New Criticals

Watching is on the mind now, and we remember Trayvon Martin. We remember the original watching - and why - which led to Mr. Martin's death. We're reminded of what kind of looking, allegedly, cost Emmett Till his life. And so, what lingers - after Martin is buried, after Zimmerman has been forgotten, after Till's relatives have gotten their apology from Lil Wayne - is the disruptive looking of PRISM, the gaze fixated uncomfortably on whiteness and the conservative qualifications it demands. Race recedes again to white hegemony, so we can continue to talk about privacy but neglect the fundamental understanding that there are still those without the most basic forms of protection from the very institutions assigned to protect. Remember white America? There will be outrage in the future when there is time, but first should I change my email password or something? PRISM is an "American" problem, but whose America?