Hear hear, Jess. Thanks for speaking up! I hope Kurt takes the same message to heart.
By including the Sammy message and the link to the document inquestion, you have done us all a great service, Jess. Thank you.
> On Jul 22, 2020, at 1:26 PM, jess lamar reece holler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I am a long-time lurker on this list; I logged into this discussion because
> I was confused by the thread title & then was rapidly shocked by the overt
> & explicit racism in Sammy's posts here. Sammy, whoeever you are:
> seriously?! Yikes. I couldn't imagine feeling comfortable, as a ARSC member
> of color (I'm neither), with this organization when statements like this
> are allowed to fly around on a public list-serv! Sammy, have fun wondering
> if police murders of POC constitute crimes. Have fun waiting for courts to
> rule that those crimes are crimes. Have you heard what we're out here
> marching for? That's not how this system works. No justice, no peace.
> This has *everything* to do with recorded sound, insofar as structural
> racism is literally the *infrastructure* of everything we know -- of every
> discipline, of every hobby, of the entire protocols and ordering logics of
> who can move, collect records, whatever it is, safely in this world; and
> for whom carrying a bag of skittles is a death sentence. And, yes, the
> history of recorded sound -- its present, and, unless we do something, its
> futures -- are shaped by institutional racism. Any number of people on this
> list have written books & developed projects exposing and amplifying those
> Black Lives Matters & calls to defund & abolish the police & attendant
> systems of incarceration aren't a "political" issue -- what does that even
> mean? Unless it's "political" to say Black people shouldn't be subject to
> death, incarceration, overpolicing, simply by living in a deeply racist
> society that hasn't even begun to do reparations work for centuries of
> slavery. Is that political? If so, guess you're not gonna like hearing that
> structural racism is political. Denying it is political. You're being
> *hella* political right now, Sammy. If fighting for racial justice is
> political, everything is political. These are meaningless words deployed to
> shut down a meaningful effort at solidarity on ARSC's part, which, already,
> like those of almost all white-led, historically white-serving cultural
> organizations, is already way too little, too late. It's the *least* ARSC
> can do.
> If you're a white person writing these devil's advocacy hypotheticals, I
> want to just come right out and say you're advocating for the murder &
> continued making-fungible of Black bodies. Neutrality is not only not an
> option; it's an open vote for white supremacy. We *see* you saying that.
> It's gross, man.
> Kudos to those ARSC members calling this sort of thing. I know almost none
> of you and am not a member besides enjoying biscuits with you all at the
> Chapel Hill conference several years ago, and have no affiliations to
> maintain; so I have the luxury of calling it like I see it, and, damn: this
> ain't it, Sammy.
> Come the fuck on.
> In closing, in response to your question, "I have to ask again, why are we
> even in this position?" -- I offer that you educate yourself on the
> loooooong history of anti-blackness & ongoing structural-systemic violence
> against & dispossession of Black, Indigenous, & POC in this country -- what
> Saidiya Hartman calls the "non-event of emancipation" -- & pray the answer
> you arrive at lands you with a different set of commitments & priorities
> than the ones you're -- shockingly -- comfortable expressing here, now.
> Respectfully submitted,
> and in solidarity with BIPOC & Black lives,
> Jess from Ohio
> On Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 3:18 PM Sammy Jones <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Paul Stamler writes:
>> "Precisely what criminal cases has the ARSC board expressed an opinion
>> I respond:
>> Have you read the Statement from the ARSC Board Opposing Racism and Police
>> Here's the text where the ARSC board takes a stand on several cases of
>> deaths of African Americans following interactions with police:
>> "The recent killings and acts of police brutality against Black Americans
>> serve as horrifying
>> reminders that racism is not only still here, but it is systemic,
>> affecting all aspects of our lives.
>> The Association for Recorded Sound Collections stands in support of, and
>> in service to, our
>> Black members, as well as those in the community at large who face
>> violence and oppression
>> every single day. Today we remember George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony
>> McDade, Ahmaud
>> Arbery, Manuel Ellis, and countless others who have lost their lives."
>> Full text, here:
>> Specifically, do you see the names of several people written there in
>> connection with a statement about police brutality? None of these cases
>> have been litigated in court. Charges are still pending, charges have not
>> been filed in some cases, and we, as of yet, have no idea how any court
>> will decide on any of these matters. The ARSC Board is connecting the
>> deaths of the named individuals with police brutality (a question for the
>> criminal justice system) and racism (also, potentially, a question for the
>> criminal justice system).
>> What if the outcome of these cases (or some of these cases) is that no
>> crime was committed? Or that a crime was committed, but that no racism was
>> involved? I'm merely asking these questions, as I, like you and the ARSC
>> Board, have no idea what the answer will be. If any of those scenarios
>> play out, could ARSC could find itself the subject of a defamation lawsuit?
>> Why is the ARSC Board weighing in on any of these complex issues? We
>> elected them to be leaders in recorded sound. I have expressed my
>> professional concerns about having the board of an organization for record
>> collectors and archivists speak for me on issues that I have to provide
>> unbiased coverage of. Others may have objections on different grounds.
>> That is for them to voice, if they feel moved to do so.
>> I have to ask again, why are we even in this position? What does any of
>> this have to do with recorded sound? If the answer is that ARSC advocates
>> for certain cases currently making their ways through the criminal justice
>> system, I must vehemently protest, and also must consider whether I can
>> continue my membership. I sincerely hope it doesn't come to that, as I
>> have found my ARSC membership meaningful and valuable in my hobby as a
>> record collector and playback and transfer enthusiast.
>> Sammy Jones
> *Jess Lamar Reece Holler*
> Public & Community-Based Folklorist & Oral Historian
> Historic Preservation & Heritage Consultant
> Caledonia Northern Folk Studios <http://caledonianorthern.org> -- Caledonia
> & Columbus, Ohio
> oldelectricity [at] gmail [dot] com
> tel. 614.273.5907
> "Later there might be goldenrod, but let it come."