Talk:Prejudice plus power/Archive1

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How prevalent is this definition in academia? Does anyone know? I normally have a deep respect for the opinions of academics, but in this particular case it just seems incredibly stupid and fallacious. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 09:08, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Well, the presentation is also stupid and fallacious, so it kind of balances out... I'm going to clean it up later.
Oh, and there's at least one user on this wiki who's probably going to defend the concept at length. (No, I'm not talking about me.) Let's see if we can keep the argument productive.--ZooGuard (talk) 11:04, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I ain't touching this with a ten-foot pole. What I do not need as I take breaks from writing about race and racism is arguing about race and racism, especially with the types of editors who tend to engage in these things without having read any/much of the relevant literature. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 15:21, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't really like this definition either, but this is poorly written. It also heavily implies some of the favorite tropes used by right-wing scolds -- anti-racists are the real racists/Feminists are the real sexists and complaining about "Critical Theorists". Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:57, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I've tried to do something for the intro, but the article needs more work.--ZooGuard (talk) 16:37, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

"How prevalent is this definition in academia? Does anyone know?"

I don't know, is Tumblr considered academia yet? According to advocates, "The definition used in anti-racist circles is the accepted sociological definition", and therefore you can't question it, while someone else says "It is no longer used widely in academic circles because it is simplistic". So... yeah. Hmmph (talk) 01:34, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
The day Tumblr is part of academia is the day Ann Coulter votes for a Democrat. Not saying the users are unintelligent, but it's a blog site. It's not professional and never will be. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 01:41, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
That was a joke. Hmmph (talk) 02:01, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Ah, sorry. I'm not good at detecting sarcasm over the Internet. Normally I rely on tone of voice. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 02:10, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
From my own personal experience I can tell you that it is dominant among the anti-imperialist crowd and quite common among the academics studying post-colonialism. I remember one particularly telling quote from a book by a Mr. James Toth which basically justifies Sayyid Qutb's Occidentalist worldview by declaring it to be a form of resistance against Imperialism because of and I quote "the power imbalance between the West and Egypt." Furthermore, anti-imperialists and post-Colonialists tend to use the definition to legitimize nationalism in non-western countries. For instance: Zionism (which is for all intents and purposes Jewish Nationalism) is racism not because it is a "Nationalist" ideology but because it is a "Colonialist" one. Whereas Arab Nationalism is not racism because Arabs don't have power. So while the Copts, Berbers, South Sudanese, Darfurians, and Assyrians suffer indignities in the name of Arab Nationalism and Islamic Fundamentalism (in the case of the Copts and Assyrians) these events do inspire nearly as much protest or emotion as the plight of the Palestinians because Arab nationalism is seen as a legitimate form of resistance against imperialism and the very idea that they themselves could be espousing an equally intolerant ideology is dismissed out of the inconvenience it would cause and the implications it would create for political movements in the Arab world. (talk) 16:41, 7 July 2014 (UTC) Alex


I get that rational wiki likes to take a critical approach to concepts to help highlight irrationality, but half the "consequences" section ignores that many of those cases are, in fact, people with power to kill and harm their victims and prejudice driving the action. Are we really okay with such an self-aware article? It seems to embrace the idea that popularity or population are the definition of power, until a political figure comes into the discussion, then its perspective on the situation dramatically reverses itself. I'm not really a frequently rational wiki editor, but is their a policy for dealing with schlock? (talk) 15:12, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

It's reductio ad absurdum (though it could be reworded to make this more clear), and "prejudice plus power" is explicitly about institutional power, not one-on-one physical force. Hmmph (talk) 01:35, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
No, it's about social power and is not synonymous with institutional racism. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 01:41, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Please clarify the difference between "social power" and "institutional power". Hmmph (talk) 01:59, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
One exists in societies and one in institutions. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 02:18, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
So racism is prejudice plus social power, then? Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 02:19, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
The people who are against the re-definition of racism are making a purely semantic argument. Acknowledging that institutional racism exists can be done without re-defining a word. There's plenty of negative consequences to doing so when you factor in hypothetical reasons for said re-definition, or it is at best pointless and regardless oversimplifies things.— Unsigned, by: NoBody / talk / contribs 01:34, 8 June 2014 (UTC)


That said -- do it right. Each of those items needs a cite. I removed the "sites" about the murders because they were from Wikipedia, which is against the guidelines. We need cites there that say that race was a factor in the killings, AND that people have denied that racism was a factor in the killings. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 15:25, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

I think that the "consequences" section is intended as a reductio ad absurdum (i.e. overblown alleged logical consequences, not causal consequences of applying the formulation or actual claims of its proponents).
Also, which guidelines?--ZooGuard (talk) 15:33, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
It's not clear that that's what's happening in the section -- to me it reads as though someone is making empirical claims. And these guidelines. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 15:56, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't see how these could be taken as empirical, when they clearly follow logically from the premise. If power is a prerequisite to racism, then powerless people are not racist, American neo-Nazis included. It's a simple syllogism. Snarky but logically valid.
I think a social justice advocate would probably counter that this is an oversimplification, perhaps that our society is inherently racist and that therefore American Nazis are more powerful than you'd think. Or just that the idea was never supposed to be applied to individuals but only societies. I don't know, I'm kind of going off the top of my head at this point, but I still don't think those need any citations. They're more snark than anything and I'd rather see them removed than left as they are now. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 08:10, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Done. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:04, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
To my knowledge, they see it as a societal thing. Whilst neo-nazi groups are in no way accepted, they still perceive that as a manifestation of institutional racism de-facto. People have different minimum standards.— Unsigned, by: NoBody / talk / contribs 01:33, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I specifically linked to the Wikipedia articles about the murders because of Wikipedia's NPOV and not wanting to accidentally link to white supremacist bullshit. I added a news article reference and references for where all the others came from. Better? Hmmph (talk) 01:19, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
No, it's still awful. You're grossly missing the point that this issue is about de facto power or privilege held by demographic groups, not about specific positions held by individuals. In the USA, white people are overwhelmingly the most privileged group and black people among the least - this is the kind of "power" that this adage is intended to reflect. The fact that some black individuals, like the President, are in positions of authority, or that some white individuals are in positions of poverty doesn't mean that white vs black racism is somehow "not racist" when it involves these individuals, since it clearly still draws on the tradition of whites denigrating blacks as inferior. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 01:40, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
  1. You're confusing sarcasm with ignorance.
  2. Only one of the items in the list is about a specific position held by an individual. What's your objection to the rest that justifies repeatedly blanking the whole section rather than rewording it? Hmmph (talk) 01:59, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I'll grant that white people hating Obama for his race is racism by any definition. That still leaves the issue that apparently African Americans can't be racist, which is absurd and amounts to arguing over semantics rather than actually combating genuine social ills. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 02:17, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

the majority of racism in the US is against minorities by whites[edit]

Is there any study supporting this claim? FBI statistics on hate crimes tell a different history. - (talk) 21:20, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

"Of the 5,331 known offenders, 54.6 percent were white and 23.3 percent were black." Thanks for clearing that up for us. SophieWilderModerator 21:45, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't actually clear it up because not all hate crimes are racial. If you look at the actually-relevant statistics at that site, only 41.3% of racial hate crimes in 2012 were attributed to whites acting against racial minorities. Of course, since not all racism involves documented hate crimes, it's a loose measure at best, but if that statement is to stay in the article, it should have a citation that actually supports it. (talk) 19:57, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

This article is trash.[edit]

And the citations are trashier. Prejudice plus power isn't used by "some" academic types and "some" social justice people RW seems to hate according to this article-- I mean enthusiasts. It's basic shit you can learn in even the least prestigious USA community college in Social Inequality in the United States or even Sociology 1 fucking 01. The idea that racism is saying mean things about other people based on race because that's the "common definition" is as wrong as saying that an acid is a substance that is bright green and dissolves metal like on saturday morning cartoons because that's how many children who have never taken a chemistry course know what it is. We trust researchers of nearly every other topic to be more authorities on that topic than the dictionary and the layman; why are hundreds of sociologists somehow inferior to common people's desire to have a definition that means people with privilege can call people with less racial privilege racist?

rather, prejudice plus power is NOT a band-aid or excuse or a cover-up so black people can't be racist (what kind of america-centric bullshit is this, the entire black diaspora isn't treated the same everywhere, fuck off). Black people and other racial minorities can be racist to those who have less racial privilege than them, or a different axis of racial privilege. People of color can be racist against their own demographics due to internalized racism inflicted upon them by others and society, and merely repeated by themselves. Racism in different countries works differently than it does in the USA, almost all over the world. Prejudice plus power is a way to summarize the common thread of ALL of these racist relationships: a racial group with more political or social favor is able to marginalize a group with less, and cause that group with less to internalize their own oppression.

