Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm Tired of Sharing the Most Racist Things That Have Happened to Me, Are You?

Hello, I'm Chauncey DeVega from the blog We Are Respectable Negroes and I am making a study of black people's experiences with racism...

Noted author and journalist Toure has conducted a parallel project with his book Whose Afraid of Post-Blackness? But he is much more patient than I am:
I asked my 105 interviewees, What is the most racist thing that has ever happened to you? The response I received most often was indicative of modern racism: The answer is unknowable. "I imagine it'd be a thing I don't even know ever happened," Aaron McGruder said. "It would be that opportunity that never manifested and I'll never know that it was even possible."
A decision is made in a back room or a high-level office, perhaps by someone you'll never see, about whether or not you get a job or a home loan or admission to a school. Or perhaps you'll never be allowed to know that a home in a certain area or a job is available. This is how modern institutional racism functions and it can weigh on and shape a black person differently than the more overt, simplistic racism of the past did.
In the post-Civil Rights era and the Age of Obama, a large portion of the public imagination views racism as the stuff of mean words and small minds. Racism is an anachronism. The Klan doesn't ride through the streets killing black people anymore; multiculturalism is now a lengua franca for the Generation X Millennial crowd; ultimately, racism is dead because there is a man who happens to be black in the White House.

The reality is much more challenging. Race still structures life chances for people of color. White privilege remains real into the 21st century as a type of property, material right, and psychological investment for white Americans.

But allowing for these facts, Americans still lack a vocabulary for speaking in a sophisticated and nuanced way about racism. Moreover, they also have a void in their cognitive map, one that obviates any capacity for seeing how structures and institutions impact opportunity as 1) Americans historically describe themselves as being middle class (both millionaires and the underclass alike); and 2) many still believe that the Horatio Alger myth is real, even while the wealth gap widens and class mobility has greatly decreased and hardened in this, our time of Great Recession.

In all, these factors buttress an appeal to the oft-heard phrase that all we need is a "national conversation on race" to finally slay the bugaboo of racism.

From the beer summit, to "teachable moments," and the omnipresence of multiculturalism and diversity programs in schools and workplaces, there is a persistent belief that some type of talk therapy will cathartically free the United States from the lingering shadows of white supremacy and make Dr. King's dream real.

Here is the misdirection: Americans have been talking about race for centuries. The result of this difficult dialogue has in some ways been transformative. In others ways, this national conversation on race has resulted in quite a bit of wasted time and energy. People of color have been talking back to Whiteness for centuries; Whiteness chooses either not to listen or to selectively hear that part of the exchange which is both most self-satisfying and self-legitimating. As one would reasonably expect, a unidirectional conversation can become a bit exhausting after more than just a few decades.

Toure's piece in the Atlantic is useful here where he continues that:
"The most racist experience you have," said Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP, "is the one that's worst, and the one that's worst is usually the one that transforms the way you look at the world." These moments of suddenly discovering the pain and lack of status and power that attends being black is what comedian Paul Mooney refers to as "a nigger wake-up call."
Skip Gates calls them "the scene of instruction" and he says they exist in classic black autobiographies from slavery to recent days. "For W.E.B. Dubois it was a little girl who wouldn't take his Valentine card," Gates said.
"For James Weldon Johnson in Autobiography of an Ex‑Colored Man it was when the teacher said, 'Would all the white scholars stand up,' and he stands up and she goes 'No, you can sit down.' It's always a moment of trauma. There's always something lacking, a deprivation that makes you realize what being black means."
[A question: is this an experience, one that those not of the Other--for a moment or a lifetime--can ever "get?"]

When people of color share their personal experiences with racism a routine in colorblind, pluralist America is enacted, one wherein the struggles to overcome the brutality and limitations imposed by white supremacy and the colorline have (quite rightly) been framed as a badge of national honor. The obsession with talking--if even in a tired ritual--about national problems is a function of a faith in consensus based politics, and a belief that reasonable people can participate in a discourse that produces a sensible outcome.

Stated more simply, where matters of identity are concerned, if "we" could just "understand" each other, things would inevitably have to get better.

It takes courage to share nakedly, with vulnerability, and with honesty. I would suggest that it does not take much courage to listen fairly. Likewise, when black and brown folks share our pain with the white public in a confessional about how racism has caused hurt (as well as substantive material, economic, and physical harm), it often serves as a detour from serious talk about power, institutions, and privilege--and what real justice would look like.

