Our Voices

I was buying a birthday card for my father yesterday when I ran across a section titled ‘Our Voices’ that caters to a black audience. The title seemed a bit jarring to me, sort of like the FUBU line of clothing years ago (i.e., For Us, By Us). It was always weird for me in middle school and high school to see white kids buying FUBU clothes, when it was clear that founder Daymond John (a very smart guy) wasn’t targeting them.

I understand the need to target products to a specific audience, but there is a separateness with ‘Our Voices’ that seems incredibly ironic. You have a community that claims it wants to be treated like everyone else, and then when the conditions are there to realize the dream it does little things to create a psychological barrier between the stated vision and reality.

‘Our Voices’ says: “Our voice is ‘other’ than yours. Our voice is not yours. Our message is not your message.” And it doesn’t need to be that way.

What if I was looking for a card and I couldn’t quite find the one I was looking for. Say a black employee tried to be nice and help me out. She held up a card and said: “Maybe this one, sir?” and I replied, “No, that comes across like something in your voice for your community.”

How would the rest of the exchange play out? Probably not too well. So the moral of the story is, if a guy like me ever draws some sort of weird cultural line between myself and black people, then I’m a racistbigothatemonger (one word), but if a greeting card company does the same thing in really cute cursive writing, then it’s completely innocuous and I’m probably getting bent out of shape for nothing, right?

If I make a joke about the Obama fist-pump with Michelle, there’s some sort of evil racist undertones, but if a greeting card company suggests that the Obama family belongs to them and their voices — instead of, you know, all Americans — nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to wondering why I’m weird for trying to treat everyone as a unique and complex individual who is not defined by his or her pigmentation.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

37 comments

    1. Even if they just renamed it any number of things it would be fine. I get it. There’s a section called “chickas” for Hispanic women. Cool. But I think ‘Our Voices’ sends the wrong message.

      Note: Cue the person who says that subconsciously I just want to silence black voices, in greeting cards and at the ballot box.

    2. I’m just seeing this post so excuse the lateness in responding. I can’t speak for the creator of the Our Voices greeting cards but I certainly appreciate them for doing so. We (races) don’t all talk, think or look alike so it’s alright if we have different products. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be treated equally just because I want to read and support African American authors or because I want to give a card to a loved one who looks like me. My mother and father were brown-skinned like me and if they were still living, I’d certainly give them a card that resembles them. My experience with Our Voices and Mahogany cards are written from our perspective and experiences and I can relate to them. I don’t exclusively buy Our Voices nor Mahogany cards but if they fit the occasion and the person I’m giving them to, I’m grateful that they are available.

    3. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I think we’re actually in much more agreement than you may think. As I stated before, the existence of the cards does not bother me. In fact, I totally understand and sympathize with anyone who says the cards speak to them in a way that others do not. My issue is with the branding. I have zero problem with “Mahogany,” but I think “Our Voices” is incredibly weird and off-putting. Like I said, what would a black person say to me if she offered me a card and I said, “Eh. I don’t think that’s going to work. It seems like something in your voice for your community.”

      As you mention, the black community is incredibly diverse. By calling it “Our Voices,” the company makes it sound as if there’s a committee of black people out there that gets to decide on what is or is not “authentically black.” That rubs me the wrong way.

  1. Some of the cards are pretty amazing because of the imagery and it is nice to see representation that looks like our diverse community. Still I love your approach to see everyone as unique.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I did look at a few of the cards, and they do seem very nice. They are definitely quality products. And on the right occasion, I’d even consider buying them, which is why the branding the company decided to go with threw me off.

  2. Our voice can mean anything you want it to mean. Because there are black people on the card it makes your feel like it has to be black voices…? Does that mean all the cards with the white people on them are from White Voices?… If that’s what it means i guess it was more then necessary for the “our voices” cards to be made… If that’s not what it means then who ever is behind our voices could have chosen that name simply because they feel it is their voice… Just because the cards have pictures of black people you want it to mean something different from all the other cards in the aisle. lol… I wonder what the right occasion would have to be for you to buy one of those cards. lol.

