Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Race Card, Playing the
“Playing the race card” is a derogatory phrase that refers to unnecessarily and inflammatorily interjecting the issue of race into a discussion, particularly when dealing with important sociopolitical events or criminal justice issues. It is extremely important to the study of criminal justice because of the need to accurately understand the true nature of crime and victimization rather than being distracted by superfluous issues that have little to do with a given problem. The race card can victimize members of any race but is most commonly aimed at portraying Whites as racist. Playing the race card has become standard operating procedure today concerning the issue of illegal immigration. Typically, the race card is played as a way of obfuscating issues. For example, when Cynthia McKinney (former U.S. House of Representatives member from Georgia) physically attacked a Capitol Hill police officer in Washington, D.C., and was subsequently arrested, race card players ...