This year has not seen a month without at least one public display of Black Death, and as such, it looks like Black Death is quite a profitable market these days.
Black Death porn, the proliferation of video and photographic evidence of abuse and murder of black and brown bodies, has instigated an international conversation about a problem that has never not been a problem in the history of people of color’s interactions with Westerners in (and outside) the Western world.
But Black Death porn has also created a market around these violent interactions the likes of which has not been seen before in these interactions. Once upon a time, the Black Death porn market would have been lynching postcards. Maybe, films like Birth of a Nation that would’ve sold the image of the dangerous black body as entertainment pre-empting real life violent interactions as we see in historic and modern lynchings.
Today the Black Death porn market earns its profits from message tee shirts instead of postcards. Today Black Death porn has created stars–experts, talking heads, authors, and professional activists–who profit from discussions of Black Death.
To pose the question “What if” is typically a fruitless endeavor reserved for fantasy-building and escapism. But there’s merit in both and there’s merit in using the question to clarify, explore, and troubleshoot.
So what if the mission of those profiting from Black Death porn is to accomplish their stated mission: to remind The State (of mind) that Black and Brown lives should be recognized and treated as actual lives? What if The State (of mind) changed as a result of their activism? The Black Death porn market would be diminished, right? No demand so no need for a supply. No supply no profit.
So another what if–what if Black Death porn proliferates in order to keep this market going? Think about from which news outlets you typically receive your Black Death porn. Is it any one of the Big Six corporations that own 90% of U.S. media? Is it from Facebook’s censored algorithms? What if these institutions are profiting off Black Death porn, like the clickbait and ads that show up on practically every page on visits? What if those profiting off activism, “the movement,” are profiting off Black Death porn? What if they are complicit in the epidemic of Black Death?