    1. The cards are clearly marketed to black people and “black culture.” If you don’t get that, I can’t help you.

      Word of advice: Ending replies with ‘lol’ makes others less likely to take you seriously.

  3. I love “Our Voices” cards. They are soulful, classy and relate-able to anyone like that. Get over yourself and non issues

    1. I must have hit a nerve if you took the time to read and comment. Good. Regardless, I never said anything about their quality, and even said I’d consider buying one in the comments section.

      I did look at a few of the cards, and they do seem very nice. They are definitely quality products. And on the right occasion, I’d even consider buying them, which is why the branding the company decided to go with threw me off.

      Read closer next time.

      Best,

      Doug

  4. I’m a total stranger to your blog, but since I’ve been researching greeting cards marketing, I came across your writing in a Google search. I think you’re reading too much into the nature of the cards. And by that I mean that you’re unnecessarily politicizing them. The cards and their purpose are self-explanatory, and the explanation is pretty simple: People – consumers – like personalized products that are tinted with emotion to reflect themselves. It is the reason, Mattel started making black Barbies in the ’80s. Mattel was in no way denouncing its traditional (AKA white) Barbies or making a liberal statement by producing black Barbies. On the contrary, the company was conducting smart business by attempting to woo a consumer market that had money to spend but had been ignored. You can find any number of studies online from marketing experts and psychologists and sociologists who say that up until the point that they’re transitioning from toddler years to kindergarten/early grade school years, little girls don’t care what their dolls look like. But once they make that transition, their internal self esteem mechanisms kick in and they begin to crave dolls that at least moderately resemble them. It is at that point that parents of black children – black parents and adoptive parents of other skin colors – stopped buying Barbies for their daughters, because the little girls didn’t want them. They didn’t relate to the dolls. They didn’t feel any connection or similarity. When Mattel began producing black Barbies, those parents came back in droves.

    The same thing is happening with greeting cards. You’re politicizing this issue, hinting that cards featuring black people only hurt the cause of everyone getting along, because those cards further separate black communities from others.

    I would argue that if you stop trying to politicize this and look at it from the perspectives that inspired it – consumer confidence and retailers reaching out to a new market – then what you have is smart business. Greeting cards are very personal. If I’m purchasing a birthday card for my elderly grandmother, and I want a card with a human drawn or photographed on the cover (as opposed to a card with flowers or balloons or something like that on the cover), there’s no scandal in me getting a card featuring an elderly white woman on the cover because my grandmother is an elderly white woman. In fact, considering my grandmother’s appearance, I’m far less likely to get her a card featuring an elderly black woman, because, well, that just doesn’t make any sense. I’d argue the same if I was getting card for my black son or my Asian wife or my Latina daughter. Wal-Mart is being smart in this circumstances: playing to the consumer, and likely generating even higher profits because of it.

    1. Anderson,

      Did you read the post? Did you read my replies? You’re missing the point. I spelled it out even more clearly in the comments section:

      “Even if they just renamed it any number of things it would be fine. I get it. There’s a section called “Chickas” for Hispanic women. Cool. But I think ‘Our Voices’ sends the wrong message.”

      Why is it that I didn’t create a post on “Chickas”? It’s because “Chickas” is rather innocuous, just as black Barbie dolls are innocuous. Do you see the gap between “Chickas” and “Our Voices”? One could make the argument that it’s rather large. I did not politicize the cards — the creators of the cards did. Likewise, the creator of FUBU politicized his clothing line (i.e., For Us, By Us). That does not mean that white people or Hispanics can’t enjoy politicized cards or clothing … but it does mean that those creators are the ones constructing barriers.

      I stand by what I’ve said:

      I understand the need to target products to a specific audience, but there is a separateness with ‘Our Voices’ that seems incredibly ironic. You have a community that claimed for ages to want to be treated like everyone else, and then when the conditions are there to realize the dream, it does little things to create a psychological barrier between the stated vision and reality.

