What? Seriously, folks. Or something.
Enslaved peoples multiplied the fetish power of capital at least fivefold: they were labor, they were commodities, they were capital, collateral, and investment, they were consumers (since in many parts of South America, they were paid wages), and, in some areas, they were money, the standard on which the value of other goods was determined. They were also items of conspicuous consumption.
For a rising gentry, they were adornments of their masters’ inner worth. For a declining aristocracy, rocked by the market revolution, they were objects of nostalgia, mementos of a fading world of stability, when things were what they seemed to be. Slavery helped create many of the social, financial, religious, and legal institutions we live with today.
Quote is from Capitalism and Slavery: An Interview with Greg Grandin that Alex Gourevitch conducted with the aforementioned and is published on Jacobin. The ways in which enslaved people were used as multiple objects, tools and currencies reveals the level of dehumanization of the enslaved, what Patricia Hill Collins noted as crucial to the founding of capitalism, which heavily relied on Black reproduction as tools and capital. Also, the note about some enslaved people being paid; that happened. i.e. see: Forty Million Dollar Slaves about enslaved Black people as early athletes who could earn almost as much as their masters yet did not “own” their own bodies or freedom. What is money when your own body is considered someone else’s property, tool and currency?
After reading about gender-bias and conversation dominance in the classroom, I asked for a peer to observe a physics class I was teaching and keep track of the discussion time I was giving to various students along with their race and gender. In this exercise, I knew I was being observed and I was trying to be extra careful to equally represent all students―but I STILL gave a disproportionate amount of discussion time to the white male students in my classroom (controlling for the overall distribution of genders and races in the class). I was shocked. It felt like I was giving a disproportionate amount of time to my white female and non-white students.
Even when I was explicitly trying, I still failed to have the discussion participants fairly represent the population of the students in my classroom.
This is a well-studied phenomena and it’s called listener bias. We are socialized to think women talk more than they actually do. Listener bias results in most people thinking that women are ‘hogging the floor’ even when men are dominating.
Stop interrupting me: gender, conversation dominance and listener bias, by Jessica Kirkpatrick from Women In Astronomy
Implicit bias is a thing, just like privilege. Calling it out isn’t meant to shame anyone, but to alert us to step it up and improve ourselves so everyone can have a voice. Be conscious of what you and others are saying, and know when not to speak.
I have about a month and a half left in savings and no one wants to hire me but I really want these boots.
One of the most radical things you can do is to actually believe women when they talk about their experiences.