Whoever wrote this article should be fucking ashamed of themselves. This bullshit is humiliating to rationalwiki with assertions that this is some kind of nonwhite plot to make white people feel bad and never be called racist (?!), horrid statements such as "Whilst it is true that acts like slavery and segregation require one group to be privileged, to be consistent one must say it is worse to kill a black person for being black than to kill a white person for being white, or even more absurdly, to claim calling a black person the n-word is worse than killing a white person for being white. All of these acts can be committed without privilege." (one of these is a systematic occurrence, black people are murdered every day in the USA with race as part of their axis of WHY that was, white people hardly ever are! of COURSE one is worse, because only one is an actual problem in the USA! The other is a by-comparison freak occurrence!) as well as "This is obviously not the case to a morally sane person" (when does RW police morality or sanity? Are is this article calling people who have gone to fucking university and learned what the actual power dynamic about racism is 'irrational?!' Drink!). This is humiliating and shameful, the article seems more to be the deranged babblings of somebody upset that they were called a cracker and doesn't understand they were literally being called the demographic that cracked the slave-owning whip over blacks, a position of stolen power. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRcritical thinking is the key to success! 12:02, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

I wrote the "offending" text in question. I will concede I could have written parts of it better and more neutrally, but I will elaborate on my points. This is fundamentally a semantic argument. Comparing using the term racism without the "+power" to believing in cartoon acid is a false equivocation.
Firstly, when it comes to deciphering what the "correct" definition of a word is, common usage is a completely valid metric, in fact I would argue it trumps most other usages. The dictionary definition generally follows common usage, and historically that has been the go-to way of defining a word. That is it. A definition is not incorrect in the same way, say, creationism is false, for instance. I mean, if you want to apply a huge occam's razor, you could say no definition is objectively correct over any other, because semantics is not really based on objective fact. Saying prejudice plus power is the only correct definition of racism is an argument from authority. I don't care if every single intellectual in existence believes that is the correct definition. If the definition of a word is totally up to ivory tower types that may set a negative precedent.
The main point though is there is really no justification to use a definition of a word few people use at least in common parlance. The point of a word is to communicate a concept. If you use a definition separate from the common one in a conversation with common people, the definition just becomes awkward and does not help with conveying the idea, and ironically tends to end up derailing the discussion into semantics debates or accusations of anti-white bias (which is funny to me because Social Justice activists complain about derailment all the time). Saying someone does not understand what "racism" is because they use the common definition (something I hear a lot) is about as nonsensical as saying that someone who speaks German and uses the term "gift" to mean "poison" doesn't understand what a "gift" is. It sounds like an extreme analogy but it is a valid one. What fundamentally matters is what people mean, not what they literally say. If you know what someone means, plus you know it is a common definition, what is the point of derailing it into a semantics debate or worse? A person who uses the term "racism" to simply mean prejudice based on race is not implicitly denying the existence of institutional racism. They may not know of its existence, but that is a different subject. In practice, the usage of the prejudice+power definition outside of academic circles is of no pragmatic benefit to anyone, including Social Justice activists. I would wager that the vast majority of people who would agree with the p+p definition would not "need" it redefined in the first place. Every single time I see someone contest the p+p definition of racism to a social justice person, they make it into more than a semantics debate when it is fundamentally a semantics debate - and note, the equivalent to the "burden of proof" is on the person using the minority definition.
To elaborate on some specific points you contest, the general idea I get from people who use racism to mean "prejudice+power" is that they are more trying to take advantage of the negative emotional stigma "racist" and "racism" tend to carry, ergo they wish to use it only for things they consider "worse" than other forms of prejudice. My point of contention is merely having power does not inherently make the net effect of any prejudiced action one may take worse than one committed by someone with less "power". If that is the reason you choose to use the p+p definition, be aware that you are implicitly implying killing a white person for being white is less terrible than killing a black person for being black, or even calling them the n-word. Emotional stigma is not precise or technical, never mind subjective to different people. Remember, you predicated the definition on the power, not the action. For the sake of this argument let us assume everything you said about white on black hate murders being higher than visa versa are true. I know the common rebuttal to what I said is "well it happens more so it IS worse" or something or other, something you more or less said and I have heard many times before. Well, I think this is flawed logic and we are talking about different things here. One black person being murdered in a hate crime is not worse than one white person being murdered in a hate crime because more black people are murdered in hate crimes, because we are talking about that one black person being murdered versus this one white person being murdered, not all anti-black hate murders versus all anti-white hate murders. People who use the p+p definition will still use it to compare individual events.
This way of thinking is to me the equivalent of saying that if you have two faucets spewing water, and Faucet A is spewing out way more water than Faucet B, that this somehow means a single molecule of water from Faucet A is "more" than a single molecule from Faucet B. A molecule is a molecule, a death is a death. We are not talking about it all, we are talking about single incidences. Factoring in emotional stigma is by nature just going to give very imprecise implications. I may be able to concede that the n-word is generally more offensive than cracker, but even that is not because of the "power" white people possess, it is because of the history of the word. I would argue if in the future blacks gained power over whites, that would not make cracker more offensive than the n-word - based on the same logic most Social Justice activists would use to argue the n-word is worse. But even then, how offensive a word is is subjective from person to person. A black person may not give a crap about the n-word, and a white person may be offended by cracker. If you eliminate how the people "on the ground" feel and replace it with how you think they should feel, well, then you are just pointlessly legislating morality.
To summarize, the "more correct" definition of a word has generally always been the common usage, there is no pragmatic reason to use the prejudice+power definition of racism because words are primarily meant to communicate concepts and insisting on different definitions is derailment at best and a way of shielding yourself from criticism at worst, and it has moral implications that are just not good. I would also like to add that it is quite possibly one of the most tactically counter-productive ways of combating fringe white nationalist and separatist groups. To them, you are "confirming" what they fear, and probably doing nothing to help inter-racial conflict between real people, just creating spite and divide. I am not a Marxist, but the Marxist some ways below me makes a good point. --NoBody 13 July 2014
By definition, wiki articles are edited by multiple people. Different parts of the text of an article at any current moment can be attributed to different people who may have had different ideas what the article should cover and how their contributions contributed to that purpose. In a way, wiki articles resemble a wall splattered in graffiti - only the topmost layer of paint at any given point is visible.
In this case, the brunt of your complaints seem to be against a pair of paragraphs added by NoBody in May 2014: [1] I've taken them out, for a number of reasons. --ZooGuard (talk) 13:06, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure you fully understand the implication of this definition. I wrote a paragraph on this talk page on how post-colonial theorists tend to use this definition to argue that Islamism is a legitimate form of resistance against western imperialism (my IP address is, I occasionally forget to log in when posting). In response to accusations that this definition promotes moral relativism you make the following assertion: (one of these is a systematic occurrence, black people are murdered every day in the USA with race as part of their axis of WHY that was, white people hardly ever are! of COURSE one is worse, because only one is an actual problem in the USA! The other is a by-comparison freak occurrence!) not only do you not provide any evidence let alone statistical evidence proving your claim but you have completely missed the point. Even if the assumptions you make are true (in all likelihood they are) you have merely proved that institutional racism is widespread in the United States. As for your horror in how such beliefs appear on rationalwiki I should remind you that a fair number of rationalwiki users have a (traditional) marxist worldview (including myself to an extant). From that perspective the definition of racism being prejudice plus power is semantic nonsense designed by the bourgeois to distract the population from their disparate economic conditions. Hence while it would make more sense to conduct affirmative action programs on the basis of economics rather than race, universities prefer to use race so as to keep the class divide intact. From a purely marxist perspective all of identity politics itself is divisive nonsense and such theories regarding power are flawed because power is merely a means by which wealth is acquired and kept. Power rests with those who have more money what race they happen to be is wholly irrelevant. Alsto003 (talk) 17:24, 7 July 2014 (UTC) Alex
After reading the last couple of line of your rant I think it is only necessary to apply your logic to another situation regarding an oppressed minority. The director and producer of "The Innocence of Muslims" was from Egypt and is a Coptic Christian. Following your logic the Muslims offended by the film are just upset that they were called ignorant fanatics who follow the teachings of a deranged madman (according to the film). They don't understand that they were literally being called: the followers of a religion which gave Coptic Christians second class status in their own country for nearly fourteen hundred years, a position of stolen power. What say you about Coptic Christians who blaspheme against Islam so far as to mock the entire premise of that religion? Is it islamophobia or simply a expression of the frustration held by a long oppressed minority? Alsto003 (talk) 19:23, 8 July 2014 (UTC) Alex

