40+FAB Blog

The black Jack

The conversation around race and especially the black race has become so conflicted, messy and somewhat tiresome as you hear a lot of absurd arguments.

If you have ever played a card game, you realise that certain cards in the hand of a player give them an advantage. Let’s say a certain poker player, Ivory, has the Ace of spades, King, Queen and Ten cards in his hand, all he would need is the Jack of spades – a black jack, to complete a royal flush. If he picks up that card and dominates the game for say 400 years, he has had a good run indeed and probably accumulated a lot of wealth from it. As the game goes on, another player, Ebony, eventually gets the black jack and begins to build up his hand to make a winning, it becomes weird when Ivory and indeed any other observer begins to critique the use of that card.

I recently read a commentary saying “I am black” should not be used as a get out of jail card, in other words, “Stop using the race card!” One is accused of using the race card when they bring up the issue of race in a discussion, perhaps for sympathy or to seek popularity by appealing to racist sentiment. There was a time when buildings had signs that read, “No blacks, no Irish and no dogs.” That was certainly playing on racial sentiments.

You hear people from all sides of the divide criticise black people for using the race card, but that card was used against them for hundreds of years to their detainment, deprivation and destruction. Some are quick to say, “All that was in the past, let’s forget it and move on.” If one choses to use the race card now to say, “I am here”, “I need equal rights”, “I deserve to be heard and treated impartially like others”, lets put things in perspective and understand that this card was not created by the one playing it, just like Ivory, Ebony, or their observers did not create the black jack. If Ivory used it for oppression and got away with it, please do not criticise Ebony for using it for his own freedom.