Baltimore Riots Are Not Excusable, But They Are Understandable

Thought Catalog

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The following is an excerpt from Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric:

“The most notorious of Serena Williams’ detractors takes the form of Mariana Alves, the distinguished tennis chair umpire. In 2004 Alves was excused from officiating any more matches on the final day of the US Open after she made five bad calls against Serena in her semifinal matchup against fellow American Jennifer Capriati. The serves and returns Alves called out were landing, stunningly unreturned by Capriati, inside the lines, no discerning eyesite needed. Commentators, spectators, television viewers, lines judges, everyone could see the balls were good, everyone, apparently, except Alves. No one could understand what was happening. Serena, in her denim skirt, black sneaker boots, and dark mascara, began wagging her finger and saying “no, no, no”, as if by negating the moment she could propel us back into a legible world. Tennis…

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