Congratulations, a group you didn’t initially belong to has awarded membership. After a long time of being yourself, studying the culture, learning the language and doing good deeds you are in. There are many ways to earn your “card”. You could marry into the culture. You may have lived within the culture for a period of time. A close friend may have invited you in. You may have passed an exam or moved up financially to be accepted in the culture. Cards or passes can be given out based on race, location, class, or other groups.
I’ve seen many times where someone gets their cards only to quickly have to give them up. This is a shock to the ousted person. They are usually left wondering why their pass was revoked and questioning the value of the pass in the first place. Most cancelled cards are the cause of someone saying or doing something against the group.
One of the ways to be denied a pass or to lose the pass is to stop keepin’ it real. People may think keepin’ it real means to do something that The Game or Joey Badass would do. Keepin’ it real just means be yourself. Be the person you were always were meant to be. Think about some of the people who earned their Black cards. Bill Clinton, Hall and Oats, George Michael, or Gary Owens. They were just themselves. Now think of some of the people who tried to get those cards and were denied and had them revoked. They were trying way too hard to be something they’re not.
As I mentioned, the biggest reasons passes get revoked is something that was said. Someone will say something against the group they’ve joined or something the group can’t get behind. Comedians, athletes, actors and others who feel their card gives them full privilege to say things outsiders wouldn’t say. Big mistake. If you are new to the group you should think about what you are about to say and reflect on how that would make others feel. Speak the way you would before you got your pass.
Don’t get too comfortable in a group that has given you access. At the end of the day you will never be a full member of the group. You may have 95% access but it won’t get much higher than that. I have many cards in many groups but I always remember who I am and where I came from. I have an Asian card. My wife is Asian and I have many close friends who are Asian. I will never forget that I’m African-American. I’ll never say and do anything that would be outside of that. I have many friends and even family members who are Puerto Rican. I had a giant pastelillo for my 21st birthday. I know am still African-American and not Puerto Rican. I have some acquaintances who are wealthy. When we hang out we have a great time. I know I’m not one of them. Someday I hope to be but for now I’m not. I won’t forget that no matter how man ball games we see together or how many drinks we toast. There is a family that views me as one of their own. When they have funerals they have me sit in the family section. They have nursed me back to health numerous times. I still know I’m an outsider. I know I’m not supposed to go through their refrigerator and I need to ask permission before using their bathroom.
Cards and passes are meant to be put on display; encased in class and hung over the fire place. They can come in handy when you absolutely need them. If you are stuck in a neighborhood you don’t belong to your card can get you help. If you need to use someone as a reference on a job application the card can help you. Other than extreme circumstances proceed as you were before you got your pass. Don’t make the person who issued it to you regret that decision.
Robert J. Moore