Kimberly Jones analyzes what we should be doing, in the United States, during this moment of mass civil unrest across the U.S. (and throughout the world), in the face of ongoing, structural police violence, which has been made highly visible through video technology. Jones’s analysis identifies three groups: the protestors, the rioters, and the looters. She argues that we need all three if we hope to win this war. Jones’s analysis demands serious consideration. One of the claims Jones makes is that the state has broken a contract with African Americans. Here we should ask, “How could the state have broken a contract with African Americans when, arguably, it never made a contract with African Americans to begin with?” Details such as these do matter for determining strategy. As is often the case, the devil is in the details.
Following Charles Mills’s argument in The Racial Contract, African Americans were excluded from what Mills calls and theorizes as the racial contract. Such exclusion was an essential component of the social contract of the United States. Indeed, enslaved black labor and black genocide–the foundation of U.S. wealth production, in co-oppressive conjunction with indigenous land dispossession and genocide–means that African Americans must have been excluded from a social contract in the White U.S. polity.
So that you can think through Jones’s and Mills’s analyses together, we’ve posted The Racial Contract, beneath Jones’s analysis. You may not have time to read the entire book, but check out the introduction and the overview in order to see why an understanding of Mills’s argument makes Jones’s analysis make that much more sense than it already does.
The Racial Contract that Excluded African Americans and Required Their Enslavement For U.S. Wealth Creation