Looking at this article, it seems pretty biased, and not in a good way.[edit]

To the writer of this article, I intend no offense but it seems like a rant. This line sets of my "Anti-sj" radar in particular (aside from the something-something white tower arglebargle social justice. -Ad homienum argument much?)".

"While the usual definition of "racism" is something like "prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race",[4][5] some academics reject this definition and require an additional condition of " someone in a position of power over them". Obviously, the majority of sexism is still against women by men, and the majority of racism in the US is against minorities by whites,[6] but this definition makes the converse categorically impossible, rather than just less frequent."

How is it impossible by the P+P theory of privilege that internalized isms would be theoretically impossible? I thought this wiki had better editing and sourcing standards (The daily mail, really?). It also kinda sounds like a "But POC CAN be racist against white people!11!" On another note, dictionary definitions are usually over fifteen years old and no longer culturally or academically relevant. I also find an appeal from authority in the article, the statement that paraphrased, is essentially "most academics don't support this theory therefore it is moonbattery by association," (is there any proof from a reliable source? Who are the academics?). Even if this is proven to be true, that the majority of academics do not support this theory, how does the lack of institutional support in itself disprove the theory? I'm also suspect of the refutation of the P+P theory by Prof. Dave Pilgrim. He is one academic and is not representative of all academics, so how does he show the consensus of opinion on this theory? A significant number of people more concise and generally smarter than me pointed out the *many* floors of this article. It seems like privilege denial, not a work of academic writing.

Again I feel pretty passionately about this and I don't mean to cause offense. This just doesn't seem to be up to a particularly good standard and comes off very biased. (But REALLY, linking the daily mail as a source... For anything that is a crap idea.) This needs a rewrite PRONTO. Please tell me how this theory of oppression is fallacious because I'm not seeing any particular fallacy. I TL;DR at walls of text, sorry. Notnicenonny (talk) 10:34, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, it's a shitty article. If you can improve it, please go ahead. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:43, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
First I would encourage you to read the talk page as this is not the first time this argument we're having has occurred here. Alsto003 (talk) 05:12, 21 September 2014 (UTC) Alex
To answer your first question. Since it is argued that minorities in the USA don't have power the prejudice plus power definition is used to argue that members of minorities cannot be racist. Here's an example, <>, of some one who argues that black people can't be racist, which in the words of Wehpudicabok "is absurd and amounts to arguing over semantics rather than combating genuine social ills."
I have various different concerns about this definition. I am also aware that it is common in academia. The p+p definition is used to say that oppressed groups can't be racist. What is somewhat ambiguous is the exact relationship between the unprivileged and the oppressed. From the perspective of someone generally considered privileged in practice the unprivileged are categorized as being oppressed without exception. Because minority racial groups in this country are viewed as being broadly unprivileged and oppressed, and because of the fact that "Racist" is a loaded word, saying that oppressed groups cannot be racist is viewed by people like NoBody and most of the American public as in effect protecting bigoted people who are members of a minority groups from the accusation of racism since there hatred (even if it is distinctly racial) is merely described as prejudice, which in practice is considered less horrible than racism. Indeed there is a tenancy to categorize all non-white, non-western people as being unprivileged and therefore oppressed. For instance according to this common check you privilege quiz on tumblr <> , I (a western white middle class Jewish kid) am more privileged than Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia <>. This underlies the tenancy of the people who use this definition to underplay to the point of completely ignoring the effect that economic class has on someone’s privilege. Now one can argue that the quiz was merely pointing out that I am more privileged than the one of the richest men in the world, but not as powerful as him. There are two problems with that claim, firstly it ignores the fact that privilege and power are frequently conflated to mean the same thing, and secondly asserting that I am more privileged than he is denies the simple fact that how much money your family has or you have is by far the most important part in determining how privileged you are, period. In any case the fact of the matter remains that this definition was thought up by people at a time when racism already had an accepted definition. Before that prejudice plus power was simply referred to as institutional racism. Aside from ambiguities with regards to the relationship between power and privilege I find this definition hard to accept for the reason NoBody laid out and also because of some thoughts I had after reading the last part KnightofTL:DR's comment "the article seems more to be the deranged babblings of somebody upset that they were called a cracker and doesn't understand they were literally being called the demographic that cracked the slave-owning whip over blacks, a position of stolen power." To which I wrote back responding that according to this logic the Muslims offended by the film The Innocence of Muslims are just upset that they were called ignorant fanatics who follow the teachings of a deranged madman (according to the film). They don't understand that they were literally being called: the followers of a religion which gave Coptic Christians second class status in their own country for nearly fourteen hundred years, a position of stolen power. Basically my view of this definition is similar to Professor Pilgrim's, who says “Certainly, not all racism is hate-driven, but to ignore the connection between racial hate and racism is to reduce the concept of racism to a useless theoretical abstraction.” Alsto003 (talk) 04:44, 21 September 2014 (UTC) Alex
I'd like to state my stance on Professor Pilgrim's opinion. Presumably he is factoring in the connotations, and his own interpretation is that you do the connotations of the term "racism" a disservice by disassociating it from hatred. Apparently he means, for instance, using its powerful connotations for some minor embarrassing incident regarding a stereotype that wasn't intended maliciously is devaluing it compared to actual prejudiced incidents that lead to huge amounts of harm done. This is understandable, but somewhat naive. It is naive because I would assume it would work under the premise that some of the most famous institutions in history that are generally considered racist were predicated on malice. Apparently apartheid as conjured up by Hendrik Verwoerd was intended to be a "progressive, anti-colonialist" ideology with the intent to have blacks govern themselves. Slavery also was done more out of economic convenience than hatred. Whites didn't enslave blacks out of hatred, but because it was convenient and the generally assumed view at the time was that they were inferior and that it was the natural order. It was fundamentally that banal. To include malice in the definition of racism would imply that apartheid and slavery were not fundamentally racist at least on a policy level. -Nobody 1 October 2014

Whether or not you accept this definition of racism, it is one that is backed up with a certain amount of social theory about power dynamics within society and how they perpetuate division, othering, oppression & prejudice. The article doesn't engage with this theoretical framework at all; it just engages is dictionary-thumping, focuses all attention on forms of prejudice which would not be counted as racist under this definition (an argument from adverse consequences), and makes the totally unfounded suggestion that this definition was cooked up specifically in order to exonerate these forms of prejudice. If this is what passes for analyzing and refuting, standards are low. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:29, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

In the end, the debate is over which stipulative definition should be in wide use.
  • Everyone knows, I suppose, that any given person can have prejudices regarding other races. Such prejudices, especially in their more extreme form, are what were originally known as "racism".
  • In social theory, evidently (don't know the subject myself), such prejudices are of secondary importance. What is essential is whether the prejudices come with a power difference. Thus, they use "racism" only to refer to this situation.
Now, of course, there is no real "refuting" of a stipulative definition, but we can ask whether one stipulative definition is more useful than another. The argument here is that the former definition is better because we do, indeed, need a term to describe racial prejudice in all its forms, and because, historically and etymologically, the word "racism" serves that purpose.
I'm not too sure what the alternative argument is. As you can see, I have a bias towards the more inclusive definition of "racism". I can't help but think that redefining the term to exclude the possibility of racist underprivileged classes is simply confusing at best, and grossly misleading (almost intentionally so) at worst. Phiwum (talk) 14:28, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

