White supremacist social, economic, and cultural formations organic to the United States—from racial chattel slavery and frontier genocide, to contemporary productions of neoliberalism and (domestic/undeclared) warfare—constitute the ongoing emergence of American technologies of human incarceration and punishment, although theoretical explanations of this entanglement vary widely. For the theoretical purposes of this essay, white supremacy may be understood as a logic of social organization that produces regimented, institutionalized, and militarized conceptions of hierarchized “human” difference, enforced through coercions and violences that are structured by genocidal possibility (including physical extermination and curtailment of people’s collective capacities to socially, culturally, or biologically reproduce). As a historical vernacular and philosophical apparatus of domination, white supremacy is both based on, and constantly resurfacing, notions of the white (European and Euro-American) “human” vis-à-vis the rigorous production, penal discipline, and frequent social, political, and biological neutralization or extermination of the (non-white) sub- or non-human. To consider white supremacy as essential to American social formation (rather than an extremist deviation from it) facilitates a discussion of the modalities through which this material logic of violence overdetermines the social, political, economic, and cultural structures that compose American globality and constitute the common sense organic to its ordering. Here, I am less concerned with the broad question of how the U.S. prison apparatus marks an extension of this national racial genealogy, than I am with the specific concern of how the prison regime has come to constitute a qualitative carceral formation that globalizes U.S. white supremacy as a logic of social organization that produces regimented, institutionalized, and militarized conceptions of hierarchized “human” difference.
Dylan Rodriguez, ‘Race, Gender, and Immigration in the Globality of the U.S. Prison Regime’