Wizards Of The Coast Bans Several Racist Cards After Facing Scrutiny From The Community Following Black Lives Matter Protests

Wizards Of The Coast Bans Several Racist Cards After Facing Scrutiny From The Community Following Black Lives Matter Protests
Credit: Wizards of the Coast via YouTube

Wizards of the Coast, the company behind many beloved games such as Dungeons and Dragons has decided to ban seven cards depicting racism in Magic: The Gathering following Black Lives Matter protests around the world. However, is it a sincere attempt at removing cards with a prejudiced history, or is it tokenism?

The seven cards in question are as follows: Invoke Prejudice, Cleanse, Stone-Throwing Devils, Pradesh Gypsies, Jihad, Imprison, and Crusade. These cards will have their images removed from the database and all tournaments will change their banned lists to reflect these cards no longer being in play.

Invoke Prejudice is a card that has been singled out as one of the most racist cards in MTG. Along with the name, pictured on the card are cloaked figures with pointed hoods, bearing deep resemblance to KKK regalia.

Unfortunately, the card’s history goes a bit deeper. Every card printed is codified with a specific number called a multiverse ID that correlates to an image of the card in the MTG database. Invoke Prejudice is codified with the number 1488, a number that has historically been associated with white supremacists by signifying ethnic purity.

From the names alone, it’s pretty easy to see why many of these would be banned. These cards mean to depict deeply racist or prejudiced imagery and have been a source of contention within the community for years, especially amongst POC members.

In fact, fans have been warning WOTC about Invoke Prejudice since at least 2012, 8 years prior to the killing of George Floyd and the events of the past few weeks.

Some POC have taken to Twitter to express their own frustrations with Wizards’ handling of similar situations, as well as to vent about personal experiences with the company and community, such as Zaiem Beg, former editor-in-chief for a major MTG retailer.

Zaiem Beg lists his personal experiences with the company and many different sources that paint a picture that contrasts the Wizards of the Coast many have grown to know.

Beg alludes to instances of discrimination regarding the hiring aspect of the company, as well as discrimination against non-white pro-MTG players, such as Jason Chaz (better known as Amaz), who is Chinese-Canadian.

Lawrence Harmon, a prominent member of the MTG community, echoes this sentiment in his own open letter to WOTC, detailing similar issues with Greg Orange, a former PT25A Champion and black pro-player who was denied an invitation to the first-ever Mythic Invitational for MTG Arena, despite being the fifth highest-ranked player at the time.

Wizards of the Coast posted on their website regarding the removal of these cards, “…We should have been better, we can be better, and we will be better.”

MORE ABOUT