ONTOLOGICAL TERROR: Blackness, Nihilism, and Emancipation (INTRODUCTION)

Ontological Terror meditates on this (non)relation between blackness and Being by arguing that black being incarnates metaphysical nothing, the terror of metaphysics, in an antiblack world. Blacks, then, have function but not Being — the function of black(ness) is to give form to a terrifying formlessness (nothing). Being claims function as its property (all functions rely on Being, according to this logic,), but the aim of black nihilism is to expose the unbridgeable drift between Being and function for blackness. The puzzle of blackness, then, is that it functions in an antiblack world without being — much like “nothing” functions philosophically without our metaphysical under-standing of being, an extraordinary mystery. Put differently, metaphysics is obsessed with both blackness and nothing, and the two become synonyms for that which ruptures metaphysical organization and form. The Negro is black because the Negro must assume the function of nothingin a metaphysical world. The world needs this labor. This obsession, however, also transforms into hatred, since nothing is incorrigible — it shatters ontological ground and security. Nothing terrifies metaphysics, and metaphysics attempts to dominate it by turning nothing into an object ofknowledge, something it can dominate, analyze, calculate, and schematize. When I speak of function, I mean the projection of nothing’s terroronto black(ness) as a strategy of metaphysics’ will to power. How, then, does metaphysics dominate nothing? By objectifying nothing through the black Negro …

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