Rules for Playing the Race Card

Steve Cuno

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Not long ago, a champion of humanity set me straight. Someone in our monochromatic, melanin-deficient lunch gathering had mentioned race, and before I could think better of it I had naively blurted something about racism not being a good thing. The above-referenced champion politely pointed out my error. The real problem, he explained, is that They play the Race card. (I didn’t add the italics and capital T. They were as audible as the rattling coming from the pale heads around our table nodding in enthusiastic agreement.)

You can imagine my chagrin upon realizing that, my whole life, I’d mistaken a parlor game for something serious. I wondered how many points I had lost through incorrect play, how many opportunities to advance I’d missed through ignorance. Well, never again. I resolved to learn the rules so that I could compete with the best of Them.

Tracking down the rules proved a challenge. Hoyle’s makes no mention of the game. Google is rife with complaints about misplay but devoid of rules as to correct play. Undaunted, I was able to infer a good many of the rules by watching the pros go at it. Here, for the benefit of fellow naïfs, are the fruits of my research.

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