Help to cancel Wizrds of the Coast's bannings for pc reasons in MtG

Hello everybody.

Wizards of the Coast has banned several cards for political correctness from Magic the Gathering. The main reson of these bannings was that by pure coincidence Legends expansions Invoke Prejudice card had multiverseid 1488. Now 1488 is concidered bad number because of what? Some white supremacists have adopted that number (check the wikipedia) for their cause and some group who opposes them noticed this coincidence in Magic the Gathering’s card database.

And of course they got upset and instead of just shruging it off as a coincidence they decided to contact Wizards of the Coast and complain. The end result was that the multiverseid of Invoke Prejudice was changed which IMHO is ok. But in addition they replaced the picture of the card with the following text:

“We have removed this card image from our database because it is racist or culturally offensive art, text , or a combination thereof. Racism and cultural insensitivity are unacceptable and have no place in our games , nor anywhere.”

Then in addition of censuring the card Invoke Prejudice they censured other cards and banned them from all game play. These included such cards as Crusade, Jihad, Stone-Throwing Devils and Cleanse.

First of all: no Magic the Gathering card art has been or is culturally offensive or racist. One could argue that some of the early art was bad, but offensive never. Racism has never been portraited in Magic cards. On the contrary one of the earliest espansions, Mirage, was situated in a world based on African culture.

So this only leaves the text of the card as possibly being racist or culturally offensive. Now the textbox of the cards contains game related text and flavor text. The problem of censuring cards on these text is that taken out of context they can be portraited as racist or culturally offensive. For example the text box of Cleanse contains text: “Destroy all black creatures.”. Now black is one of the colors of game so there might as well be text box: “Destroy all white creatures.” becase white is one of the colors of the game and there is. The card is named Virtue’s Ruin. Is it censored? Of course not as no white group has complained to WotC about it. There even a card Zombie Apocalypse that has the words “destroy all humans” in it’s text box but it is not censured because no-one takes it as serious command.

If you look at the names of those cards: Crusade, Jihad and Stone-Throwing Devils then the text boxes are not a problem because there are cards like Honor of the Pure, Call to Arms and there are many other black creatures with first strike. So it’s the names that has caused the censoring.

But then why is Army of Allah not censored. It’s definately as offensive as Jihad or Stone-Throwing Devils.

So in the end the whole thing is a stupid mess and WotC has made a mountain out of a molehill. So please send Wotc a message that Magic the Gathering and it’s cards has never been or are not racist or culturally offensive as this whole thing is a blow against artistic freedom and freedom of speech.

…why do you care?

How is WotC attacking artistic freedom and freedom of speech . . . when it’s their artistic speech?

I care because banning cards from the game for PC-reasons is BS. And it gives totally wrong picture of what Magic the Gathering is all about. MtG has always been a game for everybody and no-one has been shunned for any other reason than cheating.

So this gives a picture that there has been cards that are rasict when there never has been such cards. If you allow people to accuse something by taking things out of context then everyting creative can be costrued as racist or culturally offensive. Should we allow that to happen? NO!

We live in a society birthed from and bathed in racism and white supremacy from bottom to top. Yet somehow Magic the Gathering has been entirely immune to it? Wizards of the Coast is doing what everyone should be doing: Taking a hard look at how what they put into the world might be supporting things that they don’t want to be reporting. The guy who stands there saying “Nothing I do is racist” is the one most likely to be participating in perpetuating the harms of racism.

All elves matter.


If MtG is for everyone, then why is trying to be more inclusive bad?

I’m not familiar with cards in MtG, so I looked at the artwork for Invoke Prejudice. And holy crap, you need to re-adjust your filters if you detect no hint of racism in that image. Are you not familiar with the KKK? That card has a good representation of their costumes. Coupled with the name Invoke Prejudice and the fact that the artist is evidently known for including “swastikas, Hitler, and other Nazi imagery” in his art, I’m surprised that card lasted as long as it did.

Political correctness isn’t inherently a bad thing. It can be–when it gets in the way of dealing with something. But here? It’s entirely innocuous. Cards get removed from MtG production and/or play all the time.