      ‘Our Voices’ says: “Our voice is ‘other’ than yours. Our voice is not yours. Our message is not your message.” And it doesn’t need to be that way.

      What if I was looking for a card and I couldn’t quite find the one I was looking for. Say a black employee tried to be nice and help me out. She held up a card and said: “Maybe this one, sir?” and I replied, “No, that comes across like something in your voice for your community.”

      I’m sorry if you disagree. Good luck with your market research.

  5. “… You have a community that claimed for ages to want to be treated like everyone else, and then when the conditions are there to realize the dream, it does little things to create a psychological barrier between the stated vision and reality…”

    That is where you are mistaken. The black “community” didn’t create these cards. American Greetings company did. While it is nice to see a larger variety of faces represented in the greeting card section, the broken grammar and overused tropes (e.g. “what the dealio”, “you go girl” “that’s a hot mess”) meant to denote blackness come across as patronizing. I don’t have as much a problem with the branding of the cards as with the nature of the cards themselves. Of course that’s just my take on it and I’m sure you can find black folk with a completely different perspective. We aren’t the monolith that people take us for.

    As for the barrier you speak of, a de facto barrier was already in place, created by the dearth of representations of black and other minority voices. I don’t see the “our voices” label as creating any of those barriers. It looks like more of a statement of existence.

    1. Tony,

      You’re telling me American Greeting cards would be dumb enough to brand an entire line of cards for the black community at large and then not lean heavily on black talent to produce the content? Okay…

      If black people make up 20% of the population but they only make up 15% of, say, shoe salesmen, is that a barrier? Or, is it possible that black people just aren’t into being shoe salesmen for some reason? If black people make up 20% of the population but make up 35% of of U.S. refrigerator repairmen, does it matter? Not necessarily. It might just mean that black people are good with machines. If you’ve made the decision in your mind to look out and see barriers as “a statement of existence” then I have news for you: the universe will give you what you want…

    2. No, that isn’t what I’m saying. I don’t know if they relied on “black talent” to produce the cards or not, but it doesn’t matter. I’m saying that not everything that a black person does amounts to an expression of a larger black community.

      Take for example the Harriet Tubman sex tape parody that Russell Simmons recently apologized for releasing on youtube. That was produced and marketed by several black people and not the larger black community. There are numerous other phenomena (e.g. Soul Plane, pimp juice, and commercial hip hop) created by black some people and falsely attributed to the larger black community that are actually at odds with significant swathes of the black community.

      I’m not sure the point you were making in your second paragraph. I think maybe I wasn’t clear about my point with the barriers so I’ll try to elaborate. For a long time, I don’t remember ever seeing a black face on a greeting card. Of all the thousands of greeting cards I had looked through, for years not a single one had a black face. That amounts to a barrier. If black people make up 12% of the population and make up 0.1% of the greeting cards faces, that’s a barrier. So when a company produces greeting cards with black faces and calls it “our voices”, that name represents a statement of existence. It’s like saying, “hey, we matter, we exist”. Again, it isn’t any more a product of the black community as “you’ve come a long way, baby” is a product of the female community. It’s marketing designed to leverage a particular cultural context and not necessarily a creation of the target community.

      Now in the grad scheme of things, greeting card representation falls pretty far down on the list. It isn’t any great tragedy. The only time I would really thing about it is when I happened to be looking for greeting cards. It does make for interesting conversation. That’s how I found this blog. My wife and I were having a good laugh about how patronizingly silly the cards are and wondered if anybody mentioned them online.

    3. I think that we’re probably pretty close on this issue. I do agree with much of what you’re saying. If you ever get a chance, I’d like to hear about the failure of conservatives to resonate with minority voters.

      The problem with writing about these topics (for guys like me) is that a number of people who claim to basically speak on behalf of the black community at large. I’ve always found this to be rather weird because, like you say, it’s composed millions of unique individuals. It’s almost like Al Sharpton thinks that if aliens came down from Mars and said, “take me to your leader,” that individuals in the black community would direct them to him.

