Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Race Card

After Ray Nagin won re-election as New Orleans mayor, blogger Brendan Loy accused the mayor of playing the Race Card, writing that "the race card trumped reason." When some critics then played the Race Card against Loy and accused him of being a racist for making this claim, he responded, "I would say the exact same thing if an incompetent white mayor was re-elected because white voters favored him overwhelmingly over his black opponent. Duh." I take Mr. Loy at his word that he would do just that, but I must say, I had the impression that only black people have Race Cards and I think this is very unfair.

I believe I first heard about the Race Card back during the O.J. Simpson trial, when attorney Robert Shapiro, despondent that invitations to celebrity pool parties in Los Angeles dried up because of his involvement in the case, angrily accused Johnny Cochran of dealing the Race Card "from the bottom of the deck." This leads me to believe that the Race Card, which seems to function like the "Get Out of Jail Free" card in Monopoly, was quietly distributed to black people sometime during the Clinton Administration.

Nowadays, it appears, these Race Cards are being used with increasing frequency. Michelle Malkin accused Cynthia McKinney of using the Race Card. Kanye West was charged with playing the Race Card when he criticized President Bush on national television for his response to Hurricane Katrina. Sean Hannity said Bryant Gumbel was playing the Race Card when he remarked on the paucity of blacks in the Winter Olympics. Some conservatives are claiming that the Race Card is being played in the Duke Lacrosse case. And Harry Reid was accused of playing the Race Card during the debate over whether English should be the National language. However, according to one blogger, he does not actually have a Race Card of his own but had to borrow McKinney's card. There are also reports of illegal immigrants using Race Cards, which were probably purchased from the same people who sell fake Social Security Cards and green cards.

I think it is quite alarming how often conservatives seem to be the victims of Race Cards. Critics of Ann Coulter played the Race Card against her when she wrote, "Why hasn't the former spokesman for the Taliban matriculating at Yale been beaten even more senseless than he already is?…Where are the skinheads when you need them?" John Gibson was the victim of the Race Card when he pointed out that because of the high birth rate among Hispanics, in 25 years the majority population will be Hispanic, concluding, "To put it bluntly, we need more babies." Apparently, critics who used the Race Card against him didn't realize that when he said "we" he didn't mean "white people," but actually meant that Fox news anchors should have more babies. And when Bill O'Reilly said, "According to the lefty zealots, the white Christians who hold power must be swept out by a new multicultural tide, a rainbow coalition, if you will," he found himself deluged with Race Cards. It's beginning to appear that conservatives can barely open their mouths without Race Cards being thrown at them.

Why hasn't the liberal media reported on the distribution and use of Race Cards? Perhaps one of those newsmagazine shows on TV could secretly buy a Race Card online so that we could all see what one looks like. Although some African-Americans, such as blogger La Shawn Barber and Shelby Steele, who calls the Race Card "blackmail" in his book White Guilt: How Blacks & Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era, have refused to use their Race Cards on principle, I haven't heard any reports of their actually giving these cards back. I think it's very unfair that some people seem to have Race Cards while others don't appear to be dealing with a full deck. Perhaps it's time that everyone comes clean and shows their cards, so to speak. Let's find out what these Race Cards are, who has them, and how they got them.

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Anonymous said...

This time I spewed my pre-dinner martini all over my keyboard. Please keep it up, but a little less humorously.

Deep Fried said...

Very funny post. I think I'll hold on to my card. I might need it one of these days.

Patricia said...

John Gibson needs to be patient. Once the brown people outnumber the white ones and if we still have voting and stuff and if the government becomes overwhelmingly non-white, he'll get a race card and everyone who has one now will have to give it back. All things come to those who wait.

The Truffle said...

Mr. Swift, you need to design your own race cards. Maybe create them for blacks, whites, Asians, and Latins? And sell them online?

No, wait. I take it back. Instead, how about a Race Card Tarot Deck? I'm thinking Al Sharpton would be perfect as The Fool...

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried to get a race card at Walmart? They usually have everything. Or maybe K-Mart got there first and bought them all up.

Dell Gines said...

Thats a good post, but unfortunately the race card terminology has been used more often than not to be a dissmissive "loaded" term used to skirt the real issues of race that people bring up.

A while back I wrote the article that discussed the use of loaded language and how people use emotion gendering terms as opposed to actually debating or discussing the issues that folks legitimately bring to the table. It is is the new conservative 'anti-racist' charge.

Now when someone gets called a 'racist' they simply dismiss it by saying, "they are playing the race card".

It is the way of the world now, catchphrases and loaded language.

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