“According to all foundationalist epistemologies,
- We need to find some class of beliefs, of which we have secure knowledge; and
- Once we find this class, we can then honor some of our other beliefs with the special status of knowledge by showing that they are properly supported by the members of this class of foundational beliefs.”
My annotation: This idea of foundational beliefs that support other beliefs reminds me of Christianity and other religions. The core foundational beliefs in Christianity almost have a domino effect for a lot of other Christian beliefs. It’s interesting to me how so many Christian denominations have the same foundational beliefs, but their resulting beliefs extend in completely different directions, sometimes resulting in denominations that can seem like completely different religions.
Slack Post on Discourse On Colonialism
As I read Discourse on Colonialism, I found myself thinking of Sara Baartman, as her story is a direct example of the horrors of colonialism and colonial thought. Césaire speaks of how dehumanizing colonialism is, and of how Europeans with a sense of moral superiority go in circles trying to defend colonialism. Some went as far as “animalizing” colonized peoples, justifying to themselves that they would not have to treat them as human. This reminded me of Sara Baartman. Baartman was dehumanized and treated as an animal, and there was not much resistance in Europe. Perhaps the Europeans she encountered believed themselves so superior that they were incapable of treating any human badly, and therefore they were unable to see how cruelly they were treating her. Alternatively, as they believed themselves superior in all aspects, they thought they had every right to view Baartman as an animal. Neither of these possibilities should be acceptable. Césaire also claims that this animalization simply makes Europe(and America) more barbaric itself. This is clear when Césaire says that “the bourgeoisie is condemned to become every day more snarling, more openly ferocious, more shameless, more summarily barbarous.” The various historians, theologians, scientists, and ethnographers use their “studies” to further their mistaken idea that some races and cultures are superior to others. Sara Baartman experienced this “science” when she was examined, painted, and displayed in museums after death. It can be difficult to understand how so many people used their false sense of superiority to justify this treatment of other humans and to allow it to continue, but if we pay attention, we can see the same thing happening today. Standing by and allowing injustice to happen was barbaric then, and it is barbaric now.
Slack Post on Notes From the Field
The juxtaposition from Notes from the Field that stood out the most was the immediate transition from James Baldwin saying, “we are responsible for the future of the world” to the sound of sirens and gunshots of the Charleston church shooting. The James Baldwin excerpt is from 1971, 44 years before Dylan Roof murdered nine people at Emmanuel AME. This juxtaposition was so profound because I feel like it can be easy to forget that true change is supposed to be constant. When I think about 1971 I imagine that a lot has changed in our society, but much is still the same. Anna Deavere Smith’s use of James Baldwin’s words reminds me that there is still so much work to be done to eliminate racism from the United States, and that this change cannot be made passively. The Charleston church shooting, similarly to this summer’s events, was a watershed moment for me and so many others in terms of truly recognizing the presence that racism has in our society. Growing up close to Charleston, it shouldn’t have taken me until 2015 to realize how real racism was, but it did. Because of my privilege, I was able to get by until then without paying attention to racism. Deavere Smith’s use of Baldwin and footage from the shooting has reminded me of how shocking that moment was for me, and it reminds me of how much work we still have to do.
Creative Prose Based on the Following Article:
Sontag says we shouldn’t compare tragedies
But it is the first thing I do.
I jump to worries about elections in my own country- Why can’t I focus on one story that doesn’t center me?
And in looking for which story I will write about, I continue thinking, “this one is not violent enough.”
But 85 Ivorians dead is violent enough.
Thousands fleeing their home out of fear is violent enough.
When will we learn to truly focus? When will we learn to simply listen?
today is gloomy weather and bon iver and observing forms of nature i hadn’t paid attention to before when i was a kid the sweet gum tree balls were so fun to play with and now i’m just noticing that they hang from the tree in such a meticulous way i will attach a picture for any tree lovers and today is being pleasantly surprised by a lack of work and today is commons potato cubes and coffee today is trying to write a formless poem but realizing that using repetition is certainly a type of form but no periods and run on sentences and for me it is quite lovely i am no artist and today is realizing this makes no sense to anyone but me like grief i am grieving no person but instead the loss of a big part of me today is
today is being content with that loss and content with unknowns and realizing unknowns are there for a reason
or they are not because life is quite formless and
i need to be comfortable with no form
This map is from 1848, and shows battles in Mexico City during the Mexican-American War. It is an American military map, and shows much more of the vicinity of Mexico City than the two other maps. However, similarly to the 1760 map, the grid-like patterns of the city are clear. I found it interesting that all three maps are in the context of conquest: The first two are of (or the result of) the Spanish Conquest, while this newer map is of a different expansionist war. I am interested in how the Mexican-American war was a war in which one colonial country was trying to gain control over an already-colonized land. I also wonder about the role Indigenous Peoples in Mexico had in the Mexican-American War.
https://collections.leventhalmap.org/search/commonwealth:4m90fj61k (Battles of Mexico)
Robert Hilferty’s film Stop the Church shows the reality of the current Church, versus what it is meant to be. We see in Stop the Church that the current Church is an organization that does not look after or care for all members of society, and that it has become exclusionary and harmful. On the other hand, I see in the Act Up demonstration a clear example of what the church should be like. At its core, the Church is meant to be a community that fights for justice and promotes an alternative to oppressive authority. Stop the Church shows how the Church has contributed through dangerous rhetoric to the deaths of millions in the AIDS epidemic, but it also shows the connection many churchgoers feel to the church. What is the Church? Truly, it is a group of people staging a die-in in the aisles of the establishment itself.
In response to Gerhard Richter’s October 18, 1977 paintings:
These paintings were so much more political than I was expecting given “Richter’s” statement in the film Never Look Away that his paintings were simply what he saw. I wonder at what point Richter may have made a decision to transition from seemingly/somewhat apolitical paintings to paintings that can’t be denied of their political implications. Do these paintings reduce the autonomy of the dead? How do we decide when depiction of a dead body is respectful and ethical? Is the blurring of the bodies an attempt to give the deaths back to the dead, since we only have a blurred interpretation of it?