      However, at the same time, when it comes to politics, over 90% of the black vote goes to one party. That is rather monolithic and, in my mind, culturally unhealthy.

      I do agree with you that a greeting card barrier is pretty far down on the list of things to get bend out of shape about when there are other issues (e.g., pay parity, promotions) to discuss. However, I also think there is something to be said about the little things. They add up… It’s kind of like “Rudy” in New York years ago doing away with the graffiti and “squeegy guys” who would harass tourists. He concentrated on the “little” crimes and it helped clean up New York. Likewise, I think that if we discuss all the little ways Americans create barriers between themselves on a daily basis I think some of the bigger issues will dissipate.

      Again, thanks for adding to the discussion. I really appreciate the time you took to read and craft these responses.

  6. The Bottom Line is “Our Voices ” Is Just That. “Our Voices”. Even you must admit that our cultures differ. I am a black female and when I send greeting cards to my family and friends I would love to have it be more personal. Like Something I would have said. Example: My sister received an “Our Voices Card ” that said: “I tried to get something chocolate and sweet for your birthday” on the front of the card. The inside of the card said” but the brotha moved too fast”. My sister is a single black female who prefers dating black men. She thought it was great and had a laugh when she read it. Isn’t that the whole purpose of a Birthday Card to bring a smile to someones face.

    1. What does “our cultures differ” mean, Juanita? I don’t even know what a “white” culture is. Would you care to explain it to me? What “culture” will my future children — who will be half white — have in Juanita’s world?

      If you choose to adopt a culture that is distinct and separate from an American culture, that is your choice. I think that is unhealthy decision for a citizen of the United States to have. It’s hard to have a “united” states when large swathes of the population prefer balkanization.

      Side note: I’d love to hear Tony’s response to your world view, which positions people like yourself as the judge and jury for what constitutes “authentically black” behavior.

    2. I feel it is a great ideal that you aspire too. American Culture? America from its very conception put Labels on itself. ie., African-American, Asian American, Native-American, Hispanic-American and so on. Don’t get yourself in such a huff. I never said anything about authentically black behavior. You DiD. What I said was that we differ and we do. As for your children being half white where the hell did that come from. What I meant in my post was that I appreciate the fact that Our Voices greeting cards relate to me more as a black female than Hallmarc. When I send a card I would like it to express something I would have said.
      As for your children how you raise your children is your business. It seems to me Douglas that you are looking for a fight. Why are you so Angry? You are entitled to your opinions and believe it or not so am I.

    3. I see you’re backtracking a bit because if someone follows the logic you put forth it leads to exactly where I said it would (i.e., people like you deeming yourself the arbiters of what is authentically black).

      I’m not sure if you missed it, but I’ve already stated multiple times that there is a difference between gearing a product to a certain segment of the population (e.g., Chickas) and doing so in a way that artificially constructs barriers where they need not be (e.g., Our Voices).

      You mistake a direct challenge to your worldview with anger. You affixed an emotion to my reply that isn’t there and then reacted to it in a way that would allow you to dodge the question and feel better about yourself. If there is a “black” culture that you adhere to, then please give us a few bullet points. Define it. And then do the same for “white” culture.

      In regards to America labeling different groups, you’re wrong. It is politically correct bean counters who separate individuals into groups and then attempt to exploit them for political purposes.

  7. As a white woman (incidentally from Birmingham, England – no link to previous anonymous troll) I came across your blog whilst looking for greeting cards that have images of black people in them, as I can’t find any.in Birmingham (a very diverse community) currently. I therefore felt a bit jealous when you referred to a range of cards that is available and then your thought-provoking comments left me in confusion as to what can be done. I totally get your point about calling the rang ‘our voices’ and also wonder about representation generally. Whilst I know there are generic cards that I can buy I really notice all the images of white people in cards and would like an alternative. I continue to wonder what solutions there may be, whilst still feeling shocked that there is so little representation of anything other than white in England.

