This article aspires to explain how it is possible that “white lives matter,” “blue lives matter,” and, ultimately, “all lives matter,” can sound, feel like and act as responses to the claim that “black lives matter” for so many Americans by approaching the political sequence as both a historical (situated, epistemological, and ideological) problem and a philosophical (metaphysical and ontological) question. By way of general history, the first part of the article specifies how a statement (vital but otherwise unqualified human life), a political rationality (molecularization), and a rhetoric of democratic indifference (whose master trope is the metonym) lend to our political present its common sense. The second part pushes against it, first by advocating on behalf of the usefulness of spectralization in antiracist struggle and, second, by recommending a dramatic transformation of the common sense—from molecularization to singularization or bios as “singularly plural coexistence,” founded on a rhetoric of democratic copossibility whose master trope is the exemplar.

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