Talk:Prejudice plus power

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This Social justice related article has not received a brainstar for quality. Please consider expanding the article appropriately. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


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Wow! Rational wiki does not endorse this Neo-Marxist bullshit? I am PLEASANTLY surprised! --Kingdamian1 (talk) 02:00, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

P+P is not derived from Marxism, and your surprise is like that of a child discovering that his rival is a real person and not a boogyman. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 02:03, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
@GrammarCommie I don't view RW as rivals. I like this site. I am just surprised that RW took a more critical position towards this bullshit than many take! --Kingdamian1 (talk) 02:06, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

Regarding Sarkeesian quote[edit]

One of the discussion points that seems missing in the article is the false notion that power works in a rigid way in advanced societies. The initial quote at the top of the page suggesting that women can't be sexist is absurd from multiple different perspectives, and I'm not sure if it's there as a claim the article is supporting or using an example of absurdity. Even when applying the power + plus prejudice definition of racism/sexism, it's an unreasonable claim to say that women don't hold any power just because elite positions are more commonly held by men. Power just doesn't operate that way in advanced societies - for one, there is no "male collective" and "female collective" dominating society. For two, "power" is an abstract concept that operates on numerous levels in extremely complex ways in almost any society, let alone advanced western democracies. So it's simply an absurd claim to suggest that women and minorities can't be sexist or racist, or to suggest that bigoted views held and expressed by women and minorities are not toxic. It actually reeks of a privileged attempt at excusing yourself from responsibility for your own bigotry, and should not be endorsed by rationalwiki. — Unsigned, by: Einlanzer / talk / contribs

Alarming thesis. No integration of intersectionality?[edit]

I've been using Rational Wiki as a resource to learn about modern hate movements. You guys generally seem committed to opposing racism in all its forms, so I am disappointed to see this one-sided attack on a modern social justice theory that reads like a support of alt-right fearmongering about persecuted white people. Why is there a complete lack of integration of intersectionality theory? Kimberlé Crenshaw came up with it in the '80s, and it's been an active part of social justice discourse for the past 15 years or so. The debate on if we're in a fourth wave of feminism centers on the integration of intersectionality as a radical upheaval of feminist thought.

All of the questioning about "Can white people really have power in certain scenarios if they're impoverished?" is adequately addressed through intersectionality and vertices of privilege. White people hold power racially through white supremacy. The wealthy hold power through classism. Impoverished white people hold power racially but not financially. They don't suddenly lose their status as a privileged race because they lack privilege in one arena. White wealthy people hold power in two arenas; black wealthy people hold power in one and are disadvantaged in another, and impoverished black people are disadvantaged in two ways. Then there are more complicated prejudices where people may be disadvantaged specifically for the overlap of two social identities where each one individually lacks specific disadvantage in a specific context. Add in all the other interacting social identities, and you have modern social justice theory 101.

As it stands, this article promotes racism (white supremacy) through giving people a misguided perception of anti-racist efforts and encourages readers to tear down anti-racist activists as themselves "racists". It reads like alt-right propaganda. Whoever started it was probably operating on a knee-jerk "They're coming after me!" thought process in common with right-wing discourse. Fox News pundits could currently reference this article to promote their hateful agendas. The examples posted in previous Talk page entries of right-wingers/alt-righters apparently agreeing with and supporting this page should come across as major red flags.

I highly recommend an immediate about-face to the stance that "prejudice plus power" is the current, most useful definition of "racism" in the modern social justice context. Just as "racism" is no longer about antisemitism, it is no longer descriptive of the black guy who hates white people. The article should integrate discussion of intersectionality and show how these various examples of the modern definition supposedly not working are wrong and represent a regressive movement seeking to undermine modern anti-racist activism. Baring that, at least present both definitions as useful tools for different contexts. Keeping it as it is now only serves the far-right. --GoingRampant (talk) 20:36, 4 August 2021 (UTC)

