I’m certain that by now, most everyone at least remotely attuned to Magic has seen the post and bannings by WotC, and likely also the Eternal Central response, as well as probably many other takes on it. Since Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto are all close, both geographically and MtG ideologically, we felt it best to come up with a unified response of our own. Below is that response, and it is by no means the end of the conversation, but a starting point for all of us to build off of.
In the name of the Ottawa Capital Chaos, Toronto Citizen of Brass and Montreal Tundra Wolves Old School communities, after much discussion we feel that we must speak up in regards to Wizards of the Coast’s ban on several cards that are deemed offensive. While we understand their aim, we do not believe that hard banning is the best course of action to tackle important systemic issues such as racism, or promote inclusivity in the ecosystem of the game we love and beyond. As we move forward, we would rather encourage dialogue, mutual understanding and education, be it on the grounds of relics and mistakes from the past.
That is why, in a common understanding, we won’t enforce the WotC ban in our respective communities, or in the Boreal ruleset we stand behind. As community and tournament organizers, we will however thrive in taking concrete action towards other, more comprehensive solutions. Such as:
1. We all commit to sending proceeds from our next major event to a local organization that supports and directly tackles the grave issues that racialized groups have to deal with;
2. We will take action upon any discriminatory speech that will be brought to our attention, in the context of our events or online;
3. We will offer direct support to any player who comes forth with concerns regarding any card;
4. We will actively promote attendance from our respective playerbase to the Tournament for Balance that will be hosted on June 20th by our friends in Philadelphia, benefiting the African People’s Education and Defense Fund. This is an opportunity for the wider Old school community to, once again, show how we can stand together and make a concrete impact on the lives of people that matter.
As the scope of these issues ultimately encompasses all of us, we must still acknowledge that most of us can’t possibly grasp the pervasiveness of the difficulties that racialized groups have had to endure. It is therefore crucial that we all show the utmost empathy and respect towards any distress situations that will arise before us. Then, it is our individual and collective responsibility to act upon them, in helping people elevate themselves beyond hate and inequality. This is our common understanding.
– Your Boreal overlords from Capital Chaos, the Citizens of Brass and the Tundra Wolves
More info on A Tournament for Balance: https://forms.gle/25jYMu35UwLLJ1CaA