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Everything Is Racist

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Malcolm X: Tell me something, Mother. Why is a game of pool not over until the black ball is knocked off the table?
Lois: Why do you always ask so many questions, Malcolm? Go brush your teeth before school.
Malcolm X: What, are they not white enough for you?

This trope occurs when a character frequently perceives racism, sexism, and/or other forms of prejudice where it is not intended or obvious to an outside viewer. Usually the character is a member of the group which is supposedly being discriminated against, but a non-member exhibiting Political Overcorrectness works just as well. Even better if the actual group members are aware that they are not actually being discriminated against.

Often Played for Laughs, when the audience is intended to see that the character's complaint is blatantly spurious and to find it funny. However, sometimes it's not.

It may also involve Twisting the Words by putting them in a context that the speaker didn't necessarily intend.

A Sub-Trope of All Issues Are Political Issues. Compare "Angry Black Man" Stereotype, Conspiracy Theorist, Malcolm Xerox, Straw Feminist, Mistaken for Racist, Unfortunate Implications, Everyone Is Satan in Hell, Insane Troll Logic.


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  • One of Paul Zerdin's routine includes him trying to tell jokes without his puppet after the latter gets too obnoxious for him. Sam the puppet tells him that there are certain things Paul shouldn't say if he wants to be politically correct, and proceeds to veto everything Paul tries to say, even when he's not even talking about a person.
    Paul: There's at least two Irishmen...
    Sam: Racist!
    Paul: My mother-in-law...
    Sam: Sexist!
    Paul: This big fat bloke...
    Sam: Sizist!
    Paul: David Copperfield...
    Sam: Illusionist!
    Paul: This whole thing is going downhill fast.
    Sam: Toboganist!