I appreciate Toure's project. But, I am also made quite tired by how black and brown folks have to share our experiences with white supremacy and racism in order to receive acknowledgement and validation of those experiences from white folks (and some others) by "educating" them about the realities of race in America.

History echoes. There was a scripted moment during the anti-slavery rallies held by Abolitionists where there would be a great reveal, a living, human example of the evils of white supremacy and the peculiar institution's gross wickedness. In that ritual, an escaped slave would take off his or her clothing in order to show the scars caused by the whip, the blade, or other foul instrument to the horror of all in attendance. The "what has racism done to you moment" in the post-Civil Rights era feels like a continuation of that script, but one with a far less generous, invested, and accepting audience.

For those sincere about true and substantive social justice, the "please tell me about racism/sexism/other ism moment" is also an error in tactics: it still plays to the veto power of the privileged and the in-group, where for every honest ear there are many more who want you, the sharer, to tell a story which they, the listener can't wait to invalidate for reasons of their own investment in the status quo and/or a belief that most people are "good" and all that "ism" talk is so much chaff and belly aching.

The script is consistent:

"You were overreacting." "It can't possibly be that bad." "How do you know that was their intent?" "I go through stuff like that all the time, what is the big deal?" "If you expect to see racism, you will find it, you need to just relax." And of course the classic, "you are being too sensitive!"

Here, the common refrain is that empathy and sympathy are dependent on sharing, or that communicating one's experiences are a prerequisite and prior for confronting challenging issues of social policy. And how can we make the world a better place if there are no efforts to talk about personal subjects across lines of human difference and identity?

In the year 2011, many of those white folks who are being spoken to just don't care to listen anymore, except when it is to borrow a lazy script where they discover "reverse racism," minimize the experiences of non-whites with prejudice and bigotry, or to steal Dr. King's radical vision and struggle for their own Right-wing, in defense of Whiteness, populist Conservative agenda.

In post-racial America, a country in which some white folks absurdly claim that they are now "oppressed" by people of color and Barack Obama, the black folk racism confessional just doesn't have any zing or punch left to it.

Sorry folks, I just can't play along anymore. Those white folks on the right side of history have already heard the message and come along. Those others are deaf of ear, and there is nothing you can say to win them over.


fred c said...

Agree; like; digg. Most White folk these days have a vague, undocumented feeling that racism is a feature of the past. If they hear individual stories from Black Americans about those wake-up-calls, they tend to find them lamentable but individual, not signs of a general condition. Whites who can see the reality of racism, in history and in current events, would tend to hear those same stories as bricks in a wall, elements of a large pattern, stories that confirm what they already know.

For the fans of the "post-racial" delusion, conversion to reality will be difficult in this age of echo-chamber information delivery.

Plane Ideas said...

CD super post it feels so real to my reality...

Fred your honesty once again is valued and so respected..

As a tired and now obsolete and often dismissed Black activist whose confessions have never been valued by whites or even many Blacks I have loss the energy to seek an audience or circles of cohorts for acknowledgement... Now I engaged and invoke for the witnesses that I believe are present but live beyond the corridors of now and the present..I have convinced myself these souls are present in some natural order rule of the universe to make my body of work have meaning and purpose..( I also valued the words of people like you both and others on WARN and a few close comrades)

I get validation, acknowledgement, affirmation, embracement from thier ether presence..This undocumented audience and metaphysical support fuels me..This is my confessional gallery and activism auditors..

It is the force/beings/enity/collective that I perform and conduct my life's mission for....

Plane Ideas said...

We must continue to proceed not with grievance forums and collective angst but with solutions, recommendations, ideas that remove the possibilties of more victims and incidents...

This is what we are tasked to do I can't stop on the trail to lament..

DebC said...

"I'm tired of sharing the most racist things that have happened to me, Are you?"

Not really, cd - particularly since I no longer concern myself with the catharsis (and it is that) freeing "the United States from the lingering shadows of white supremacy," (which IMO, is the misdirection) - I'm more concerned with it freeing me.

For some of us, telling our own stories, in our own words (rather than say, Katherine Stockett's) is not only freeing and even renewing (since it allows us to "do our first works over" and learn to better critically think), but it sets the record straight - regardless of whether white folk want to listen, selectively hear, or not own their shit.

