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The BINGO Project

I’ve had a little project in mind for a few weeks but I’ll need some help bringing it to fruition. As many of you know, when engaging in discussions about contentious topics such as race, gender, politics, oppression, etc., there are always clueless and/or privileged people who whip out arguments so often used and so stock that they end up on a BINGO card somewhere. Veterans of such discussions often comment on this and sometimes even link to specific cards. And the more patient amongst us will explain to the clueless/privileged person why their argument is a cliche.

While rolling my eyes at some of the drive-bys over on Alaya’s Supernatural thread I thought that it would be useful to not only be able to point to BINGO cards and say: “Look, what you just said is on here, this is how clueless you are,” but also have that square link to a post or comment thread wherein the statement is taken apart and shredded to pieces. It’s similar to the way I tell people to read the Required Reading or simply point to coffeeandink’s excellent How To Suppress Discussions of Race. We’ve all had these debates so many times that at this point all we really should have to do is say: “Go here and click on I/3.”

First step is to find the existing BINGO cards. Liz Henry has an awesome Flickr pool with the ones she’s found here. Are there any more we should add to the list? Let me know in comments.

Next, I suggest we go one card at a time and find a link or multiple links for each square. As I said, it can be a comment or thread or a whole post wherein the statement/question is debunked or someone has taken the time to explain why it’s wrong/stupid/prejudiced/not worthy of addressing.

I think this was the first BINGO card I ever saw:

So I would like to start with that one. You can suggest links (your own or someone else’s) in the comments, just be sure to indicate which square the link is for. If you want to take part in the project by posting a card to your blog and compiling links, go right ahead. Just tag your post bingo-project in Delicious and ping me here or on another BINGO Project post so others won’t replicate your efforts.

45 thoughts on “The BINGO Project”

  1. Momsomniac says:

    I have nothing to offer – but this should be fun.

    You know, it’s funny – I am short woman of Irish, German, and Cherokee descent – and the immigrant history is recent and poor. And I have been VERY poor. My great grandfather was surrendered to the poor house at age 3, later married a woman trying to escape Andrew Jackson’s mass “removal” and well, I score VERY low on the “unpacking the knapsack” excercise.

    AND YET – I very rarely get followed around stores, strangers don’t think they can just touch me, nor does anyone respond oddly to my given name. I haven’t been asked “what are you?” or “where are you from ORIGINALLY” in years – and I rarely got asked that in the first place. When I go to a job interview dressed well, I am only up against one stereotype, if any.

    One of my 3 sons is Asian, and he can’t actually speak any actual words yet, but I have NO DOUBT at some point, I will unintentionally let him down by failing to see something effecting him. My only hope is that he will know he can TELL ME about it.

    And I remain amazed that I learn there are still things I don’t realize without being told here. I remain amazed that anyone resists examining one’s self and the wider world.

    Respecting people in the way they SAY they want to be respected is not hard. It is NOT HARD to understand that, while there are shared experiences, there are no universal ones…and so we need to LISTEN.

    Frankly, if I weren’t reading here, I would recently have touched the hair of a 12 year old Sudanese girl I love dearly – but I stopped myself – she saw me reach out, she saw me STOP myself, and she smiled – then I told her her new style was very pretty and she smiled and thanked me. The urge wouldn’t have existed in me, except with a child I cared for, and yet, this was potentially NOT OK for her – which MATTERS. That first smile was the important one. Even if that was the ONLY thing I got out of any of this, it would have been worth it.

    I understand WHY you do this; I will never understand the WHY anyone resists….

    good luck!

  2. Momsomniac says:

    Sorry, that was awfully long for something not useful!

  3. Kia says:

    Someone please tell me the first post was supposed to be sarcasm because I am roffling my waffles over here.

    1. Billy says:

      It probably wasn’t.

    2. Momsomniac says:

      No sorry – I was trying to acknowledge that even those of us who are from the groups who often holler “but I…” and who recognize our white priveledge can benefit from what’s shared here.

      I am personally grateful for the personal information that is shared, especially when it it keeps me from doing something insulting to someone I care about – maybe that was foolish to share, but it really was ABW that made me THINK before I acted.

      I am sorry it didn’t come across well; I have a horrible tendency to be tangential. I apologize for having been offensive to you.