    Comic Books 
  • Volt from Irredeemable is an Electric Black Guy (and a clear expy of superheroes such as Black Lightning and Static) who frequently had a tendency to pull this out. There are some moments where his hair-trigger accusations found their mark (such as pointing out condescending remarks and lampshading his status as a black superhero with electricity-based powers), and then there are the times when they don't (like accusing teammate Bette Noir of being with her husband Gilgamos because he wasn't black).
  • In The Avengers (Kurt Busiek), Triathalon is angry about how he joined the Avengers due to a government mandate and a manufactured case of Hero with Bad Publicity for the Avengers, so during The Death Song of Kulan Gath and the issues preceding it, he acts like this since he feels like he's a Token Minority on the team.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Eddie Murphy's character in Bowfinger (one of them, anyway) thinks that the fact he has no iconic catchphrase is racism. He also got offended when he thought his agent saying a script "isn't Shakespeare" was actually calling him a "spear chucker." He also counts the letters of a script - and discovers the number of K's is divisible by 3, meaning "KKK appears in this script 486 times!"
  • In Beverly Hills Cop, Murphy's character exploits this in order to get a hotel room that he obviously did not reserve in advance.
    Axel Foley: Don't you think I realize what's going on here, miss? Who do you think I am, huh? Don't you think I know that if I was some hotshot from out of town that pulled inside here and you guys made a reservation mistake, I'd be the first one to get a room and I'd be upstairs relaxing right now. But I'm not some hotshot from out of town, I'm a small reporter from "Rolling Stone" magazine that's in town to do an exclusive interview with Michael Jackson that's gonna be picked up by every major magazine in the country. I was gonna call the article "Michael Jackson Is Sitting On Top of the World," but now I think I might as well just call it "Michael Jackson Can Sit On Top of the World Just As Long As He Doesn't Sit in the Beverly Palm Hotel 'Cause There's No Niggers Allowed in There!"
  • In Boomerang Tyler has an entire rant on how billiards is a racial conspiracy because the white cue ball knocks all of the colored balls off the table, with the black eight-ball saved for last due to a fear of black sexuality.
  • The documentary A Conversation About Race explores racism in modern America and puts forth the theory that most claims of racism directed at blacks, Indians, and Hispanics are actually this trope.
  • "Buggin' Out" from Do the Right Thing is constantly offended at the racism around him (hence the nickname), and his going off about the pictures of Italians on the wall of an Italian restaurant owned by an Italian leads to the riot at the end.
  • Ludacris in Crash endlessly rants about being stereotyped as a Scary Black Man, as he goes around stealing people's cars at gunpoint. This is even lampshaded when he notes to his friend how they're outnumbered by white people where they are and asks "So why ain't we afraid?" "Maybe 'cause we got guns?" his partner in crime guesses. "You could be right," Ludacris' character agrees, just before they run up to carjack a white couple.
    • Later another black character tells him off about it, saying he's disgracing black people and himself.
    • At one point, a black character takes clear offense to a white character sitting next to him and asking how it's going.
  • "Conspiracy Brother" in Undercover Brother constantly reads racist implications into everything, even saying "Hi." As in "Oh really, Hi? As in "High-yellow wanna-be WHITE!?" It really says something that he is in a movie where there actually is a White conspiracy led by "The Man" to keep Black people down and he still comes across as paranoid. The lesson is that just being Properly Paranoid doesn't mean that you aren't paranoid.
    • But even he has trouble believing in the innocence of O.J. Simpson.
    • At least some of his paranoid state is due to being under the influence of... certain substances.
      Lance: Always trying to shut the white man down.
      Conspiracy Brother: THAT'S RIGHT! That's Right!... Oh, ain't right.
  • Dwight Ewell's character in Chasing Amy plays this role as an advertising gimmick along with "Angry Black Man" Stereotype but he's really Camp Gay. Among other things, he claims that the fact that Darth Vader is "a crusty white guy" under the black costume is racist.note 
  • In Annie Hall, Woody Allen's character thinks that a record store owner was making an anti-Semitic joke by mentioning that he was having a sale on Wagner
    • He also says somebody asking "D'joo?" fits this. "Not 'Did you?', but 'D'Jew?'"
  • Willie in Hangin With The Homeboys blames every bad that happens to him on racism when in fact he's just lazy. A girl points this out and asks him if he's ever marched in a rally. Two of his own friends even point this out. First, Vinny who warns he'll end up an old, homeless bum if he keeps blaming others for his own lack of trying. And Tom, who does so with a powerful "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • National Security: Black Earl Montgomery sees racism in everything. This messes up his chances of becoming a police officer. When white cop Hank Rafferty finds Montgomery trying to break into his own car after locking his keys inside, he (naturally) asks what's going on. Montgomery's immediate response is to scream racist cop, rather than asking for help, then using the title and his driver's license to provide proof-of-ownership.
    • The irony being that Montgomery himself is the racist one. Choosing not to help Hank reconcile with his black girlfriend (further proof Hank is not racist) because he does not approve of interracial relationships (specifically, when the man is white; he himself has no problem hitting on a white girl).
  • In The Guard, Gerry is told to lay off the racist remarks with Wendell to which he responds, "Sure, I'm Irish. Racism is part of my culture."
  • Sam from Dear White People once wrote a sixteen-page essay on how Gremlins (1984) is an allegory for how suburban White Americans fear black people.
  • The Animal: Inverted by Miles, who's paranoid that white people are only nice to him out of guilt because he's black. It helps save Melvin at the end though, since he takes credit for the killings and the mob refuses to kill him for fear of looking racist.
  • Deadpool 2: Deadpool accuses Cable of being a racist for accidentally shooting an evil mutant who happened to be named Black (who beat up Deadpool himself in a previous scene, and after Cable had already shot dozens of people who got in his way indiscriminately) and for asking Dopinder to turn off the radio in his cab.
    Cable: I'm not a racist, you idiot.
  • Deliberately invoked by White Bull's right-hand man Thorpe in Cold Pursuit. When trying to check into the hotel, the receptionist tells him that he needs a reservation. Thorpe chooses to interpret this as her telling him to 'get back to the reservation'. She repeats the statement several times before she realizes who she is talking to. Threatening all kinds of complaints, Thorpe is able to parlay this into rooms in the fully booked hotel, and free ski passes for the weekend.
  • In The Cube, the protagonist is trapped in a white panelled room, with various weirdos coming in, saying or doing something to him and leaving again, each time telling him that he can’t leave through the door they came in through because it’s “my door”. Midway through the film, when he’s starting to lose it, a militant black man comes in and declares that he hates the room because it’s white, and the protagonist must be racist for wanting to be in a pure white room. When the protagonist says he doesn’t even want to be in there the black man tells him to just leave through the door, to which the protagonist yells that he can’t “Because that’s your door!”. The black man responds “You make me sick” and walks out.
  • Invoked and Played for Drama in Get Out (2017). Chris (a young black man) feels uncomfortable spending the weekend with his white girlfriend's family and their friends, not least because he's one of four black people present (out of a couple dozen, and two of the others are domestic servants), and everyone's attempts at showing how liberal and progressive they are come off as really patronizing at best. His girlfriend insists her family, while certainly awkward and embarrassing, are well-meaning and certainly not bigoted, leaving Chris to wonder if maybe he's just reading too much into things, due to past experience. Turns out, something very sinister is going on, and the girlfriend is in on it, meaning all her attempts to reassure Chris were actually her gaslighting him so he wouldn't trust his instincts and leave.
    All I know is sometimes, if there's too many white folks... I get nervous, y'know?
  • Played for laughs in F9. One of the two Afro-Latino men young Dom meets in prison asserts that they weren't arrested for blowing up a bank, they were arrested because they were black.
  • In Guns, Girls and Gambling, Asian Elvis turns everything that anyone say to him—but especially John Smith—into a racist remark.
  • Do Revenge: When confronting Eleanor, Drea tells her that she's a rich white girl ruining the life of a "scholarship student of color" (Drea). Drea apparently doesn't notice the irony that she started the whole thing by spreading a homophobic rumor about Eleanor.
  • West Side Story (2021): In this adaptation's version of "America", Anita singing "Buying on credit is so nice" and Bernardo responding with "One look at us and they charge twice" occurs as Anita buys fabric from a local shop and Bernardo sees the price on the receipt. The offended look on the shopkeeper's face implies that he did no such thing and he charges that price for all of his customers.

