play the race card

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play the race card

To dismiss or discredit an opinion, argument, position, action, decision, etc., as being the product of prejudice against one's race. The candidate played the race card as an explanation for why her polls were much lower recently, claiming that the media has been giving her less visibility than her white opponents simply because she is African American. I hate it when casual racists try to brush off legitimate criticism by claiming that you're just "playing the race card."
See also: card, play, race
References in periodicals archive ?
But before anyone plays the race card, let's take a look at what actually happened, and at those who were involved in the violence.
Now, however, when she will actually have consequences for her actions, she plays the race card and attacks the police officer in the face of numerous videotapes and an unbiased witness.