Most of us usually lose sight of objective realities and the way we involve ourselves in an action. Not because we want to but we usually do it unconsciously, we don’t really think about it. We also are unaware of things going around in the world. Objective violence is said to be invisible because it represents “the zero-level standard against which we view something as subjectively violent.” According to Zizek, it’s invisible to the naked eye. Objective violence is often forgotten in the background of subjective violence. In this essay I will discuss what makes Objective/Structural violence difficult to see. First, I will talk about violence, then I will discuss how true and false news contributes to violence, and finally I will look at the formalization of ghettoization.
First, let’s talk about violence. In order to understand violence and the way it is represented in society. We must have a certain understanding of what it means. Zizek gives us an in-depth look of many global issues. For example, poverty and racism. Poverty in the world is increasing and rich people are staying rich. The rise of the elite financial class is unavoidable. It’s almost inescapable. It’s why Zizek encourages his readers to think about the ideologies he presents and that many people in the world take for granted. There is clear problem with poverty in the world, and it is kept in the background of subject violence with things like criminal activity as well as terrorism. Those forms of violence are presented and viewed to the general social conscious. Which can be represented in the wrong context. The concept of violence explains how popular attention to outbursts of violence by a particular group of people diminishes public attention to greater and deeper issues. It’s also born out of those deeper problems themselves. It’s almost like a never ending cycle. Having some understanding is useful because the way politics overlap with public opinion, should cause us to raise fundamental and new questions concerning the world in which we live in.
Now let’s move on to true and false news. News can influence and impact a person’s political, economic, and social well-being. False information is reaching more people than the truth. The degree of the news and its emotion can alter the way a person responds to something. News contributes to violence because it’s a way someone communicates throughout the world. It’s also within news that we learn about subject violence that goes around the world. Though it often does not discuss the object violence that needs attention. There has been plenty of attention given to the impact of social media in our democracy as well as our politics. Our reactions to everything from natural catastrophes to terrorist attacks are contributed by the spread of news. So how is this all getting ignored? Well, it’s the impact of inequality. There has been a huge increase in inequality in the United States, which is no longer news. Pierson sets out an argument that informs us about the increasing inequality in the United States. According to Pierson, not only will wealth split the United States into those who are wealthy and those who are not, but it will also further worsen race relations during a time of deep demographic shifts.
That leads us to our next point, the formalization of ghettoization. Blacks get hurt worse than whites, what does this mean? Well, this goes into tax cuts and welfare where its symbolic for the race. Afro-Americans are different in the extent to which their isolated communities have remained controlled. That is economically, politically, and administratively from the outside. According to Wacquant, there should be a more precise definition of ghetto. Racial stereotypes are heightened when there are figures on black crime, teenage pregnancy and welfare dependency. That is then released to the public without enough explanation. Stereotypes then affect people’s attitude, like having Afro-Americans as neighbors. The concept of ghetto was formalized based on the neighborhood already being written off as bad or not ideal. There was already gang-injunction, prostitutes, and drugs. Which were all criminally enforced. So, when African Americans migrated over they were only allowed to live in certain areas, which was the south.
Ghetto and criminalization began to overlap by putting Afro-Americans into neighborhoods that already had the stigma of crime and violence including poverty, value and wealth. According to Oscar Lewis the culture of poverty tends to maintain itself because of generation to generation. By the time children are the age of six they have already absorbed the fundamental values and behaviors of the subculture and are not mentally orientated to take advantage of changing conditions or increasing opportunities. To this statement I can sort of see what Oscar Lewis is stating. Though I believe they don’t even get the chance to take an opportunity to change because they get judged first. People don’t give them a chance. Drake and cayton state that formal and informal social controls are used to isolate which then enables stigmatization and exploitation.
Though Wacquant states with class prism you can’t compare ghetto with poverty and if you do, you’re just ignoring the racial power. So the question asked in one of the powerpoint, do “ghettos” remain “ghetto” with changes in land use, alterations in the laws, or changes in population? Sadly, yes, because there is already a misconception about it, so it’s difficult to change or go around it. Even if you can, it won’t end there, more things would arise. For example, the realization of a war on drugs, resulting in mass incarceration, which then causes an increased violence against people of color. Ghettoization gave a stigmatization towards African Americans and people of color
To conclude, First, I talked about violence, then I discussed how true and false news contributes to violence, and finally I looked at ghettoization. In this essay I discussed what makes Objective/Structural violence difficult to see. Like Zizek once said, “sometimes doing nothing is the most violent thing to do”.