Posted by Bob on August 31, 2000
In Reply to: Play the race card posted by Tom Wharton on August 31, 2000
: "Play the race card" has been variously identified as a recent invention and as a coinage of the 1960s. Does anyone have a citation earlier than 1996?
I don't have a specific citation at hand, but I remember the phrase well from the '60s and '70s, along with variations, such as Nixon "playing the China card." Some commentator a few years later questioned why China chose to "play the American card," which was (for me, anyway) a thought-provoking idea.Someone (Safire, perhaps?) might have a text reference.