If the 1488 thing is a coincidence*, they can just issue the same or equivalent card with a different number. And if they’d like to avoid references to religious holy wars, that’s fine, too–they can just create equivalent cards to replace them. And if they think “Cleanse” combined with the text is worded poorly, they can reword it–or put out an equivalent card. I believe “Remove all creatures of color black from play” would be would be equivalent, right?

Getting rid of these cards won’t harm the game or make it worse to play, and there doesn’t seem to be anything special about these cards that make them any better than any other retired cards, so I really can’t see much reason to care.

And I’m pretty sure the people who are upset now won’t really care all that much soon, either–just like with any other removal.

Edit: * @Troutman’s post wasn’t there when I wrote that. I find it unlikely then that it was a coincidence, given the art and artist’s tendencies.

Invoke Prejudice’s collector number, art, and name were not a coincidence. The nth card created, sorted by set, color, then alphabetically, gets collector number n. When you’re designing and laying out a Magic set, it’s not hard to see what the collector number for a card will be, or to shuffle things around so that you can get a certain card a certain number.

Whoever was assigning card names and art back in '93 picked a racist dogwhistle name and an artist with Nazi-imagery influences for that number on purpose.

And the ban here is almost totally symbolic. None of the banned cards are actually played in any competitive decks in any format, and bans only cover officially sanctioned competition, so the only thing this ban prevents is someone being a racist troll bringing their “racism theme deck” to some tournaments to be a dick.

1488 in and of itself is just a number without any other context, which I’ll grant you. But that number, in a card depicting robed and pointy-hooded dudes burning a village, in a card named “Invoke Prejudice” by a guy who is known for racist and Nazi views and iconography…

I mean, dude, your argument is basically made out of the wispy fabric of clouds.

The central part of your argument against this card being racist, and I quote you directly, is, “no Magic the Gathering card art has been or is culturally offensive or racist.” So, uhh, it can not be racist because it has never been racist. Except it IS brazenly racist and you’d have to be whole new levels of culturally ignorant and incapable of elementary web research into the author to believe this.

You know, I’m going to use your rhetorical style for myself. “No sir, I did not get drunk and pee on your driveway, because I have never gotten drunk and peed on driveways,” slurred Acierocolotl drunkenly, bottle of cheap whiskey in hand, trousers down, mid-tinkle.

I’m going to ease off dogpiling on you because it’s a little uncouth and there’s no meat left on these bones to pick. I am, however, going to be greatly interested in your future arguments.

Your argument is that we should defend freedom of speech by pressuring a company into retracting something they said.

Yeah this controversy had completely passed me by, but after seeing the card and learning about the artist I’m 100% with WotC on this one. I played Magic for about ten minutes in the mid-90’s, so I don’t have much skin in the game. But that one at the very least is pretty indefensible IMO.

Cleanse? Eh, okay maybe if the argument was based on that one. Far as I can tell it just coincidentally sounds awkward. I’d still be fine with WotC axing it at the end of the day, but at least I could get if there was a little bit of push back. But Summon Gypsies? C’mon, man.

I don’t get it-Did you really think we wouldn’t take a look at the cards(and their creators) ourselves, and just take your word on what happened?

The cards are also banned in EDH aka Commander and that’s not a competitive format.

The issue is the name combined with the effect: this card destroys all black creatures.

I mean, the original intent was obvious, but still.

But if they ban 7 cards, that means that MtG will only have barely 20,000 unique cards left!

First of all WotC has not told who was that group or individual who wanted these cards banned because in their mind the cards were racist or cultturaly offensive. So we cannot contanct those and ask for example why do they think Jihad is racist but not Army of Allah or why “destroy all black creatures” is wrong but "destroy all white creatures or “destroy all humans” are not.

WotC is clearly on side of some minority when banning one but not the other. And if they would be consistent in their banning they would ban almost half of the cards because there are minorities that can tell them that this or that card is against their belief. For funny example The Blue Men Group could ask them to ban any card which destroys blue creatures. And that is the slippery slope that must be stopped.

That’s why asking this.

Holy fuck-Really?