I actually kind of buy into part of the idea that racism = prejudice + power. I mean, it’s a radical perversion of language towards the goal of making others fit into your ideological prism, but I get that racism without power is largely irrelevant. One of the places where I radically disagree with most everyone, but especially the woke left, is that broad classifications are highly defining features in understanding power dynamics.
We live most of our lives by the judgements of the people that surround us more than the judgements of Jeff Bezos, or Donald Trump. The people who most often attempt to express effectual power over us are the teacher, our parents, a beat cop, a local Karen, the neighbor, our in-laws, our supervisor, a pushy customer, a coworker, and all sorts of local people. For most people, it is their parents and teachers when they are a child who have the widest power disparities that they will ever experience in their lives. These local tyrants have incredible power over our lives that vastly outweigh the power expressed by far away elites.
Local tyrants are incredibly diverse. We have all felt subject to the pushiness, rudeness, and assholery of people of all colors, genders, ages, income statuses, and sexual orientations. Social narratives and culture can often tilt the scale in making some classifications slightly more prone to tyrannical strategies, but all humans are social creatures who use leverage to get what they want.
The left wishes to condense all human interaction down into victim/predator narratives using broad classifications. However, none of us experience reality in this way. Most of us have experienced great kindness and great tyranny from every classification. The danger in their ideology is that it removes the checks we have on tyrants. A while back the left wanted to “ban bossy”. This was largely an attempt for people to remove the checks our society has on women expressing assholish behavior. This is because they believe that by removing these checks, it will further serve their tribal and political goals of promoting female power at the expense of male power.
I’m not in favor of the status quo, but I don’t want centralized cultural forces promoting their preferred tyrants. We come to an equilibrium of respect by promoting freedom of association, freedom of speech, minimizing government, and open commerce. The way to put checks on human interaction and incentivize respectful behavior is more liberty and a culture that promotes individualism. Tilting the scale in favor of perceived disadvantaged people has horrible consequences of merely empowering certain local tyrants without checks and sowing discord.