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Afro-ParadiseBlackness, Violence, and Performance in Brazil$
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Christen A. Smith

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039935

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039935.001.0001

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The White Hand

The White Hand

State Magic and Signs of War

Chapter:
(p.117) 3 The White Hand
Source:
Afro-Paradise
Author(s):

Christen A. Smith

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252039935.003.0006

This chapter examines the subtle, hidden, and magical racial politics of state policing through a reading of Culture Shock's “Terrorism” vignette, the history of policing in Bahia, and cases of police killings. Secret-police raids and assassinations are spectacular performances of authority that embody the magical codes of secrecy of the state. It then considers the white hand seen in community-policing signs in Salvador. The white hand positioned overtop the black hand, palms facing one another, and the black hand with fingers spread and the white hand clasped, gives the viewer the distinct impression that the pharse “Community Police, the Protection in Your Neighborhood” entails the repression and control of black bodies by white bodies.

Keywords:   state terror, Bahia, state policing, white hand, Culture Shock, community policing, black bodies, secret police raids

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