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Who's Playing 'The Race Card' Now?

Askia Muhammad | 8/23/2012, 4:31 p.m.

Back in The Day, there was a heated argument over "reverse discrimination." It started with a California student named Allan Bakke who sued the University of California because he was denied admission to a medical school. He said less-qualified Black students than he were admitted, and that that amounted to discrimination against him.

The Supreme Court agreed and Black enrollment in professional schools all over the country has been steadily declining for more than 30 years now.

Then, White folks started accusing - and some timid Blacks in public life began wilting beneath the charges - Black folks of practicing "racism." A number of thoughtful Black folks reminded us that while Blacks might be "biased" against people who had oppressed and exploited them unjustly for more than 400 years, Blacks are incapable of being racists in this country because Blacks have no power to put any animus they held against their tormentors into any policies.

Now, in our "post-racial" world with a Black man as president in the land where Black people were held in bondage, sold like chattel, and forced into slavery for 310 years, now Black people are chastened whenever they point out these crimes against humanity and are accused of "playing the race card" - as if life was nothing more than a parlor game, and this "race card" was like some kind of Joker in the deck of life which trumps all other cards.

So Blacks, who are the victims of White racial discrimination in every aspect of life in this country were intimidated to not speak out about their suffering because doing so [playing the race card] made White people uncomfortable.

But our post-racial environment has not stopped the tsunami of ugly, hateful, racist jokes from cascading from every corner of our society against the Black president.

Now, we've always had silly little fraternity gags - especially at Halloween parties - where White people dress up in what they fantasize as being the stereotypical Black wardrobe. They cork their faces black, put on exaggerated Afro-style wigs, and wear the most garish costumes imaginable, trying to affect the look of "pimps and 'ho'es." But we really didn't have a lot of high ranking politicians, or prominent newspapers making jokes about the President of the United States having apes and monkeys in his family, until we got a Black president.

But we have seen time and time again, White folks who should know better, saying just anything ugly that comes into their minds about this president. But let a Black person in any position working for Whites say or "Tweet" anything even mildly indelicate about Caucasians, and that person will be on his or her knees before the next morning, or will be unemployed by that next night.

A few months ago, a large-scale study showed that racial attitudes have already played a substantial role in the 2012 campaign during the Republican [read practically all-White] presidential primaries. The study, led by psychologists at the University of Washington, showed that between January and April 2012 eligible voters who favored Whites over Blacks - either consciously or unconsciously - also favored Republican candidates relative to Barack Obama.