The crux of the issue is semantics and why it was decided to redefine racism rather than just use "institutional racism" (apparently institutional racism is not equivalent to "prejudice+power" according to some people) or "systematic racism", which is the term I would favor. The issue is not whether "prejudice+power" is a valid distinction to make, I am inclined to agree it is. It would just seem logical to me that if I was an academic and I reached the conclusion to need to differentiate between generic racism and this "prejudice+power" type of racism, I would default to amending the term racism with something like "systematic racism" because it shows it is a type of racism that is, well, systematic, or something like "powerful racism". This is a logical evolution of language. For linguistic reasons "racism/racist" are perfectly apt for the colloquial definition over any other. We don't say a communist is only a communist when they're in a country that is controlled by communists. Any linguistic argument for racism=prejudice+power is at best arbitrary. The real variable here that leads to this debate is simply this: "racism" has powerful emotional connotations that some people decades ago apparently felt overrode linguistics and made it apt to redefine at the expense of everything else to push certain agendas.

My point is it seems to me the choice of redefining racism is primarily for emotional reasons. "Prejudice" does not substitute for "prejudice based on race", that is the big canary in the coal mine for me. They essentially deleted a word, an oversight or at worst something they deemed tolerable for the sake of being able to use the emotional stigma of the word racism to deliver what is essentially a political message. Irrelevant to the reason why it is currently adopted in academia, if it was initially done for that reason, especially with all the other issues I just mentioned, it does not have much credibility in intent, making it valid to criticize it. The way it is used on tumblr as a way of essentially derailing arguments into big long semantics debates confirms every single pre-concieved notion we all had about that definition. It really isn't objective in its reason for existing is my real point, and besides, let's assume it was logical and done for purely objective reasons: This wouldn't make the colloquial definition of racism wrong any more than the military defining rockets as unguided missiles makes the colloquial definition of rocket wrong, or psychiatrists defining "Depression" as a specific disorder makes the colloquial definition of "depression/depressed" wrong. That's not how words work. Words don't instantly become wrong due to arguments from authority, in no other case does anyone argue that an academic definition trumps and renders absolutely incorrect another definition. The only time it is generally agreed that academics at least get "first dibs", for lack of a better term, on a word is if they were the first to use the term, to invent it essentially. With racism this is obviously not the case. In general when people get super upset with semantics, regardless of reason, this leads to literalism and derailment. People care more about what you said than what you mean. The whole point of language is what you mean.

When you agree with the prejudice+power definition of racism, irrelevant to how many academics use it, and irrelevant to your intent, you're basically using a definition that exists for no real objective reason other than to use the emotional connotations of "racism" and "racist" in opposition to the comparatively soft connotations of the word prejudice, with the intent to communicate that anything "racist" is ipso facto worse than anything "prejudice". The real moral problem is it is not predicated on the severity of the action. When you say something is racist, and we presume the connotation is "working", the emotional response isn't "this is a horrible occurrence based on power and oppression that is systematic". No, it just subconsciously tells you "REALLY BAD THING" with brute force. If successful, it basically tells people that ANY racist act, no MATTER the severity, if done by a person in power, is worse than ANY racist act done by a minority. The fact one may be systematic or not is not transmitted in the connotation. At all. There is a limit to the amount of information that the emotional connotations of a word can transmit. It also, in my opinion, subconsciously removes agency and responsibility from minority groups committing any act. There is this presumption in SJW circles that any racist act committed by a minority group is to do with oppression on their end. They always matter-of-factly say something like "oh, I can understand why the minority did that!" and they'll go on about institutional racism. The fact is as long as we live in a society without racial laws, this is an ASSUMPTION. Obviously, GENERALLY more correct than visa-versa due to whites having power, but only because it is nearly impossible for certain severe things to happen to whites that are of course worse than petty name calling, but not ANYTHING that is worse than petty name calling. That is the reason why it is morally inconsistent. Period.

The simple unfortunate fact is there is just no defensible reason any professional academic should support manipulating language for emotional reasons at the expense of linguistic transparency, even if it didn't have the moral issues I stated in my previous paragraph. It's not much different from when a white nationalist goes on about "white genocide" when he talks about the ethnic displacement of Europeans by immigrants in, say, London. We know that is not what genocide means, but he is loosely (in this case unconsciously) redefining a word and utilizing the connotations and emotional stigma of it to deliver what is essentially a political message. The irony is it is of less negative consequence that some random extremists subconsciously redefine a word for emotional reasons than a presumably intelligent academic doing so consciously and working up the pretense of professionalism. This is inexcusable and, to be frank, not rational. At all, and that is the simple fact of it. -Nobody 1 October 2014

