Wizards of the Coast, best known for that Magic: The Gathering card game that titles like Hearthstone get inspiration from, is apologizing for the racist cards it has published for the past few decades.

You know, cards like these…

magic-the-gathering-invoke-prejudice-condition-good-p316870-325092_zoomleg-5-cleansearn-33-stone-throwing-devils

Yikes.

Anyway, the above three and four others will be removed from competitive play and from the game’s official card index. Here’s the list:

  • Invoke Prejudice
  • Cleanse
  • Stone-Throwing Devils
  • Pradesh Gypsies
  • Jihad
  • Imprison
  • Crusade

Not only will they be banned from all tournament sanctioned play, their art wilil be removed from Wizard’s official card index site Gatherer. They’ll be replaced with this box of the following text:

“We have removed this card image from our database due to its racist depiction, text, or combination thereof. Racism in any form is unacceptable and has no place in our games, nor anywhere else.”

Why do this now instead of a couple of years back? Because like most big companies, they’re doing it to make a political statement to coincide with the recent tragedies and Black Lives Matter protests/riots that follow.

While Wizards of the Coast are doing their best in being proactive about this, it does reek of convenient PR stuntwork especially when the company could have fixed its mono-White control stance. I do not mean the deck type: read this recent open letter (among many others)on how Wizard works behind the scenes when it comes to diversity hires.

1 Comment »

  1. Invoke Prejudice, sure.

    There is nothing wrong with Cleanse. There is nothing racist about the art. There’s nothing racist about the name. There’s nothing racist about the text. “Black” is certainly not referring to African-Americans, just as “White” on Virtue’s Ruin doesn’t refer to Caucasians.

    I’m genuinely confused on what’s wrong with Stone-Throwing Devils. Looks like little demons throwing rocks, and we can’t even see at what. I have no idea whats supposed to be racist about this.

    Pradesh Gypsies. Though people will get all up-in-arms about the word “gypsie”, there’s nothing particularly offensive about it. Back in the day, people mistakently thought the Romani came from Egypt. Thus e-GYP-t became Gypsie. Some Romani people find it offensive, though I have personally met Romani people who call themselves Gypsies without batting an eye. Further, the card doesn’t even say anything disparaging about them, just that they are a mysterious people, and there are a LOT of stereotypes they COULD have used there but they didn’t. Not an offensive card, certainly not enough to ban.

    Jihad means to struggle, typically against the enemies of Islam by Muslims. There is nothing racist about the word, the art is not racist, and the flavor text is not racist. It might actually be racist to ban it though, since Jihad is a major pillar of the Islamic faith and fits very well in a set that centers in the culture of ancient Arabia.

    Don’t really get what’s wrong with Imprison either. Yeah, they are appears to be a black guy… and? Because people think black people are wrongly imprisoned in America? That’s a hell of a stretch. It’d be one thing if they used like, a depiction of the West African slave trade, but that’s not what they did. Its just a black guy, wearing some kind of spooky looking BDSM helmet. Odd, but a lot of old MTG art is odd. Certainly not ban-worthy.

    If Crusade had a picture of a Muslim man being skewered on a Crusaders lance, you might have a point here. But that’s not what we’ve got. All we’ve got, is some medieval knights marching in formation. That’s all. Not glorifying the crusades, nothing. Just an innocuous card. Meanwhile Tivadar’s Crusade is fine. Not only does it say “Crusade” and how dare it, they art is of a goblin on a damn cross and it looks like IMPALED, goblins being the ubiquitous choice since Tolkein for a lesser/filthy/theiving race. Yeah no, THAT card is fine, but regular Crusade, that’s simply unacceptable.

    The world is being overrun by screaming children.

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