  4. yeloson says:

    My Art of Defending Racism is like one BIG Bingo card:

  5. another constellation says:

    “Well I’m part (Native American) Indian and I’m not offended,” calling people “illegal,” “this political correctness thing has gone too far,” un-ironic use of “post-racial,” “prove it’s racism.” has a number of good ones, especially the tone arguments and “if you don’t teach us, how will we learn?”

    On that note… I’ve done some Googling, but I can’t really find anything: Would someone like to help me to understand why the term “of European decent” is problematic? It was the term introduced to my cultural competence group by our (African-American) facilitator. The goal was to make white people (such as myself) recognize that whiteness is not neutral but that we, too have cultures.

    Feel free to link to me on the card.

    1. The Angry Black Woman says:

      any in particular I should look at?

      1. another constellation says:

        Practically all of the Derailing for Dummies are good, especially if you want to make an Angry Black Woman card. The plus is that they are all explained right on the page, too, so you don’t have to do more scouring.

        I like:
        -If You Won’t Educate Me How Can I Learn / If You Cared About These Matters You’d Be Willing To Educate Me
        -You’re Being Hostile
        -You’re Being Overemotional / You’re Just Oversensitive
        -You Just Enjoy Being Offended / Don’t You Have More Important Issues To Think About
        -I Don’t Think You’re As Marginalised As You Claim
        -Well I Know Another Person From Your Group Who Disagrees!
        -Who Wins Gold in the Oppression Olympics?
        -You’re Not Being A Team Player (excellent for intersecting identities)
        -You’ve Lost Your Temper So I Don’t Have To Listen To You Anymore / You Are Damaging Your Cause By Being Angry
        -Surprise! I Was Playing “Devil’s Advocate” All Along! / It was all a sociological experiment and you failed (Free space)

  6. Nina says:


    That is all.

  7. Nina says:

    P.S. I think this may just be my personal anger from having to deal with this yet again last weekend, but I would also add something about loud declarations of anger about Holocaust deniers without having any idea about Armenian Genocide deniers (who are actually succeeding, given the number of people who have no effing idea that Genocide even happened and paved the way for the Holocaust and for Hitler starting WWII to begin with!). Or any notion of slavery and the treatment of First Nations peoples as a genocide. Or any knowledge of current genocides and the issues involved with STOPPING them.

    Yeah, anyway. I kinda want to print out BINGO cards and hand them around, now. :D

    1. brownstocking says:

      werd. I mean, I only learned about it two years ago, in a FILM class.

  8. osiyo says:

    You forgot ” it’s not racist, it was just a JOKE”

  9. Momsomniac says:

    It’s worth adding “I can’t be racist because…I’m part this or that”

    Being an actual part Cherokee person (both grandfather’s mothers were Cherokee), I kind of think it ought to be the old “Cherokee princess” ruse (especially given that Cherokee history lacks pricesses but does include slavery).

  10. The Menstruator says:

    Can there be a sister game of bingo on the misogyny? a special center easy square for any female that just open her mouth only to spit on her own gender daily?
    A fun bingo game to play while watching any reality tv show! race one or sexism one! oh… just think of the pick up by milton bradley! We can have a game show hosted by some lasting members of SNCC like that brilliant Barbara Omalade. I love her!

    1. The Angry Black Woman says:

      There’s probably a BINGO card for that. Check the Flickr set and see, but I’m pretty sure it exists somewhere.

  11. Momsomniac says:

    A classism one would be nice too – I’d try to make that one, but I don’t think I am very good at expressing this kind of thing.

    And…ABW, sorry for the rambling derail earlier – my brain injury + exhaustion kicked in and I apologize for the inconsiderate and misplaced nature of posting that to this OP – though the gratitude is sincere. I would consider it a kindness if you deleted that one.

  12. Jessica says:

    Gay bingo. I made this after I was in my third argument about not using the slang word “gay”.

    Though it might be useful here, not sure if anyone wants it though.

  13. Jessica says:

    Oh also Trans bingo.

  14. Rachel says:

    Actually, I’ve got a page on my blog with all the bingo cards I could find – you’re welcome to use them. I’ve attributed where possible, but I couldn’t find the authors of some of them. Hope it helps!

  15. InfamousQBert says:

    shakesville’s feminism101 posts might be a good place to start looking.

