Since Delhi this blog has become a proud member of the Aboriginal News Group (ANG) and I count the Angryindian and Sina (my co-editors at ANG) as two of the most inspirational and committed struggle folk I know.
Please allow me to share a few user statistics behind this blog.
The blog averages about 120 hits a day. Since February 3, 2007, there have been 77.477 hits in total according to Clustermaps.
The vast majority of readers are in the US, followed by South Africa, the UK, India and Germany.
These are the top 5 of the most read/viewed blog entries over the last 6 months according to Blogger:
1. African American Women on NBC News (November 27, 2007) - 428 pageviews
2. Fun and Lynching (June 13, 2007) - 330 pageviews
3. Pedal Voyeurism (June 11, 2007) - 291 pageviews
4. Eid Mubarak (September 21, 2009) - 265 pageviews
5. Remembering the Soweto Riots (June 16, 2008) - 264 pageviews
My friend and fellow blogger Dade Carriega of the excellent blog "Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing" is the third most popular spot to re-direct reader traffic here (from May 2010 till now).
It strikes me funny that the top three most read/viewed posts are from 2007 when I was in Portland, Oregon, for six months before returning to my hometown of Kimberley in South Africa.
The Pedal Voyeurism post touched a raw nerve among the white bicycle devotees (and a few others) and still does. The post led to someone starting a blog for the sole purpose of dissing my thinking and rounding the delusional into pedal power consensus.
My friend and fellow blogger, Eugene of "Pudgy Indian 3", put the final exclamation mark on the Pedal Voyeurism post and the furor when he wrote a comment here in July 2006:
Bicyclists, like vegans, seem to get this attitude of "holiness" by simply riding a bike or not eating meat. In my activism, I have had to face off with MANY vegans who were holier than me because I eat meat. But, as I pointed out to them; "Being vegan doesn't make you holy, it only makes you vegan." Being a bicyclist doesn't make you holy, it only makes you a bicyclist.Eugene's words of deconstruction are profound for many reasons. I remain in awe of his no-nonsense style of blogging.
In the four years of writing here I still believe that this blog, and blogging, is not real struggle. To pose as if blogging on a capitalist tool like Blogger is struggle, or revolutionary, is delusional.
When I write here I remind myself that this is just a blog. Still, I represent and believe what I write here and for that reason I do not hide who I am.
In the four years I have written from India, Nepal, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico, the US, and now South Africa.
At each stop the issues have been about social and political justice. In this time I have also thought a lot about identity in the post-apartheid era.
The issues of black identity and black struggle have mostly dominated the 46 bones that count my life.
In the last couple of years the focus on black struggle and identity has lost its weight for me. It was inevitable in the sense that being black and in struggle is not a fact but a construction or a framework.
I have been moved and my politics advanced.
I recognize that among the oppressors are prominent black faces aligned with class interests that cut across continents and ages, races, genders, and sexual orientations.
Their recall of being black and blackness is duplicitous and meant just to amass wealth and power over all else like those who came before and the others who come before and on and on.
Changing times have impacted largely on the need to re-frame resistance and it is for this reason that being black and in struggle is not my priority reference and definitely not an accurate descriptor of my struggle activism and thinking anymore.
In a sense this 'arrival' is consistent with what I have developed in my academic work over the years. I have argued that the notion of making race irrelevant to struggle must begin with resisting whiteness.
That much has not changed.
What has changed is the racial-class make-up of whiteness and its power arrangements. Inside whiteness race is a relevant trading scheme meant to express interests and to configure power.
Whiteness is still about domination and thievery and oppression. Only now, powerful black and brown and Other faces have been admitted to make whiteness, as an ideological value system, universal in its dominance.
In the last year or so I have met many black powerful and influential people alongside the 'garden variety'.
What has struck me is that some of the strongest adherents to whiteness are black people who will be severely offended to be called white or the fruit variety thereof (coconut).
In a Gramscian sense, whiteness is the uber ideology. The common sense toward 'greater wealth and happiness.'
This universal 'truism' is imbibed without historical interrogation and context and at the "end of the day" it is hard to tell a black oppressor from a white oppressor for the values they espouse are the same.
In this frame, being black and protesting an authentic blackness is contrived for among those who suffer the death knell of drones from above and those who eat destructively manufactured foods from Monsanto are not drawn together by skins.
The oppressed are more complex than the binary of race that has delivered Mandela and Obama to the power positions they occupy inside the value system of whiteness.
I now understand what Frantz Fanon meant when he said: "I have seen the future of the black man and it is white."
For too long these words smelled of defeat and pessimism I wanted to believe did not exist.
But it does exist in ideology and in structure.
I hope to expand my thinking here and to use this platform to speak without guarded academic jargon (as best I can). And I will hear criticism of all kinds except that which espouses racist violence and directs personal attacks.
Thank you for reading.
Here's to the next bone ... of contention that is ;0)