City on a Hill?


From Kelly Brown Douglas’ Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God: “When the first Americans arrived believing they were the chosen Anglo-Saxon remnant meant to build a “city on a hill,” the groundwork was laid for a stand-your-ground culture. Because of its malleability this culture has been persistent. It adapts to the social-historical climate of the day. Whether in the form of slavery, Black Codes, lynching, Jim Crow, restrictive covenants, or a gun, its primary targets remain the same—black bodies. This is a culture that stubbornly refuses to respect the free black body. It serves to perpetuate the construct of the black body as chattel. The free body is perceived as an inferior, guilty black body that must be prevented from encroaching upon the space of cherished white property. As for the white body, stand-your-ground culture serves to protect its free space. Constructed in opposition to the black body, the white body is perceived as a superior, innocent body. Essentially, stand-your-ground culture is a perennial part of America’s history.”


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