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Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:29 PM

The term "playing the race card" is racist.

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/01/25/is-the-phrase-playing-the-race-card-as-racist-as-it-sounds-you-bet-it-is/

Today in American politics, the phrase “playing the race card” is still being used by pundits, politicians, and media outlets to either dismiss or downplay a very serious issue. Using the term is a form of denial, a way of talking about racism, while still pretending that it doesn’t really exist.

When understood in its historical context, the phrase is deeply rooted in racism. Just as John Tenniel’s 1862 illustration portrayed the issue of slavery as just another ‘card’ in a game, the phrase that is most often connected to that image is used to trivialize issues like police brutality and disparity in the criminal justice system – issues that are anything but trivial.

There is no ‘race card’. Racism is not a game. The phrase ‘playing the race card’ can and should be removed from our national language. Without it, racist politicians and frightened Tea Party ‘patriots’ would be forced to face and address the issues, instead of consistently hiding behind meaningless catch phrases, meant to detract from them.


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/opinion/charles-blow-stop-playing-the-race-card-card.html

It is one thing to debate the presence of racial motive in a circumstance, but it is quite another to suggest that people who suspect a racial component are exploiting some mythological, vaunted position and prerogative of aggrieved groups or exerting the exclusionary authority of the dominant group.

And furthermore, what other forms of discrimination are so routinely diminished and delegitimized in this way — cast as a game, a tactic or a stratagem?

The truth is that the people who accuse others — without a shred of evidence — of “playing the race card,” claiming that the accusations of racism are so exaggerated as to dull the meaning of the term, are themselves playing a card. It is a privileged attempt at dismissal.

They seek to do the very thing they condemn: shut down the debate with a scalding-hot charge.

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply The term "playing the race card" is racist. (Original post)
gollygee Nov 2015 OP
NobodyHere Nov 2015 #1
gollygee Nov 2015 #4
NobodyHere Nov 2015 #5
JackInGreen Nov 2015 #2
gollygee Nov 2015 #18
Igel Nov 2015 #29
gollygee Nov 2015 #3
Scootaloo Nov 2015 #6
gollygee Nov 2015 #9
Scootaloo Nov 2015 #11
gollygee Nov 2015 #14
Scootaloo Nov 2015 #19
gollygee Nov 2015 #20
Scootaloo Nov 2015 #21
LanternWaste Nov 2015 #22
The2ndWheel Nov 2015 #24
Gormy Cuss Nov 2015 #28
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Nov 2015 #7
gollygee Nov 2015 #10
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Nov 2015 #15
HassleCat Nov 2015 #8
ryan_cats Nov 2015 #12
Hoyt Nov 2015 #13
Travis_0004 Nov 2015 #16
Luminous Animal Nov 2015 #17
Waiting For Everyman Nov 2015 #23
bravenak Nov 2015 #25
ismnotwasm Nov 2015 #26
Marr Nov 2015 #27
Jack Rabbit Nov 2015 #30

Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:33 PM

1. If you think Ben Carson is a liar then you're racist

 

There, I just played the race card.

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Response to NobodyHere (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:39 PM

4. It's not a game

and I'm sure you can explain the problem behind that without using a racist pharse.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:40 PM

5. I disagree that the phrase is racist

 

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:37 PM

2. I believe any position can be weaponized

So how can we refer to the dishonest use of racial heritage or cultural upbringing being equated to racism when applied to individuals if it does not appear to have merit?

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Response to JackInGreen (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:59 PM

18. I would say the first thing

Is to make it clear, as you do at the end of your sentence, that it does not appear to have merit.

It is reasoanble to discuss that you think it doesn't have merit, but hopefully that would be the start of a discussion. The other person is probably not "playing a card." The other person might actually feel that it is an honest charge of racism. Listen to why with an open mind and an open heart, and then respond truthfully and in good faith if you still disagree. We can have these conversations without dismissing each other.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 05:11 PM

29. That is what the phrase means.

Not necessarily what it meant 150 years ago, to be sure. But for the most part when it's used today, that's the meaning that's intended.

If it's not understood that way, then it's a two-pronged problem. First, the speaker isn't adjusting his/her speech for the audience. Second, the audience isn't showing good will in trying to understand what the speaker is saying.

In this case, the lack of good will is at least partly intentional, and that makes "lack of good will" into "ill will."

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:38 PM

3. I'll add a few more links that illustrate the problem with this term

http://stuffwhitepeopledo.blogspot.com/2008/04/play-race-card.html (whole thing is worth reading - hard to choose what to copy)

As I pointed out in an earlier post ("explain away racist incidents", whites often imply that they know more about what it is to live as a non-white person than non-white people themselves do. Derogatory charges of "playing the race card" are often another instance of this tendency.

