The Inconvenient Truth About Black People’s Use Of The Race Card

Think THIS pictures "racist?" Honestly, it doesn't even matter right now...

After the unfortunate and untimely death of Trayvon Martin, I wrote an article entitled “Proper” Negro Fatigue that explained how horrific it is for Black people to have to act “Proper” in the eyes of white people in order to NOT seem suspicious. That article was circulated around many skinhead websites and forums, and my site ended up being inundated by prejudicial p*ssies who act hard behind their Macbook where they can say whatever they want without fear of reproach. Amongst ALL the idiocy, ignorance and hatred, one of these any-intellectual c*nts actually made a GOOD point that I couldn’t really disagree with. They said “why are Black people getting their panties in a bunch over Trayvon when they are killing each other every single day?” As much as I HATED myself for agreeing with some racist piece of sh*t, I ultimately came to the conclusion that what that person asked was fair. But my response to that person was simply this: “Although we DO have to deal with the very real issue of Black on Black violence, RIGHT NOW we NEED to focus on the racism that ended Trayvon’s life – we need to FOCUS.” Well, in light of the drawing above and the recent Block-party shootout here in Toronto that left 25 SHOT and 2 dead, we need to STOP solely focusing on RACISM and START focusing on Black on Black violence.

Let’s be clear: The Danzig shooting here in Toronto was perpetrated by predominantly Black “gangsters” at a predominantly Black blocko, with predominantly Black victims. You all can act as shocked as you want, but the only thing uniquely different about this incident as opposed to others in the past is the AMOUNT of people that got hit – but the issue of Black house parties, night clubs, bbq’s and other gatherings ending in a hail of bullets is NOT a NEW problem. When I tell people that I have personally been in around 15 events/venues that have been shot up in this city in the last decade, people of other cultures tend to look SHOCKED, but Black folks always seem to nod in solemn agreement. We KNOW that violence plagues our community and we HAVE to do something about it – and after Monday’s shooting, we seemingly had our chance.

FINALLY, we were going to address ALL of our internal issues as a community, and make strides to make our city safer for everyone. We will start accepting blame [perpetuating violent stereotypes, propagating illegal behaviour and not co=operating in investigations] and THEN we would start to look into how other external variables affect our ability to control our own communities [i.e. systemic racism and other socioeconomic factors].

But what did we do?

We saw the picture up top featured in the Toronto Star newspaper and decided to put all of our time, attention and effort into attacking them. No more qualitative discussions about Black on Black violence, no progressive thoughts on ending gang-culture and no ideas on curbing the illegal gun tradejust BITCHING & MOANING about a damn drawing. The sad truth about this incident with The Star is that we proved racist ideologues right by doing the one STUPID thing they always accused us of: Playing the infamous “Race Card.”

I HATE the terminology of “Race Card” because it condescendingly ignores the real issue of white privilege and how entrenched racist and prejudice thoughts are in the minds of society at large – but we lent these ideologies justice by screaming about “racism” at a time when we truly shouldn’t give a FLYING F*^K about who wants to draw a prejudice picture.

Do I think the picture is racist? Honestly, I haven’t given it ONE second of thought and I will continue NOT to, because it’s NOT F*^KING IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW. 25 people were shot at a damn Blocko, and there have been two more murders resulting from that in the past few days, which indicates they were probably revenge murders. The Black community is at a tipping point and we NEED solutions in order to slow down this reckless and dangerous behaviour – not CRYING over the perceived racism of the word “THEY.”

So here’s my point:

If you wrote long letters to the Star asking them to remove the drawing, but you didn’t write ONE word to Mayor Rob Ford asking why he was the only member of council to vote against accepting $350,000 from the federal government for a year-long gang intervention project that will not cost the city anything - then you can go F*^K yourself.

If you spent all day angry and cussing out the artist of that picture, and didn’t spend ANY time speaking to at-risk children about the high value of their lives and making smart decisions – then you can go F*^K yourself again.

When issues of racism come up, we need to address them and deal with them as fervently as possible – but when problems of our OWN doing arise, we need to put the racism argument to bed, and address our OWN inherent community problems before we go around trying to shove our fingers in other peoples face.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.

25 Comments

  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    07/20/2012 at 6:19 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, How Do YOU Feel About This Issue? Do Black Folks Have ALL RIGHT To Focus On The Race Issue Or Should We Focus MORE On The Issue Of Black On Black Violence?

