This essay raises for discussion complicated issues of political community, political action, racial identification, and moral panic. Barlow's commentary on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) controversy asks why identification with brutal images seems to lead no further than ritualized failure to misread or disavow the ideological positioning that instigates recrimination. Barlow argues that this journal issue is an important opportunity to rethink automatic response and to seek better, more clear and compelling alternatives to repetitive, racialized, nationalist moral panic.

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