Citizen — Claudia Rankine

A rather different way of saying the things that need to be said, containing a mixed bag of poetry, prose, vignettes, etc., detailing what it’s like to be perpetually on the receiving end of racism, from micro-agressions to extremely overt racism.

Maybe, instead of forcing children to read Shakespeare and Dickens at school, we should be encouraging them to read books like this and encouraging them to engage in constructive dialogue with each other about the issues raised and the experiences of those on the receiving end of racism and other bigotry.   Racist is not something people are born, it’s something people are taught, and its very clearly up to schools and educators to start stepping up and making much more effort with the young minds in their care.

In the UK “Citizenship” and “Relationship” education is not on the curriculum until after 11 years of age: this is far, far too late.   How our societies are peopled — our citizens — and how we relate to those other citizens within our societies should be permanently on the curriculum from the very first day of school, not be left in the hands of young people’s peers, bad television, bad websites, and ignorant parents who read nothing but vile, tabloid drivel.   A child who has been nurtured badly up to the age of 11 is highly unlikely to respond to positive nuturing by over-worked, underpaid, stressed-out teachers after the age of 11.

Claudia’s Page

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