  • In the short story "Wikihistory" by Desmond Warzel, it is implied that AsianAvenger has a history of this behavior. This comes back to bite him at the end, as he accidentally Grandfather Paradoxes himself out of existence, and while his fellow time travelers/forumites are aware of this, no one can be bothered to save him.
  • The Campaign for Equal Heights in Discworld sees racism against dwarves in everything. They don't have much time to protest anything, though, because they have to spend most of their time convincing the dwarves they're oppressed and being discriminated against. It should also be noted that the group is almost completely made up of humans.
  • Wild Cards has a Fantastic Racism variant in the form of Xavier Desmond, the mayor of Jokertown. Due to growing up in an intolerant area, he's become very sensitive about his mutation and is prone to looking too much into things that are clearly not bigoted towards superpowered people. Interestingly, this is played for both humor (him making himself look foolish trying to figure a way something could be considered racist) and drama (showing he had an upbringing so difficult that he assumes harmless things are an insult).
  • Judge Alvin Guy from City Primeval frequently accused anyone who called out his behavior of being racist. He even claimed a defendant who refused a plea deal he offered was an Uncle Tom.
  • Unsong: Barack Obama was able to get out of having to prove he was a human before his inauguration by accusing anyone who questioned him of being racist, even though Clinton, the Bushes, and Dick Cheney (who became President in the novel's alternate timeline) had already been subjected to the exact same test.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • Chris Rock's "Nat X" character viewed everything through a filter of automatically-presumed prejudice, even when it made no sense whatsoever. For instance, he was the host of a public-access cable TV show in a 15-minute slot but claimed a racist conspiracy kept him from having a full half-hour, and he believed racism was the reason black jellybeans tasted so awful. He also thought "Black History Month" was in February because that was the shortest month:
      "Isn't that nice. The Man gives us February because it's the shortest month of the year. It's also the coldest month of the year, just in case we wanted to have a parade."note 
    • When Eddie Murphy revived his "Mr Robinson's Neighborhood" sketch during his hosting gig in 2019, it's revealed that his neighborhood has gentrified since the 1980s. When his white neighbors come to his front door telling him that their new TV that was delivered to the lobby is now missing and ask if he noticed anything, Mr. Robinson immediately accuses them of thinking he stole it because he's black. After they leave embarrassed, Mr. Robinson turns to the audience and explains the couple's behavior was racist. He then displays the word "Racist" on their TV that is occupying his living room wall surrounded by other Amazon packages he stole from the lobby.
    • Two segments from Weekend Update feature cast member Sarah Sherman entering and making fun of anchor Colin Jost. Whenever Jost tries to contribute to the conversation, Sherman twists his words (complete with a graphic) to claim that he's discriminating against every group possible. For example, Sarah inaccurately complains that there aren't any Jewish people on the show; Colin points out that there are many Jewish cast members (including Sarah herself), and she immediately accuses him of "keeping track of Jews."
  • In an episode of For the People, Assistant US Attorney Leonard Knox, a prep school and Harvard educated upper-class Black man whose mother is a Senator, prosecutes a crooked Black real estate developer for fraud. The guy's legendary Black defence lawyer depicts his client as a self-made Black man being persecuted by a racist white establishment, and accuses Leonard of being a white-acting Uncle Tom. As Leonard points out, the lawyer is a shameless Hypocrite who has spent most of his career defending white Corrupt Corporate Executives who directly or indirectly harmed Black communities, and dumped his cancer-stricken Black wife for a much younger white woman.
  • The Hughleys: In the first season, Darryl Hughley reacts to learning of Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), the servant of Sinterklaas (the Dutch Santa) in Dutch folklore: "So the only black guy at Christmas is a slave? This Santa, does he by any chance wear a white hood?". Ironically, much of the humor in the show is derived from the fact that Darryl is a massive racist himself.
  • Lenny Henry in Pieces had a character who was a large black man who applied for jobs that were unsuitable for him (such as the lead role in Annie) and would get the job after accusing the interviewers of racism whenever they told him he wasn't what they were looking for.
  • Balls of Steel featured the character Angry Militant Black Guy who pretended to be this to "get back at the white man."
  • Ali G will frequently accuse people of being racist towards him, "Iz it cuz I iz black" despite being quite obviously not black. In an inversion to this trope, Sacha Baron Cohen picked the name "Ali G" because he figured people would be less likely to get into a shouting match with someone with an Arab-sounding name, for fear of looking like they were racist, but if Arabs complained, they could always claim that Ali is short for "Alistair." In the film Ali G Indahouse, Ali's full name is revealed as the oh-so-English (okay, Scottish) "Alistair Leslie Graham."
  • Jason Behr's character on the R-rated cable sitcom Sherman Oaks was constantly like this, even though he was also quite white.
  • Goodness Gracious Me played with this trope; having one character who accused everyone of anti-Asian prejudice, including an Asian Chemist who was accused of being against his own people; he pointed out it was anti aging cream he was selling. Eventually he accuses a random policeman of not liking him because he is Asian, only for the policeman to think about it and decide he is right, and promptly knock the character out with his truncheon.
  • The Leprechaun from Dry Your Eyes, an entire plane full in one episode.
  • Tara in True Blood, often deliberately looked to be offended during the first season, though she's toned down a lot more in the following seasons.
  • Chappelle's Show featured a sketch in which a black werewolf, a black mummy, and a black Frankenstein monster deal with various problems that they blame on racism... against black people. The thought that people might possibly be treating them differently because they are monsters never even crosses their minds. Although that isn't the case either, at least for the werewolf or the Frankenstein monster, whose problems are a result of them acting like total assholes. The mummy is the victim of prejudice, but it's not clear whether it's because he's black or because he's a mummy.
  • 30 Rock:
    • Tracy Jordan seems to believe anything which annoys him can thus be classified as racist. Initially, this worked wonders with Liz's White Guilt, but now everyone ignores it as it has become clear he's just trying to get his way.
    • In one episode Liz dated a black lawyer, who believed the only reason any white woman would want to break up with him was that they were racist. Or gay.
  • House:
    • Dr. Foreman often blames racism when things don't go well for him. Chase has called him out on it a few times...
      Dr. Chase: "You seem pretty calm for a guy who's surrounded by racists."
      Dr. Foreman: "80% of the Princeton population is white. Some are racist. Some aren't. White works with both demographics."
      Dr. Chase: "So race is your excuse, not the fact that you usually look like you're about to punch someone in the face?"
    • There was an episode in which a black patient claimed that making heart medication specially designed for black people (which would hence be more effective than other forms of heart medication) is racist. Foreman disagreed. However, when House later tricked the man in question into accepting a prescription for the heart medication he'd earlier refused, Foreman then said House himself was being racist.
    • And in another episode, House preemptively shut down any allegation of racism Foreman might have been about to make about him. After asking if he's been picking on Foreman worse lately, to which Foreman replied "yes", House stated "that rules out the race thing. You were just as black last week."
  • Community:
    • In the episode "Epidemiology", Señor Chang dresses up as a female figure skater for Halloween, purely for the sake of "proving" everybody racist by asking them to guess specifically who it is he's dressed up as. When they inevitably guess the name of an Asian figure skater (e.g. Michelle Kwan, Kristi Yamaguchi), he calls them racist and smugly reveals that he's actually dressed as Peggy Fleming (who is white). Because he's "the racist prover". Shirley is the only one to guess Peggy Fleming correctly on her first try.
    • Greendale's mascot, the Greendale Human Being, was specifically created to avoid any kind of discriminatory image. As in, the Dean and Pierce had literally every kind of stereotypical physical feature of every ethnic group in the world plastered up on a big wall and made sure that not a single one featured in the mascot. What resulted was a grey, featureless humanoid with its eyes and mouth scribbled on with a marker.
      Jeff: I think trying not to be racist is the new racist.
    • In another episode, Jeff is trying to get Troy to take up football again.
      Jeff: I'm saying you're a football player! It's in your blood!
      Troy: That's racist.
      Jeff: It's in your soul!
      Troy: That's racist.
      Jeff: Your eyes?
      Troy: That's gay.
      Jeff: That's homophobic.
      Troy: [shrug] That's black.
      Jeff: That's racist!
      Troy: Damn.
  • May I Please Enter?: Amy, who is Asian, compares the Cowboy, who is white, wanting to visit their home to North American colonialism, not wanting to let him in for that reason.
  • Michael Scott of The Office (US) frequently tries to prove himself above racism by making outlandish claims of racism in others such as chocolate ice cream being racist. He only ends up proving himself the most racist character of all when he does.
  • Seinfeld:
    • In the episode "The Shower Head", Jerry's Uncle Leo calls the cook at Monk's an anti-Semite when his hamburger comes out slightly more well-done than he ordered. Later, when Jerry goes on The Tonight Show, he says that Uncle Leo blames everything that inconveniences him on anti-Semitism, including one time when he called a rabbi an anti-Semite. Uncle Leo was watching this episode of The Tonight Show with his girlfriend. When she laughed at Jerry's bit, he accused her of being an anti-Semite and broke up with her.
      Leo: Look at this! I told them medium rare, it's medium!
      Jerry: Hey, it happens.
      Leo: I bet that cook is an anti-Semite!
      Jerry: He can't even see you! He has no idea who you are!
      Leo: They don't just overcook a hamburger, Jerry.
      Jerry: Fine. Anyway, the point I was making before Goebbels made your hamburger here is this...
    • In another episode, George tells his new boss that he looks like boxer Sugar Ray Leonard. The boss assumes that George thinks all black people look alike. This causes George to spend the episode trying to prove to his boss he isn't racist, which of course blows up in his face. At the end of the episode, a black guy mistakes George's boss for Sugar Ray, but unfortunately for George, his boss had left the building mere seconds ago.
    • In "The Pool Guy", the titular pool guy, Ramon, thinks that the only possible reason Jerry doesn't want to be friends with him is that Jerry is prejudiced against people who clean pools for a living.
    • In "The Chinese Woman", Jerry mentions to Elaine he has a thing for Asian women.
      Elaine: Isn't that a little racist?
      Jerry: If I like their race, how can that be racist?
    • Parodied in "The Yada Yada," on two different levels: for one thing, Jerry suspects that dentist Tim Whatley converted to Judaism specifically so that he could tell Jewish jokes without causing offense, and this offends him immensely. As a comedian, not as a Jew. However, when Jerry makes one joke about dentists, he gets labeled an "anti-Dentite", and is all but ostracized for it.
      Kramer: Listen to yourself! You think that dentists are so different from me and you? They came to this country just like everybody else, in search... of a dream!
      Jerry: Whatley's from Jersey!
      Kramer: Yes, and now he's a full-fledged American!
      Jerry: Kramer, he's just a dentist.
      Kramer: Yeah, and you're an anti-Dentite.
      Jerry: I am not an anti-Dentite!
      Kramer: YOU'RE A RABID ANTI-DENTITE! Oh, it starts with a few jokes and some slurs, "HEY! DENTY!" Next thing you know, you're saying they should have their own schools.
      Kramer: [yells and points finger accusingly as if Jerry had just proven his point]
    To make matters worse, the only person Jerry finds who thinks this whole anti-Dentite business is as ridiculously blown out of proportion as he does turns out to be genuinely racist.
    Jerry: Dentists...
    Woman: Yeah, who needs 'em? [Beat] Not to mention the blacks and the Jews.
    [Jerry's smile turns from a genuine one to a nervous one, freeze frame, end of episode]
    • In "The Cigar Store Indian", Jerry gives the titular object to Elaine as a gift after a fight while she is with a group of her friends; he also includes a card full of Native American stereotypes ("Let's bury the hatchet. We smoke-um peace pipe!"), which he insists on reading aloud, then chants a "war cry" while rocking the statue. One of her friends (who Jerry has a crush on) gets visibly upset and leaves. Jerry asks why she got so upset...and is promptly told that she's Native American. He still ends up getting a date with her, and on the date, he constantly does things that make him look racist (like stopping himself from saying "Indian giver" and "scalper" and replacing them with awkward Buffy Speak alternatives at the last second). The final nail in his coffin happens when he attempts to figure out directions to a nearby Chinese restaurant and asked a mailman who was bent down and collecting letters from a mailbox—"You must know where the Chinese restaurant is." The mailman then stands up and turns around, revealing himself to be a very offended Chinese man who starts yelling angrily at Jerry, who desperately and unsuccessfully tries to explain that he asked him because he's a mailman (and would therefore be familiar with the area), not because he's Chinese. And as the icing on the cake, Kramer zooms by in a taxi at that moment with the cigar store Indian (Elaine gave it to him because she didn't want it), screams "HEY, JERRY! LOOK WHAT I GOT!", and does the same "war cry" that Jerry did earlier.
