Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat

Rabbit is a book I definitely recommend. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story like this one. I mean, I’ve certainly read similar ones, but this one seemed so packed with struggle and unbelievable incidents that it could’ve easily been fiction. The facts of the story are heavy, to say the least, but the light, fast-paced approach to the writing had the effect of making the story feel normal. I only wish I walked away with a better feel for who Ms. Pat is, her personality, her sense of humor. I didn’t know who Ms. Pat was before reading Rabbit, so I had never seen her stand-up. I had never seen her or heard her speak. So, I was disappointed and a little confused when I didn’t walking away thinking of Ms. Pat as funny. I mean, there were some moments, but overall, I didn’t really understand why comedy became her career. So, I went searching and one interview was

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Criminality and Blackness

Criminality, once it touched black life, was a stain hard to remove. ~ From Bluebird, Bluebird, Attica Locke Truth isn’t necessary. A suggestion is enough. A picture of an unsmiling face and a narrative rife with descriptors that imply an aggressive nature will suffice. It only has to happen once. It doesn’t take much. And when these narratives are presented, there is often no way to refute them. Alternative narratives don’t matter. Disproving claims of violence or criminal behavior isn’t effective either. And if these humans are ever victimized, know that they will immediately be criminalized.

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

Nashville has changed me. In this space where liberalism excuses itself and distances itself from explicit racism, but still participates in the subtle prejudices couched in the racism they claim to disavow, it becomes very difficult to come and go. Any space you enter could be filled with people wearing masks of acceptance, secretly more comfortable with your absence and silence. And they will smile. They will engage you in debates about the issues of our day. You will avoid these conversations until you don’t and your opinion is overridden by the deep understanding they have of the ways people of color move through the world—information they have gathered within the walls of their white world. And in this same space, there will be a moment when they wear their racism around you and point it at you accusingly with no fear of retribution. And the people who witness this moment will feign surprise and create distance, but the truth

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