"...where matters of identity are concerned, if "we" could just "understand" each other, things would inevitably have to get better."

I think, if "we-Others," would work more diligently to accept and understand ourselves - less through the distorted prism of white folk and more, through the lens of our lived experiences - things would inevitably have to get better.

"In the year 2011, many of those white folks who are being spoken to just don't care to listen anymore..."

As if "those white folks" had been "listening" all along...

"the black folk racism confessional just doesn't have any zing or punch left to it...there is nothing you can say to win them over."

Again a misdirection cd. While I am definitely still a work in progress (ridding oneself of centuries-old, continuously experienced and passed down oppression takes a lot of work!) - I'm certainly not trying to WIN anybody over.

Instead, I choose to expend my energy (and yes, it is at times, quite exhausting) working on MY OWN clarity - with the help of the "zing" and "punch" provided by my own "black folk racism confessional." Not for nothing but, I've found it increasingly encourages and affects, how I stand in truth about "how structures and institutions impact opportunity."

An interesting, and somewhat relative piece from our friend, Mr. Baldwin:

chaunceydevega said...

@Fred. Conversion to reality. You can be the white version of Morpheus in the next Matrix films!

@Thrasher. You got to stay strong and do it for yourself and not others. You are right, I could and should have extended this more directly to some black folks too as there are many who are as culpable as White America on this issue...but for different reasons.

@Deb. Deep. Now you are talking about internalized oppression. Stop scaring me with all your truth telling!

nomad said...

No. I'm not tired either. I don't think I've ever done it. Lessee. The most racist incident in my life? Gee. So many to choose from. That fact is probably worse than any single event. That there is so much from which to choose.

DebC said...

"Stop scaring me with all your truth telling!"

All I have to give, cd...

DebC said...

nomad...Hey! I hit send before I meant to, when I responded to cd!

Then, I got sidetracked paying my lawn guys (my 2 grown sons) - cuz they don't work for free (made 'em lunch and gave 'em a beer, so we're even)!

Just wanted to cosign your, "So many to choose from. That fact is probably worse than any single event." comment - cuz it surely is. But not only for us, because of the sheer magnitutde of the racism, but for the racists too - because it leaves an irrefutable trail of evidence which is totally, contrary to all the damned, drummed-up, dog whistles.

In continuing to tell our stories, I think, we not only "Let the record show..." - we set the record straight.

Just my 2cents...

nomad said...

For me, it was never any big event, like getting beat up by the police. Though I've known people who've been beat up and worse. No. It's many incidental things. A system. As you said: "structures" "institutions". Institutional racism. It's like trying to make progress against strong relentless headwinds.

DebC said...

I know, Man, but the truth serves as a powerful buffer against those headwinds - as you move forward.

fred c said...

Too many to choose from . . . I know it's true. But many Black Americans have one, particular event that really shocked them, burned them to the core, and left a scar that never fades. I've heard a few of those, and the teller would almost cry to remember it, eyes focused way in the distance. Blessed it was to hear those stories, and flattering.

DebC said...

fred c...'tis true. However, where nomad's "too many to choose from" comes into play (for me at least), is I thought I'd already had my allotted, "one, particular event" - until I had another, just last year, in the post-racial age of Obama.

I'm still pretty "shocked, burned and scarred" - though the paralysis, couched in absolute, disbelief that initially had a hold of me, has somewhat subsided, replaced now, by a hefty portion of "Not this time mofo!" (And yes, when I'm ready, there will be a post.)

nomad said...

Don't get me wrong. It's not like those "incidental" racist events didn't have a deleterious impact, singularly as well as cumulatively. Each was a powerful blow to my well-being. It's like the same horrid event over and over again. Each time causing enormous damage. Probably the one that cost me the most, in economic terms, was the computer virus sabotage of my doctoral dissertation. And like most of the incidents, there's usually no way to prove it was racially motivated, or even who did it (except that everybody who had access to the office computer I was using was, of course, white). It simply fit a well-established pattern. And, heck, that ain't even the worst.

nomad said...

"shocked, burned and scarred"
I know that feeling. Like when a blatantly racist remark comes from an unexpected source. From a senior professor no less. "Paralysis" "absolute disbelief". I think you are right. I need to recapitulate some of this shit. Not to make an indifferent white audience aware of it, but for my personal catharsis.

