What is the difference between "playing the race card" and calling attention to racial injustice?
There is clearly a line between the two, but where does it fall?
This essay is in response to a question posed by slappywalker: What is the difference between 'playing the race card' and calling attention to racial injustice? We'll have a look at it. read more
I think "playing the race card" is when someone uses their ethnicity as a way to almost force someone into giving them a job, get out of trouble, etc by claiming racism is the only reason they're being treated unfairly when they really ARE NOT. Let's say, for example, two people of equal levels of education and experience apply for the same job. Person A (from a majority race) has the added "bonus" of being well-known by many people as an expert in the field because he/she has written articles for some prestigious magazine. The company hires person A because customers already know and trust that person. Person B (from a minority race) would be "playing the race card" if they threatened to sue or did sue based on an accusation of racial discrimination. Please don't get angry because that situation could be reversed with Person A suing claiming what people refer to as "reverse discrimination".
Calling attention to racial injustice is a whole different ball game. Setting aside all the negative comments of the real racists, everyone else sees that people of a particular race really ARE being treated unfairly. I know some people who get paid less based on nothing more than their race and they work twice as hard as everyone else. It wouldn't be "playing the race card" to point out this inequality and fight for what's right.
Playing the 'race card' is an interesting term to me. Because most people mistakenly believe that calling attention to racial injustices and playing the race card is one in the same.
I've noticed that people only take issue with the 'race card' when it someone of African American decent calling attention to racial injustice. But it's not taken the same way when issues of ethnicity are being addressed by (say for the example) the Jewish or Asian communities.
To me, when someone who's not really qualified for a job or his/her performance in a specific function of life is sub-par; and are let go or fired from their current station while professing it was due to their ethnicity; then to me that's playing the race card. And I've witnessed this happen first hand.
Now, when calling attention to racial injustices that could include:
A. Calling attention to the number of African/Hispanic/Latino/Mexican Americans who're incarcerated on non-voilient offenses vs that of Caucasians.
B. The lackadaisical attitudes taken by law-enforcement to find missing and exploited children of color vs. that of nation wide press coverage for blue eyed, blond haired Caucasians.
C. The 'quality' or lack there of in music and entrainment geared towards a predominantly African American Audience vs. that of others. Black media is always laced with stereotypical images and hyper-sexuality; and in most cases materials not suitable for children; but is out kids who listen to and watch this media and emulate the behaviors being presented.
THAT is calling attention by stating the obvious. The obvious factors would be that more minorities here in the United States spend more time in jail/prison for lesser non-volinet offenses than that of whites. The number of Black/Hispanic/Latino/Mexican women and young girls sold into human trafficking surpasses that of White/European women here in the U.S.; but get less attention in the media. And minority entertainers in most cases do not become famous with out re-creating the pre molded 'bad boy' thugs and sluts images that are stereotypical of our people.
When there is a double standard or bias, I would say this is racial injustice. Playing the race card is when a person wants to use their race to get something by using their race as a reason. However, there is a visible upward trend in the number of people who incorrectly use these two terms interchangeably to insult and attempt to silence even those who are truly calling attention to racism or racial injustice.
I asked a similar question and I feel there is always this large backlash from the European American community. Talks of not complaining and how there is no Color or race but the fact of the matter is african americans have been constantly mistreated since we arrived in america. Even after we were given freedom we were still treated as dogs.What they don't acknowledge is guns, drugs, poor education and liquor stores by schools and church's are being poured into our communities to fill privately owned prisons which is another form of cheap labor or aka slavery. So nothing has changed. The media which is owned by europeans is constantly portraying african americans in a poor light which reinforces stereotypes of the community. Yet we are told we are all on the same playing field and this is the land of the free and the home of the brave. It's never acknowledge that 60 million were killed in the middle passage. African americans never received reparations for the hundreds of years of mistreatment. Yes there are anomalies in these poor communities where a black person will succeed against all the pitfalls placed for them but many don't and we are made to believe we brought the drugs and the government issued guns into our own communities. With what money? Operation fast and furious proved our government releases those guns on the streets. Yet we are made to believe we are a cause of our own doings. Our communities are ghettos because we are just ignorant and savages. When you create an environment where education isn't the same as suburban areas and pour guns and drugs into our lives what do you think will happen? A product of an environment we never created. It's the sad truth and until other European americans acknowledge this we will always be perceived as savages and ignorant thugs. There is always civil war but does killing those who are also being brainwashed by their government into feeling entitled seem fair? There is always a peaceful solution but the concept of divide and conquer is so heavily enforced in our nation. Whether it's ethnicity, political beliefs or religion. We have been forced to segregate on these ideologies and miss the most important one. Freedom and Equality for all mankind.
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