““Why am I being asked questions that James Baldwin answered in the 1960s, that Toni Morrison answered in the 80s?” [links to source “White people, black authors are not your medicine”]
I return, as always, to Althusser, who teaches me to ask not simply how toxic systems PERSIST but also how they are DELIBERATELY and CONSISTENTLY REPRODUCED.
And I think this is something I’d like to see foregrounded more often.
It’s not simply that colonialism “never ended,” but that its systems have been reproduced.
How has that happened?
How can it be interrupted?
How can it be destroyed?
We know some of it: hiring practices, apprenticeship practices, the small bureaucratic things passed on; administrative structures and procedures, recycling of people as they move from one position to another, as their mentees follow them.
Which is why the idea of “new blood” being “the change that is inevitable” doesn’t work for me.
Organizations exist to reproduce themselves. They survive by reproducing themselves: their practices, their personnel, their secrets, their lies.”
“As to learning and studying, life confronts us with problems and tasks which cannot be solved by intellectual procedure alone. There are activities and situations we cannot encounter through verbal and oral information and which, therefore, actually cannot be taught.
The ultimate approach is experiment which leads us to the most decisive factor in education—experience. Experience is not the shortest and often not the easiest way of learning, but the broader and most far-reaching way. What we have experienced belongs to us; it will remain with us longer than what we have only read or heard.”
–Josef Albers, Art at BMC