play the race card

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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.
    • 2015 May 15, Tatsuya Ishida, “Black Lives 3”, in Sinfest[1]:
      White man: White privilege? Now you're just playing the race card.
      Clio: No. I'm not "playing the race card". Because racism isn't a card game to me. It can get me killed or jailed... threaten my livelihood. I don't have the privilege to treat it like a game.
      White man: Oooo well played!

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