by Aph Ko
In this book, Aph Ko examines the mainstream animal rights and anti-racist movements in an effort to explain why tension exists between the two. She offers possible resolutions, and explores how such tensions represent a symptom of a deeper societal problem.
Framed as a "starter guide" for having conversations on race and animals, Racism as Zoological Witchcraft draws upon television shows and films such as Jordan Peele's Get Out, Netflix's Santa Clarita Diet, and ABC's The Bachelor franchise to demonstrate how one can use media and cultural studies to provide new ways of thinking about complex social phenomena. Drawing upon Claire Jean Kim's zoological race theory and James W. Perkinson's European race discourse as witchcraft scholarship, Racism as Zoological Witchcraft concludes that white supremacy functions as a form of zoological witchcraft, a pervasive force that thrives off of metabolizing nonhuman souls.
In re-framing white supremacy as a consumptive, cannibalistic force, only then can we re-imagine how Black bodies and animal bodies are used as vehicles to fulfill the racialized power fantasies of the dominant class. This book poses a crucial question: What is the interplay between the ideological and economic consumption of Blackness (both historical and contemporary) and the conception of animals as consumable entities in American society? In Racism as Zoological Witchcraft, Aph Ko argues that in order to "get out" of a problematic system, we have to thoroughly understand how we got in"
Aph Ko is a writer and indie digital media producer. She is the founder of Black Vegans Rock and coauthor of Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters. Aph also served as the Associate Producer for the documentary Always in Season, which won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury award for Moral Urgency at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019.