play the race card

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

play the race card

  1. (idiomatic, often pejorative) To assert that race or racism is involved in a situation, especially in order to exploit racist or antiracist attitudes.
    • 1997, Mark Fuhrman, Murder in Brentwood, page 153
      The defense played the race card, but Ito let them.
    • 2002, Donald A. Carson, Love in Hard Places, page 94
      Moreover, some leaders on both sides of any racial divide love to play the race card to keep themselves in power.

Coordinate terms[edit]