OK so rather than bothering to look into why this concept exists or trying to understand the theory behind it, you're just going to keep repeating your own unfounded simplistic assumptions about it? Good for you jack, but that ain't how it is. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:30, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Can you give a brief synopsis, then, of why the original use of the word "racism" should be avoided in favor of a redefined term? How do the social theorists (or whoever) respond when one points out that there is still a need to discuss racial prejudice generally and that the term "racism" had heretofore been the term for precisely that? What disadvantage is there to adopting a new term for the "prejudice + power" concept?
From the unenlightened outside, the linguistic move does seem designed to downplay the importance of certain forms of racial prejudice, by declaring by fiat that they don't count as "real" racism.
Perhaps the social theorists are more interested in "prejudice + power" and so, in technical writings, have adopted the term "racism" to mean precisely that, but, of course, the fact that an academic discipline finds this definition appropriate would not entail that the rest of us are "wrong" to use the term in its colloquial sense in non-technical discussions, near as I can figger.
Thanks much. Phiwum (talk) 19:30, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Out of difference for to institution of sociology I acknowledge that this is a commonly accepted definition and thus should pointed out as being such. However the fact remains that this word "racism" already had an accepted definition when it was redefined, this was an example of extremely poor judgement on the part of sociologists because they sought to redefine a loaded word with an already accepted meaning. Hence it is not surprising that many theories should arise from why they decided to do this. As far as I can tell all of these theories are mere speculation but such speculation is in my mind should not immediately be dismissed as unfounded due to facts I've already laid out. I.E. That there already was an accepted definition of the word racism prior to this one, and that this new definition first became widespread in the academia in the late 70s when the term "racism" was already a loaded word. Do not be fooled into thinking that ideas of a conspiracy is limited to the right either. This Marxist <> who I alluded to in an earlier debate seems to think that this definition was a bourgeoisie conspiracy to divide the proletariat. Simply put, while I tentatively accept the commonly accepted definition used in sociology out of respect for academia, the criticism section must stay (and it must be honest and sincere, though who writes it is not as much of a concern of mine). Alsto003 (talk) 20:31, 1 October 2014 (UTC) Alex
Your basic assumptions that there was ever a single "accepted definition" of the concept, that this included prejudices by marginalised peoples against their oppressors, and your insistence that any other understanding of the concept must be viewed suspiciously as a manipulative "redefinition" are all pretty questionable. Do you have any examples of the things you like to describe as racism - such as black antipathy toward white people - being referred to as such during the early or mid twentieth century?
The term racism was first used more or less synonymously with racialism, referring to theories of racial hierarchies & supremacy - ideas that were heavily connected with imperialism, conquering & subordinating foreign peoples (i.e. prejudice+power). The concept of racism was extended to more casual and institutional racial prejudice within societies around the mid twentieth century, but this usage generally still reflected prejudice by a dominant people against a minority. As far as I'm aware, referring to the reverse situation (prejudice by a minority against the dominant ethnicity) as racism started somewhat later, probably popularised by segregationists & reactionaries as a backlash against the civil rights movement. This would be about the same time that the "prejudice plus power" definition started to be used, so the one is a redefinition as much as the other. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:15, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
You might be right. I'd like to know how the term was defined and used in earlier decades. I found a partial article here, but I don't have the rights to read it all.
Modern dictionaries do not use the "prejudice + power" definition. Do you suppose that dictionaries of the 1950s were closer in spirit to the "prejudice + power" definition than modern dictionaries are? (I recognize that dictionaries simply describe how a word is used, but the heart of our current question is whether or not "racism" was originally applicable regardless of power differences, so a dictionary is an appropriate resource here.) Phiwum (talk) 02:55, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
You are indeed correct on how the term racism originated, however it is wrong to say that the concept of racism perpetrated on the majority by the minority was the popularized by "segregationists and reactionaries" indeed a quote from the well known (understatement) Malcom X shows that the word "racism" was commonly used to describe racism perpetrated on the majority by the minority, he wrote in his autobiography: "My trip to Mecca has opened my eyes. I no longer subscribe to racism..." (he goes on to further this point saying that now he criticizes white people for their actions rather than their skin color). What this quote illustrates is that the word itself was commonly used to describe racial animosity regardless of who was perpetrating it. Alsto003 (talk) 20:42, 2 October 2014 (UTC) Alex
I am in the middle of an interesting article. For what it's worth, the author of this article (who discusses the challenges of discussing the term "racism" in the classroom) explicitly states that the original definition of racism lacked the requirement of power, which was added later. He agrees with those of us who see "Prejudice + Power" as a redefinition of an existing term.
Mind you, that doesn't mean the redefinition is inferior to the original, which is a distinct point. I merely bring this up because Weaseloid challenged whether or not there really was a power-agnostic definition of racism prior to the P+P formulation.
In my opinion, the existence of a widespread prior usage of the term places greater onus on those who insist that the "correct" usage is the narrower definition. Phiwum (talk) 23:00, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Weaseloid: As far as I'm aware, referring to the reverse situation (prejudice by a minority against the dominant ethnicity) as racism started somewhat later, probably popularised by segregationists & reactionaries as a backlash against the civil rights movement. This would be about the same time that the "prejudice plus power" definition started to be used, so the one is a redefinition as much as the other. What time did you have in mind? When I read this, I was thinking about the sixties or early seventies, but the article mentioned above seems to trace P+P to the early nineties.
Surely, you're not suggesting that notions of reverse racism were first discussed in the 1990s, are you? Wikipedia mentions a use of the term as far back as 1966, and even if we ignore the term "reverse racism", I would be shocked if Nation of Islam wasn't referred to as a racist organization around (roughly) the same time. Phiwum (talk) 23:07, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
No, I didn't say anything about the 90s, but I doubt you'll find many examples of black v white prejudice & similar hostilities being described as racism much earlier than about the 60s or 70s. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:26, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Supposing you're right, that's twenty-five years before the "Prejudice + Power" redefinition, if I understand that article correctly. About this, the author (Hoyt) writes, "Wellman (1993) proposed a revision of the definition that would allow it to remain 'useful and analytically powerful'." Now, it's not too clear from the quoted material whether Wellman viewed it as a revision, rather than a clarification, but regardless that puts the date of the P+P movement around the early 90s, not the 60s or 70s.
I have finished reading the article, and the author clearly is opposed to using the term "racism" (which is, after all, an "ism" word and hence should be about a system of beliefs or ideas, rather than a kind of oppression -- parroting Hoyt's argument here) to mean anything different than the traditional dictionary definition. I thought his presentation was informative, and his argument good, but I was already leaning in that direction. I haven't found a similarly accessible and short article expressing the opposite view. Phiwum (talk) 02:06, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
This article dates the "prejudice plus power" to the 1970s. As I say, I think applying "racism" to black prejudice against white people probably starts at around the same time. I'm not really interested in which dates exactly first as I don't think it would prove anything. They're two alternative interpretations of the existing concept of racism. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:13, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
I think that's rather misleading. The first "alternative" is the dictionary definition, which was so chosen because it was the meaning consistent with usage of the term. I would be surprised if the 1970 book didn't frame "P+P" as a redefinition, though of this I'm not certain.
Thanks for pointing me to that reference. I guess I'm not sure what to make of the discrepancy with the article I read. Phiwum (talk) 13:23, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Which dictionary definition are you appealing to & when does it date from? WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:30, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
A fair question. I don't have access to a dictionary that predates the 1970s, so I am presuming a bit here. I presume that the current definition is close to the definition found prior to the 1960s. A little evidence would be better. (Of course, you haven't given any clear evidence that the prior definition really presumed an imbalance of power and that his has changed since.)
Here are two of my criticisms of the redefinition: (1) As Hoyt says, the redefinition casts racism as a form of oppression, but linguistically, it is a body of beliefs or ideas. (2) The redefinition makes it difficult to see how the term "racist" applies to individuals. The notion of power is explicitly on the scale of society, not the individual (so even black Presidents can't be racist), but does that mean that every member of the privileged race, no matter how individually unprivileged can be racist? "Racist" as a term applies to individuals, but the P+P definition of "racism" is on a much broader scale. There is an uneasy difference between the two.
But, primarily, I oppose the redefinition because it changes a useful, existing term to something quite different without what I consider a compelling need to do so. The P+P situation is certainly one we ought to focus our attention on, but doing so does not require repurposing the notion of "racism". Phiwum (talk) 14:13, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

On Reddit[edit]

A discussion of this article in /r/TiADiscussion (where TiA = "Tumblr in Action"). --ZooGuard (talk) 17:19, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

And again, this time on /r/KotakuInAction - "Don't let people get away with using prejudice + power definitions. Even Rational wiki doesn't even let them do that." It looks like this article is quite popular in some circles.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:22, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

I guess that figures, but it's one of our weakest & most anti-intellectual entries. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:37, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
It would appear that the article has been edited a couple of times recently to be more critical. I would raise no objection to rewording the most of article to be more in favor of the definition, my only insistence is that there be an honest "Criticism" section and there is one. Alsto003 (talk) 19:39, 8 April 2015 (UTC) Alex
But it only focuses on one guy's opinion. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:52, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Pardon me for my absence, I've been somewhat busy these last couple of weeks. But continuing on with our discussion. You are correct in saying that having one academic critique of this definition is rather silly, therefore it may make sense to add the opinion of several more academics and their criticism to the "Criticism" section. Such critiques do exist, I found this paper <> which goes over the various academic viewpoints of this definition and mentions the various counterpoints against it. Indeed I cited another critique of it by a Marxist in an earlier conversation on this talk page. In order to check the passions of the various reactionaries across the interwebz reading this article it may be necessary to water down the criticism section, emphasizing it as a minority viewpoint. Nevertheless the usage of this article by the various reactionaries on Reddit is not a valid argument against critiquing the definition. Alsto003 (talk) 17:25, 22 April 2015 (UTC) Alex

Should there not be a note that the definition is abusing mathematics?[edit]

The definition of Racism = Prejudice + Power implies:
1. Prejudice, Power and Racism are all measured in the same unit
2. Racism = Power, when Prejudice = 0
3. Racism = Prejudice, when Power = 0
... and some other even more nonsensical things like Power = Racism - Prejudice

should there not atleast be a mention of this abuse of mathematics in the article? - — Unsigned, by: bonbon / talk / contribs 18:22, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

As amusing as I find your ability to perform basic algebra, I'm thoroughly unamused by your understanding of everyday English. WalkerWalkerWalker 01:08, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Anita Sarkeesian quote[edit]

So, umm, how would I comment that Anita's quote at the top of the page blatantly ignores that men can be sexist against men, such as with men in "unmanly" professions like nursing? CorruptUser (talk) 23:37, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

I think you just did. And I think you make a valid point, though there are a number of more blatant examples that spring to mind. Personally though, I really don't like this I'm-gonna-arbitrarily-delegitimize-these-complaints-of-prejudice redefinition of terms to begin with. (talk) 23:46, 2 September 42015 AQD (UTC)
Or women against men. Or women against women. Or $FOO against $BAR. Honestly, there are assholes in every crowd.--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 23:49, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
Anita is crucially helping everyone to differentiate who is the victim and who is the perpetrator before anyone even opens their filthy overprivilieged liar mouths and twists everything around where the world isn't a black-and-white binary equation. Thanks, Anita! Keep fighting the good fight. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:53, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
While I'm not keen on the prejudice + power re-definition of terms, there's certainly nothing about Anita's quote that is any more controversial than the plain application of this definition. If power is required to be racist, surely it's required to be sexist, too. Hence, your complaint has little to do with Sarkeesian or the quote and more to do with the very topic of the article. Phiwum (talk) 13:00, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Prejudice plus power = Mainstream academia?[edit]

