Your Card Was Declined, Due to Insufficient Blackness: A Hot Take on the “Black Card”

It is time to retire the use or misuse of the “black card.” No, I am not talking about American Express. This figurative black card is basically a metaphor that represents a long standing cancel-culture for black people. Somehow, something that I was born with can simply be revoked because I didn’t see Black Panther. I think it’s time for “black card reform,” because the system is clearly broken. 

I have noticed people utilizing the black card as this measuring stick for blackness from a narrow minded perspective that only highlights their own ignorance. Granted when we’re kidding it’s fine (black people). Even I do it jokingly on occasions, like when I see a black person season their chicken with red pepper flakes. No I am not going to take their black card away, but it is considered a violation, and that does count as a warning. Nevertheless, the fact that my blackness can be defined by who I date (more so on black women), what music I listen to, my political views etc. is asinine.

I’ve noticed in various social media discussions, that there are not only black people, but non-black people participating and having the nerve to define another person’s blackness when they’re not even black themselves. To that I say, have a tall glass of STFU, because you’re getting too comfortable. Yes Joe Biden I’m talking to you too; I don’t plan on voting for Trump, but if I did I would still be black, despite what you think or what you regurgitated from another black person as a failed attempt to sound more “down.” 

I find it funny that the same group of people revoking black cards left and right, willfully participate or completely ignore colorism, misogynoir, domestic violence and other detrimental acts that should get one’s black card taken away in the first place.

 And don’t get me started on the invitation to the “cookout.”  

The Cookout: A metaphorical exclusive gathering of Black people. Non-blacks can join via invite

Again, just another expression that’s been shot to hell, because I’ve seen more black people kicked out of the cookout than welcomed. Which is crazy, because I  always see “Black Twitter” comments saying “Oh they can come to the cookout!” over a viral video of a white person who is able to dance on beat and carry hot sauce in their bag at the same time. But let me not knowing how to play spades, or prefer roller blades over skates, somehow makes me this trader of the culture. I don’t even know if I’m invited to the cookout and I’m black. 

If these are the restrictions that come with the figurative black card or the cookout, I don’t want it. I prefer not to be a racial monolith, who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time because in reality, that’s not what it is. Let’s just get rid of this notion that blackness is a one dimensional character in a binary box that we have to subscribe to. While conversely making the black card so easy to obtain by non-blacks because they date black people or enjoy the culture for entertainment.

Veronica Brown
Veronica A. Brown is a comedian, writer, and actress from Inglewood, CA. Her acting credits include a recurring role in TLC's "Sex Sent Me to the ER," an appearance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live and a feature film role in the comedy “Marlo Lasker” streaming on Amazon. Aside from performing stand-up across the country, she is steady writing for various productions and writers' rooms, as well as her own sketch comedy series called “Veronica Who?”