Warning: This article may offend you.
Cards Against Humanity?
I love the game. I have played it dozens of times now over the last two years and now it is asked at every family gathering, “Did you bring Cards against Humanity?” A resounding “Awe” follows if the answer is “no.”
I just read an article that stirred my blood, inspiring me to write this article… in retaliation? Maybe.
I found said article while googling random crap about Cards Against Humanity due to a letter I wrote Customer Service (they forgot to include one of the items I ordered). Here is the email I sent them.
I am one of the horrible people who play your card game.I ordered the complete collection (almost) for my husband who is just as horrible as me, but you screwed up and didn’t send the science expansion pack with the order. Probably because I am only one of eight-gazillion people who placed orders this month. But that’s okay. I forgive you. Mostly because I didn’t do the one thing I was supposed to do upon its arrival, which was to conduct an inventory count of the order. But can you blame me for being so over-ecstatic to receive such a plethora of horribleness all in one sitting!?Nevertheless, the science expansion pack is a terrible thing to forget as my husband is a chemist who will greatly appreciate and understand the work and humor you have put into making the science expansion pack. This is even more terrible as our Christmas is really the Solstice and we celebrated it yesterday.
Instead, we played with what we had yesterday.It was a hoot. Thank you.
Please send the the missing science expansion pack ASAP as I have no life and spend my days watching anime while playing a stupid card game instead of socializing like normal people. Thank you for being so horrible. Don’t stop.
Angela B. Chrysler
Then I saw this article. Here is the article.
In short, the article goes on to claim that “supporters of this game are proving they are not racist by laughing at blatantly racist cards.” In so doing, they are, in fact, racist and many of us deny how offended we all really are.” REALLY?
Here is where I sat down and examined each topic possibly offended in Cards Against Humanity. I know. There’s a lot.
First… Racist Cards
First, this is not the first time I have had this conversation.
My best friend is black. I asked her. She prefers to be called “black.”
“I am not African,” she said. “I can’t trace any roots back to Africa. I’m an American. And I’m black.” She also believes that by calling herself an “African American” offends those living in Africa. I checked. Africans are quite offended at the term “African American.”
My cousin is black. She was a black child adopted into an all-white family. It is amazing to see how her “black heritage” still came out without any influence, by the way. I was raised with and around an ethnically starved group in an all-white republican/Christian town. We were the one traffic-line town with eight churches and the Amish. But I went beyond my town. I ADORE culture and ethnicity. One of my good friends who always makes me laugh, is a big black man whose favorite joke is to look at a white man and ask, “It’s because I’m black isn’t it?” I can not begin to explain the sheer HORROR on white man’s face when he said this. He would proceed to laugh, tap our arm, and add, “I’m just messing with you.”
Nevertheless, every time he said it, insurmountable horror… fear paralyzed us. We were sweating balls… until he laughed. Then we gasped with relief. Too afraid to even acknowledge that his skin was considerably darker than mine, we avoid the conversation at all costs. I, by the way, am as white as white man gets.
I often thought of this joke (and to this day it CRACKS ME UP). But his joke did much more than make me laugh. It pushed a single question to the forefront of my mind. “What do “blacks” think of racism today?”
In 2003, I asked this question—out loud—to a room full of Puerto Ricans, African Americans, Blacks, and Hispanics. One other “white man” was with me. Here is what happened.
Angela: “How do you feel about racism?”
White Man: “ANGELA! YOU DON’T SAY THAT!?”
Angela: “But why?”
White Man: “You just don’t!”
And she was right. White people are TERRIFIED of talking about this topic. Especially in front of all other races. It is a a taboo topic… to the white man. Why? Because I was taught by my parents that if we speak of it, black people will beat us. Yep! I was TAUGHT this. When I asked other white people, they confirmed that they too had the same fear as I. Why can’t white people talk about race with other races? Because white people are taught that the other races will be offended.
SO I ASKED THEM!
I can not tell you the amount of fear I had in asking a group of not-white people what they think of racism.
Here is what I learned. White man’s fear of race is still a very much practiced form of secret racism. I asked the ethnic group what they thought of the “N” word. I do NOT speak this word. It is vile and disgusting. I will say “fuck” a million times over (and do), but will never utter the “N” word. Not now. Not ever. The word, to me, a white man, does nothing but breed racism.
The Puerto Rican loathed this word. Mainly because they are not African. At all. She dismissed it as pure ignorance on the offenders behalf. When her children were called the “N” word, it was due to her Puerto Rican daughter being so dark, she was often mistaken as being from Africa when in fact they have no roots tied to Africa. She said, “the weird thing is this… My son is milado, almost white. But her daughter is as black as a coffee bean. Only her daughter gets that word.” Both children are born to second generation Puerto Ricans of the same parents with no racial mixing.
The blacks/African Americans said, “I don’t mind the “N” word. IF it is said by a fellow black person. If a white person calls me “N,” it’s offensive.
“Why?” I asked. Is this racist?
The answer, “Because the white man most likely doesn’t know what it means. It is black lingo only used in black communities. White man won’t know. To white man, it is a racial slur.”
I went on. “What about when white man says “Brother.”