Is that weird-ass maths-abuse really a position of mainstream academia??--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 13:41, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

It's not. It's a term that occurs within academia, but it's nowhere near mainstream or accepted. It's not being taught out in schools for the children to apply on their peers so that they may find who is inherently at fault and not. There's no shortage of writers in academia using it, and there's no shortage of writers in academia rejecting it. It's controversial to say the least. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:50, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
I can't get much more information from a casual google scholar search. I'd understood that it was widely used. Controversy itself is not a perfect indicator that the idea is on shaky ground, even within academia (for example, mainstream forensic pathology still supports bite mark analysis, despite compelling evidence that it's laughably unreliable). What I get form this article is that it has a sensible use in certain academic contexts. Also - the casual definition would give institutional racism a pass, so clearly there is another definition in use somewhere along the line.Queexchthonic murmurings 13:56, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
Actually, as someone who is studying this topic at a university level (albeit I'm no professor in it lol), this exact equation is part of the splitting up of the feminist movement. The 2nd wavers and the 3rd wavers are on completely different wavelengths when it comes to the validity of this equation, never mind when you mix in the postmodernists like Sarkeesian, who openly claim that atoms aren't what make up the universe (hello postmodernism... *sigh*). Any movement has a fringe, and this is the fringe of that movement, in my view. This isn't constructive anything. This is a ridiculous attempt at applying intersectionality by minimizing all variables, thus rendering the world nicely simple. The purpose of this equation is to assign blame per principle, and is meant to be a counterposition to recognizing any individual circumstances. I don't approve of that. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:02, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
I don't buy your characterisation. I don't see how it minimises variables at all, nor denies any individual circumstances. It seems as though it's largely a technical argument used to examine prejudice from a slightly different angle, and for precision in academic discussions. In any case, para 3 of the introduction was an unreadable mess. I've tried to tidy it up, but I imagine I've slipped some new errors in along the way. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:15, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
Your addition looked good, I added to it as well. Also, the statement "sexism against men doesn't exist" is discriminatory, disqualifying, about as broadly combed and general as it comes (while also being eerily specific), and in my view it is an indefensible statement for anyone who wants a shadow of a hope to be able to claim egalitarian views. Like most hate speech, it tries to sell itself simply on pragmatism and simplicity. Well, the world isn't that simple. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:27, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
I don't really agree with the thrust of that addition - p+p does not, perforce, imply a shift away from individual responsibilities. If it implies a shift in responsibility at all, it's for society to give priority to tackling manifestations of prejudice with the most deleterious consequences. I don't think "sexism against men doesn't exist" is at all discriminatory as long as it's made plain that you're working with the p+p definition, and generalising for pithiness. Calling it hate speech is unsupportable hyperbole. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:42, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
Equality is the polar opposite of saying that X only applies to members of Y. Per definition. She's literally saying "People with X between their legs can't Y". I hold that to be absolute garbage. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:44, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
And for the record, trying to defend that simpleton disqualifier by claiming that the point is just to focus the most deleterious manifestations of prejudice, by going after the extremely black-and-white grouping that clearly "does it all" (in this case, "men") isn't far off from neo-nazis who claim that they just want to focus the most deleterious manifestations of crime, by going after the extremely black-and-white grouping that clearly "does it all" (in this case, "negroes"). Yeah, it's not you who are making an ass out of yourself for sorting people left and right with glee thinking you've found the path to social justice. It's "that group" that you just drew up with a crayon that's the people who do the bad stuff anyways, it's their fault! You're just "calling it like it is" and have the balls to go after the real threat, no? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:54, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
What the hell are you blathering about? Your entire X and Y argument collapses if you let Y be 'take advantage of the social advantages generally afforded to people with X between their legs'. This is a discussion about definition, and yet you're trying to argue against definition B by saying that, if you use definition A, it's obviously wrong. Wat.
There's nothing anti-equality about recognising that some examples of inequality are more harmful than others. It doesn't even imply an invocation of the fallacy of relative deprivation. The correct attitude is to balance severity and responsiveness to intervention when drawing up policy. If there's an easy fix for a small problem, it's still a worthwhile. We know, for fact, that the local minority group suffers greater harm from prejudicial actions and attitudes than the local majority does from similar prejudices, because simple arithmetic implies a greater frequency of unpleasant encounters for the minority and the accumulation of experiences creates an atmosphere of exclusion. Affecting colourblindness with respect to race issues is just as discriminatory as affecting colourblindness is in any other area. It sounds like you're tacking dangerously close to the attitude of faux-egalitarians who think that pretending that imbalances don't exist somehow makes them disappear. Perhaps I'm not making myself clear - the moral failings involved in prejudice are equal, and the moral culpability of those with prejudices is equal, whatever side of the divide you're on, but the consequences of that prejudice differ greatly. If you accept that Bad Thing A has a greater impact on women (as a group) than on men (as a group), complaining when more effort is put into stopping Bad Thing A for women is classic whataboutthemenz tomfoolery. Applying the tools of epidemiology to a social problem does not equate to singling out particular groups for the five minutes hate. Queexchthonic murmurings 11:22, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm going to jump in here and say that all of my sociology textbooks use Power + Prejudice as the definition, so it's hardly a fringe position, but one accepted by extremely influential experts in the field, which gives it a certain weight that random assholes on the Internet just don't have. If I have to decide between "people on the Internet" and "experts in the field", I'm going to go with the experts, and thus, agree that power + prejudice is the proper definition. I'd go as far as to say that this entire article should be rewritten, because the denialism of science is just pouring out of it. --PosthumanHeresy (talk) 23:06, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
What does sociology has to do with science?-- (talk) 07:23, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
...and yet the "equation" isn't even notable enough to get a single coherent mention on TOW. I very much disagree that the article should be rewritten. Expanded, sure. But the tone and point of the article is spot on as it stands. We don't have the task of mirroring every poorly thought out and meekly adopted theories with a non-abrasive NPOV; our mission is to remain critical of dubious theories. I'm also quite happy with our current intersectionality article. It is friendly to that theory, for good reason, as intersectionality is important and could be called a non-woo version of P+P. P+P, however, is a joke - see the atrocious opening quote for one. I mean, Jesus people. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 08:04, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

Pilgrim quotes[edit]

Looking in more detail at the criticism section, a lot of the Pilgrim quotes are actually irrelevant. His stated alternative definition doesn't include the prejudice part, so while his criticism of that alternative definition is on point it's unrelated to the article's subject. It should probably be trimmed out, if there's no other article we can transplant it to.Queexchthonic murmurings 13:58, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

I think it's perfectly on topic. Part of the criticism of this equation is to slice its structure. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:04, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
What? Are you even reading it? Here is the alternative definition he uses: “a system of group privilege by those who have a disproportionate share of society’s power, prestige, property, and privilege,” No mention of prejudice at all. Not even close to the p+p definition. The second quote then says "to ignore the connection between racial hate and racism is to reduce the concept of racism to a useless theoretical abstraction.", which is true, but p+p certainly does not ignore racial hate because that's baked into the 'prejudice' part of p+p. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:32, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
Just as I said, he is providing an alternate equation that overlaps certain variables with the first one. That's what you call "a variation". I agree that the RW text surrounding his quote could do with a clarification, but the quote itself is most certainly at home in this article. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:35, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
The criticism section header might need altering, then, if it's not actually criticising. FWIW, he misses the point entirely with "To argue that one must have power in order to be racist is to suggest that the man in Prichard, Alabama who called me a 'red nigger' and threw a rock at me was not a racist. A different explanation is that his poverty and lack of power made him susceptible to anti-black racism.". Lacking power in one or more ways does not negate the power he has in other ways. It's a classic logical blunder. That should go. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:51, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm not per se stuck around that section having to be called "criticism". It could be something akin to "Discussion" or "Alternate views". The point is that the article benefits from a pluralism of thought and related thought. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:57, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
True, but quoting someone saying something demonstrably wrong is only really if their mistakes are apposite to the article, which isn't the case here. Queexchthonic murmurings 15:07, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
Again, I'm sure we could find a way to restructure the current article to make the presence of the Prilgrim quote, and other suitable quotes, carry their own weight as best as possible. I don't see a problem in that, and I'm open to suggestions. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:24, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps something along the lines of: "Pilgrim's quote (That quote) makes the mistake of assuming that privilege has only one dimension, and that someone equally as underprivileged as he in some respects could not be more privileged in others. However, he's right to point out that the underprivileged are at risk of being suckered into prejudicial thinking as a defence mechanism against their circumstances. Racism provides a way for people to feel superior to others, and attempts to remove that crutch can often be interpreted as an attack on what little they may have." ? Although that might fit better in Racism, I guess... Queexchthonic murmurings 15:51, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

