a free token for the ignorant person to eye roll

cnaky

Senior Member
Chinese
Context: If people of colour address racism ourselves, we’re often accused of making everything about race, as if we’re just waving around an invisible ‘race card’. I’ve repeatedly heard that term — ‘race card’ — and it automatically comes with a free token for the ignorant person to eye roll, as if to say: “A Black model making it all about race again, boring.”

It's written by a black model.

I'm wondering what 'free token' means here. It seems to mean 'rights', but I'm not sure about it.
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    "To play the race card" means to allege racial discrimination, even if it may not be present. The model is extending the word "card" to include a "token" - a different kind of card like the "Get out of jail free" card in a Monopoly game. She imagines this "token" as giving permission for racially biased people to roll their eyes and say “A Black model making it all about race again, boring.”
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There are several tricky idioms here.
    I understand "token" as a different kind of metaphor to "card".
    - In some card games certain cards are more useful than others for winning the game. You can play one of these cards and you are likely to win the round. Similarly, you can "play the race card", mention the subject of race, and you are likely to win an argument (because you fall into a racially discriminated group, or because you are speaking in defence of such a group).
    - In other kinds of games, including fairground rides or gambling machines, you might get a token to put in the machine in place of a coin, as an incentive to come to the venue. If you get this token for free, it allows to participate at no cost, for no effort.

    One "rolls one's eyes" as a gesture of impatience with someone's repeated unreasonable behaviour. The token of #1 allows you to categorize someone's behaviour as unreasonable, regardless of the circumstances.
     

    cnaky

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    There are several tricky idioms here.
    I understand "token" as a different kind of metaphor to "card".
    - In some card games certain cards are more useful than others for winning the game. You can play one of these cards and you are likely to win the round. Similarly, you can "play the race card", mention the subject of race, and you are likely to win an argument (because you fall into a racially discriminated group, or because you are speaking in defence of such a group).
    - In other kinds of games, including fairground rides or gambling machines, you might get a token to put in the machine in place of a coin, as an incentive to come to the venue. If you get this token for free, it allows to participate at no cost, for no effort.

    One "rolls one's eyes" as a gesture of impatience with someone's repeated unreasonable behaviour. The token of #1 allows you to categorize someone's behaviour as unreasonable, regardless of the circumstances.
    Thank you! By 'the token of #1', do you mean 'certain cards which are more useful than others in some card games'?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's figurative, of course. This token doesn't look like anything because it's just a concept, not an actual object. The same with the "race card". It's just a concept (based on a real object).
     
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