    • elsie

      07/20/2012 at 12:14 PM

      I think its imperative that we focus on the issue of violence itself, and why it is so predominant in the black community—- i honestly have thought this over and over and came up with the same overused and repetitive answers like a lack of education (or want for education), poverty, rage due to mistreatment from either police officers, or just the general population, or a lack of a family support system (like a father and mother to come home to or a parent to come home to at all)—the list can go on but it seems to me that this issue is bigger than what we see it to be—for two people of the same race, going through many of the same struggles and coming into constant contact with the same barriers, can not be fighting only because of money, spouses or gang related beefs —–the race issue is definitely the foundation for these issues we are seeing now because no problem this deep develops within a day, this is years of work being displayed now—–but focusing on race as opposed to the issue of violence would not be the best way to solve the problem right now—–before we can get to the core of the problems facing our communities (which stem from racism and race) we need to address the violence and try to find a sustainable solution then work our way from there—this issue of violence should be taken care of holistically —–and not just with funding, or advocacy–there needs to be a joint interaction between all of the solutions we have thought of–and then from there we can only hope for the best.

  2. petersburgh

    07/20/2012 at 7:10 AM

    Lincoln this issue is like sandpaper that has been used for years. The racist card is old and was old for a time and it's still being used today for what reason, I really don't know. IT"S NOT THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM. Attacking a racist picture or whatever will always prove futile because it attacks the result of racism not the cause. We need to address the real issue, black people hating, killing, insulting, raping, abusing and plain old not caring about other black people(this is a black issue so yes I am talking about blacks but this issue is human).

    I will focus on the race card if someone actually attacks me with racial intent or one of my people but to attack a picture when other serious issues are happening is again futile and at that point, irrelevant. We head a campaign and get the image moved or an apology for it so YEAH!! What happens next? Later the same day we have a party and we shoot and kill each other. Where is the victory? What was the point at all. You can't fight a mind issue with physicality so use your minds black people. See a human being not race, see a life taken not the other being prolonged then we start getting somewhere

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      07/20/2012 at 1:07 PM

      Exactly My Point. Co-sign.

  3. SMilez_920

    07/20/2012 at 8:00 AM

    We should focus on both. While I understand what your friend was saying about Black on black crime, the trayvon incident gained so much attention because Zimmerman was about to walk away scot free, no body black, white or purple should be able to take the law into their own hands and not be punished. Plus with black crime, someone is going to jail; the police and county won’t let that slide. It also gave us a picture of how certain places in America view equality in the justice system for black people. From the 60’s on back a white man could damn near walk in your house, slap your wife and harass your family, and it took hell and high water for the police to actually do something about it, (especially in the south).
    But I will say that the race card is played too often in certain situations. Instead of worrying about what other races are saying we should focus on how we can fix the problem. By doing that you don’t have to worry about pictures like the one above being published.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      07/20/2012 at 1:09 PM

      I Agree About Focusing On Both, But We Have A Convenient Way Of NEVER Addressing The Issues WE As A Community Can Control. We Constantly Act Powerless And That's A Feature Of THIS Generation, Not Of ANYONE That's Come Before Us, Which Makes Me Sad.

  4. maxfab

    07/20/2012 at 10:02 AM

    I couldn't disagree more. The two issues are intertwined and you can't separate them.

    It's systemic racism that results in a masthead at the Toronto Star that I'd bet my shorts includes not one single Black person who could have suggested they think twice before printing that racist cartoon; just as systemic racism is behind the number of Black kids who think they have no other option but gang life, which leads to horrific crimes like this shooting.

    And since when does Black on Black crime rob us of the right to be outraged when we see racism? Last I checked, Black people aren't the only race in the world who kills their own people.

    • Smilez_920

      07/20/2012 at 11:40 AM

      +1 to your last paragraph … While black on black crime is a problem, it doesnt void our right to be outraged when we see racism. I just wish we were as outraged when we see blk and blk and not let it be so normalized to an extent.

      My father always told me it doesn't take a lot for people to fall back into old habits sometimes. I mean first it's this picture then it's other slick comments and pictures, sometimes you have to cut the cord before things get to far. I'm glad people protested about the picture but I hope that put as much effort into the second issue that Licn stated above.

      • lincolnanthonyblades

        07/20/2012 at 1:18 PM

        I Disagree With Your First Paragraph IF The Problem With The Racism Is NOT Prioritized In The Face Of The Larger Issue. At Some Point Black People Have To Look At BLACK PEOPLE And FInd The Problem.

