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Not Enough Human: At the Scenes of Indigenous and Black Dispossession

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This article is a critical interrogation of the modern human and its utility in the pursuit of justice for Indigenous and Black people. Stephanie Latty and Megan Scribe, with Alena Peters and Anthony Morgan, draw on three events, some of which are still unfolding: an inquest into the violent and suspicious deaths of seven Indigenous youth in Thunder Bay, Ontario; the lead poisoning via the water supply of the mostly Black residents of Flint, Michigan; and a Human Rights Day event co-organized by the authors of this article. The article attends to the interconnectedness of settler colonialism and anti-Black racism in white settler societies and draws attention to the manner in which these systems configure humanity, arguing that justice is withheld from those deemed not human enough.

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... e that helps make up everyday life in America (e.g., mascots, blackface, pop cultural caricatures, Halloween costumes, language appropriation, slave souvenirs, dream catchers and on and on (Meek 2006;Smalls and Davis forthcoming;. Finally, we draw on Black and Native theorists to offer practices of solidarities and abolition (Byrd 2019;Harris 2019;Latty et. al 2016;Leroy 2016;King 2019;Tuck et. al 2014;Morrill et al. 2016). [anthropology, anti-Blackness, colonialism, dispossession] I n this essay, we call on linguistic anthropology to combat specific modes of White Supremacy (anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, and anti-Nativeness) by recognizing them as intimately central to the formations and formu ...
... ps make up everyday life in America (e.g., mascots, blackface, pop cultural caricatures, Halloween costumes, language appropriation, slave souvenirs, dream catchers, and so on (Leonard 2021;Meek 2006;Smalls and Davis forthcoming;. Finally, we draw on Black and Native theorists to offer practices of solidarities and abolition (Byrd 2019;Harris 2019;Latty et. al 2016;Leroy 2016;King 2019;Tuck et. al 2014;Morrill et al. 2016). ...
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In this essay, we call on linguistic anthropology to combat specific modes of White Supremacy (anti‐Blackness, anti‐Indigeneity, and anti‐Nativeness) by recognizing them as intimately central to the formations and formulations of our (sub)field in the US (and broader) context. We speak to and from particular legacies of dispossession and repossession engendered by two mated and enduring structural processes, settler colonialism (Simpson 2014) and racial slavery (Hartman 2008; Sharpe 2016; Mignolo 2006), which continue to animate the ubiquity of owning via the making of (linguistic) anthropological knowledge (owning through knowing and collecting) and via the knowing, collecting, and wearing of Black and Native people that helps make up everyday life in America (e.g., mascots, blackface, pop cultural caricatures, Halloween costumes, language appropriation, slave souvenirs, dream catchers and on and on (Meek 2006; 2020; Smalls and Davis forthcoming; Smalls forthcoming). Finally, we draw on Black and Native theorists to offer practices of solidarities and abolition (Byrd 2019; Harris 2019; Latty et. al 2016; Leroy 2016; King 2019; Tuck et. al 2014; Morrill et al. 2016).
... Justice is and needs many things. Modern conceptions of justice are developed within a juridical-empirical field (Latty et al. 2016) that are tied to legal constructs of utilitarianism and just deserts. This approach generally conceptualizes justice as rational and equal, with justice monopolized by the state and criminal justice system as a result. ...
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... Pulido (2016) has described the case of Flint's water as a story of structural environmental racism and its entanglements with racial capitalism. This story is told by lead-leached water, Legionnaire's disease-causing bacteria, myriad health problems, and fatalities faced by the predominantly Black and poor residents of Flint; lead-poisoned bodies of Black children; decaying infrastructure; necropolitical governmental practices of neglect and abandonment; the accumulation of plastic water bottles; Mari Copeny, also known as Little Miss Flint, a 10-year-old Black girl from Flint whose activism has become a symbol for the community's resistance and fight for clean water; and more (Latty et al., 2016;Pulido, 2016). Flint water pedagogies as testifying-witnessing can help to activate different kinds of water relations. ...
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