Black lives matter.
This is not a political statement or an agenda; it is a basic statement of human rights. This is a declaration that black people in our country are the victims not only of police brutality, but systemic racism that has roots dating back to slavery.
This may be my Friday column here on CoolStuffInc.com, but as a straight, white man this is not the time for my words. As such, today I will not be writing my usual Magic article. Instead, I would like to take this time and space to amplify a few of the black Magic content creators who are the voices you should be seeking out right now, who have felt the stings of discrimination their entire lives, both inside the Magic community and out, and who can convey the reality our society faces.
If you are white, as most of the Magic community is, now is not the time for us to talk. Now is the time for us to listen.
The partial inspiration for my article today as well as a piece that hits very close to home, Elizabeth absolutely nails the tension felt by full time content creators who are scared to speak up for fear of damaging the business that is their livelihood. This is a phenomenal piece that every person who has ever been afraid to speak up should read.
Co-host of the Cozy Gang podcast and the Thirst For Knowledge podcast, Lawrence lays out a simple, train of thought-style letter that takes a direct and difficult look at how black people are portrayed both in the community and in the game of Magic itself. Lawrence exposes the hypocrisy of tokenism, while calling to attention the lack of colored diversity by a company that professes a desire to promote diversity.
I've known Cedric for years, from when he was my boss at StarCityGames.com, to hanging out with him on the SCG Tour, to now working with him and his amazing Coalesce Apparel & Design clothing line, and it's an honor to call him a friend. Cedric is one of the hardest working and popular personalities in the Magic community, but this does not protect him from the reality of being a black man in America. Cedric takes an episode of his podcast to discuss what's happening in the world.
With a title that is riffing off of comments made toward popular black athletes that they should just "shut up and dribble," the ColorofMagic Podcast takes a deep dive into the lack of diversity in Magic and gaming as a whole, as well as how to be a better ally to the black community. If you've ever wondered why there aren't more black content creators in the Magic community, this is a great place to start.
There are many more out there, which I encourage you to search for and share if you can. Feel free to leave more content by people of color in the comments below.
For now, I will leave you with this.
Listen. Speak up. Have difficult conversations. If you're able, protest or donate. Do what is right. And if you're not sure what is right, take the time to educate yourself from those who are experiencing it firsthand.
Please be safe out there.