        MANY Of Us Come From The Hood. MANY Of Us Face Racism And Prejudice. Yet A Few Of Us Are Out Here Murdering ONLY EACH OTHER. Why is That?

    • MistaHarsh

      07/20/2012 at 11:53 AM

      While I agree that we should always be outraged but we should never lose focus on what we need to do in our own community. There will always be racism but I believe black on black violence/social challenges at the level that its at can definitely be reduced from being problematic. If we have a proper foundation there's no cartoon racist enough to change our opinion of ourselves. If more children knew their lineage and legacy there's nothing a racist can tell you to question you place in this society to stop you from becoming whatever it is that you want to be instead of one feeling they are restricted to the same path of sports/music/drugs – accomplishing that has nothing to do with a cartoon.

      • lincolnanthonyblades

        07/20/2012 at 1:19 PM

        Co-Sign.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      07/20/2012 at 1:15 PM

      Here's The Problem: Since Just After The Civil Rights Era, We Have Had An Immense Problem With Dealing With Our Own Intrinsic Issues, And This Picture Shows Exactly What I'm Talking About.

      People Are Going APESHIT Over This Picture And Writing The Toronto Star, But It's The Same People Who WON'T Come Forth And Help The Police Identify ALL The Gangs And Gangsters Involved In This Crime. At What Point Do We Identify Some Of The MICRO Factors Involved In The Shooting And Not Just The Macro.

      We Foster A Culture That Promotes Hyper-masculinity, Being "Hood" And Keeping It Real, Yet We Are Always So Quick To Draw For "Systemic Racism" When We Discuss Our Problems. Of Course It Plays A Role, But That One Social Factor Alone Does Not Create Killers. I Lived In The SAME Neighbourhoods As Gangsters And Me And Many Others Would NEVER Pull A Trigger – That's Something DEEPER Than Just Feeling Oppressed By Society.

      • Adrian

        07/20/2012 at 11:00 PM

        Tell 'em again! They really ain't listenin!

  5. Afia P

    07/20/2012 at 10:44 AM

    I agree with this article black people love pulling that racism card way too much yes racism still goes on but it was not white people who shot up the blocko that my close friend got 3 bullets put into her.

    These little kids if they want to shoot up themselves and them friends they need to take it to their own backyards and stop involving innocent people that want no part of their foolywang like its ridiculous when im on the ttc i fear that any group of black males wearing a hoodie with their hoods up could have a gun hidden on them and if the slightest argument occurs they can and most likely will open fire on the damn bus.

    I sit in fear of this on a daily basis ever since monday which is not a race thing because im black but its the fact that it is what's happening on these streets yeah we're infringing on your right to wear what you want and how you want it but shouldnt you be just as concerned about a bullet being put into you as the next person???? i even fear going to yorkdale mall because i feel that is the next hot spot in this city to be shot up like CAN I LIVE IN PEACE PLEASE TORONTO GANGSTERS????

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      07/20/2012 at 1:21 PM

      Sorry For Your Loss Afia.

  6. MistaHarsh

    07/20/2012 at 11:43 AM

    racism will never die hence why the race card will never have an expiry date. Its that exact same reason why we shouldn't waste our time trying to hold every racist accountable because all they do is issue an apology set up donations and continue their racist ways covertly. While that can be considered a marginal victory it may only directly effect a few people. I think if those same resources and attention were used to mend black on black issues the victory will have a greater positive impact and an immediate, tangible impact.

    A lot of the problem with the kids is the absence of hope. Hope that your life can become better. Hope that you'll one day succeed and live a long productive life, that you'll live long enough to reap the benefits of hard work. These kids want the benefits now they don't want to wait for their post secondary loan to be paid off in their late 20's and 30's to say they made it knowing damn well their lives can be cut short by gunfire on the way there. In addition with the economy in major decline there's even more incentive to make money illegally than ever(this conclusion is not exclusive to black teens EVERY race and age group are finding ways to get over nowadays)

    Remember that article about the secret record industry meeting to get everyone locked in the prison system? Although it seems far fetched one things for sure – artists shy away from making positive uplifting songs and when they do the labels refuse to market them.

