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Leonard: Well the only way we can play teams at this point is if we cut Rajesh in half!
—The Big Bang Theory, "The Dumpling Paradox"
This trope occurs when a character frequently finds prejudice in things that are usually not racist.
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.
- 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 chukka'." 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!"
- "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 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 of 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.
- 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 because they're out to get you doesn't mean you're not 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.
- Dwight Ewell's character in Chasing Amy plays this role as an advertising gimmick along with Angry Black Man 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Chris Rock's "Nat X" character from Saturday Night Live 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.
- He also thought "Black History Month" was in February because that was the shortest month. (Actually its precursor, "Negro History Week," was in February because of the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.)
- Darryl Hughley's character in The Hughleys IS this trope, at least for the first season. One amusing - if arguably justified - example is his reaction to learning of Zwarte Piet (meaning Black Pete): "So the only black guy at Christmas is a slave? This Santa, does he by any chance wear a white hood?".
- Much of the humor in the show was also derived from the fact that Darryl was 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 Muslims complained, they could always claim that Ali is short for "Alistair." In the film Ali G: In Da House, Ali's full name is revealed as the oh so English "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.
- 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 try to deal with various problems that they initially blame on racism. The werewolf and Frankenstein monster tend to cause their problems through their own antisocial behavior, but the mummy is clearly the victim of prejudice, although it isn't clear whether it's because he's black or because he's a mummy.
- In Curb Your Enthusiasm, Wanda Sykes always interprets everything Larry does as racist.
- Of course some of Larry's behavior isn't helping. Such as when he gets out of jury duty by pretending to be racist
Larry: "I don't see how I could possibly be impartial Your Honor, seeing as the defendant's a Negro."
- Tracy Jordan of 30 Rock seems to believe anything which annoys him can thus be classified as racist. Initially, this worked wonders with Liz's white guilt, but now pretty much 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 because they were racist. Or gay.
- Dr. Foreman on House 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."
- In Community episode "Epidemiology" Senor Chang deliberately dressed as Peggy Fleming so he could prove everybody is a racist (for example, Britta guesses Kristi Yamaguchi). Because he's the racist prover. Shirley, though, figures out who he is on the first guess.
- Michael Scott of The Office 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.
- Dilbert's Tina the Tech Writer started off as "brittle" (Scott Adams' term), interpreting all forms of communication as an insult to her profession and/or gender. This trait has largely disappeared over the years due to complaints of it being sexist.
- Shortly before giving up on it, Adams tried balancing out Tina with Antina, "the Antidote to Tina", who was more or less Tina's exact opposite. Antina was promptly accused of being a lesbian stereotype, and thus biased against LGBT people. Then Adams gave up on the trait.
- Avenue Q: Everyone's a little bit racist sometimes...
- 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 claims 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.
- For added irony, Turians have almost no biotics, so it's highly implausible anyone would automatically assume one of them is a biotic.
- He brought it up...
- Turians are mentioned to have as much biotics as any established race apart from the asari. They just are segregated into their own units in their nation's command structure.
- For added irony, Turians have almost no biotics, so it's highly implausible anyone would automatically assume one of them is a biotic.
- In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Dr. McNinja's little brother, Sean 'Is it because I'm black?!' McNinja, who wears 'urban' styles over his ninja suit but is Irish underneath it.
- Dinosaur Comics often jokes about this sort of thing.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal got a schoolgirl with proper understanding of the Political Correctness.
- In The Pig's Ear, two applicants for a bartending position play the race card when they're turned down. The black guy was actually rejected for not having any arms, while the Medusa turned several people to stone, including the interviewer.
- In one Penny Arcade strip, Tycho takes this attitude in regards to Pokémon Black and White. Amusingly, he acts racist in both directions; calling Gabe a white supremacist for choosing the White Version and then a race traitor when he switches to the Black Version.
- Oddly enough, Gabe didn't jump to the defensive by saying that each version mascot is the opposite color, but that might have ruined the Rule of Funny.
- Go to any major movie forum on IMDb and odds are you will find a troll accusing the film of racism.
- While he usually has good points, The Nostalgia Critic can get a little too on his soapbox about this sometimes.
- Larry Oji of the game music podcast Nitro Game Injection often invokes this for laughs.
- Not Always Right featuring a wide variety of disturbed people, no wonder there are puzzling cases like "On The Politically Proper Placement of Puzzles". Or the discrimination of black dogs. And there are much more surrealistic cases.
- A lot of American cartoons from The Golden Age of Animation are often accused of being racist. Afro-Americans, Asians, Jews, Native Americans,... are often the butt of many racially insensitive jokes. Yet, this was of course a reflection of the time period and although some cartoons in today's standards come across as being racist others are simply censored for depicting someone with a different skin color or nationality, even if it's a sympathetic character.
- The Bugs Bunny cartoon "Any Bonds Today?", has Bugs singing in blackface in a stereotypical Afro-American accent. This scene is often attacked for being extremely racist, but is actually an example of a joke that has become less clear as a result of Time Marches On. Bugs' imitation was actually a reference to popular singer Al Jolson, a white entertainer who was known for performing in blackface!
- 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. His lawyer got him off using a healthy mix of this and Insane Troll Logic.
- 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.
- It happens. There are some people out there who seriously interpret just about anything as an instance of bigotry. Let's just leave it there.
- Some schools of thought hold that the very foundation of Western society and culture is intrinsically racist, sexist or what have you - see the various subdivisions of critical theory.
- Planking, of all things, was accused of being racist.
- A common parody of Spike Lee. Even his page on this wiki once referred to him as the patron saint of this trope.
- One example: He once confronted Clint Eastwood, accusing him of racism due to the fact that Eastwood's World War II film Flags of our Fathers "didn't contain a single black man". Eastwood pointed out that 1) this was historically accurate, since the film was about a specific company during a period in which the Army was still segregated, and 2) the film actually DOES briefly depict a black company. Lee later apologized to Eastwood, but only after the two were reconciled via mutual friend Steven Spielberg.
- There's a particular brand of cheddar cheese in Australia called Coon Cheese: the company is named after an American man named Edward William Coon, who invented the process for fast maturing of cheese in the 1920s. However, some activists insist that the name is meant as an ethnic slur and campaign for the company to change it — even to the point of (in at least one case) denying that Mr Coon ever existed, despite the relevant patent documents being freely accessible by the public.
Why is the TV Tropes background white? That's racist!