Persecution Flip YKTTW Discussion

Persecution Flip
(permanent link) added: 2010-04-03 19:28:35 sponsor: bluepenguin (last reply: 2010-04-05 03:39:11)

Add Tag:
Do We Have This One?? I can't find it, but I couldn't quite think what search terms to use.

When most writers want to write about discrimination and oppression, they stick to real-world examples -- after all, there are plenty of those. Some writers, however, wonder: "What if it were the other way round?" What if Africans had enslaved Europeans? What if India had colonized England? And so on and so forth. There may be a semi-plausible Alternate History explanation for the switch, but just as often it simply is that way.

Often this is not just an interesting what-if, but a way of making a point, saying to the privileged group "well, how would you like it if...?" This tends to be Anvilicious, though not always in a bad way. The message may also be that power corrupts, and no matter who's on top, things will always suck for the group on the bottom. On the other hand, in certain cases the barbarism of the now-powerful group can be played up too much and the whole thing can seem as though it came out of some lurking distrust of the group in question and/or fear of reverse colonization.


  • The stage version of Noughts and Crosses (black people are in power; white people are discriminated against). More subtly implied in the original book(s).
  • The Vienna Teng song "No Gringo" (poor US Americans illegally cross the border to Mexico looking for work)
  • The novel Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo (Africans enslave Europeans)
  • Zanna, Don't! (being gay is normal; being straight is stigmatized)
  • From a single Alternate History anthology (although some of these are a bit iffy):
    • "The Wandering Christian", Eugene Byrne and Kim Newman (Judaism becomes the major world religion; Christianity all but wiped out)
    • "Hush My Mouth", Suzette Hayden Elgin (African former slaves rise up and seize power in the US after the Civil War; white Americans all but wiped out)
    • "The English Mutiny", Ian R. MacLeod (India colonizes England)
    • "Islands in the Sea", Harry Turtledove (Islam becomes the major world religion; Christianity is practiced only in a few small areas)

... hmm, I could've sworn there were more in there, but I guess not. Oh well.
Replies: 20