Reading The Blue Clerk, 154

“Verso 42.1”

It is an article of faith among certain people that the philosophers who designed our unhumaning also created the conditions for their own undoing. They are poison and medicine. Everything is in them. If you read carefully. I have wondered why their undoing does not remove them from the center of their imaginations as the fabricators of reality.

I went to the door of the philosophers too, the clerk stutters.

I used to be irritated by those of us who insisted on tracking the possibility of undoing while enduring their unhumaning. Now, I grieve for them. How one is unmade while pursuing the fiction of a center that claims it can decenter itself. One is praised for the careful attention to footnotes and asides. By those who claim that the conditions of their undoing lie at the heart of the fictions that not only imagine but also sustain our unhumaning.

Brer Rabbit on the tar-covered scarecrow.

The crisis at the heart of modernity is, you asked.

A girl (re)named Phillis. A ship called Zong. A song called sorrow. A flight called fugitive. A train called underground. A girl imagining freedom. A demand called an illness. A gathering called flesh. A loving called flesh. An aunt in distress. A loophole called retreat. A choice that is no choosing.

I cannot find my presentation, do not introduce Kant and Blumenbach here.

I was never clever enough to understand how a logical contradiction contained the seeds of freedom for the unhumaned. What argument from the bowels of white supremacy would grow a freedom tree strong enough to tear through its stomach, force its way up its throat, pierce its brain, and scream freedom for the unhumaned. And if it screamed freedom, in what tongue would it speak and who would hear it.

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