Rankine, CITIZEN

    because white men
can’t police their imaginations
black men are dying
–Claudia Rankine, Citizen


Looking at the adjacent page the name Walter Scott stuck out. I thought this book was published in 2014. Walter Scott died April of 2015. I remember the name. I remember the story. I told my suitemate who read Citizen but for a different class, she said that her class found that some pages had more names than others. Hers had Sandra Bland. July 2015. Mine ended on Walter Scott.

Rankine knew. In the initial printing of the books, the fading “In Memory Of” signifying something to come. Those two pages served as a warning. A cause and an effect. Unless this happened, then this would continue to happen. The names on the other page will continue to fill up because the imaginations of white people will not be policed in her lifetime. In many ways these pages serve as a plea as well. When will it stop? No one has an answer for that. The memoriam page simply shows the consequences of  avoidable actions.

–Leah Whitcomb