A few months ago, I had a conversation with some friends about games that we used to play when we were kids. A popular one that many of us had in common, even though we came from different areas of the country is the game Get Down, Mr. President.
The rules are simple. When you are in a group of friends, one person puts their hand up to their ear as if they were a Secret Service Agent. When other people in the group see that subtle move, they wordlessly copy it. The last person to notice what everyone is doing becomes the President. Everyone else, as agents suddenly screams, “Get Down, Mr. President!” and tackles that person to the ground. Loads of fun.
One of my friends said that he used to play a similar game, it just had a different name. We were curious, what was it? He got embarrassed and said, “Well, we know now that doing stuff like that isn’t right but… we called it Queer Bashing. The last person with his hand on his ear got tackled all right, but everyone would shout, ‘Get the queer!'”
We were shocked. Then someone said, “Geeze, whatever happened to the good old days of Cowboys and Indians?” The good old days, huh? The days of acting out a near genocide over and over on the playground?
If we realize now that a game called Queer Bashing isn’t acceptable, why do we continue to condone Cowboys and Indians?
A recent game that has become quite popular will hopefully replace Cowboys and Indians for good. It’s called Pirates vs. Ninjas. It doesn’t denigrate any race of people, and still deals with historical figures and action heroes. Personally, I’m on Team Ninja, What team are you on?