paper trail

"New York Times" endorses Clinton; Claudia Rankine on creating the Racial Imaginary Institute

Claudia Rankine

The New York Times has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. The paper cites as evidence both Clinton’s political record and the nature of the 2016 election. “One candidate . . . has a record of service and a raft of pragmatic ideas, and the other, Donald Trump, discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway.”

Roger Angell, the author of many books, writes in the New Yorker that he has voted in eighteen presidential elections (he first voted in 1944, for FDR). He then explains why his nineteenth vote, in this November’s election, will be the most important.

During a recent rally protesting the police shootings of Tyree King, Terence Crutcher, and Keith Lamont Scott, Russell Rickford, a professor at Cornell and the author of We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination, identified three fallacies of neoliberal protest. “We need an uncompromising, multiracial, grassroots movement against white supremacy, endless war, and vicious corporate capitalism,” he writes. “This is a human rights struggle. And it will be waged in the streets, not in boardrooms, the halls of Congress, or other strongholds of global capital.”

Claudia Rankine, the author of Citizen: An American Lyric and a recipient of a 2016 MacArthur grant, talks to the Los Angeles Times about her new project, the Racial Imaginary Institute, which she has been planning with Casey Llewellyn and a number of writers and artists. The institute “is an interdisciplinary arts and cultural laboratory for the dismantling of white dominance,” she says. “One of the things I think the culture needs is an actual location where writers and artists and thinkers can come together and put pressure on the language that makes apparent white supremacy and white dominance. I think a lot of us are working separately on these subjects, but it would be nice to have a Racial Imaginary Institute that really has as its goal the dismantling of white supremacy.” Rankine explains why members of the institute should come from a variety of fields: “If you’re a writer, you have the benefit of talking to other artists who are interested in the subject. What are we missing? What isn’t getting said? What are the narratives of white greatness that disallow other things to be brought to the surface?”

Some of the more extreme Trump supporters have taken their trolling to an unlikely part of the web: Goodreads. Last week, young-adult novelist Laura Silverman, who often criticizes the Republican candidate on Twitter, found that her novel Girl Out of Water was receiving numerous one-star reviews on the book rating site. The problem? Silverman’s book isn’t out until next spring and review copies have not been released. 

Margaret Atwood explains her choice to set her new novel Hag-Seed, based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, in a Canadian prison rather than on an uncharted island. “What was the modern-day equivalent of a magician marooned on an island for 12 years with a now adolescent daughter? You couldn’t write that straight: all the islands are known, there are satellites now, they would have been rescued by a helicopter in no time flat.”

Facebook will collaborate with ABC to stream the presidential debate tonight. Using Facebook Live and other video features on the network’s page, ABC plans to “incorporate viewers’ comments, questions and conversations” into their coverage, which will be free of ads. Other non-TV options for watching the debates include Twitter, who will stream Bloomberg’s coverage of the debate, and AltspaceVR, who is partnering with NBC to create a virtual reality viewing option.