    And just in relation to choice – years ago I did get some cards from a religious shop in a largely black-populated area of Birmingham with images of black people represented. I bought my dad one – he’s white, he wasn’t offended. I don’t think I have to buy cards with images of white people for white people and cards with images of black people for black people, I’d just really like the choice and it isn’t there.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Yes, as I said, my main issue is with the branding of the cards — and not their mere existence — which some of the people here (not you) don’t seem to get.

      Your comments dovetail nicely into a discussion into the free market. If there is a dearth of cards representing black people, and there are “x” million people who theoretically want those cards, then it would make no sense for an entrepreneurial person (like yourself?) not to try and fulfill the demand.

      Someone in the states ran the numbers and figured out that “Our Voices” works in certain markets in the U.S. Where I live, there is a large affluent population of black people, so the need is being met. Perhaps in certain markets, the population makeup or economic conditions make using up floor space for the cards a bad bet.

      Or, consider the effect the Internet has had on cards. Maybe black people don’t complain to card companies these days because there are “make your own” card services available. The last two cards my wife bought me were from a website that allows you to come up with your own professional-looking card. Why go to Hallmark when these days an individual can make it 100% personalized?

      My thing with “Our Voices” is that a certain percentage of the population that buys those cards are probably the same people who go around complaining about how the U.S. is not the “melting pot” it’s always sold as, when they’re the same people doing little things to resist the assimilation process.

  8. Douglas, In all your greeting card research, you may have looked to see that Hallmark has provided a Mahogany line for black people for many, many years now. You may also be interested to know that Hallmark provides online shopping where you can be 100% personalized, as well as software you can purchase to do the same thing on your computer at home. “Why go to Hallmark when these days an individual can make it 100% personalized?”

    1. Thanks for commenting, Samantha. “Mahogany” is a completely innocuous name that I have no problems with. That buttresses my point nicely. Again, thanks for taking the time to read and contribute to the discussion.

  9. Why do you care? Clearly the marketing isn’t about you and how you feel about it. Your day will go on smoother if you just pick out a greeting card suitable for you and let others use their voice to relate to their target market. This is nothing new, it happens all the time.

  10. Sure, the “Our Voices” may seem a bit separatist. I get the point you’re trying to make but, we’ve been the minority in a lot of things that have been dominated by another group. That brand title is a call to our people. It is meant to let our (and any) consumers know that we represent a portion of this market as well. This is the world we live in. We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t have to.

    1. We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t have to.

      I don’t think you give yourself enough credit for all the things you’re able to accomplish without coming off as a “bit separatist.”

      Regardless, I’m not sure why people can’t just fast-forward in time and see how utterly ridiculous it is to categorize by skin color. We’re part of the human race, and as long as we keep counting each other like beans we’ll continue to have problems.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment. I appreciate you taking the time to read and reply.

