As palm oil travels from oil, to seed, to market, this controversial substance becomes associated with moral notions of ‘purity’. We take a multi-temporal and multi-scalar approach to understanding this process: examining current and historical literatures on economic botany and lipid chemistry, we unfold the tactics by which these palms and their oils are purified, and identify how these are reproduced in current marketing trends. Purity, this reveals, is a dream. Though this dream is unattainable, it has shaped plants and their oils, human bodies, and ecosystems, all the while masking the troubling consequences of its doing so.
What if anti-Asian violence is not reducible to “hate,” and is in fact a persistent, unexceptional presence in the long historical, Civilizational terror-making machine that is the United States?
Blame, violence, gendered work & eviscerating geographies of knowledge production render Paul Siu’s devastating ethnography prescient for understanding the hate against Asians today, depicting a painful portrait of marginalization that reveals solidarities both possible & necessary.
In solidarity with abolition and anti-racist movements, the following EPD: Society and Space articles on racism, racialization, and policing are free to access through September 2020. We will continue to use our resources to support critical scholarship on these topics.
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