"Cultural Marxism"[edit]

I don't see what's wrong with my take on it and why we should leave in the false "cultural marxism" accusations. Withoutaname (talk) 03:00, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Citation Needed[edit]

Why are the mods so adamant that the claim that "Obviously, the majority of sexism is still against women by men" doesn't need any citation?-- (talk) 04:29, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

This is RationalWiki. <-𐌈FedoraTippingSkeptic𐌈-> (talk) 04:37, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
So, if I said "Obviously, Jesus is The Way and The Truth and The Light" then that would need a citation because it's not part of RW's bellyfeel, but "Obviously, the majority of sexism is still against women by men" is? Even though the page has a quote by the woman who coined the term "sexism" with "Women are sexists as often as men" in bold letters.-- (talk) 04:56, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Freud was the father of modern psychology but pretty much everything he ever thought is considered bullshit now. You can create a term of art and still be completely wrong about it. Plus, it could easily be refering to women being sexist against women due to internalized misogyny. --PosthumanHeresy (talk) 23:08, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
Okay then, perhaps a clarification that the statement is operating under the Prej + Power definition is in order. Maybe.SolPyre (talk) 16:29, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Or clarification that the statement is meant to apply to men&wymmin in the comfortable castes of the industrialized world? Alec Sanderson (talk) 16:35, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Thank you brother, for a second there I was being an idiot. There is already a clarification and the BoN citation needed is bullshit.SolPyre (talk) 16:54, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, big brother, for a second there I was wrongthinking. It's bellyfeel. Or is it doublethink since the article goes out of its way to emphasize Caroline Bird's quote that "women are sexists as often as men"?-- (talk) 18:20, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Hank son Goku, signature lieutenant, four minutes after 1982. Gut-weevles! Infest twice market until the artifice of ghosts by liquified empathy resize Caroline Bird's quote that "women are sexists as often as men"?. SolPyre (talk) 14:13, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's obvious. In fact, I think it's counterintuitive. The majority of sexism is against men by women, but not a large majority. If I had to pull a number out of my arse, I'd say 60-70%. At least in the Western World. Unless, you're talking world wide. Then I'm not sure there even IS a majority side anymore and, if there is, it may be against women by men. (talk) 17:12, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
"Water is wet" doesn't need a citation, but if someone is insisting that it does, we can probably find something. Maybe or or will do? ಠ_ಠ Hmmph (talk) 03:29, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Now that's Islamophobic. Of course women arn't oppressed in those places, that's just their culture. Stop looking at their culture through the colonial gaze /sarcasm Lord Aeonian (talk) 04:19, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
wait, are we talking about the middle east now? I don't think even hardline western misogynists like RooshV advocate for honor killings, acid attacks, or female genital mutilation. It's all very apples and oranges in the west. Women get paid less for different but not necessarily justifiably. Men die and are injured more at work. I'd argue there is some degree of male privilege, but this is after a lot of attempting to add unlike terms.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Quantifying sexism across multiple kinds for comparison inherently involves subjective value judgements about how much different kinds of sexism matter. For example, how much does "hard" sexism of laws that discriminate based on sex matter compared to "soft" sexism that involves people internalizing their gender roles? For example, is the legal sexism against men in the form of Selective Service registration worse or not as bad as relatively few women choosing to pursue STEM careers? In much of the First World, statements about how one group "obviously" experiences more sexism involve handwaving such concerns and relying on readers to accept the truthiness of the statement. So how about identifying particular kinds of discrimination instead? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 05:31, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Criminality Analogy[edit]

Hello. I added a while ago what i thought is an accurate "analogy" of how this illogical statement can work in the worst circumstances, though it got deleted for lack of clarity apparently. I will post it here, and if anyone sees anything worthwhile / any mistakes in it, do tell and see if any salvageable parts should be added to the main article. (BTW, i had accidentally edited an archived talk page instead, i deleted my edit from there, my apologies) The original statement seems to imply that if a certain kind of Bigotry is not systematically taught by society to the young generations, not enforced / encouraged by said society, then it is "impossible" for said type of bigotry to manifest at all, under any form in this society. Let's for instance take Sarkeezian's claim that "Society, being dominated by men, does not teach / endorse misandry, so it is impossible for ANY individual in society to be sexist against men." Regardless of the validity of the premises (Society not teaching misandry / men controlling its teachings), based on that logic, since many societies do not systematically condone criminal behavior / do not teach kids it's good to be criminals as a part of their "culture", crimes - big or small - should not exist at all in said societies, but they actually do. Thank you for reading. Imadmagician (talk) 19:55, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

You're welcome, but you need to back up that Sarkeesian quote as it looks a lot like you're making it up. Besides which, a definition for one word doesn't imply that a different word be defined in the same way. Crime has always been defined in relation to law or whatever a culture considers to be sacred (e.g. crimes against God, crimes against decency, etc.) and hence is generally (at least superficially) against that culture's mainstream values rather than supported by them. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:02, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Hello again. Ok, the line of Anita i am referring to is "There’s no such thing as sexism against men. That's because sexism is prejudice + power. Men are the dominant gender with power in society." which is used as the page quote. However, the part i may be wrong about is what she exactly meant here by "sexism" (There's maybe a possible scenario of trying to convince people of her point of view using Equivocation with different meanings of the words "sexism"?). The criminal analogy i made up is based on "sexism" in this context meaning prejudice and bigotry against people of a certain sex, even if one doesn't have the power to force said view on others, be it on a small or social level, not something like this.
As you said, each place has different views of what is a crime, but that still works for the point intended: A society (which we'll call X) teaches its children not to do what X sees as crimes, but outlaws and criminals (in the eye of X) still arise there nevertheless. Another society (Y) suffers the same problem despite teaching kids not do do what Y Sees as a crime, but what they see as criminality can still arise in their place: My point was said quote (if it meant "no misandry whatsoever can exist just because society does not teach "systematic misandry") would make as much sense as saying crimes cannot exist at all since societies "systematically teach" (basic skeleton of social upbringing) kids not to be outlaws, yet what they consider crimes still happen there. Just because society raises its folk a certain way (whether that condones or condemns certain forms of bigotry) doesn't mean every individual in it will be a perfect reflection said "values". However, my idea may unintentionally be a false analogy, if institutional discrimination is based Not on what society teaches kids (like "boys do this, girls do that") but on a whole socio-economical pillar of society which has nothing to do with what parents teach their kids. Imadmagician (talk) 00:56, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Cathy Young[edit]

What does the Cathy Young quote/section have to do with the topic? She's arguing (in a rather vague fashion) against the perceived excesses of identity politics and particularly in a pro-libertarian way against restrictions on free speech that designed to avoid all possibility of offence no matter how minor (sombrero bans, etc). This doesn't relate directly to prejudice plus power, and if it belongs anywhere it belongs on identity politics or political correctness or censorship or somewhere like that. Annquin (talk) 09:52, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Unless she is literally adressing P+P in her post, it likely does not belong in this article (but under hate speech or something). Her point is perfectly valid but if it's not the rather specific topic of P+P, then it's just not on P+P. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:03, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Though, if reworked a little, it could actually fit. Hmm... Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:15, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
I saw you and a few others bring it up on the Alt-Right talk page and how it relates to P and P so I figured I would add it sorry if this isn't the right placec for it. BTW this page is pretty critical of the concept should it be filed under the "Liberal Moonbattery" category or not? I tried to add it at one point but an... interesting BoN removed it and started rambling about how everyone who disagreed with them (including, weirdly enough, Jonathan Haidt) was a closet far-right quasi-racist so I just left it alone because I didn't want to start an edit war with a random loon. ClothCoat (talk) 08:02, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
It might actually belong under liberal moonbattery, assuming there's no better option. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:14, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

Take it to the absurd![edit]

To me, P+P is a dishonest attempt to eliminate discussions of certain forms of racism from public discourse. So let's take it to the absurd! Any time that racism comes from one person with less power than the person it's directed it, it's totally not racism at all.