  11. Your remarks about Our Voices greeting cards is way deeper than you admit! It is not the messages or graphs on and in the cards that bother you. It is the fact you have a need to feel that you are not left out and still recognized as the all white power of the world. Black unity, political expression, and economic power bothers the hell out of you. What you really saying is “Don’t you dare leave this white “brother” our of your life or movement in this world. You owe us your dedication and acknowledgement. We are the superior power over all things and thought”. How many messages did you send Hallmark about making cards that are 99% representative of white life! I can actually tell you how many white Santa. white angel, white females, white males and white children are on my cards of special occasion that I get from my contacts. 100%! and I don’t b**** about it! I’m just glad someone thought of me. However, I don’t miss the fact they ‘might’ not buy me something that is reflective of my existence because there are so little cards out there for them to buy. However, they got Our Voices now. Should I make a point and tell them to buy me Our Voices? No. I just make sure I send them a card from Our Voices when I decide to let them know I remembered them on some special day.
    Your patronizing philosophizing BS about Black consumer products supported by the clandestine inference I don’t hate Black people because I have a child that has some minority blood in their veins is so predictable of your character! Yes, that is what you really saying but you think certain people can’t figure that out. Crap! Oh, yeah. The fact you pointed that fact out tells all. What ethnicity your child is should not have entered the conversation! Did you think that would make certain people who don’t agree with you feel guilty or embarrassed that they do not agree with you but hold the same opinion as your debater? Slave maters (masters) bought and sold, beat, raped and killed their human commodity that cared, loved, and supported that slave mater with all their heart and physical strength. Still with the slaves given all that they were born with mentally, emotionally and physically it did not stop the mater’s abuse nor lead to the spoiled mater treating them like humans. How long did you wait for someone to take the bait so you can announce that fact about your child? Sad. I know your kind of people. You dare someone to say you have any level of distain towards another race so you can throw out your white curve ball by announcing your intimate association with a person that you think is of minority status. Bottom-line, you don’t love nor respect Black people’s self love; You fear it. You just want to walk around with your ‘reality in life’ wearing it like a small gold button on your lapel hoping no one will notice and if they do you can throw them that pathetic white curveball you keep in your pocket.
    Your child will recognize your behavior one day and it won’t be pretty for either of you.
    I am so sick of having to do business with people like you. However, I do because your dollar is green. I’ll take it.
    Sometimes I am glad I not very smart or academically inclined because some of you educated people are so damn dumb when it comes to people matters. BTW I am not surprise to hear these words come out the mouth of a conservative. Last, there is nothing wrong with being anonymous in a blog considering there are people, like you, who would live your life trying to destroy that person life for disagreeing with you.

    1. It looks like I hit a nerve with Mr. Anonymous from California. The huge block of emotion that spilled out of you is fascinating, even if it did little to convince anyone that you’re capable of cool, calm, collected and rational thought.

      I know your kind of people.

      I guess it’s okay to say “I know your kind of people” if a guy is white, but if I pulled that on you I guess I’d get another giant block of blathering, correct?

      Your child will recognize your behavior one day and it won’t be pretty for either of you.

      Slow clap for Mr. Anonymous. I might submit this comment for today’s “Bottom of the Barrel” award.

      I am so sick of having to do business with people like you. However, I do because your dollar is green. I’ll take it.

      So, basically, you’re admitting that you lack principles. If you were a principled man, then you would reject my “hate money” or whatever it is you want to label it.

      Last, there is nothing wrong with being anonymous in a blog considering there are people, like you, who would live your life trying to destroy that person life for disagreeing with you.

      Actually, I’m too busy being a productive law-abiding member of society to try and “destroy” your life. Sorry to disappoint you.

    2. Anonymous’ “your kind of people” comment remind me of douchebags I knew from high school who would refer to conservatives “as your kind” and would say, “you people are a dying breed,” in reference to my conservative beliefs.

      Remember, kids, saying nasty things like that and implying that people who disagree with you are basically subhuman are deemed acceptable when directed at the “appropriate” targets.

      I too wish people would, for a change, acknowledge that race relations have improved and that we’re all members of the human race. I see people as people.

  12. This topic is pretty deep for no reason… I mean, these are greeting cards [for goodness sake] that are focused on providing a voice to the black community to express themselves in their voice…. That’s it. There is nothing problematic here. Why can’t we get some love and representation and be proud of that and CLAIM it as ours without being called separatists? OUR people were claimed as property as hundreds of years… so please… let us claim something as ours in peace for once. And you are absolutely correct, we seek [and deserve] to be treated as any other group of people… and let me remind you these other groups of people have always somehow had the right to claim spaces and experiences as exclusively theirs by [in very obvious ways] telling people of color when we do and don’t belong or deserve to be in a space. (If you have no idea what I’m referring to please educate yourself my friend and find some friends who have to live with being black in America). Additionally, might I add what in the hell kind of conditions are you speaking of that exist in this country that allow us to easily access this “dream” you’ve referred to between which we are building “little psychological barriers”? I would be remiss in my commentary if I did not admit that we do have some work to do in our communities. However, when we live under “conditions” like blatant disregard for the education system in black communities, living in fear because because the very fact that you are black makes you criminal / of questionable character and libel to be intimidated, questioned and/or shot by the police, having to work twice as hard to prove your intelligence………… can you really blame us?

