Eating pizza in prison: Failing family men, civil punishment, and the policing of whiteness in São Paulo
Police work is obviously a question of pursuing subjects. In postslave societies, one figure dominates; police are always after the young Black man. Meanwhile, another distinctive subject of policing exists. In São Paulo, Brazil, police detectives are also worried about the failing White father. He represents a crucial kind of problem: he weakens whiteness by subjecting White children to the indignities that Black children face. His punishment is not incarceration, however. Instead, his punishment is a question of civility and reparation, of being “pedagogical.” Attention to police officers’ decision-making about these two subjects of everyday policing shows how the long-standing fallacy of the idealized White family is produced by extracting from the Black family. It reveals the logic of differentiated punishment—civil and reparative punishment for White men, life in prison or death for Black men and boys—as a mechanism in the constant remediation of whiteness as property and accumulation.