“Masquerade: Scripturalizing Modernities Through Black Flesh”August 9, 2021
Upcoming LectureFebruary 9, 2022
Warnock’s Senate speech on Voting Rights is stunning, masterful in many respects. (Shows among other things what has always been the potential of–and high hopes for–radically free Black preacher rhetorics. And on the floor of the U.S. Senate, no less!)
Many points can be made about the speech. But I should like to make one point for our consideration:
Take note of the effort to get the listener to come to terms with what is at stake–that the issue being safeguarded/masked, the “text” made “sacred,” is really the made-up Senate rule around the filibuster. (Which goes back to bipartisan/northern and southern agreement to give rural and slave-holding states inordinate power over Black flesh and so…) Whatever the issue being debated, retaining the filibuster today means continuing to grant power to those representing the least in numbers.
The Senator was un-masking the real “text.” Whether he realized it or not, he was signifying on scriptures. Riffing on the scriptural politics in place. (Note: with little or no reference to scriptures understood in the narrowest traditional terms.) A powerful example of ongoing scripturalization and scripturalizing…here and there. And a reminder to us about why ISS is needed, what work it can and must continue to do.
I invite your reflections.