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"Race Is Not A Card, It's a Reality"

Unity

Living in Ikoria
Staff member
Race Is Not A Card, Its A Reality Clutch Magazine

--What are your thoughts on the article? Do you view "the race card" as something legitimate that is played in debate/policy, or is accusation of its use a way to deflect individuals from truly looking into issues of color that may impact peoples' lives?

My opinion is that it is often the latter.

In modern politics, we've heard the phrase "the race card" come about a lot in debate and commentary. When issues that may be racially sensitive or speak to a larger societal problem come about, people accuse "the race card" of being played. As noted in the article, this leads to individuals that may be facing some sort of discrimination, etc. being labeled as the ones doing something wrong.

I could quote the entire article, but this is something I really wanted to put out there:

"The “race card” is a concept that has been used to silence people of color who attempt to speak out when they feel that race has been used unfairly in determining how people are treated. It is one of the most dangerous weapons in the White privilege toolbox, for it implies that a non-POC would know better when something is truly racist than someone who is constantly subjected to racism. That said, it isn’t that people of color can never be wrong about denouncing something as racism, but that they should be treated with a level of deference when expressing their concerns. Instead of having something dismissed as someone pulling a card, these complaints should be respectfully analyzed and received. If someone is truly committed to being non-racist, the appropriate reaction to a charge of racism is “I don’t feel like what I did was racist. Can you help me understand why you feel that way?”, not accusing someone of using race to be manipulative or deceitful."
When question of discrimination against people of color comes about why not, as the quote above states, respond with "'I don't feel like what I did was racist. Can you help me understand why you feel that way?, not accusing someone of using race to be manipulative or deceitful.'"
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
How about the part where race is used to silence, impugn, and demonize? The tea party, RACIST. Anybody that opposes Obama, RACIST!

BTW, where is my white privilege? Where was my dad's? Didn't we get in the right line when white privilege was being handed out?

Why must a person's race be considered when debating the merits of their argument. As a "non-POC" is there a different standard for me?
 

PretzelCorps

Registered Member
It's an unbelievably complex social issue. At the end of the day, there's a mesh of all degrees of all types of people making all kinds of generalizations. There are manipulative people out of minorities that use racism to further themselves. The are manipulative white North Americans who scream "Race card! Race card!" (vis a vis, a 'Race card card') in order to dodge racial questions and issues.

If the implication of the article is to be that no person of colour has ever played the race card, then I can't accept that, because it's just not true. I've been treated like some sort of a vile white supremacist enough (certainly not very often, I'll note) to know that racism can be a two way street. Likewise, the people who pretend racism has magically ended a couple generations down the road are equally, and frankly more dangerously, wrong.
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
That's right Tuck, it is especially disturbing when the administration uses race to divide America. When an Attorney General decides what cases to prosecute based upon the race of the defendants it is unacceptable.
 

Dekzper

Registered Member
The "race card" is a way to avoid discussing issues. But the author of that article considered it to be a form of bigotry and then said they will never forget that they are black and we are white. That sounds like a contradiction.

And I really don't get the author's issue. I mean, history can't be real if people try to hide things. It would def F with me if someone tried to make every white man in history look like a saint. Nobody is. Black and white people have both done a lot of bad things in history and nothing should be left out.

But yeah, I do have a prob with the "white privilege" thing too. Reverse discrimination is a reality and that's bigotry too. When that black man in California was mistreated by the police, black people were pulling whites out of their cars and slamming them... because they were white. That's not racism?? There are black gangs in OKC and part of their initiation is that they have to kill a white. That's not racism??

Imo, Reverse Discrimination is what's keeping racism alive. And so is the author of that article.
 

Unity

Living in Ikoria
Staff member
The "race card" is a way to avoid discussing issues. But the author of that article considered it to be a form of bigotry and then said they will never forget that they are black and we are white. That sounds like a contradiction.
Dekz, honestly appraising the issues of race that exist in the U.S. has to involve acknowledging our differences (and celebrating them), while having tough conversations about how they come into play...ignoring the fact that they exist, though sometimes done for a good-natured reason, can really be harmful.

A good way to think of it is the old "melting pot" analogy; this speaks not only to race but to the culture involved. A melting pot involves differences going away and cultures being assimilated to end up matching each other. If you think of different races/cultures in the U.S. as more of a "mosaic," it makes more sense. A lot of different styles and colors coming together...you can see they're different when you're looking closely, but when you zoom out it shows you what the U.S. looks like as a whole.

We can't ignore the beauty of that, but we can't ignore the trouble that comes with it either.

The full quote to which you're referring is:

You are white—yet a part of me, as I am a part of you. That’s American. Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me. Nor do I often want to be a part of you. But we are, that’s true! As I learn from you, I guess you learn from me—although you’re older—and white—and somewhat more free.
It acknowledges that there are differences between people of differing racial identity, but that we can all learn from each other - including learning about what trials face people of color and how those of us who are white might be overlooking them.

I highly recommend this writing, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

It includes a writing about white privilege and a list of 50 "daily effects of white privilege."

It's worth a read and worth challenging the way that you think, even if you don't agree with every single point.
 

Wade8813

Registered Member
Racism is (and has been, and will continue to be) a card, a reality, exaggerated and down-played and generally misrepresented in just about every way possible.

The author admitted "it isn’t that people of color can never be wrong about denouncing something as racism". But her article seems to imply that yes, maybe a black person is mistaken in their racial accusations, but she doesn't acknowledge that sometimes it's deliberate.
 
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PretzelCorps

Registered Member
I should point out that terms like "Reverse Racism" are inherently racist in and of themselves. No idea who cooked that one up and injected it into the common vernacular (I've heard a ton of people use it), but it implies that a minority's racism is somehow different from the majority's, when it isn't. Racism is racism.
 

Dekzper

Registered Member
@ Unity. I understand the "melting pot" and what the author was getting at. But all I get at school is how wonderful it all is. Then I come home and find out some kid was killed by a gang - for the sake of bigotry - and another one was drowned in a toilet at a majority black school. I'm sure things happen on the other side too but I'm just wondering how many more people will have to die before the melting pot finishes melting.

And it's not just blacks - they're just screaming the loudest - it's Mexicans, Mexican gang wars, Indians, and other races too. I read that the government had to move in last year and force Wall Street to allow blacks to be promoted.

More on-topic. I think the teacher was wrong to joke about the omission of the facts but I think the author was wrong to omit them. The author says their age was an issue but I'm that young too and I wouldn't leave out details like that.
But yeah, the race card isn't used by everyone but it is used.

Thanks for the link. :) I'll do some more reading before I post again.
 
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