Cards Against Humanity

2 days ago my roommate and his friends protested on behalf of Black lives. They spent their Thanksgiving day standing on the front lines of a counter demonstration of the Macy’s Thanksgiving day Parade. They were brave. Eventually their peaceful protest turned into yet another opportunity for the police to enforce brute physical harm (see video below). As we reflected on his experience, one of the facts that came up was that every 28 hours another black man is murdered at the hands of cops. After rehashing his experience and arming  me with the facts  I walked through the rest of the day feeling intensely acute to the hateful nature and total disregard that is given to Blacks in this world. I strolled the rest of the day with seeming ease yet lying in the back of mind was the constant reminder that as a Black person I could easily be next up for modern day slaughter.

Later in the evening I decided to attend a friend’s birthday event. I was one of two Black people. Most times when I hang with people who are not of color I don’t even notice. In this experience I didn’t have a choice. One of the attendees shouted out “Let’s play Cards Against Humanity (http://cardsagainsthumanity.com/).” I’d never played before. Eventually it was explained that someone lays out a card with a phrase and then others take the cards in their deck to fill in the blank. I thought simple this could be fun. The phrase was “my grandmother usually finds _______ alarming but charming at the same time.” As the cards were being read from their piles eventually the card reader ran across someone’s choice who had decided to choose black people as their fill in the blank option. “My grandmother usually finds Black People alarming but charming at the same time.”

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The only other Black person in the room, a black male said no that’s funny. He made the choice to keep it light. I myself made a screw face and kept quiet because I had never been in a situation like that before. I didn’t know how to navigate it. I wasn’t shocked. I was disappointed that even in “safe spaces” with “friends” being Black was a battlefield. Later as I walked home it dawned on me that in allowing that moment to passably go un-addressed being Black was once again devalued. I had to bring it here. Though I didn’t say it in that moment, it feels important to state that Black lives matter! After this experience I no longer feel responsible to make others feel comfortable for my Blackness. It’s not okay to be the butt of racial jokes. It’s not my responsibility to coddle the wrong choices of others in mixed racial environments. From this point on I will no longer be passive. I will no longer be quiet. *Raises fist.* Thanks for stopping by and let’s talk again soon.