Plane Ideas said...

Nomad & Deb...Both of you are blowing me away today..I so so much value your posts.....

Peace & Love on the Fields of Battle

fred c said...

I'm not talking about mere remarks, or incidental racism, every Black American can point to thousands of those. I'm talking about things that are personal, public and deeply humiliating, and unambiguously racially motivated. Like the story that my law school friend told me. She's a pretty woman, and very smart and sweet, and she had been voted Prom Queen, publicly at a pep-rally, at her fairly diverse high school in Los Angeles. Then the office called her in and explained to her that it had been a mistake, and they were going with the White girl. It was twelve years later, but obviously she still couldn't believe it, and had been shattered.

DebC said...

nomad..."I need to recapitulate some of this shit. Not to make an indifferent white audience aware of it, but for my personal catharsis."

Simply put, that's the crux - Do it for you! Then, you can at least make an informed, and purposeful-for-you decision about exactly what kind of "freedom" you're willing to "ride and die for."

Thrasher..."Both of you are blowing me away today..I so so much value your posts.....

Thanx - for alla that! I very much appreciate your shared "knowing." And right backatcha on the "Peace & Love on the Fields of Battle" too - cuz I know, despite the damned dog whistles, we are not ALL, Don Quixotes - tilting at windmills.

fred c..."I'm not talking about mere remarks, or incidental racism, every Black American can point to thousands of those. I'm talking about things that are personal, public and deeply humiliating, and unambiguously racially motivated."

Yeah - me neither.

Anonymous said...

My 19 year old nephew and all his other white buddies who grew up in a working class suburb of Detroit justify calling each other 'nigga' on their Facebook messages because they've convinced themselves that their generation has 'passed the point where it's a racial word.' I try and instruct him about white privilege, and told him that when he grows up and leaves behind his faux ghetto chic, he'll never have to deal with the real history of the word. But to him, I'm just Grandpa Simpson going on about wearing onions on my belt. My nephew and his buddies think that their generation is beyond racism. I know eventually, his black buddies will get that wake up call. Unfortunately, I don't know if he'll ever acknowledge the freebies accorded to him for being white, male, straight and nominally Christian.

fred c said...

I'm sorry, Deb. I did seem to be shortchanging you there, it was careless of me. Maybe I should be sorry for helping to dredge these stories up at all. Mea culpa.

nomad said...

Thanks. You brightened my rather dismal day yesterday.

The problem is all such acts are ambiguous, unless we are talking outright Aryanism. There is always a pretext that the perpetrator can hide behind. The one that I get all the time: It's not because you're black, it's because of your attitude. In either case it results in acts of hostility.

nomad said...

Well, that caused me to recall a relevant incident that demonstrates the ambiguous nature of such racism. I was working a job where my supervisor repeatedly discriminated against me; treating me differently than she treated my coworkers. Could have been because I was male. Could have been because I was tall. Could have been cause I wore glasses. Could have been because I had a bad attitude. Whatever it was the treatment differential was noticeable. I suspected it was racism on the basis of various cues. Most notably she pronounced the word "Negro" "Niggra". Anyway after putting up with this discrimination for almost to years, I finally filed a grievance. Immediately, she was transferred but some other reason than her dispute with me. So the operation that employed us was not to blame for anything racial. They just all of a sudden thought she'd be better somewhere else. There was no racism here. On her departing day she said this to me. "I've never seen one like you." "One what?" I said. She paused and said with a sly smile: "Person".

DebC said...

fred c..."I'm sorry, Deb. I did seem to be shortchanging you there, it was careless of me. Maybe I should be sorry for helping to dredge these stories up at all."

I appreciate your willingness to apologize. As in any kind of reconciliation between people(s), that's always a good 1st step.

But rather than careless, I saw it as normal behavior from one of those white folks, who, cd described as, "having already heard the message and come along."

I've found that, as well-meaning as those folks mean to be, it always comes off sounding "careless," because they're attempting to share our stories without benefit of having experienced any of them - and therein lies the problem with US not telling them ourselves, because the importance seems to always get minimized and/or distorted.

I wasn't the one shortchanged - but I think you and your brethren (and even some of mine) have been, and continue to be by not really listening to, and/or learning from - the abundant, lived experiences of Black folk and other POC.

