Playing the Race Card that You’re Dealt

by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer

There is a saying that applies to card games, which is that, you must play the cards that you’re dealt. You do not get to look through the deck and choose the cards you wish for. The cards are distributed randomly to each player. Each player then does with those cards the best he can, and oftentimes, the worst cards can win in the hands of a skillful player. Were it not so, people would flip coins instead of going through the bother of learning the rules and strategy of card games.

This principle does not, however, apply to the real life game of racial politics. Not everyone can get the race card. Even so, one can play it regardless.

I witnessed an eerie example of this recently. I was participating in a low cost card tournament. The fellow in front of me, waiting for a seat assignment, was a very dark-skinned American of African descent (there, did I say that with the requisite political correctness?).

Before he got his ticket, he had a complaint to make, which he addressed to a beige-colored clerk who had absolutely no discretionary power in the tournament. She simply issued the seating assignments at random from a machine.

The complaint was that in a prior tournament, although there had been only three black contestants, out of a total of fifty players, all three of them had been assigned to the same table.

The very same table! How could that possibly happen, except by a deliberate policy of racial segregation?

Oh. It seems that anyone who understands the mathematics of probability and statistics (two vital skills for any serious card player), those kinds of things do indeed happen with far more regularity than one might at first imagine.

Furthermore, the seating arrangement did virtually nothing to disadvantage the black players. One might argue that it reduced the chances of all three black players of making the top three scores, but at the same time, it increased the chances of one black player making the top score. In any case, the net effect was at or near zero.

Never mind. None of that matters in the meta-game called racial politics. What matters is not whether there is actual discrimination (which in this case there certainly was not— the ticket machine has no information about the race of players). What matters is whether one can find evidence, however tenuous, of discrimination. If not, then one can always imagine it. If there is no race card in the deck, one can manufacture his own. One does this simply by assuming that every unequal outcome is the unfair result of racism— even when the outcome itself is neutral.

To be sure, on the whole, black Americans do not get a fair deal of society’s cards in the game of economics and power. This is because a great many of them have the abject misfortune of living in urban areas governed by liberal politicians who deny black children the opportunity to get a decent education. Instead, the very liberal teacher unions are given political ownership of the public schools, and those schools under-educate and even mis-educate those children.

Those schools teach black children that they are not the ones to blame for the crimes they commit, for the children they produce out of wedlock, for the drugs they ingest, for their disinterest in books, and for their lack of skills concerning managing what little money they do have. According to liberal politicians, those failures are all the fault of white people.

At no point, according to the liberal establishment, does it become the responsibility of black people to remedy these problems, other than for showing up at demonstrations blaming white people, and voting for more Democrats to perpetuate the racist policies of liberals.

Black people are often treated badly, even sometimes unjustly killed, by white policemen. True, but this problem, as serious as it is, (and it is very serious), is dwarfed by the murders of thousands of black people by other black people. It seems that virtually no effort is made to solve that problem. Even to merely mention it is considered racist by some. Ironically, even black conservatives who call attention to the problem are accused of racism.

Sometimes the frustration tempts people like me, white conservative males, to simply give up. I am always reminded, however, that I have an obligation to speak truth, not only to the powerful, but also to the powerless— and to expect no thanks for doing it.

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