of America. We are also interested in looking at “bad subjects” who benefit from white privilege, and coalitions of other oppressed subjects and communities that fight the state sponsored destruction of civil and intellectual rights. Who is willing to critique the ways bureau of homeland security constructs discourses of safety and security to further gentrify and militarize social space that has and can further have apartheid like consequences. In thinking about the larger issues of anti-immigrant nativism directed at those whose native ancestries predate the arrival of the pilgrims: what is the symbolic logic of criminalizing and invisibilizing entire communities whose exploited labor fuels several interrelated economies including mining, tourism, agriculture, development? (To paraphrase this vulgar racialism: we need you to clean, pick fruit, mow and cook, but you do no exist and you are sub-human).

Submissions are Due March 15 or earlier, given the absolute timeliness of the events. Send us your pieces to Arturo J. Aldama, Associate Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies, CU Boulder and Peter J. Garcia, Assistant Professor, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Cal State Northridge.