I watched a documentary last weekend - "The Healing Passage: Voices From the Water" - and the sole white person, a descendant of the DeWolf famiy from Bristol, NH who were among the most "successful" slave traders, said (after her own discoveries separate and apart from the documentary) she realized that she and other white folks needed to ask themselves:

"What do I have to look at, in order to look at you?"

She realized it was plenty, so much so, that she, with some of her other relatives, worked on telling THEIR OWN horrific stories of having been one of the largest purveyors of human flesh during the slave trade.

Twas a powerful segment as she owned some serious shit. And that's what I suggest to any white folks wanting to have a conversation about race. Tell your own stories - honestly, then maybe we can all have a real conversation about race and reconciliation.

Merriam-Webster denotes "dredge" as: to bring to light by deep searching — often used with up . (emphasis mine) Trust me, you didn't help "dredge up" anything - not for me anyway. I already knew, and have experienced "these stories."

But can you honestly say that what you shared, was the result of deep searching? Something to think about...

fred c said...

Yes, Deb, I can say that deep searching was, is, involved for me. Frequently what I find out about myself is uncomfortable. For me, the "Naked Lunch" moment was the Rodney King matter, I experienced a sea-change at that time and jettisoned a good deal of youthful error (I was 43 at the time). Before that time I thought that I was fairly enlightened, and that illusion was shattered. I resolved to seek deeper understanding, of things in general and myself in particular. I resolved to be helpful, albeit in my own small, ineffective and perhaps self-serving way. But we change one person at a time, do we not?

I do wonder if it's a case of, "I want to be helpful in the worst way," (to paraphrase W.C.Fields). I would be miserable to think that my efforts cause anybody discomfort.

My efforts have not been limited to sitting at my computer chewing my cud. And face-to-face I do share personal stories that do not place me in a good light, and I own them. I'm not sure that this is the place for that, because, after all, it's not about me.

Thanks as always for your patience, Deb, and for your insight.

DebC said...

fred c..."I resolved to be helpful, albeit in my own small, ineffective and perhaps self-serving way. But we change one person at a time, do we not? "

Yes we do. And no, if you ARE, in fact, deeply searching and always, always OWNING your shit - then your efforts are neither ineffective, nor self-serving - they are growth.

You are always very welcome fred c, and don't get it twisted, I truly appreciate your "wanting to be helpful in the worst way"

nomad said...

What am I, the Invisible Man? Not to beat a dead horse The dismissal of "incidental" is a gross error when talking about the effects of racism.

DebC said...

No “Mr. Ellsion,” you are not. You and Anon were next on my list for a reply!

But between trying to reply and: a kidney ultrasound (no food for some time before, makes Deb a slow, cranky old girl!); getting my car in for a long overdue service appointment and picking up the husband from the airport after his having been gone for a month and a half (I missed him okay?!) - at the same time (mix-up in arrival time); a follow-up kidney MRI (more, no-food irritability, coupled with waiting-for-results anxiety); a continuing legal/court issue (in which my side appears to be more, fighting against me than for me); a grueling dental appointment for a crown and a filling (so that I could eat without pain, when I was finally allowed to); visiting you and commenting on "ironymous" (twice); the Troy Davis murder (which slayed me emotionally) – this week’s been crazy (I know, a little TMI, but you needed to know that I do exist outside of my computer - though marginally)!

You are right of course, that we cannot dismiss the “incidentals” because they are, indeed, deleterious.

Coupled with overt racism and those racial micro-aggressions (like her, "I've never seen one like you." "One what?" I said. She paused and said with a sly smile: "Person.") about which cd wrote here earlier – they make up that “system” to which you alluded.

I see that “Nefarious 3” kinda like a pressure cooker (Do people even use them anymore?) with that little, silver, disc-shaped thing on the lid that regulates the steam as the meat is cooking. If that thing is not there, or isn’t sitting just right, when you unlock those handles – you get a shitload of “meat parts” splattered all over the place (I know, I've done it)!

To my mind, “truth” is the little disc-shaped regulator that ensures your/my/our well-being (“meat parts”) is not splattered all over the place. And as thoroughly exhausting as it is to do our part in ensuring that “it’s there, and sitting just right”we must tell it – to ourselves, to those that would step to us with any bullshit - and to the world (if, and when, we are presented an opportunity to do so).