  1. Refuse to vote for Barack Hussein Obama because he's black? Well, he has more power than a single voter, so you can't possibly be racist!
  2. Wrote a nasty screed about a black mayor for being black? Well, that mayor has more power than you, so it's not racist in the slightest!
  3. Cab driver refuses to pick up a black man? Well if that black man makes a decent wage, it's not racist!

CorruptUser (talk) 20:38, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

As is known, I am an strong critic of SJWs, but you have to take their ideas serious enough, as silly they often are. Prejudice plus power exists in context with an identitarian ideology where prejudices and powers are not based on individuals, or individual situations, but on identity groups. That is, it is asserted that white people, as a racially conceived group, are oppressors, and that minorities (and women) are the oppressed. The oppressed cannot be racist (or sexist etc), and SJWs use this to great effect to propagate "otherwise" racist or sexist sounding ideas, like "white males are such-and-such". Here's one famous meme that shows this. Also see the classic SJW or Stormfront quiz ~ Aneris 21:28, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

There were some examples of this in the article originally but they were removed and I didn't fight it:

While the definition was invented specifically to preclude American minorities from accusations of racism, it has some humorous/unfortunate side effects:

  • American Nazis are not racist, since they have no institutionalized power and very little popular support.[1]
  • Racially-motivated murders and other hate crimes committed by minorities are not racist.[2]
  • It's not racist to hate powerful Jews if they're actually powerful[3]
  • The Hutu genocide of the Tutsi was not racist because the Tutsi had controlled power for centuries.[3]
  • Criticism of Barack Obama — one of the most powerful men in the world — is never due to racism, by definition.[4][5]
  1. racism equals prejudice plus power, so only whites can be racist? 'Ron Kozar noted that by the CRT definition, “American Nazis aren't racists, since they have no power."'
  2. Racism and race crime redefined (about the w:Murder of Kriss Donald and w:Murder of Ross Parker)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Comment on FAQ: What is “sexism”?
  4. Comment "My problem now is, how do I respond to the point that Barack Obama is the most powerful man in the world, and yet people who prejudiciously criticize him are still called "racist"? I'm sure they ARE being racist, but it doesn't fit the Racism equation."
  5. Racism = prejudice + power "Now that the President-elect of the US is a black man, what does that do to this whole idea of power as a necessary component of racism?"

Hmmph (talk) 04:19, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

That was just Weasel being difficult. I think that said list could go in the article again. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 04:40, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

Pull quote[edit]

I want this to be the pull quote at the top, but I can't find a reliable source:

Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.
—Muhammad Ali

Does it matter? Hmmph (talk) 03:42, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

Use this ClothCoat (talk) 03:56, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
Changing the top quote is a terrible idea. Let's not. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 04:02, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
Why is it a terrible idea? Hmmph (talk) 04:06, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
Because your very premise is faulty — that quoting Sarkeesian at the top (the status quo since forever) somehow implies that we "endorse her position". Your implication is literally that we also support this type of math, then? And besides, the Sarkeesian quote is excellent for the reason that it so smugly splitsWikipedia the whole issue of racism and power in just a short unflexible sentence. It's the perfect quote, and I implore you that we let it stay at the top. Please. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 04:37, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
Also, please don't wholesale revert a bunch of uncontroversial productive edits just because you disagree with some of the content edits. Hmmph (talk) 04:12, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
Sorry about that — there obviously wasn't anything wrong with your source formatting fixes. I was editing half asleep from bed, on my phone. Now I'm slapping myself awake in front of the computer, so I won't re-do the mistake again. If any formatting fixes were lost in my undo, please feel free to undo my undo. Could we just please keep the Sarkeesian quote at the top of the article? That's all I ask, and for good reason too. All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 04:37, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

Example of institutional racism[edit]

One of the premier examples of institutional racism at the highest levels of the US government is the case of Colin Powell. Powell served at the elbow of President Ronald Reagan as National Security Adviser. To many white boys, this would have been the pinnacle of their career. Powell however had amitions to become Secretary of State, following the tradition of Henry Kissinger and George Marshall. When Papa Bush was elected, Powell was booted out of the White House and shipped across town to the Pentagon as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; to any whiteboy this would be deemed a demotion, but because he was black and competative, Powell suffered the indignity while whites marvelled at his devotion and loyalty. Had he been white, he probably would have refused the position rather than endure the snarkiness of his peers. Eventually he was rewarded with Secretary of State for his patience and endurance. nobs 17:20, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

Okay. Any reason for posting that on this page? WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:28, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
This is the only article that discusses institutional racism. Theres no examples given. And there's no Powell bio. Perhaps an article on instituional racism is needed. nobs 17:34, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
This article sounds closer to what you discuss. Or maybe, as you say, mention of that in an article/bio on Powell? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:52, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
This isn't an academic example of institutional racism because it isn't a falsifiable claim, it's a belief. This is ideology, not rationalism. Furthermore, it has little to do with this article. — Unsigned, by: Einlanzer / talk / contribs
"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink!
On the other hand, check the dates of the comments. Also nobs isn't exactly a quality poster. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 00:10, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

Moar whining[edit] oʇɐʇoԀʇɐϽʎzznℲ (talk/stalk) 00:50, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

Ok, so is Google retarded? Or was that result image doctored by the Alt-righter who posted to that thread? Because what's in that summary image is not the message of our article, for all the reasons Facepalm Also, I'm disturbed by even the fact that there is a subreddit in existence called "SJWhate". Long, deep sigh. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:03, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
Nope, it's real. But wow, why the hell are our quotes being quoted? CorruptUser (talk) 01:40, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
A search engine has failed fundamentally if it presents the stuff we're debunking as the view we ourselves hold on the same. Oy vey. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:44, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

KotakuInAction shows off its usual brilliance[edit]

The cognitive dissonance -- and the absurd focus on Sarkeesian -- is a horrific delight. Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 21:09, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Let's say I don't want to give traffic to a subreddit devoted to off-brand nazis. What's my take away in that hypothetical situation? ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 21:13, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Take away: Right-wingers haven't changed a bit. The FCP Foundation (talk/stalk) 23:42, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Why can words have multiple meanings at the same time?[edit]

I don't care whether or not you agree with this definition. However, I care for one thing: the part of the article that says words can have multiple and equally valuable meanings. I just want to no one thing: Why does this statement make logical sense. — Unsigned, by: Kyle / talk / contribs 01:59, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

Just to give a few examples of words with multiple meanings, gay, fall, and faith. GrammarCommie (talk) 02:03, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
@Kyle On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you.
I feel like I'm misunderstanding your question. The English language is full of words with more than one meaning. CowHouse (talk) 03:31, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
@Cowhouse you say that a common use is the same as a correct use.-— Unsigned, by: Kyle / talk / contribs
@Kyle These are all correct uses of the word "mean":
(a) to convey meaning, (b) unkind, (c) average.
Are any of these incorrect?
Also, I never said anything about a "common use" and please read what I said earlier about signing your comments on talk pages. CowHouse (talk) 04:51, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

@CowHouse What I mean is that there is no reason to assume that words can have multiple meanings, and that your rebuttal is an appeal to popularity. — Unsigned, by: Kyle / talk / contribs

Troll CowHouse (talk) 02:58, 28 December 2017 (UTC)