      Jerry: You know, I don't get it. Not allowed to ask a Chinese person where the Chinese restaurant is? I mean, aren't we all getting a little too sensitive? If someone asked me "Which way's Israel?", I wouldn't fly off the handle.
  • Scrubs:
    • When Turk is choosing his bi-annual candy (he's diabetic) he avoids getting anything that sounds vaguely racist like any type of dark chocolate, or Jujubes.
    • Another episode has two black guys get offended when Elliot had trouble telling them apart; they assume it's because she's racist and thinks all black people look alike and not because they are identical twins.
    • When Turk and Carla go to a bakery to find that they only have white cake toppers Turk is offended, and when the baker asks if he would like him to paint the male one using chocolate, he compares it to blackface and accuses the whole bakery of being racist. Of course, in this case, he's deliberately doing it just to get back at Carla.
    • In one episode, Turk tells JD a patient is racist because he offered him his fried chicken. He loves fried chicken and "ate that bad boy like it was my last meal", but the patient had no way of knowing that.
    • Elliot thinks that Turk not choosing the only female intern in the group of candidates to be his assistant is sexist, and has Carla deny him sex until he changes his decision. From how much the show uses The Unfair Sex trope, the audience is probably supposed to agree with her. The actual reason Turk picked the guy he did was because he wrote his name on the sign-up sheet with a three-color pen. Except the only reason the guy even signed up was because he really wanted an excuse to write something with his three-color pen, and doesn't actually want the job, allowing Turk to give it to the female intern anyway.
    • Exploited by the Janitor who, under the guise of asking for a crossword hint ("5 letters: Showing vulnerability; a 'blank' in one's armor") got JD to say "chink" before casually stepping back to reveal the Chinese Dr. Franklin.
      Dr. Franklin: I always suspected.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Raj is fond of this. He's been called out on it a few times, particularly when he tries to combine this trope with the poor, starving Indian stereotype (which Raj is very much isn't).
    • Raj even does this when the perceived insult isn't aimed at Indians.
      Raj: Spiders give me the jeebie jeebies.
      Howard: It’s heebie jeebies.
      Raj: I know, but that sounds anti-Semitic.
  • Ken Hotate, the Wamapoke leader and casino exec from Parks and Recreation, likes to invoke this trope to manipulate white people, either to play off their White Guilt for the betterment of his people or business or just to mess with them.
  • Dexter does this in The John Larroquette Show, and especially plays it up around John.
  • Kitchen Nightmares: One owner claims that the complaints about his restaurant are because he's a black business owner in a largely white neighborhood. Unsurprisingly to everyone but him, this just added more problems as customers were incensed that they were being called racists for having legitimate problems with the restaurant.
  • Supernatural:
    Sam: You're a demon!
    Ruby: Don't be such a racist.
    • Which gets a Continuity Nod in "Heaven and Hell":
      Dean: (about Bobby's panic room) Iron walls drenched in salt. Demons can't even touch the joint.
      Ruby: Which I find racist, by the way.
      Dean: Write your congressman.
  • Key & Peele:
    • A variant occurs where an office worker complains about the overly sexual music (ie. people moaning over a bass line) played by his extremely Camp Gay co-worker Latrell. Latrell then accuses his co-worker of being homophobic and repeats the accusation whenever his co-worker objects to any of his obnoxious behaviour (for example, being shown overly graphic sexual imagery on Latrell's phone). When the office worker finally leaves for the day with his boyfriend, Latrell finally realizes...
      Latrell: Oooooooh, I get it... I'm not persecuted, I'm just an asshole.
    • Another sketch had a woman, a gay man, and a black man called into their white male boss's office to help him review a speech to make sure there was nothing in it that could be mistaken as offensive. They take issue with practically every single word out of his mouth before he even starts the speech, each time requiring ludicrous amounts of reaching to get to the conclusion that what was said was offensive. Finally, the boss gets them to calm down and is able to start his speech, which opens with an actual offensive joke about "a Chinaman, an Arab, and a Polak" walking into a bar. The reaction?
      Gay Man: I love Arab jokes!
      Woman: Ching-chong, bring it on!
      Black Man: You had me at "Polak"!
  • Hardison on Leverage often uses this trope as part of the con.
    • Played with in "The Homecoming Job," where, after being stopped by security while stealing a truckload of money, he claims that they're prejudiced against him because he's Jewish.
    • In "The First David Job," when a pilot questions his (nonsensical) directions, he begins writing in his report that "Employee is uncomfortable with black authority figures."
  • The West Wing:
    • In the pilot, the trope is played for no laughs at all. White House staffers sit down with some advocates of Christian issues to offer an apology for some ill-advised remarks one of them made on a news program. When the Christians turn the good-faith olive branch into a negotiation over political concessions, things get a little heated. Since two of the staffers are Jewish, Toby Ziegler interprets a comment about Josh's "New York sense of humor" (considering he's not from New York) as anti-Semitic. The hostility only grows, descending into an argument over the order of the Commandments, until only the arrival of the President cuts through the bullshit. It's worth noting that it's unclear whether the woman actually had Toby and Josh's Jewishness on her mind (she claims to resent the implication), and it's also unclear whether Toby was genuinely offended or was seizing an opportunity to regain some control over the situation (either would be in character). It could be considered an Invoked Trope.
    • The touchiness of racial issues is dealt with on several other occasions as well. For example, when the President is considering making Charlie Young his personal aide, he briefly has reservations that it may look bad to hire a young Black man as what amounts to a valet. At one point, Leo asks Admiral Fitzwallace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about this:
      Leo: You have any problem with a young Black man waiting on the President?
      Fitzwallace: ...I'm an old Black man and I wait on the President.
      Leo: The kid's got to carry his bags and—
      Fitzwallace: You going to pay him a decent wage?
      Leo: Yeah.
      Fitzwallace: You going to treat him with respect in the workplace?
      Leo: Yeah.
      Fitzwallace: Then why the hell should I care?...I got some real honest-to-God battles to fight, Leo. I don't have time for the cosmetic ones.
