The race card. Many persons have been accused of playing it, an idiomatic expression used to suggest that a person is racist or that her or his actions are racially motivated. It is the card that trumps all others; if this were a game of Monopoly, it might be comparable to a “Get out of jail free” card. If you use it, there is no penalty and you can move on as if nothing has happened. Today, if someone plays the race card, the alleged offender might as well throw her hand in. The argument as well as its point is lost because it is hard to prove that one is not. However, Michele Norris, author of The Grace of Silence: A Memoir, takes this well-known phrase and uses it as an instrument to discuss the meaning of race.
The Race Card Project was created initially as a conversation starter but it has become much more. She invites us to describe race or its relationship to our lives in six words. Go ahead. You first. I’m still thinking about it.