I am currently reading the book Citizen by Claudia Rankine. I was wondering if you could help me answer these questions. Thanks?
1) Why does Rankine repeat the questions, “What did you say?” and “What do you mean?” throughout the book? What different or multiple meanings do these questions carry?
2) Beyond mere ignorance, what is behind a statement like, “I didn’t know black women could get cancer” (45)? 3) Discuss the role of language in its ability to generate the “hyperinvisibility” that Rankine discusses. Can you give additional examples of how language is used to “exploit” presence? (49) 4) Are you aware of the historical practices of discrimination against blacks in real estate? Reflect on race and segregation where you live. 5) To what extent are we able to “refuse to carry what doesn’t belong to us” (55)? How are these accumulating spotlights of racism impacting you? How do they impact Rankine? White people traditionally have seen racism and racial injustice as “something that doesn’t belong to us” even when it is perpetuated by white people. What would it mean for white people to reject the privilege of ignoring racism and instead take it up as precisely what it is: something that DOES belong to us?
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