    • In another episode, Charlie gifts President Bartlet, who loves antiques, with a map of the Holy Land region of Southwest Asia dating back to 1709. Bartlet wants to have it framed and hung in the White House, but Toby (who, as mentioned above, is Jewish) tells him he can't because Israel isn't on the map. A confused Bartlet points out that the nation of Israel didn't exist at the time (Israel as a state came into being in 1948), but Toby explains that it doesn't matter — hanging a map of the Middle East that doesn't include Israel will be viewed as anti-Semitic by the general populace (not to mention Israel itself).
  • For a time during the seventh season of ER, Dr. Cleo Finch (who was created for the sole purpose of giving Dr. Peter Benton an African-American girlfriend), tended to see racism as the reason for every slight or reprimand, starting from the season premiere when she was ticked off at the absence of African-Americans among the new crop of medical students.
  • On a Saturday Night Live skit called "The Blame Game'', which featured a black racist versus a white racist, the black racist blamed whites/racism for everything, to the point of blasting the white game show host for addressing him by his "slave name".
  • This has appeared a few times on Law & Order:
    • In "Admissions", the Hispanic Dr. Miguel Clemente is very quick to assert that people are hostile to him purely because of his race, rather than for the obvious fact that he is an insufferable, hot-tempered, confrontational Jerkass who seems to go out of his way to offend and irritate everyone around him.
    • Andre Blair from "Bling" is almost a classic Angry Black Man, who spends most of his time in court sneering that people are only willing to suspect him over the other suspect is because of their respective races... completely ignoring that he has both a valid motive for the murder and a history of being violently temperamental and physically abusive, such as the time he threw a man out of a window. It's at least mildly deconstructed in that Andre's antics only serve to make the jury more convinced of his guilt, such as when he sneeringly declares that he can't have been responsible for ordering an attack on the other suspect, who is claiming that Andre intimidated him into falsely claiming responsibility by threatening his family, because supposedly if Andre had given such an order, the other suspect wouldn't have survived it.
    • The episode "Black and Blue", the defense of Cop Killer Kendra hinges entirely on her being black and the police detective whom she shot being white; as there are no direct eyewitnesses or video-recordings of the shooting, she claims to have shot the cop because he was a racist and she feared for her life in the face of his race-motivated hostility, even namedropping George Floyd as justification for her being willing to use deadly force to protect her life from a cop (especially a white one). The episode milks Ambiguous Situation for all it's worth; the detective was investigated by Internal Affairs in response to accusations of his using racial slurs, and the Cop Killer had no prior criminal history. But there were only two accusations, both made over ten years before the cop's death, and they were made by a rapist and a child-murderer he'd arrested. Plus, the detective had been happily dating a black woman for three years before his murder, though the defense plays a video he sent to his girlfriend on their second anniversary where he, clearly meaning to be complimentary, quotes the Mick Jagger song "Brown Sugar", using this video as evidence for his secretly being a racist. In the end, the jury finds Kendra innocent of Aggravated Manslaughter in the First Degree, but guilty of it in the Second Degree, to the outrage of both the cops (who are furious that a Cop Killer is getting a relatively minor punishment) and many of the black people in the gallery (who insist that she's being railroaded by white supremacists).note 
  • Law & Order: SVU: In "P.C.", lesbian rights (no, not LGBT rights, solely lesbian rights at first) activist Babs Duffy constantly accuses people of lesbophobia, usually over trivial slights. However, she turns out to be right that there really is a rapist targeting lesbians, who actually did commit a deliberate slight against her just so she'd be irked. Her militancy backfires against Duffy after she comes out as being bisexual, which outrages her followers.
  • The Good Place: In "A Chip Driver Mystery", Brent dismisses Simone's valid criticism of his book as anti-white racism.
  • Oz has a dark, realistic example. The inmates organize themselves around racial lines, toss slurs around at each other, and compete for racial control of the prison, along with the occasional race-motivated murder or rape. The Aryans are the most explicitly hateful and violent, and even the prison staff seem to carry some racial tension.
  • Played without a bit of humor, considering the pro-cops bias of the series, on Blue Bloods with Darnell Potter, a thinly veiled homage to Rev. Al Sharpton and the Black Lives Matter movement. Potter constantly accuses the NYPD of racism and police brutality, and often directs his Black neighbors and friends to refuse to cooperate with the cops in any circumstance. Potter is almost always portrayed as being in the wrong or, in some cases, deliberately making up lies to further his own agenda, suggesting that his accusations hold no merit. Over the course of the series, Potter has:
  • Wellington Paranormal: In the "A Normal Night" episode, Nick accuses Minogue and O'Leary of discrimination against vampires, before concluding that it's because he's a brown vampire and they wouldn't have arrested a white vampire.
  • Essentially the entire comedic premise of Ziwe, a satirical talk show in which the titular host openly baits her guests into making racially insensitive comments, gleefully dangles their problematic pasts over their heads, and just generally does everything in her power to make them look insensitive despite their obvious discomfort.
  • In the QI episode "Plants", when Stephen K. Amos turns out to be the only person on the panel who'd never heard of an oxbow lake, which Jason Manford claims every British person remembers from school, he jokingly suggests that maybe it was just the white kids who got taught that.
  • Misfits: In one episode, Curtis, who's just gained the power to revive the dead, goes to help a cat who's been hit by a car. He tells the owner he's a vet, to which she replies he doesn't look like one. This is because he's in his late teens/early twenties, but he assumes she's being racist and responds that black people can be vets.
  • The Jews Are Coming: Jewish gangsters Bugsy Siegel and Mayer Lansky apply this against an Italian mob enforcer who comes a-threatening, claiming that every other sentence out of his mouth is antisemitic. By the end, he's so flustered and apologetic they easily overpower and kill him.
  • In the first season of Homicide: Life on the Street, Pembleton would frequently accuse his coworkers of racism and blame it for him being The Friend Nobody Likes. Felton repeatedly pointed out to him that the reason nobody liked him was because Pembleton was a Jerkass with a Hair-Trigger Temper, although the series acknowledged that Pembleton also made some genuinely good points about his coworkers' biases. This trait vanished in the following seasons.