  16. InfamousQBert says:

    i think my last comment probably got spam-logged because of the links. >_<

  17. Liz says:

    You know what, it should be a flickr group — not just a set on my private account!

  18. Sam says:

    I don’t think that comparing factory farms/eating meat to the “slave trade” or holocaust is racist.

    1. Legible Susan says:

      Sam, consider that you might think you’re dignifying animals by comparing them to people, but everyone hears you comparing people to animals. And you know who gets compared to animals? It’s not random, and it’s not neutral.

  19. Katie says:

    This is a great reply to the personal responsibility argument in G3 –

    And it is from only a couple of days ago!

  20. MomTFH says:

    Hi! Great idea.

    I have a Mommy Wars Bingo card.

  21. MomTFH says:

    Does this link count for the second square under “O”? This commenter (RonF, not the original post) doesn’t necessarily dismiss racism as a conspiracy theory, but says research on it is flawed, and that racism is just “perceived” and not real.

  22. The Seas Feminist says:

    I have a post up on my blog where I use several bingo cards, would you mind if I add this one there?

    The Seas Feminist

  23. MomTFH says:

    And, another one here: 02. I’m surprised there isn’t a square for “reverse racism!!” but this commenter also thought her history living in “the ghetto” and teaching African American kids made her especially informed.

  24. PPR_Scribe says:

    I do not have a BINGO card, but I did develop a flow chart a while back for anti-racist bloggers:

  25. C says:

    I agree with most of those, but what about POC who refuse to date whites? How is that different from whites who refuse to date POC?

    1. yeloson says:

      And yet here you are, playing bingo…

      Asking that question is a pretty good sign of failing to see context of power and racism.

      “After all, how is a 5 year old child punching a full grown adult any different from a full grown adult punching a 5 year old child?”

      1. C says:

        No I’m not, I’m asking a question which was not answered.

        1. brownstocking says:

          Did you get the “power and desire” aspect several others have brought up?

          Is there a thread you want to reference, or are you asking for that bingo card?

          1. C says:

            Go ahead and make long passionate posts defending this double standard. Do I win the bingo prize now? *sarcasm*

            1. yeloson says:

              Naw, you win the moronic racist prize. You could try reading up on issues of colorism, passing,miscegenation laws, slave marriage rights, or any of that, instead you’re going to cry “reverseracism” because clearly white people’sfuture depends on their ability to date POC, right?

      2. C says:

        Here’s how it’s different. If an adult does it they are (rightfully) put in jail for cruelty to a minor, yet if a kid punches an adult they get away scot-free and claim injustice when their wrong is pointed out.

        I agree with many of the posts here on this blog, but pointing out dating bigotry in one group while saying it’s basically ok in another group is unfair. Have you maybe stopped to consider maybe some don’t date outside their group because of past experience?

      3. C says:

        Here’s how it’s different. If an adult does it they are (rightfully) put in jail for cruelty to a minor, yet if a kid punches an adult they get away scot-free and claim injustice when their wrong is pointed out. I agree with many of the posts here on this blog, but pointing out dating bigotry in one group while saying it’s basically ok in another group is unfair. Have you maybe stopped to consider maybe some don’t date outside their group because of past experience?

    2. delux says:

      What about them, exactly?

  26. MomTFH says:

    C, it is the same. Studies have shown that, in our culture, people are indoctrinated from a young age to see people with dark skin as ugly and undesirable. Even people whose skin is brown. This is not controversial, this is a very well researched topic that is easy to prove with kids and adults.

    So, if someone refuses to date someone of color, in our society, chances are it has to do with this ingrained racism. If someone of color wants to date someone of color, they are working against this institutional racism.

  27. MomTFH says:

    I meant it is the same as a child punching an adult. One person has the power, and one doesn’t.

  28. curlykidz says:

    I got hit with three on my blog tonight…

    “I would love to discuss this….but, it feels like there is no room for discussion here”

    “I am not opposed to having the particular racial issue(s) brought to my attention”

    “by constantly calling a duck, a goose….when a duck actually does come around, people won’t take it as seriously. Kinda like the Boy Who Cried Wolf”

  29. Reef Aquarium says:

    Hi, You have some really excellent articles on your blog. I also like the theme and the layout as well. Nice work!

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