However, an irony here is that whites have race cards of their own, and they do often play them. Indeed, as Wise goes on to explain in his article, this common white response--the denial of non-white interpretations of reality--is itself the playing of a card, a move that Wise calls the "denial card." To continue with the extended metaphor of a card game, if the first card, played by minorities, is perceived as a "race card," then this white denial card played in response is a race card too (it's one of several common instances of "white denial" that Wise describes).

Actually, there are many other circumstances in which whites commonly play a race card. In most cases, though, they don't seem to realize that they're doing so (so really, it's somewhat difficult to blame them for doing so). When they step to the curb of a busy street, for example, and raise a hand to hail a taxi, they expect empty taxis to stop for them. And if any empty taxis don't stop, they rarely if ever think that those taxis didn't stop because of their own skin color. But such is not the case, of course, for those who wear, say, black skin. As so many who wear it have pointed out, even if their black skin is mostly encased in very expensive, "professional" clothing, it can be difficult to get a taxi to pick them up.

When the white passenger steps to the curb and raises her hand, it's as if that hand has a card in it, a card that bears the word "white."


http://racisminamerica.org/why-racists-and-the-privilege-believe-in-playing-the-race-card/

Racial injustice is not a “game,” racial disparity is not a “card,” and the oppressed are not willing “players.” Accusing someone of playing the race card completely marginalizes their experience.

Racism consists of numerous elements to maintain the positions and powers of the dominant society. Part of that power is permeated in white skin privilege. The benefit is not something that white people do, create, or enjoy purposely. Unlike the more overt individual and institutional manifestations of racism, white skin privilege is a transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society. It serves as “several functions,” including providing white people with “perks”‘ that are not earnable and those that people of color cannot enjoy. Also, white skin privilege immunes those from certain challenges that minorities are subjected to and shapes the world in which we live—the way that we navigate and interact with one another.

Having such an advantage not only blinds those to systematic racism, but prevents them from understanding or empathizing with the oppressed. Furthermore, it is easier to ignore, overlook, deny, or marginalize racial inequality than to project the voices of the oppressed through acknowledgement. Thus when racism is exploited, the race card is being played, racism is being discounted and will “hopefully” just go away.

In layman terms, the expression says that “because it doesn’t happen to me, it doesn’t exist.” It is an insidious racial microaggression that aims to subvert claims of racism and its impact. The phrase prevents the accuser from not only being able to recognize their tone and insensitivity to the subject, but also to challenge their own bigotry and bias.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:40 PM

6. Spurious accusations of racism for political points are called what, then?

 

Like one of our local Clinton supporters, when confronted with someone admiring FDR, accused that person of wanting to return to the days of lynchings.

Looks like that person believes racism is a game.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:46 PM

9. When people talk about "the good old days" like that

they conveniently forget that social security originally didn't apply to people in domestic and agricultural work, and that was specifically because those jobs were overwhelmingly done by people of color. They also often overlook the history of Jim Crow and lynchings, but African Americans can't think back to those times without remembering. That is not "playing a card" or seeing it as a game. It's pointing out that there was a huge amount of structural racism in those days, even more than now, and including in the Democratic Party. It is not "playing the race card."

A reply could be something like, "I was thinking of the good things FDR did and not thinking of the structural racism of that time and how people of color were affected by it." One doesn't need to dismiss the reasonable request that we see things in a three-dimensional manner and not forget the structural racism behind FDR's work, even when we appreciate the things FDr did that helped the US.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:50 PM

11. To assume though that the person is hankering for strange fruit?

 

That's a hell of a leap, and is clearly intended to slander without any actual basis. it is an exploitation of human pain and suffering in order to 'score points" - a literal use of racism as a game.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:53 PM

14. You're making an assumption

it feels like a huge lap to you, but it might not to someone else, depending on what their personal experience is. I grew up in a house with pictures of FDR on the wall. I've always admired him. I get why we, as white Democrats, put him up on a pedestal. But that pedestal is not healthy and someone who has hit up against that over and over and over and over again might make a leap because of frustration over FDR being "untouchable" all the time no matter what.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:59 PM

19. No, to accuse someone of wanting lynchings, for liking FDR, is the assumption

 

And when it is being done for no reason, on no basis, other than to slander another person for a political scorecard, that IS in fact, treating racism as a game.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 02:01 PM

20. It sounds to me

like someone probably said something like that the other person wanted to go back to the time of lynchings, not that the person specifically wanted lynchings. Either way, it sounds like a dramatic way of saying, "Things weren't that great back then. People were getting lynched." You can complain if you think the language was too dramatic, but that still doesn't mean that the other person doesn't legitimately think that race and racism aren't being adequately addressed.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 02:15 PM

21. When it's used as a "GOTCHA!," it's being exploited for points, used as a game.

 

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 02:19 PM

22. Spurious accusations of racism for political points...

 

"Spurious accusations of racism for political points are called what, then?"

