At The Guardian, Matthew Pratt Guterl argues that there are lessons to be learned from the statements of the cop who gunned down Michael Brown for being. A snippet:
The difficult work now is making sense of how Darren Wilson understands the phantasmagorical qualities of the black body – how all of our Darren Wilsons do. In the transfixing grand-jury transcript, Wilson suggests that Brown was “bulking up” with the impact of each bullet, as if “Big Mike” were gaining in size and strength, not weakening and, inevitably, slowly dying. Wilson felt, in the moment of struggle over the gun, as if he was a five-year-old battling Hulk Hogan, who would theatrically erupt into a berserker’s rage, and become physically unstoppable, in the late minutes of every wrestling match. Wilson described Brown as a “demon” – as an “it” – as a monstrous creature, stomping and huffing, and building up momentum for a final assault, like the Incredible Hulk – all comic-book id and no superego. This is the familiar grammar of racial sight, through which a wallet becomes a gun or a Harvard professor becomes a burglar.
Do follow the link.
The attribution of super-human qualities to “the other” ipso facto dehumanizes the other; it characterizes bigotry in all its manifestations. This says nothing about the bigot’s target and everything about the bigot’s need to make his own fear and hatred appear rational, not just to other persons, but also to himself.
The baddest bad guy will never admit that he’s a bad guy. Oh, he may boast that “I’m bad” before the bar fight starts, but, down inside, he always believes that he’s in the right.