It doesn’t matter if they are liberal or conservative, entertainer or activist – they all prove sooner or later to be problematic.
I think the entire premise of giving white people a ‘black card‘ is asinine; we don’t need to issue out cards or passes as a reward to white people for them being able to understand us. I have always thought the idea of the ‘black card’ as a frivolous phrase that allows white people to display problematic rhetoric without repercussions. The term ‘black card’ implies that a non-person of color (specifically white) is accepted as an ally based on their ability to relate to black people. That usually includes having a black partner, black friends or growing up in more diverse neighborhoods. Their proximity to blackness is what some would consider “safe” thus giving them a black card.
Burn all those black cards. It means nothing. There are too many non-people of color who are claiming they are allies and are proud to wave their “black cards” while spewing the most casual racism on social media. We have seen this with Lena Dunham, Michael Rapaport and now David Simon (“The Wire”). In a series of inauspicious tweets, Simon drops the N-word in an attempt to shed light on the racism in the current republican party. However, his white privilege became apparent when Twitter users addressed him to tell him execution was less desirable and he began explaining how he was right.
My question is, why would an almost 60-year-old white man feel so comfortable using the N-word and then double-down and explain why he should be able to use it? Can someone print an extra copy of the rules and conditions that members get when they are giving this black card? I’d like to see it for myself.
The first rule in allyship ( or should be) is that you recognize certain words and spaces are not for you. The perfect and easiest example I can explain is the relations I have with my queer friends; I don’t use homophobic or homophobic-triggering words or slurs, even as an endearment with them or anyone else. Even when they use certain words around me, I understand that some words and terms are not meant for me. I do not police them on it nor do I use those slurs and jargons in sarcasm to illustrate a point to a group that is known to suppress them. That is not what allies do and it’s counterproductive.
Some people have brought up his years of writing on “The Wire” and have stated he’s probably written it and said it so much that it’s probably second nature to him. I feel like this; if he’s unable to distinguish writing narratives with certain jargon versus speaking especially in an “open” crowd that means he’s disingenuous and has always been. There’s no way you can excuse that type of behavior with any balanced logic. It’s also no surprise that most people that have defended him were white and they used that tired ass black-on-black crime fallacy argument.
“You ain’t got the answers Sway!”