This Christmas I asked for several books and got most of them. One of them was Don't Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine. Funnily enough, I "read" this book in my sophomore year of college in my English class: Writing New York. Ironically, I actually didn't read the book - I should have, but I didn't. Anyway, fast forward, this year I read Rankine's book Citizen and went to a talk about it with Claudia herself. It made me want to go back and read the book I never read. So, I got the book and read it. One page stuck out to me particularly. It was harrowing to think about it in the face of this election (image of said page is attached) and really made me think about the importance knowledge and awareness is.
Something that really stuck out to me was the line "you don't remember because you don't care." This is something that my Mother also used to say to me. She would always tell me that it was no excuse to "forget" someone's name because if you really cared to remember it you would. This has always stayed with me and I have always taken the time to remember people's names and what they tell me. To me, it is imperative to do this because doing this shows people that you are listening to them and furthermore, care about what they are saying.
When Rankine says: "in Bush's case I find myself talking to the television: you don't know because you don't care" I hear my mother's voice. The President "forgetting" whether or not it was two or three people that drug a black man to death in Texas is extremely symbolic and representative of what I feel our country currently represents. "They don't know because they don't care" In the face of the Black Lives Matter movement it is extremely difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that it solely exists on the basis that people just don't care about black lives. They' don't know because they don't care. How do we get people to care? We know that black lives don't matter in this society, but how do we change that? How do we change a culture that invalidates and ignores a whole population's basest identity?