Anon…not leaving you out, but I’m headed north in about an hour, this evening, to listen to Michelle Alexander on “The New Jim Crow.” I'm hoping for an interesting presentation and/or a lively participatory discussion!

I will certainly address your comment when I get back, because I have 2-more-cents to add on that!

nomad said...

Best wishes. I sometimes forget there is a world outside the Internet. Though I seldom talk about my experience with racism, I have definite notions about what it is and how it works. Hopefully they are accurate insights. From my perspective ambiguity and incidentalness are essential qualities. And even unspokeness. Worse than the award given and taken away, due to racial discrimination, is the award never given in the first place, due to racial discrimination. At least the first former is visible and can be be brought into the realm of discussion, but the latter is invisible. And routine. You know that you're not going to win because they don't give that award to colored people.

DebC said...

nomad...Thanks. I think we all do at some point.

My medical anxiety is tied to the fact that if there's something wrong, it will limit the work of re-examining, re-learning and ultimately sharing with others what I am trying to do - not about death, because I have no control over when that actually happens.

"You know that you're not going to win because they don't give that award to colored people."

I guess I'd have to say (if I'm understanding you correctly) that I've found shifting my motivation for doing things has helped me tremendously in understanding and dealing with "most" shit. As I told cd earlier, I'm not trying to "win anybody over," nor am I trying to "win" anything - gives too much control over my life to the other guy. Simply put, I do what moves me deeply and to hell with what it might garner.

For some reason, I want to share this snippet of my sister, bell hooks with you. I hoe you enjoy it:

Anon..."My 19 year old nephew and all his other white buddies who grew up in a working class suburb of Detroit justify calling each other 'nigga' on their Facebook messages because they've convinced themselves that their generation has 'passed the point where it's a racial word.'

I've experienced this phenomena first-hand, having two racially mixed sons, who've been military brats all of their formative years. Their father is Italian, but not of the olive-skinned variety, more like pale, with reddish-tinted brown hair - but the "Roman" nose cannot be denied! And no, I knew absolutely nothing of Algeria, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia or Libya, for that matter, when I married him (which speaks volumes about what children ARE actually taught here in America!).

They are now 27 and 30, and more, now than ever, when their friends come over (they live together, 15 minutes away from me), it's a veritable UN here in the belly of the beast - so I regularly see what you're talking about. And I'm not havin'- ANY OF IT!

The sons always warn friends about the things they might say (the "ghetto" and "nigga" things particularly - too close for comfort) in my presence, which will immediately and absolutely earn them an immediate and unvarnished, "You better check yo'self, Bruh!" and why, from me. Trust me, it's often not pretty, but definitely, to my mind anyway, necessary. They've been told on more than one occasion - "Your Mama's crazy!" - and I like it just like that.

So, all I can deduce, is that while the sons have had "the wake-up call" more times than I care to count, they want to see/feel something else. And that's fine with me - but not at the expense of who I am/they are (I'm, sometimes, the most dreaded presence in the joint, but I really don't give a shit).

I say all that to say that, even if your nephew (and friends) never " acknowledge the freebies accorded to him for being white, male, straight and nominally Christian," it's still up to us, to keep making them aware, of whence they ALL came (and if that doesn't work - send 'em to see me!).

A side note: instead of spending the usual Xmas here in America, we're shunning the whole tree, decorating the house with lights and over-priced gifts, etc. Instead, the whole family will be in Africa - cuz we all need some learnin'!

DebC said...

In that last comment, make that "hope" - not "hoe" :-(

nomad said...

That's deep, Deb. I have this recapitulation that keeps wanting to get out. I'll write about it tomorrow.

DebC said...

Just thought I'd share.

"I'll write about it tomorrow."

And I shall be over at ironymous to read it! :-)

nomad said...

OK, soon as my brain cells start functioning again. In the meantime, this term I keep using, recapitulation, is from Carlos Castaneda:
Recapitulation is a term used by Carlos Castaneda in his book, The Eagle’s Gift, published in 1982. In The Eagle's Gift, Florinda, one of don Juan's party of warriors, teaches Castaneda about the process and purpose of recapitulation. She explained that recapitulation consisted of "recollecting one's life down to the most insignificant detail" and that when a woman's recapitulation was complete she "no longer abided by the limitations of her person."[1] She further explained that in the process of recapitulation one recounts all the feelings they invested in whatever memory they were reviewing.
A sorcerer's tool.