Here's the simple formula for if you want to make it as a woke publication today.
- Pick some random innocuous thing beloved by Americans everywhere.
- Call it racist.
And that concludes my TED talk.
So apparently we haven't been feeling guilty enough while playing Monopoly. But that's okay, Mary Pilon is here to rectify that in her Atlantic piece intriguingly titled "The Prices on Your Monopoly Board Hold a Dark Secret."
She apparently wrote a whole book on how racist Monopoly is back in 2015. Which is quite an impressive feat. But anti-racism wasn't the booming industry it is today, so she's dredging the content back up for the Atlantic.
To be fair, the history is actually pretty interesting and terrible. But history isn't really the point with articles like these, is it? How do I know history isn't the point? When you quote Ibram X. Kendi favorably, that's a pretty good giveaway.
The point, as always, is that you are a racist.
Seldom do we treat board games as important cultural artifacts akin to paintings, songs, or movies. But commonplace objects tucked into our closets and handed down from one generation to another can tell us important things about our past. Sometimes, they reflect patterns that many Americans, particularly those who have benefited from them, don't even think to question, arrangements that have been naturalized over time.
That's fine. I never much liked Monopoly anyway.