  • Black British comedian Doc Brown's parody rap "Everybody's Racist" makes liberal use of this trope, in which he accuses, among others: eskimos (because igloos are white), the post office (for pushing second class stamps), and the sky (it rained on his birthday); of racism.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Dilbert: This is discussed heavily in the author commentary of Seven Years of Highly Defective People both concerning in-universe and in fan and critical response.

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect 2: On the Citadel, a turian: says he doesn't have a biotic amp after objecting to being asked to remove any biotic amps, tries to smuggle a 15-centimeter serrated blade with him, misses his shuttle because he was held back by security for trying to smuggle that 15-centimeter serrated blade on board, and lastly complains the next shuttle is taking too long to arrive for his taste. His response to it all? "You humans are all racist!" He does claim it to be a ceremonial item of his people, and with the Turian culture being rather militaristic, it is possible it really was. Still playing the race card a bit too much, though.
    • This may have been inspired by Sikhism, as Sikh men indeed carry ceremonial knives along with their turbans and beards as sign of their religion. For a long time, they were exempt from the "no weapons"-rule on airplanes on Indian airlines.
    • It should be noted that Turians are one of the most common races on the Citadel, with a near majority of Citadel security being Turian. This particular problem is never seen elsewhere, and one would think that if it were a common cultural issue there would be provisions for it.
  • In Fallout 2, the Cafe of Broken Dreams has the first game's cut "black male" player model blame his removal on racism. "I'm black. You figure it out." It also has the cut "red-haired female" player model who claims the reason for her removal is discrimination from the game's all-male creators; she further claims that her black-haired rival slept with nearly every one of the original game's makers to get the part.
  • Simeon Yetarian of Grand Theft Auto V runs a scam from his luxury car dealership where he sells cars cheaply but with exorbitant interest rates on the notes, usually preying on those who he knows can't afford them so that Franklin can legally repossess the cars. Whenever someone calls him out on this, he accuses them of being racist against Armenians.
  • In Saints Row, Dex comes up with a plan to incriminate the Vice Kings by getting two Third Street Saints to dress up as Vice Kings and go and cause chaos to force the police to crack down on the VKs. When Dex presents Johnny Gat with his disguise- a yellow Vice Kings shirt- Johnny- who's Korean-American- says "I'm yellow enough as it is, Dex." Dex says "Just put the damn shirt on!"
  • Weaponized in South Park: The Fractured but Whole: PC Principal teaches the New Kid how to spot "microagressions", letting them get a free hit on enemies that say anything that might be bigoted towards the New Kid's race, gender identity, sexuality, religion, or economic class.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: Carlo "The Cleaver" Varese is one of the four men who runs the seedy underbelly of Novigrad. "Cleaver" is widely known for being an Ax-Crazy madman who got his nickname from his favored way of instilling discipline in his subordinates and creditors and has his fingers in every criminal pie from slaving to trafficking to narcotics to fencing stolen goods to illegal gambling. He is also absolutely certain that any complaint anyone might have against him, his way of earning a living, or his business practices stems from baselass anti-dwarfish prejudice and not from the fact that he is a violent madman who enables other violent madmen and profits from people's misery.
    • A humorous example from the same game has Geralt ask Vimmi Vivaldi, a dwarven banker, if he plays Gwent. This causes Vivaldi to launch into a tirade about how Geralt is making racist assumptions, and afterward...
      Geralt: So you play or not?
      Vivaldi: (Begrudgingly) Aye, I play.

