You know that they’re racist when….. they accuse YOU of “playing the race card” (video)


President Obama made a few “impromptu remarks” a week or so ago following the controversial verdict that saw black teenager Trayvon Martin‘s caucasian killer acquitted in Florida.

As you can hear on the video, his comments were considered, reflective and looked to placate those that are angry whilst also offering the prospect of continuing to work to overcome the racism that, whilst clearly on the decline, remains widespread in the US.

Within moments of Obama finishing his last sentence Tea Party tweeters were hard at work filling the Twitterverse with accusations that Obama was fomenting “race hatred” and bemoaning the ‘fact’ that he “always plays the race card.”

Tea Party Hysteria about Obama Speech on Race and Trayvon Martin via GOPANTIUSA
Tea Party Hysteria about Obama Speech on Race and Trayvon Martin via GOPANTIUSA

On closer examination, it has tended to be those that are quick to abandon intelligent discussion that use the PTRC line as a fig leaf to cover their own racist inclinations.

On Twitter, it is nearly impossible to avoid Tea Party and UKIP supporters who appear to spend their time trawling through social networks in search of anyone with the temerity to suggest that immigration might be beneficial for the host country (in fact most independent studies show this to be the case).  Once identified they approach, often with an initial politely worded communication, in order to critique the basis for the aforementioned positive comment.  If their target is foolhardy enough to take their bait they will immediately ‘share’ the latest hysterical ‘fact’ that has been reported in The Daily Mail or some other opinion sheet or personal blog (and is usually incorrect or an especially partial interpretation of, invariably, someone else’s research).

These facts, such as they are, usually include some reference to the “swamping” of the country by “waves of immigrants” and how we cannot afford to keep letting more “foreign shirkers” into the country.  These references to “sources” particularly the personal blogs are rarely to out-and-out racist posts but often carry titles such as “Married lesbian couple of Pakistan to seek asylum in UK” or “White Minority”  a particularly insidious piece, just the right side of legal, that opens with these words:

“I live in a very diverse area of the UK – the most ethnically diverse area of Manchester, in fact. That means that, in my local community, white people are in the minority (27%), with South Asians …

Not Racist...But Definitely Scaremongering

Now Who’s Playing The Race Card? The Daily Express: Not Racist…But Definitely Scaremongering

UKIP followers, like their Tea Party cousins, feign great offence at any suggestion that their words might be indicative of a more virulent strain of racist thinking just beneath the surface. When this happens you can always count on receiving their go-to defence:

“I wondered how long it would take you to play the race card

..as if this meaningless phrase somehow both answers the accusation of racism and simultaneously absolves them of responsibility for their words and deeds.

The next time you find yourself in one of those irritating and unrequested social network ‘debates’ about  immigration or the Tea Party or UKIP and the PTRC line is thrown at you, remember that it is a sure sign that your interlocutor has something to hide and remind him or her that, ironically, it is they who are playing the race card.

Or better still save yourself the grief, block them and carry on with your life!

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