Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Ugly Face of Austerity: Pepper Spraying the Other

The image of a UC police officer using a weapon with indifference on prone students may become the iconic image of the Age of Austerity. This scene, which went viral on the Internet, tells us much about our current political and economic moment: young people protesting the decreased support from the state are treated with brutality and indifference.

In reading the recently released report on the UC pepper spraying "incident," I was struck by two reoccurring themes: the university administrators and police wanted to see the student protesters as outside elements, and they sought to protect their imagined daughters from sex. This underlying paranoid fantasy is brought to the surface in several moments in the report. For instance, "The administration did not consider the Occupy movement encampment to be a conventional campus protest. The Leadership Team appeared to perceive it as a vehicle through which non-affiliates might enter the campus and endanger students." We can read the term "non-affiliates" as shorthand for dangerous, unspecified Others, and as the report relates, the central irrational fear of the administration appeared to be that these dangerous Others would violate “young girls”: "“We were worried at the time about that [nonaffiliates] because the issues from Oakland were in the news and the use of drugs and sex and other things, and you know here we have very young students . . . we were worried especially about having very young girls and other students with older people who come from the outside without any knowledge of their record . . . if anything happens to any student while we’re in violation of policy, it’s a very tough thing to overcome.” Representing college students as "young girls" and protesters as dangerous sexualized Others serves to justify a violent reaction by a protective, paternalistic institution.

Of course, this cultural fantasy of the unknown Other violating “young girls” was often used in the American South to justify the lynching of African Americans because of their threat to white female purity. In fact the sexualization of Others has historically helped Christian invaders to justify brutalizing and dehumanizing native people; however, if you think I am reading too much into the passage from the report cited above, let us ponder the following statement: "Vice Chancellor Meyer expressed similar concerns in an interview conducted on Dec. 7. He explained, “our context at the time was seeing what’s happening in the City of Oakland, seeing what’s happening in other municipalities across the country, and not
being able to see a scenario where [a UC Davis Occupation] ends well . . . Do we lose control and have non-affiliates become part of an encampment? So my fear is a longterm occupation with a number of tents where we have an undergraduate student and a non-affiliate and there’s an incident. And then I’m reporting to a parent that a nonaffiliate has done this unthinkable act with your daughter, and how could we let that happen?”" Once again, in this cultural fantasy, the administration sees itself as protecting the purity of its daughters by eliminating the threat posed by a violating Other.

Why it is important to understand this underlying fantasy is that it helps us to understand how the administration could see its own students as threatening outsiders intent on corrupting their own precious purity. From this perspective, Lt. Pike was not simply protecting public safety; rather, he was following the administration's lead by trying to eliminate the Other from the space of the same. I use these abstract terms to point to the underlying psychology behind austerity politics in California: Just as the Other (brown and black students) started to enter into our higher education system, a tax revolt resulted in the defunding of public universities. Moreover, as our public schools become increasingly self-segregated, austerity becomes color-coded. Older and Whiter Californians simply do not want to share their wealth in order to support the education of young people of color.

While we have been socialized not to talk about race and to keep our prejudices indirect and coded, it is clear that even though the police at UC Davis knew they were looking at UC Davis students, what they saw were wild outsiders threatening to violate their daughters. Only serious and committed education can help us to overcome these collective cultural fantasies that at once dehumanize some students and purify others.

23 comments:

  1. As we like to say, "behind every fee increase, a line of riot cops..."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Compare our Stanley high school diploma to a http://www.stanleyhighschool.com/ged-by-state/high-school-diploma-at-home-new-hampshire.php High School Diploma at home and high school diploma at home programs to other http://www.stanleyhighschool.com/ged-by-state/accredited-high-school-new-jersey.php accredited high school equivalency programs and High School Diploma education and High School Diploma course on the internet. We offer an excellent pricing structure and quick service to obtain your high school diploma in a timely manner. at http://www.stanleyhighschool.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. While recent research has been done on how much the federal government has spent on tax deductions and credits for higher education, as far as I can tell, no one has examined how much states are spending free sample essays on these tax breaks for colleges and universities.

    ReplyDelete
  4. http://www.superbagsmarket.com/
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/louis-vuitton-bags-c-1.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/hermes-bags-c-2.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/prada-bags-c-3.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/chanel-bags-c-4.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/gucci-bags-c-5.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/burberry-bags-c-6.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/celine-bags-c-7.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/balenciaga-bags-c-8.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/christian-dior-bags-c-9.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/chloe-bags-c-10.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/bvlgari-bags-c-11.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/bally-bags-c-12.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/coach-bags-c-13.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/michael-kors-bags-c-14.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/mcm-bags-c-15.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/fendi-bags-c-16.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/mulberry-bags-c-17.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/marc-jacobs-bags-c-18.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/miu-miu-bags-c-19.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/ysl-bags-c-20.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/tory-burch-bags-c-21.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/givenchy-bags-c-22.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/ferragamo-bags-c-23.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/lancel-bags-c-24.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/loewe-bags-c-25.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/tods-bags-c-26.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/paul-smith-bags-c-27.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/dg-bags-c-28.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/alexander-wang-bags-c-29.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/bottega-veneta-bags-c-30.html
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/specials.html
    http://www.guccishoesuk-2014.com.net/
    http://www.polo-ralphlaurenonline.com/
    http://www.michael-korsmas.com/
    http://www.thebeatsbydre.net/
    http://www.northsclearance.com/
    http://www.michaelkorsstates.com/
    http://www.ralph-laurenhome.com/
    http://www.polo-outletstore.com/
    http://www.canada-gooser.com/
    http://www.monsterbeatsbydres.com/
    http://www.michaelkors.so/
    http://www.burbagssale2014.com/
    http://www.saclongchamppairs.com/
    http://www.newcoachfactoryoutlet.com/
    http://www.north-faceoutletonlines.net/
    http://www.barbour-jacketsoutlet.com/
    http://www.marcjacobsonsale.com/
    http://www.coachxfactory.com/
    http://www.moncler-jacketsoutletonline.com/
    http://www.mcmworldwides.com/
    http://www.woolrich-clearance.com/
    http://www.superbagsmarket.com/
    http://www.nike-jordanshoes.com/
    http://www.moncler-clearance.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. I simply could not depart your website before suggesting that I extremely loved the usual info an individual supply on your visitors? Is going to be again frequently to check up on new posts
    on ap lioa|lioa|on ap standa|on ap