“It’s phony. That’s all. It’s like a white man walking up to a Chinese person pretending to be Chinese when they clearly are not. It’s not staying true to who they are.”
Purely fascinating to me.
I spoke to a Muslim a week after 9/11. My aunt lives in Israel with her Israeli children. They are Jewish and Christian. (Their religious diversity is split in the household).
My husband is Oneida. He loathes being called “white.” They are “Native Americans” and are all very sensitive to the racism. Why? I asked. Because they are the one race that still are abused. Look into the 1973 incident of Wounded Knee. For the Native American, racism is still very much alive.
I walked away from this “interview” with a massive change in perspective. The most prominent though was this: White Man tip toes around the “R” word while all other races are pretty laid back about it… even those who experienced it first hand. Most of them know the racial wars are over. Most of them have moved on… Most of them dismiss the racism they have faced as ignorant morons. White Man is plagued with survivor’s guilt taught to them by their parents. Today, White Man feels far more guilty about the Slave Trade than the black man resents us for it.
Second… Rape cards
Let’s talk rape. If you follow me on a regular basis, you know I am a rape survivor. Two rapists, one pedophile, over seven years. Unlike the the racial slurs against Chinese, Blacks, and Native Americans, I can claim the side of the “offended” in the topic of rape when it comes to Cards Against Humanity. Unlike the author of the article previously mentioned, I can claim a perspective he can not. I am not on the outside when these cards are played. I am in the inside knowing the true meaning of “date rape” and “pedophilia” when these cards are played.
Yes. There is an unsettling sick every time I hear these words… outside of Cards Against Humanity. On a daily basis, I have to listen to the screams inside my head as I try to cope with the memories, relive the nightmare every time I have sex with my husband, and review the events with my therapist. It’s getting easier. Cards Against Humanity lets me laugh at it. It gives me a rare respite from the nightmare I live every day while I try to heal. While I learn to live with my past. When I play Cards Against Humanity, I can laugh and shrug it off. It empowers me. For that moment I can say, “FUCK YOU! You will not hurt me any more! I will laugh at it! Because I need to.” It is very, VERY therapeutic. And I need this.
Third… Homosexual, Sexist, and everything else cards
Gay, transvestite, homophobic cards? The cards that insult the elderly. The cards that insult phenomenal musicians, politicians, celebrities, authors. The cards that insult Gandalf the Grey. The cards that slander Christianity, the Jews, the Muslims, Hinduism, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, and Jesus… (Did I miss anyone?) Blasphemy? Blasphemy is only perceived by the followers whose god is being offended… whose religion is being ridiculed. For me, blasphemy doesn’t exist.
Disrespectful? Disrespect only is viewed as such by the offended.Really… no harm is meant. I don’t get offended while playing Cards Against Humanity. Everyone is equal while playing Cards Against Humanity. Every is mocked and ridiculed equally including kids with ass cancer. In that sense, there is no racism whatsoever in Cards Against Humanity.
Shock value? Definitely not. I know all the cards by heart. I welcome them!
My favorite cards “The sad little fat dragon with no friends.” I keep thinking Puff the Magic Dragon with a pout.
“Taking your balls out and putting them where your eyeballs are and taking your eye balls out and putting them where your balls are.” EVEN NOW I AM LAUGHING OUT LOUD. This isn’t shock value. This is simply an incredibly hilarious image in my head.
And all time favorite in my family is a card I made.
“Slap my ass and call me __________.”
My brother played “sports” to my black card. To this day, at every family event, someone calls out, “sports” and we all die laughing. Not shock value. Ludicrous images, irony, randomly ludicrous scenarios.
So. Is it true? Do people play Cards Against Humanity to prove “they are not racist by laughing at blatantly racist cards.”
“Does it?” I asked. No! Perhaps this author (who was white and Christian, by the way) used the game to prove he is not racist, but for me. I use the game to laugh at my hurt. Not to “prove” I’m not hurt. But to give me a break from all my hurt. To empower me. To make me get back my control. To heal. That is how I view the rape cards, the Irish cards, and the white man cards.
I use this game to remind me that racism and prejudice is disgusting and foolish. Racism and prejudice is also an ugly truth that has shaped our current culture. I need to contact my wonderful… beautiful gay friends and ask them what they think of Cards Against Humanity.
For my gay friend’s 30th birthday, I gave him a pack of Skittles with a card that said, “Taste the rainbow.” He died laughing.
But mostly, Cards Against Humanity teaches me not to take me too seriously. We have been wrong before. Prejudice and racism are always wrong. Cards Against Humanity teaches me to lighten up, relax, and take that stick out of my ass. I know many who need to take that stick out of their ass. This game teaches me to look back on all the racism and acknowledge how foolish we once were. Like the mural painted in the movie Pleasantville, Cards Against Humanity is a massive snapshot of all the horrible things we’ve done. It serves as a reminder to what we were, and what we have become. It reminds us as to how far we have come. Some of us anyway. It reminds us not to be so ugly and foolish ever again.
It reminds me to lighten up and to laugh at my own foolishness.
I post the most amusing compilations on my Instagram account.