I read this letter in a local newspaper here in Stockholm the other day - it kind of pissed me off, but I thought I'd share it with y'all just because it's so damn funny and/or stupid. Here goes - I translated it from Swedish to English as best I could:
Family games are filled with racism
1 Svarte Petter is a Swedish card game, mostly played by children.
No more racism in board games. In almost every game being black is ugly, or having the black colour. Just think about Svarte Petter1, where the black is to be avoided. In chess, the white player starts and the black player has to submit. In other card games, such as Poker, the best combination is a Royal Straight Flush, meaning a straight containing only hearts. The same straight in spades or clubs isn't as good, just because it's black!
It's no wonder our kids grow up with predjudice when this kind of covert racism is baked into everyday life. There are further examples: in every fairy tale, there's an evil black magician and a good white knight, the forces of darkness and the white dove of peace.
Signed: Simba, pre-school teacher
The first two thoughts that ran through my head after reading this was: "This has to be a joke" and "Oh my God, she's serious". Obviously, since I haven't met this Simba (I thought that was a character in Lion King?) I don't know the answers to these questions. However, I will say this.
Creating racism where none exists is a very stupid thing to do. (especially if you're trying to fight racism)
Anyway, fortunately for the anti-racist movement, the person who wrote the above letter didn't make her point very well. Firstly, chess is a game which has been around for at least a millennium, which was imported into our culture. It should be obvious to anyone with half a brain that whoever invented it did not so with some hidden agenda to make black people seem inferior. By the way, it should be noted that black people aren't really black - their skin is a shade of brown varying from pink to (almost) completely black.
As for Simba's second argument, that the best Royal Straight Flush is red (thus discriminating the black cards somehow) - firstly, this isn't actually true. There are lots of places around the world, the USA being one of them, where the highest Royal Straight Flush is actually a black one: in spades. Also, she forgot to mention that it's not just a straight, it's a royal straight - it has to have the ace, king, queen, knight and 10 in it. Obviously, this Poker is racist argument she's trying to make is bullshit, or at the very least overanalysis.
Anyway, while she's at it, why doesn't she attack people for working during the day (when it's bright outside) and hiding indoors, sleeping at night, when it's dark (black?) outside? Oh my, we're all racists! Everyone should start working 24 hours to show that we're not trying to avoid being surrounded by blackness. Also, all car tires should immediately be re-coloured - it's an insult to the blacks that these tires are worn down, carrying (mostly) whites to work or on holiday, and are then thrown away or burned, producing dangerous smoke. And why is that highly poisonous smoke black? It's a conspiracy!
Having now proved how good I am at generating pure bullshit when I'm in the mood for it, I will end this write-up. I hope it's been a (somewhat) pleasant read.