    ReplyDelete
  6. Assessing and looking at these three normal methods for getting cash rapidly can help borrowers select the best choice for their budgetary needs. The capacity to reimburse the obligation must be a piece of the budgetary arranging procedure to keep away from future complexities. Payday Loans

    ReplyDelete
  7. Consider the planning - The best time to purchase an auto is June through December. Automobile deals have declined, so merchants are all the more eager to make bargains. Likewise, keeping in mind the end goal to make space for the new models, dealerships push to decrease their stock, frequently by offering customers additional purchasing motivating forces. Check Cashing

    ReplyDelete
  8. It will likewise decide how well the auto was kept up. Moreover, the repairman will let you know precisely how much the auto ought to be esteemed and the amount of cost you will acquire if and when you will have your picked auto repaired. check cashing

    ReplyDelete
  9. love it! very interesting topics, I hope the incoming comments and suggestion are equally positiv

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is critical for you to know every one of the progressions to spare cash while renegotiating at less expensive financing costs. Before couple of years, individuals used to acknowledge the rates bear the cost of by the merchants because of lesser alternatives and were compelled to proceed with the same high rate till the end of the advance term. check cashing corona

    ReplyDelete
  11. Suppose a client is paying 10 percent on a $20,000 credit. The normal rate to renegotiate a three-year-old auto at this moment is around 8 percent, as indicated by Bankrate.com. So renegotiating all things considered would spare around $250 a year. That includes almost $1,000 over the life of a normal four-year advance. payday loans costa-mesa

    ReplyDelete
  12. اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

    ReplyDelete
  13. اهم شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
    شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
    شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش بجدة
    شركة نقل عفش بمكة
    شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة نقل عفش بينبع
    شركة نقل عفش بالخرج
    شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم

    ReplyDelete
  14. First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics , i will be always checking your blog thanks oshawa real estate

    ReplyDelete
  15. Although I would be thrilled to take the first tour you described, it would be worth the trip to see the Mt. Desert gardens alone. If I could get away, I would definitely attend. Perhaps there will be another time.Murcia

    ReplyDelete
  16. Shen Tong is a serial entrepreneur and an angel investor. Shen Tong graduated from the University of Peking in the year 2000. In order to focus on business, Shen Tong moved to the city of New York where he found food accelerators like Food-X and FoodFutureCo.Shen Tong also has made a number of commercial investments in New York which have an impact. Shen Tong is the co-founder of a committee specifically designed for negotiations for the Chinese pro-democracy movements.Shen Tong provides instrumental senior management in investments for publishing in the city of Beijing.Shen Tong
    also organized the democracy movement in 1989 that occupied Tiananmen Square while he was at Beijing University. In the year 2011,Shen Tong participated in the occupy wall street movement. Shen Tong was also considered as the main proponent for non-violence.Shen Tong also held a press conference at the Walker Center for Ecumenical Exchange in Newton Massachusetts.

    ReplyDelete

  17. Looking for best bars in Delhi to quench the weekend thirst, or just need some of the best pubs in delhi for enjoying evenings after long days at work. Choosing a place drink eBay celebrate should not be a difficult task. There are some things that are important while deciding about where shall you drink. The bar or the clubs should be close, economical, not congested & should also offer good food. But how can you find this information? It's actually quite simple. Just Download Boozeey Smartphone app for your smartphone.

    boozeey will immediately give you the list of best bars in Delhi from the nearby area & show you their drinks menu & prices. So never waste time ever again by going to multiple bars or pubs, #justBoozeey. Not only does the boozeey app helps you to find the best pubs & bars it will also give you great discounts with features like first drink free every night & happy hours anytime. Check it out on App Store & Google Play & discover for yourself the easiest & the most economical way to enjoy parties at best bars in Delhi.

    Not only your party experience is better with -boozeey but Boozeey takes care of a safe ride home for you. The Boozeey app has in-built OLA cabs integration that will allow you to book an OLA cab to reach or depart from the bar location. So if you are living in Delhi NCR download the -boozeey app & enjoy exclusive access to best bars & pubs in Delhi.



    ReplyDelete
  18. I did not know seeking assignment help from experts is so easy. After reading this blog, I came to know about the different types of assignments that are actually rolled out to students all over the globe. I did not know there are so many responsibilities of an assignment expert. After searching for the best assignment helper, one of my friends saw that Online Assignment Expert is ranking on top.

    ReplyDelete
  19. While I was going through this blog, I realized about the lives of students is really tough, however, with our Nursing assignment help services, you can turn a lot of tough assignments on your side. The academic experts at My Assignment Services always ensure you beat out the odds by providing assistance through their nursing essay writing help services. We provide 100% original quality assignments which surpass the highest of quality. Our nursing leadership essay help services are distributed across the world including Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, UK, Canada, Malaysia, and many other countries. The assignments written by our nursing assignment help experts pass through a rigorous quality check which follows every university guidelines. Students are free to contact our assignment experts by visiting our website at My Assignment Services Experience the best academic help that you have ever got with My Assignment Services.

    ReplyDelete