Disagreeing with your particular branch of social justice philosophy doesn't make someone an alt-righter. I recommend reading Don't order people to feel safe, as well as this, this, and this for examples of very real experiences had by real people that the Prejudice + Power formula contemptuously denies and dismisses and invalidates. And "Of course I'm not saying that" doesn't mean a goddamn thing if you're advocating for system that enables the hell out of the people who are in fact saying that. --Rhowena (talk) 01:39, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Having a position in common with the alt-right ought to be a sign for concern and scrutiny. I don't see any reason other than racist bias why these emotional anecdotes should be so compelling. I've been studying the Holocaust and could point to a few accounts of Nazis and fascist collaborators expressing deep emotional pain but that doesn't change my understanding of the power structure and who the baddies are. I personally have experienced deep emotional pain from being antagonized by Jewish people online and can attest to my distress from Jewish aggression being worse than the time I was harassed by neo-Nazis. However, it would be asinine to conclude that Jews are somehow more harmful than neo-Nazis and the recognized power structure is illegitimate. Emotional anecdotes of individual distress don't mean as much as studies of society and how power structures work. This is not to say that racially privileged individuals who suffer shouldn't receive attention and be helped as much as possible--I can even feel compassion for the Nazis--but that should not be extrapolated outward to a conclusion that modern anti-racist efforts are illegitimate and the white supremacists have a point. That's just racism dressed up as progressivism. Each white person who suffers individualistic racially-based aggression still benefits from white supremacism in the whole of society and that's why racism as prejudice + power is a meaningful distinction. --GoingRampant (talk) 16:20, 5 September 2022 (UTC)

Ideologically Slanted[edit]

This article seems a bit in bad faith with it's opening. I wouldn't object to finding this concept potentially problematic, and I understand that we don't use a "fair and balanced" policy; but regardless that shouldn't be an excuse to disregard the principle of charity all together. The characterization of the concept seems pretty clearly a strawman with stuff like...

"In fact, since this version of the word "racism" is applied at the group level, it often leads to the "logical" conclusion that all members of the dominant group are de facto racists"

Sounds like something Ben Shapiro would say about intersectionality. 90% of this article is just criticism, and one of the opening lines is how the conception is "exclusionary" without interrogating the assumption that a conception of racism needs to be inclusive to members of dominant class. This article stands out as incredibly reactionary in tone compared to our other social justice articles. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:53, 9 April 2022 (UTC).

When the article talks of the "original" definition of racism, no thought is put into who came up with that definition or why it's the most useful or correct? It's not as if a conception of racism that emphasizes power dynamics is a moral complicity with prejudice. You can still say prejudice is condemnable with this conception of racism, why the need to feel included with the more politically loaded term? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 05:06, 9 April 2022 (UTC).
"The use of the term outside of its academic stipulative definition has thus circled around various groups pre-emptively defining away what human beings of certain skin colors could and could not do, even in theory, regardless of any situational counterexamples. The hypocrisy of essentially recommending a "socially just racism" appears to be lost here" but obviously if this conception is accepted I don't think that is even an implication, like "you can't be racist against white people" does not imply "prejudice against white people for their skin color is therefore okay". Nor is there any notion of such "socially just" racism. Like what the fuck is even being talked about here? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 05:19, 9 April 2022 (UTC)

Endorsement of fringe views[edit]

This article heavily endorses the fringe, alt-right view that white people can be victims of racism. See [1] "It's literally impossible to be racist to a white person." I see many others commenting on this page have raised the same issue, so I'm going to edit the article to fix this problem. CBH (talk) 09:07, 31 May 2022 (UTC)

@CBH I've reverted some of your edits. They are quite drastic and I feel having a discussion about it first would be more appropriate. LongStylus (talk) 18:24, 16 June 2022 (UTC)
Seriously? Read the two sections of this talk page directly above. Others have been bringing up the same problem for almost a year! CBH (talk) 19:18, 16 June 2022 (UTC)
To be fair, I don't believe all of your edits are bad and need to be reverted. Some of the edits, for example, removing the Daily Mail sources, are good. LongStylus (talk) 19:23, 16 June 2022 (UTC)
CBH is the reason this meme exists. Brain Galaxy (talk) 19:28, 16 June 2022 (UTC)
@CBH Ok, thank you for bringing those up. I think "Prejudice plus power" is a complicated topic. You're right that the article focuses too much on criticism, and also the introduction and "See also" section poisons the well before the reader gets to know the topic in depth. It's not quite as simple as say, homeopathy or Flat Earth, where a bit of snark in the introduction might be tolerated. After all, "Prejudice plus power" is legitimately used in academia to simplify discussions. But I don't think we should remove all criticisms, so I left some of them in. Now, someone in the future can always come and balance out the criticisms. Right now, I think it's kind of unbalanced and doesn't give readers the full picture. LongStylus (talk) 06:03, 18 June 2022 (UTC)
You live in an extremely-isolated bubble if you think the belief that white people can be the victims of racism is a fringe, alt-right belief. I hope for your own sake that you're being deliberately disingenuous.2601:182:C904:BE60:841B:FEBE:F9E9:2FB3 (talk) 12:10, 25 September 2022 (UTC)