    1. This topic is pretty deep for no reason…

      It obviously touched a nerve with you, given your response, so I’m not sure how you can say it serves “no reason.”

      Why can’t we get some love and representation and be proud of that and CLAIM it as ours without being called separatists?

      You obviously didn’t read the article very closely, did you? There’s a big difference between something like “Ebony” and “Our Voices”/”For Us, By Us.”

      Additionally, might I add what in the hell kind of conditions are you speaking of that exist in this country that allow us to easily access this “dream” you’ve referred to between which we are building “little psychological barriers”? I would be remiss in my commentary if I did not admit that we do have some work to do in our communities.

      Indeed, it is much more difficult for a kid to attain the American dream when he only has one parent in the home. I would suggest you look at the official statistics on out-of-wedlock birth rates for the black community. I would then look at cities like Detroit, Philly, Chicago, etc. that have been run by Democrats for decades, and then seriously ask yourself who is holding urban black communities back. Is it random white guys like me, or should they look in the mirror and do some serious introspection?

      living in fear because because the very fact that you are black makes you criminal / of questionable character and libel to be intimidated, questioned and/or shot by the police, having to work twice as hard to prove your intelligence………… can you really blame us?

      You do know that statistically speaking, black men in urban areas are astronomically more likely to be killed by other black people than, say, some random cop, right? Since you’re so big on telling guys like me to “educate” myself, perhaps you should look at the official DOJ statistics on who, exactly, black people should rationally fear. How sad is it that it’s other black people? Don’t even get me started on how urban black communities vote almost exclusively for a political party that successfully encourages them to abort their children.

      Side note: When a community essentially burns itself to the ground to “protest” perceived injustices, it only hurts honest, hard-working people in that community.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it.

  13. Black people want the same treatment in terms of opportunities and obstacles. We still want our individuals culture and voices spoken too. The cards arent bizarre or weird to those they speak to and to assume that you know what we want or what we have been fighting for is tremendously inapropriate, especially when the assumption is off. And doesnt seemed to be founded off any real facts. Our voices are unique like the cards, we dont want assimilation we want integration, we dont want to be ignored we want to be respected. What you are suggesting is different from the realities of what we want. We dont want to become pigmented white people which is essentially what your saying. Black people should just assimilate and become american is what your getting at, and by that you mean become more white, become more like you and fall more in line with your way of thinking. Thats fine, but we dont feel that way, most of us like being black, we simply dont want to be held back for it. And we certainly dont want to give it up to be accepted by an america that has never shown us the capacity to look beyond it.

    thank you for creating a space for dialogue though. Its all in love of course.

    1. Patrick, I find it odd that you speak as if you’re the authority on what all black people want on a cultural level. Regardless, since black Americans want to secure many of the universal principles of freedom and liberty found within Declaration of Independence and codified into law by the U.S. Constitution, I think I can speak quite authoritatively on the subject.

      Since you seem to have cast yourself as a spokesperson for what is considered authentically black, I respectfully ask you to come up with a list of ten bullet points on “black culture” that are somehow incompatible with any of the universal principles on freedom and liberty found within the U.S. Constitution.

      Black people should just assimilate and become american is what your getting at, and by that you mean become more white, become more like you and fall more in line with your way of thinking.

      I don’t even know what that means. It’s gibberish. Would I want black people to become culturally like white socialists and communists in San Francisco? No. Would I want black people to become more libertarian and conservative? Sure. Feel free to add ten bullet points that define “white culture” (whatever the heck that means) as well. It seems pretty logical for an American like myself to want black Americans to adopt the universal principles enshrined in our founding documents. I never thought freedom and liberty was a “white” thing. If that is the case, then I think that is incredibly weird.

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