Spurious accusations of racism for political points...

Though I realize the importance of shorthand and truncating an idea into a bullet point for the purposes of business memos and the mentally lazy.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 02:33 PM

24. Sort of like mansplaining

Femi-nazi, freedumb, reTHUGlican, democRAT, socialist, capitalist, the 1%, the 99%, banksters, moocher(which can go either way, just depends on who is saying it), etc, etc, etc. Everyone has their cute little names and phrases.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 03:27 PM

28. "Bullshit" works just fine

as does "spurious accusations of racism for political points." It's not hard to find alternatives.

IMHO "race card" is in the same category as "political correctness" --weak phrases used by people who can't accept diversity and other social changes.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:43 PM

7. "This is a high tech lynching, for uppity blacks......"



Yeah, let's ban the "race card" accusation. Clarence had no reason to play politics with that, right?

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:50 PM

10. Clarence Thomas is a horrible person, and even horrible people of color are victims of racism

He deserved worse than he got IMO, but people who do things like sexual harassment don't usually understand what they did wrong, or that they did anything wrong. They usually think they're in the right and people are out to get them. He isn't different than any other sexual abuser in that. It makes sense that he'd assume, based on the history of racism he's dealt with, that racism was behind the reason people were going after him. He can be wrong and not be playing a card, or playing a game.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:56 PM

15. No, he was absolutely playing the game

I remember op ed pieces at the time from the likes of George Will crowing that Democrats had been "hoisted by their own petard" for being a party that supports Affirmative Action, yet were being "bigots" towards Thomas (how that applies when Hill was also black, I don't know) because he wasn't a black Democrat. If you don't think he was told by Bush's advisors how to frame that moment to "end the discussion" as that 60 Minutes piece points out, then I don't know what to tell you. Because Clarence isn't bright enough to come up with that gold on his own. His judicial writings since then prove that.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:44 PM

8. Be careful what you wish for

 

When somebody suggests or hints, or specifies that someone is prejudiced, bigoted, racist, etc. they are playing the race card. This is sometimes justified, and the term should not be applied, for the reasons you specify. But there are instances when somebody accuses anther person of racism just to divert attention, or to change the argument, as a rhetorical device. When somebody brings up racial issues just to win an argument, when they know perfectly well there re no racial issues involved, they are "playing the race card" in the true sense of the term. They are trivializing racial issues falling back on them when they can't figure out anything else to say.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:50 PM

12. Wut

What is writing about it then?

... It is a privileged attempt at dismissal. They seek to do the very thing they condemn: shut down the debate with a scalding-hot charge.
I normally applaud this level of shamelessness but now I'm disgusted and offended. I need to breathe into a bag so I don't hyperventilate.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:51 PM

13. I usually hear that when I call s racist, a racist. I usually reply back,

 

well, I bet people throw that race card at you a lot.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:57 PM

16. Its overused

 

But there are people who have played the race card, and I dont have a problem calling them out on it.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:58 PM

17. I agree.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 02:21 PM

23. Policing language is on a par with legislating morality.

The point is the thought being expressed, not which specific words are used to convey it.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 02:36 PM

25. Damn straight!!

 

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 02:47 PM

26. Sure is.

It's disgusting.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 03:22 PM

27. This must be the fifth time I've seen someone attempt to enshrine a deceitful rhetorical tactic

 

by declaring criticism of such as inherently racist/sexist/etc. It's like 'playing the race card', squared.

Sorry, but there is such a thing as playing 'the race card'. You can also play the 'gender card', the 'religion card', and any literally any other imaginable personal appeal to emotion over the actual argument. Declaring such tactics acceptable for specific people does not make them so.

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Response to gollygee (Original post)

Mon Nov 9, 2015, 05:15 PM

30. Dissenting

There is nothing racist about the term. The is double edged and may mean either
  1. That one is using a racist dog whistle in order to disparage a racial minority; or
  2. That one making a frivolous or unfounded charge of racism against his opponent.

To put it another way, "playing the race card" is dirty politics and we shouldn't stand for it.

It is a little less subtle to appeal for votes simply because one is of a particular race or gender. It often makes me feel pressured to vote for a candidate who is crooked down to his or her socks, or, especially in the case of "vote for me because I'm a white male and God intended white males to govern this country," that the appeal come from the kind of candidate who would exclude women or minorities from civic life, a candidate I never vote for in the first place. Since this sort of thing isn't at all subtle, I don't regard this as "playing the race card" as much as it is just nuts.

Charging that one "plays the race card" (or the "gender card" runs the risk opening up a distracting subdebate as to the merits of the accusation. One may be playing the race/gender card (Bernie Sanders is a racist/misogynist) or simply stating an empirical fact that is beyond serious dispute (Donald Trump is a racist/misogynist).

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