Many political debates are cast ahistorically, i.e., without regard for the ongoing power differentials flowing from the past. For example, analyzing campaign contributions as a matter of free speech without regard for the context and its implications: holders of concentrated wealth capitalize on their advantage and entrench it farther into the future. Similarly, analyzing reproductive freedom as a matter of the right to life ignores the ongoing history of domestic subjugation.

Regarding racial issues such as affirmative action or reparations, the historical context of the legacy of slavery seems too obvious to overlook, yet matters of criminal justice such as over-incarceration and police shootings are analyzed on case by case bases with little regard for the historical dynamics at play. As a result, Black Lives Matter is cast as just another interest group clamoring for its share of attention. The whitelash slogan, Blue Lives Matter, betrays this deafness to the historical tone reverberating in our every day lives.


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