play the race card

play the race card

To introduce the issue of racial discrimination, especially against the race one identifies as, in order to gain an advantage in or dismiss or discredit an argument. There you go playing the race card again. I don't care if you're purple—I still think it's a bad policy! 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

play the race card

Also, pull the race card. Invoking race, in particular bias for or against race, in order to achieve an end. The term dates from the late 1900s and alludes to card games, that is, playing a particular card to gain an advantage, trounce an opponent, or the like. For example, when President George H.W. Bush nominated an African American, Clarence Thomas, to the Supreme Court, some who considered Thomas poorly qualified accused Bush of playing the race card, nominating a man unlikely to be rejected lest one be accused of racism. The term is on its way to becoming a cliché.
See also: card, play, race
References in periodicals archive ?
Speaking to a press conference after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council meeting today, the prime minister claimed that the charter will seek to play the race card, which is dangerous for the country.
"The Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation's great African American people.
Ghahramans decision to play the race card in response is a cheap ploy designed to escape the responsibility of presenting evidence and making well-reasoned arguments.
Duyck answered, "If you can play the race card, I guess I can't win.
The 'Leave' campaign, which has been losing the economic arguments and has failed to make a breakthrough in the polls, is clearly getting desperate and has decided to play the race card. It has launched a co-ordinated campaign of lies along the lines of "the Turks are coming".
He concluded by saying he preferred the "old Beyonce" who was "less inflammatory and agitating", and who "didn't play the race card so deliberately".
UKIP is still generating headlines, not least at its manifesto launch where ethnic minority members jeered a journalist for trying to play the race card against the party.
According to News.com.au, Arthur, who is seeking a four million-dollar payout or reinstatement after being axed from the side last month despite two years of his contract remaining, has been painted as a dirt-dishing, money-hungry figure prepared to play the race card to obtain massive compensation.
Darren Scully, the former first citizen of Naas, Co Kildare, sparked outrage last November when he said he would ignore all requests from Africans after they were "rude, aggressive and too willing to play the race card".
Mr Millar said: "It's a disgrace to play the race card from an organisation like this that should know better.
He couldn't divulge details but revealed the Brit had 'made peace' over the 'Ali G' jibe, which to many was seen as attempt by Hamilton to play the race card.
Stanford law professor Richard Thompson Ford's book The Race Card: How Bluffing about Bias Makes Race Relations Worse decries those who play the race card by claiming race discrimination when it may not really be involved.
It is disturbing that any candidate in 2008 would play the race card.
Finally to play the race card is, in my opinion, a very cheap shot, especially as Mr Ahmed said: "I don't know if there was a racial aspect as well." And for all the character witnesses that have written in I ask this, what sort of person judges their opinion on thousands of hardworking police officers on the actions of one officer who dealt with some illegal parking?
Democrats never miss an opportunity to play the race card against Republicans and even black conservatives like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who dare to dissent from liberal orthodoxy.