    Visual Novel 


    Web Original 
  • Cracked has an article about supposedly racist incidents that actually weren't. The examples being people mistaking the word "niggardly", a synonym for miserly, for the infamous racial slur, somebody thinking that a department being described as a black hole referred to the number of black people in that department, and a city renaming its public-transportation Yellow Line to Gold Line because people claimed the name was racist to Asian-Americans... though the last example may subvert the trope, as noted by the article itself.
  • Larry Oji of the game music podcast Nitro Game Injection often invokes this for laughs.
  • Not Always Right features a wide variety of disturbed people; no wonder there are puzzling cases like "On The Politically Proper Placement of Puzzles", Discrimination of Black Dogs or A Dark Day For Political Correctness. And there are much more surrealistic cases.
    • Sister site Not Always Working has a self-proclaimed "Social Justice Warrior" who exaggerates this trope; literally everything that anyone says is potentially racist/sexist/ableist/whateverist.
  • A number of popular image macros make fun of this trope, such as the Cunning Black Strategist with the caption "You've activated my race card" or the "That's racist!" gif.
  • A similar one is the "shuffles deck, draws card" meme that involves mocking a post that makes a racist comment against someone for doing something that has nothing to do with their race or racism at all, or otherwise construing something innocuous into a racist thing:
    Oh, hello. I didn't see you there! Civility is a tool of White supremacy. Ok, cool. Byeeeeee!
    Fuckin' White people and their... *shuffles deck, draws card* ...civility!
  • This exchange on Emails From An Asshole.
  • Andrew of the popular blog "Yo, Is This Racist?". The answer to the eponymous question is typically yes, no matter how many massive leaps in logic it takes to come to that conclusion. This is done to show that while racism is a very real problem, over-analyzing things and throwing childish fits/accusations over trivial, decidedly not-racist stuff just makes people not take you seriously. To make the joke clear, Andrew has done several out-of-character articles and podcasts where he discusses actual issues involving race.
  • A Running Gag on CinemaSins videos is to comment "That's racist" about non-PC lines or images, even though It Makes Sense in Context or they belong to non-sympathetic or villainous characters. For example, disparaging comments about fantasy creatures like elves will lead the narrator to comment "That's racist".
    Hogwarts Student: Blacknote  could be anywhere.
    Jeremy: That's racist *ding*

    Lego Batman: All important movies end with a white screen.
    Jeremy: That's racist *ding*
  • Danny from the Game Grumps never fails to "complain" whenever the color black is brought up, no matter the context.
    Dan: I don't like the way you said "black".
  • In "AETHER HIGHCRAFT", Sam accuses Travis of being antisemitic for placing a sign that says Sam smells.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of The Boondocks had R. Kelly get off from going to prison despite the galactic-sized, completely convincing, and absolute evidence that he did what he was on trial for, due to his (white) lawyer claiming that it was all just a big racist conspiracy to get a black man unfairly thrown in jail. This becomes darkly Hilarious in Hindsight in light of what happened in Real Life...
  • Robot Chicken has a sketch where a black stallion accuses a little boy of being a racist when he expresses surprise that the horse can talk. After the pair are stranded on an island, the stallion again over-reacts when the boy mistakes another identical horse for the talking stallion and once again when the boy offers to fry up a chicken he caught. When the horse claims white people can't dance, however, the boy shuts him up by demonstrating his moves.
  • Dr. Katz - patient/standup comic Andy Kindler recalls someone at an audition telling him "Don't be 'schticky'", adding "You know what that means, right? 'We hate the Jews! Don't be schticky, JEW!'"
  • In The Simpsons episode "The Ziff Who Came to Dinner", after Artie Ziff has been acting like the total Jerkass that he is, Marge is about to give him "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    Marge: My husband's going to jail and it's all your fault! Do you know why no one likes you?
    Artie: Antisemitism?
  • In "The Best," an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball, the titular character becomes increasingly annoyed with Carmen, who keeps outdoing him in everything and offering well-meaning but patronizing advice. At one point, Gumball decides to fight back by deliberately interpreting all of Carmen's words as some kind of attack on a minority group: her suggesting that he eat whole wheat bread is rude to poor people who can't afford it, her remark that processed foods lead to weight gain is cruel to fat people, and her inadvertently using a male pronoun to refer to a hypothetical doctor is sexist. Carmen then deconstructs the trope by realizing what Gumball is doing and calling him out on it, pointing out that deliberately focusing on tiny issues is a slap in the face to underrepresented groups, who have much more serious problems and shouldn't be used to score holier-than-thou points in petty squabbles.
  • South Park:
    • Eric Cartman occasionally runs afoul of this trope, especially when he tries to be nice. In some instances, he becomes convinced that Token Black (who, true to his name, was the only Black student in school for years) is constantly on the verge of attacking people and so chooses all of his words to be as least racist as possible. Similarly, he's quick to treat the Jewish Kyle as a "victim" of his own Judaism and offers Condescending Compassion to him for what he views as a problem. Ultimately, though, Cartman is an equal-opportunity jerk who hates everyone because they're not him.
    • PC Principal practically embodied this trope when he was introduced. Say something vaguely politically incorrect? Prepare for a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown!
    • In "Credigree Weed St. Patrick's Day Special", Randy accuses Steve Black of cultural appropriation for selling a St. Patrick's Day special even though he's not of Irish descent.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Everything Is Sexist


"You humans are all racist!"

A turian repeatedly accuses a human C-Sec transportation security officer of being racist against turians because she won't let him bring a 15-centimeter serrated knife on a public transport.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / EverythingIsRacist

Media sources: