Constant. Suspicion.

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This 25 minute clip covers quite a bit of ground. What is most salient is Junot Diaz’s response to his use of the word nigger in his work, discussion of who issues passports and who embodies imperial blackness. All of these subjects intersect with and fall under the umbrella of privilege, permission, and cool points. Full disclosure: I have not (yet) read any of his works but plan to in the near future. I’ve heard mixed reviews. I’ll see for myself.
Passport. Travel. Commodification of identity.

Diaz questions notions of passport – who has a “pass,” when Django audiences are at the same time questioning Tarantino’s passport (who stamped it?) in regards to his use of “nigger” in Django and his other films. I’ll defer to more prominent critics for an in-depth discussion of what proximity and privilege culminated in using nigger expressively in their respective art genres. I’ll simply post a question that formed  in  my mind from this short video: In what ways do we apply for and issue passports in our daily lives? In relation to art, education, blackness, identity? 

 Even in attempting to abstract blackness, are creatives, politicians, scholars, gangsters implied as shareholders in this “imperial blackness” mentioned in Diaz’s post show discussion? When these “passports” (real and imagined) become less expensive, the process becomes more efficient, possibly then, the bulk of us can afford to travel across the complexities of identity. Thoughts?

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