I think the article is currently very problematic and to fix it would require an major rewrite but before that can happen a major recontextualizing would have to occur. Power Plus Prejudice describes systemic racism fairly well, but where it falls apart, or where some people tear it apart, is in describing personal prejudice. The article does say that a black person can have prejudice against whites but cannot be 'racist' towards whites. But what about racism within a racialized group? For example the 'Brown Paper Bag' test, or how black couples in the south are MUCH more likely to be of the same 'shade' than black couples in the north. That is a racial construct that was borne from Power Plus Prejudice, but remains enforced by whites and blacks alike. The whole 'woke' movement started as a means for blacks to form racial solidarity, to eliminate prejudice within the black community whereby blacks blame 'bad blacks' for everything, All this comes from divide and conquer techniques of Power Plus Prejudice, but is typically not part of the narrative around Power Plus Prejudice.

We have to have some way of saying that prejudice that doesn't even include whites is racialized, without denying that the genesis of all these racial problems came from Power Plus Prejudice. And we have to do all that without any wording that would make a republican wingnut nod in agreement. At present the article definitely does not live up to that goal. We may have to wait until these issues resolve academically over time, but in the mean time we could do a lot to reduce the amount of questionable material and add more content that fosters a greater understanding of the issues. More on the difference between prejudice and racism might help, with plenty of indication that prejudice is highly problematic, too, it's not just 'racism-lite'. I think that quoting the genesis of the word 'sexism', from a book from 1968, with no context, and mentioning that the word 'racism' was coined in the 1930s seems irrelevant and looks a hell of a lot like trying to make this all look like a (liberal) conspiracy that has been in the works for a long time, and that feeds right into the neo-reactionary agenda.

And I think the quote from the 'moderate libertarian' at the bottom of the article should be removed entirely, I don't think the sentence about wearing a sombrero at Halloween is a good one to end the article with. If you're doing some racist caricature on Halloween you deserve to be called out for it, and if you're not, why are you wearing a sombrero? This is one short step away from claiming that any uproar over blackface is 'absurd'. It's totally inappropriate.

This all relates to a problem I've noticed at RationalWiki lately, and that is that many articles are slowly taking a turn to the right, and I think that's because many of the people who contributed to the original articles seem to have disappeared, leaving a void in which right-wing trolls can operate at various levels of insidiousness. If this site is to reverse this trend the newer readers are going to have to start editing more than just talk pages, and I include myself in that group. FairDinkum (talk) 08:41, 5 September 2022 (UTC)

Honestly, I think it's just older white people being less receptive to modern racial theories that make them feel uncomfortable, getting more conservative as they age. If it's not a swastika-wearing Nazi saying it, it doesn't stand out as racist. --GoingRampant (talk) 16:57, 5 September 2022 (UTC)

Removed Brainstar[edit]

The article is poorly researched and ideologically slanted towards a somewhat reactionary bent. The article seems to think that the implication of "prejudice + power" is that it's okay to mistreat white people for being white; which is an obvious strawman. Also the fact the article opens with a Sarkeesian quote instead of citing something from say race studies or sociology kind of betrays a lack of familiarity with the topic when it's critically engaged with academically. It's not that this concept is not without criticism, but that criticism should e presented in a good faith interpretation of the concept. The principle of charity is solely lacking. This is an observation voiced repeatedly in the talk page, and some folks with said reactionary bent are singing this article's praises. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:43, 14 January 2023 (UTC)

Ok let's remove the brainstar--Aethieizt (talk) 23:48, 14 January 2023 (UTC)