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Play the white man

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Title: Play the white man  
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Subject: White guilt, European Costa Rican, White Surinamese, White pride, White Jamaican
Collection: Ethnic and Racial Stereotypes
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Play the white man

Play the white man is a term used in parts of Britain meaning to be decent and trustworthy in one's actions. The similar American expression is "that's mighty white of you" with the meaning of "thank you for being fair".[1]

The origin of the phrase is obscure. The colour white has long been associated with purity and virtue in English culture, but the racial sense of the expression may refer more explicitly to the administrators and soldiers of the 19th-century British Empire.

In popular culture

In the 1960's or before, the phrase "mighty white of you" was adopted by black Americans as an insult to those who had learned their abuse of others from the white racists who demeaned or maltreated blacks. As such, the insult is doubly cutting.


See also


  1. ^ Smitherman, G (2006). Words and Expressions, Proverbs and Familiar Sayings. Word from the mother (pp. 45). Routledge: New York.
  2. ^ Coronation Street July 12 2013
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