Similar to Fanon's notion of the epidermalization
of inferiority (1967), Welsing understood that white supremacy encourages Black people to internalize ideas that convey that Black skin is an error and that Black existence is a negation of that which is classified as white/human.
The textual nature of race was always material, always lived, brought into being through what Frantz Fanon calls "epidermalization
This continues to involve the global colonial project of drawing the colour line which only incidentally involves epidermalization
but more fundamentally involves the creation of a Manichaean dualism of civilized versus uncivilized (Razack 2004, 10).
Within this visual regime, surveillance practices are extended beyond epidermalization
(Browne, 2010; Fanon, 1967), personal information gathering (Lyon, 2002), and biometrics (Gates, 2011) as infrared imagery isolates suspects according to the heat waves emitted by their bodies.
The findings on light microscopy of the eyelids in pachydermoperiostosis are thickening and sclerosis of the connective tissue between the orbicularis oculi muscle and the tarsal plate as well as a thickened tarsal plate due to meibomian gland hyperplasia and epidermalization
of the conjunctival epithelium.
In her essay "Digital Epidermalization
: Race, Identity and Biometrics," Simone Browne importantly asks: How do we understand the body when it is made into data?
Though used consistently to govern racialized populations, biometric technology is a form of "digital epidermalization
" rendering certain bodies "out of place" (Browne 2010:134).
Gee proposes that poisoned by prejudice, thus often lacking in agency, both the white Vanessa and the black Mary, like many other people from different cultures, become victims of social incomprehension and that such antagonisms are merely signs of, to quote Fanon, "epidermalization
of the binary thinking terms" (13).
Wiegman argues that natural history's shift from geography to the body anticipated the rise of the human sciences, especially biology, in which the tethering of race to skin--or the epidermalization
of racial difference--unequivocally tied race to economies of the visible and visual in modernity.
I am invoking here both Harre's notion of the "body," taking it to mean specifically the skin as a "'legible' surface from which the moral judgment can be read," (79) and Fanon's notion of "epidermalization
of inferiority." (80) Because the skin is (constructed to be) telling of who the person is and is a site where one's "inferiority" or one's "shame" materializes, there is a need to "manage" it to reflect what the person wants it to tell others.
Fibroblasts and ascorbate regulate epidermalization
in reconstructed human epidermis.
Being African does not have to be racialized, needn't undergo what Frantz Fanon referred to as epidermalization
. It is only such reductive inference that could lead to introducing Obama into a discourse where he and his successful campaign surely do not belong.