Citizen: An American Lyric

“because white men can’t 

police their imagination

black men are dying”

I reread Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric recently. Published in 2014, this poetic, artistic snapshot of Black life in the US is stunning in its impact and intellectual heft. The book is decidedly not written for white men like me, and can, maybe should make white people uncomfortable. The combination of Rankine’s play with subject positions and the language’s poetic density makes me connect with the (narrative) voices. 

Citizen was The Stacks Podcast book of the month (part of the reason I reread it). I really recommend listening to the episode. Darnell Moore’s excellent critique of what is left invisible (queer, trans Black lives) and the strengths of indeterminacy really expanded my understanding of the book.

Chapel Hill shooting: Three young Muslims gunned down in North Carolina family home – Americas – World – The Independent

This is so horrible, and the “parking dispute” such an obvious excuse. Even if the “parking dispute” was what started it, the way the three young people were killed – executed – speaks of such a deep level of contempt that hate as an underlying reason/amplifier is pretty certain.

But I assume the media and fellow white people are already framing him a “lone madman” etc…

Honestly, I don’t know what’s more terrifying – that this was an anti-Muslim hate crime or “just a regular” triple homicide/gun violence over something so mundane.

We have a big problem in both cases.

Chapel Hill shooting: Three young Muslims gunned down in North Carolina family home – Americas – World – The Independent