There are 52 cards in a standard deck of cards. 52 cards that we can use to play games such as Poker, Blackjack or Gin rummy.
White people, however, have included another card namely the race card or at least accused black and brown people of holding this race card up their sleeve as if it holds more value than the ace of spades.
The truth about the race card:
The truth is that accusing black and brown people of playing the race card is only invalidating their feelings.
What you are in fact saying is, “I don’t believe I was racist towards you, I think you’re being oversensitive.”
Accusing a black or brown person is a way of shutting down the conversation that isn’t to your liking.
Black and brown people are not sensitive.
We have had lessons in how to safely navigate our way in this white favoured world from the moment we crawled out of the womb. We have been schooled by white people about how unimportant our feelings are so the last thing we want to do is mention how racist your comment, attitude or manner was towards us.
I wish this mythical race card that we possess could stop racism right in its tracks. I wish we could wave it around and suddenly white people would be filled with awareness and once filled with that will then experience an epiphany.
I wish this race card will bring about equity, equality and a workable solution that uplifts the poor in the country.
It doesn’t though.
It’s a mythical card that is similar to a unicorn and though unicorns are cute creatures, if they were real no person would allow their little child to play with one simply because they could get hurt.
The race card is used by white people to shut down much-needed conversations.
Why would black and brown people use the race card when the deck is already stacked against us?
If the race card would stop racism every black and brown person would carry it around ready to whip out because it has benefits. Much like you do store cards that give you loyalty points for shopping.
What you can do:
Stop telling a black or brown person they are playing the race card. Ask them instead why they feel the way they do.
Acknowledge the inequality that exists in the workplace.
Acknowledge the real fear black and brown people have when moving about in white spaces.
Acknowledge that our society is based on race and socially you tend to “stick to our own kind.”
Acknowledge that not much has been done to address the ills that plague our society.
Acknowledge that systemic racism exists and was designed purely to uplift those that are categorized as white.
Acknowledge that black and brown peoples lived experiences are not the same as yours.
Finally, listen or read with a view to understanding not merely to respond.
If you took the time to understand then you would be less inclined to accuse black and brown people of playing a race card that ultimately doesn’t exist.