play the race card(redirected from plays the race card)
play the (something) card
To bring up a particular, typically contentious issue or idea in order to gain an advantage, as in an argument or political agenda. Playing the race card like that doesn't change the truth about the topic at hand. He always plays the Jewish card whenever he feels like someone is attacking him.
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."