William Horne, Executive Editor of The Activist History Review, is a PhD candidate at The George Washington University researching the relationship of race to labor, freedom, and capitalism in post-Civil War Louisiana. His research interests include systems of power revolving around concepts of race, labor, incarceration, capitalism, and the state. He is a former high school teacher, barista, and warehouse worker and is an avid home gardener. His dissertation, “Carceral State: Baton Rouge and its Plantation Environs Across Emancipation,” examines the ways in which white supremacy and capitalism each depended on restricting black freedom in the aftermath of slavery. He can be followed on Twitter at @wihorne.
Holidays served as a distraction to the monotony and degradation experienced in the camps. They provided a reminder for what was lost, and an opportunity for authorities to highlight the potential of toeing the line.
People who lived in communities destroyed by urban renewal and gentrification frequently frame their narratives about displacement as theft. They see their homes, businesses, and churches as stolen by capitalism. Spaces for the dead are among those stolen and erased.
As we occupy a world of increasing plenty, we must concede that the way we distribute resources is a choice. We choose to let our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico starve. That is our collective failure, not theirs.
Whatever the demographic make-up of these groups of agitators, the overarching idea that communal protests and battles over white supremacy and race are anathema to Charlottesville could not be further from the truth.