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“Citizen: An American” by Lyric Rankine Essay


Of the points that Rankine makes about “mistaken” identity, the social racism, and the fabric of urban and suburban life, what point hits closest to home for you?

In her book Citizen: An American Lyric Rankine touches upon several nagging problems that could be considered peculiar to modern society. The fact is that despite all attempts to proclaim the prevalence of democracy, tolerance, and equality numerous problems remain. One could notice that modern society is heterogeneous and representatives of different layers of society have various opportunities for their personal and professional growth.

For this reason, Rankine manages to reveal a very important problem Admitting the cases of mistaken identity, fabric urban and suburban lives, and social racism, she attracts peoples attention to the given issue. It should be said that social racism is one of the closest ideas to me. The fact is that society has always been depressing or even degrading representatives of a certain class that is considered inferior because of different peculiarities. Unfortunately, the given pattern preserves and social racism remains topical for modern society. People prefer to use biased thinking and approaches as it is convenient for them and provides the feeling of belonging to the privileged class. That is why Rankine tries to attract our attention to this social stigma.

How is this a new way of writing about racism in America?

The book written by Rankine could be considered a unique work as it presents a new perspective on the issue of racism and the impact it has on modern society. At the very beginning of the book, the author warns a reader that the text presents data that makes an individual look at the problem from a different angle. For this reason, Rankines prose is plain and conversational but, at the same time, it attracts the attention of a reader. The author uses an unusual approach to reveal the topic.

She introduces a series of micro-aggressions to travel back into the poets past and examine the race problem peculiar to America. Her words sound strong and are very powerful because all situations mentioned in the text are real. Some of them happened to her while others to her friends; however, they demonstrate the systematic character of the problem and the way racial issues had been ignored or avoided for a long period. The given way of the presentation of the material and ideas attracts readers attention and results in the increased topicality of the issue.

How does Rankine ask us to look differently at the way we live?

While reading a book, the reader starts to realize the fact that the writer wants to convey a certain idea. Presenting the images from her past and emphasizing one of the main problems of the US society that remain topical, Rankine at the same time wants us to use another perspective when looking at the situation we have today. The problem has not disappeared. On the contrary, it remains topical. However, people prefer not to notice it, pretending that everything is fine. Indeed, they are ashamed to talk about it.

For this reason, the author wants readers to stop thinking in this way. We could indeed observe some improvement in the sphere of human rights, tolerance, and equality. However, problems remain, and the book perfectly demonstrates this fact. By creating micro-aggressions, the author triggers numerous discussions related to the issue and contributes to the adherence to another point of view while analyzing the issue and cogitating about the nature of the problem in the USA. In this regard, the book is a useful resource that should be recommended to alter the point of view.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 6). "Citizen: An American" by Lyric Rankine. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/citizen-an-american-by-lyric-rankine/

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""Citizen: An American" by Lyric Rankine." IvyPanda, 6 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/citizen-an-american-by-lyric-rankine/.

1. IvyPanda. ""Citizen: An American" by Lyric Rankine." September 6, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/citizen-an-american-by-lyric-rankine/.


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IvyPanda. ""Citizen: An American" by Lyric Rankine." September 6, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/citizen-an-american-by-lyric-rankine/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. ""Citizen: An American" by Lyric Rankine." September 6, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/citizen-an-american-by-lyric-rankine/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) '"Citizen: An American" by Lyric Rankine'. 6 September.

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