Claudia Rankine Quotes

Claudia Rankine (/?ræ?k?n/; born 1963) is a poet, essayist, playwright and the editor of several anthologies. She is the author of five volumes of poetry, two plays and various essays.

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Claudia Rankine


You become a role model because of what you do as a person. There's a certain point where being a role model might come from standing up for yourself and getting rid of emotion that doesn't belong to you, emotion that is being brought on because of racist actions of others.

Claudia Rankine


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I think words are the thing that either triumphs for you, in your desire to communicate something, or fails. I love language because when it succeeds, for me, it doesn't just tell me something. It enacts something. It creates something. And it goes both ways. Sometimes it's violent. Sometimes it hurts you. And sometimes it saves you.

Claudia Rankine


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The idea that when one reacts, one is not reacting to any one of those moments. You're reacting to the accumulation of the moments. I wanted the book, as much as the book could do this, to communicate that feeling. The feeling of saturation. Of being full up. I wanted it to be simulacra.

Claudia Rankine


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In the future, we've forgotten it. It's disappointing to find out that the past is the present is the future. Nobody wants that. And yet, that's what it is. Maybe it's a kind of surrealist move, to use language like "post-racial" - thinking that if you create the language for it, it will happen. I wish it worked that way. But that's not our reality.

Claudia Rankine


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Define loneliness? Yes. It's what we can't do for each other.

Claudia Rankine


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The worst injury is feeling you don't belong so much / to you.

Claudia Rankine


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I also found it funny to think about blackness as the second person. That was just sort of funny. Not the first person, but the second person, the other person.

Claudia Rankine


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If you admit to being racist, it says you acknowledge that you are being driven by projections and stereotypes that were formed in the creation of our country. Racism is deeply rooted in America.

Claudia Rankine


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I asked a lot of friends and people I'd meet, "Can you tell me a story of a micro-aggression that happened to you in a place you didn't expect it to happen?" I wasn't interested in scandal, or outrageous moments. I was interested in the surprise of the intimate, or the surprise of the ordinary.

Claudia Rankine


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There is/no reasoning with need.

Claudia Rankine


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I don't think people want to look at problems. They want a continuous narrative, an optimistic narrative. A narrative that says there's a present and a future - and what was in the past no longer exists.

Claudia Rankine


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The truce is that. You forgive all of these moments because you're constantly waiting for the moment when you will be seen. As an equal. As just another person. As another first person. There's a letting go that comes with it.

Claudia Rankine


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I am invested in keeping present the forgotten bodies.

Claudia Rankine


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If you make a mistake, then you should own that mistake.

Claudia Rankine


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I don't really agree with the role model thing. People are always saying that athletes shouldn't do X or Y because they are role models.

Claudia Rankine


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