    So where do you want to start – getting the fathers to be involved in their child's life as a positive role model or get the people who have free access to influence these teens(the artists) and get them to change their tune? Well in respect to Danzig and Toronto the community leaders had a study called the Roots of Youth Violence Report (http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/youthandthelaw/roots/index.aspx) which they tout has all the answers to stint youth violence but cry the government has not provided the resources to implement them. Maybe its time they should so we can take matters into our own hands and have some accountability.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      07/20/2012 at 1:28 PM

      Accountability Is The Key Word Here.

      Sometimes We Cry About Systemic Racism And I Feel Like It's OUR Way Of Avoiding Dealing With The Micro Issues Affecting Our Society.

  7. napsgetbraps

    07/20/2012 at 12:01 PM

    Bra-fucking-vo. I just spent two days arguing about this (and was called a KKK member and lost a friend over it) for saying exactly what you just said. I'm Italian though, so apparently that negates the fact that I live in Toronto and I'm not allowed to have an opinion on what's going on in our city.

    Thank you for this one.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      07/20/2012 at 1:23 PM

      Well I'm A Black Male With An Extensive Education On African Studies And Black History, So Feel Free To Send Them This Way So They Can't Pull That Bullshit KKK Card.

  8. OneSoulUnderGod

    07/20/2012 at 12:32 PM

    The universal consciousness needs to get some sleep. Runnin on e in fucken circles.

  9. mena

    07/20/2012 at 2:42 PM

    I personally don't have a problem with the picture and i don't think many would if the artist was black. Secondly, this is the problem that i see in the states as well. The race card always gets pulled. It makes us look lazy and like we all run around with a victim mentality.

    This article is on point. When the crack epidemic hit our communities, things went left and fast.

  10. daboo18

    07/20/2012 at 4:37 PM

    This topic always makes me upset. What happen from the time martin Luther king came up til now? where did we go wrong?

  11. MistaHarsh

    07/20/2012 at 6:16 PM

    One thing I will say though: the tone and the language that the media uses when they describe these crimes vary depending on the race of the offender and/or victim.
    Phrases like "known to police" were used to describe the dead victim in the shooting behind the school this week(although he had no criminal record) whereas the shooting victim in the little italy cafe was described very early as "known in the community" and days later it was found that the victim was an enforcer for the mob(its not called a gang if the members aren't black)

    Also the ridiculous tone of the mayor about sending these gang members out of the city(although they were probably born and raised in the city) was not used when they arrested the suspect to the little italy shooting who I believe they said was a BC native.

    Yes the triggers in the danzig shooting was probably by a black male put these outside factors have a detrimental effect on how outsiders view us and if fuels stereotypes.

    Also the police say "this is your community and you must come forward to make it safe" but when we do come forward and testify the accused gets off or serves a short sentence and the same person who came forward gets murdered by the accused – RIP Kenneth Mark.

    Its important for the black community to address internal issues but its not us alone that must reform our approach. The media, police, politicians and court systems must all work together as well.

  12. uncle gryph

    07/24/2012 at 10:08 AM

    white racism isn't a determining force in black people lives, and the idea that it is definitely contributes to tragedies like this. by focusing on white racism, and white people fixing the problem you are reinforcing the idea that

    a) whiteness is god, and

    b) what black people do doesn't really matter.

    so by extension the gun toting sociopaths that black culture helps produce and celebrate don't hesitate to spray a predominantly black crowd with lead but i promise you they wouldn't dare do the same to white folks. we've shown them since they were small that black people don't matter.

    now by asking the good white folks in government for more money for programs that do some good work but can not fix this far-reaching mess we are reinforcing the message that black people are helpless and don't matter. or by settling on the star's `racist' cartoon we are distracting ourselves from the larger problems of black culture that support and promote these kinds of things.

    the pathology of black culture has been studied FOR OVER A CENTURY. these subtle but stubborn psycho-social dynamics are a 'mystery' only to black people really. but, appealling to white people for rescue money and to stop being so mean, is really just a way for the black social worker class to keep getting money. at issue is the like linc touched on in a previous article the way people raise their kids. we have to make it easier for them to do so and remove the pathology producing cultural mechanisms that in so many insidious ways pepper black culture.

  13. Dude

    11/07/2012 at 3:09 PM

    And Black racism against white’s doesn’t exist? Of course it does and if you said no then your entire argument contains an illogical fallacy.

    It’s whiners like you that continue the delusion of being “victimized” by “white society” that are your own culture’s worst enemy.

    I guess that’s the great thing about the internet though – racist p*ssies [as you say] can post anything stupid and insipid and there will always be morons that agree.

    Good day to you you whiny piece of racist shit.

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