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Persecution Flip

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Monkey see, human screwed.

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 around?" What if Africans had enslaved Europeans? What if India had colonised Britain, or the Aztecs had colonised Spain (perhaps giving rise to a Modern Mayincatec Empire)? What if women had all the power and men had to Stay in the Kitchen? 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, and discrimination of any kind is wrong.

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 dislike or distrust of the group in question ("Look how much worse things would be if they were in charge"). Or, alternatively, the work may be disparaging towards the now-oppressed group (which is usually an Acceptable Target due to being in power in the real world), and suggest that they deserve to be treated badly.

Compare Just the Introduction to the Opposites, Black Like Me, and Color Me Black.


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  • This South African ad shows white people disadvantaged and black people in positions of privilege. Essentially, it's a reverse of Apartheid.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Yuu Watase's short manga story "Perfect Lovers," a heterosexual couple is transported into an alternate dimension where homosexuality is normal and heterosexual relationships are illegal.
  • In Ooku, after a disease kills off a large percentage of the male population, feudal Japan becomes a female-dominated society, with women as leaders and warriors and men viewed as sex objects too delicate to fight (or farm, or fish, or...).
  • In Jyu-Oh-Sei, the Penal Colony planet of Chimera is controlled by four "Rings" (Night, Ochre, Sun, and Blanc) which are primarily divided by skin color. When Thor and Rai are sent there, the Blanc Ring is least powerful of the four, and thus the formerly pampered twins (who are about as white as one can possibly be without having Albinism) find themselves at the bottom of the social ladder
  • Code Geass involves Japan being occupied by the harsh Holy Britannian Empire, ironically mirroring Imperial Japan's escapades during World War II.

    Comic Books 
  • In the House of M miniseries, Wanda creates a new world through her reality warping powers where mutants are the dominant species and humans are deemed second-class citizens and given the slur "Sapes." Most notably, Magneto and his family rule Genosha as an aristocracy and super-powered individuals like Spider-Man and Miss Marvel are only tentatively accepted as equals to mutants.
  • In the EC Comics story "Hate!", an all-American everyman who leads a mob to kill his Jewish neighbors by burning their house down finds out that he was adopted and that his real parents were Jewish. He then is victimized by his Jew-hating former friends.
  • Jeremiah had many Native American forming nation-states in post-apocalyptic America, who conducted raids on mostly-Caucasian settlements for slaves and resources.

    Fan Works 

  • This is the whole point of the film White Man's Burden, where blacks are the racial majority who've generally been in positions of power and privilege in America and whites are the unprivileged minority.
  • Babakiueria (Barbeque Area) is an Australian film that does this with imperial Aborigines taking over and oppressing white Australians.
  • Planet of the Apes involves apes keeping humans in cages and using them for experiments.
  • In the film Almost Normal, the gay protagonist enters a world where homosexuality is the norm - and straight people are the ones viewed as being "deviant".
  • A deleted song from Mary Poppins tells the story of the Chimpanzoo, a zoo where humans are locked up in cages for the animals to look at.
    "Laughs, laughs, nothing but laughs / But you know who's laughing at who? / It's the animals there who giggle and stare / at you in the Chimpanzoo!"
  • A variation in Cowboys & Aliens; even though it is not the Native Americans doing the oppressing, the white Americans still find out what it's like to be completely outmatched by an invading army they could not have imagined and getting their people captured/wiped out and their land ravaged. The tie-in comic brings it to truly anvilicious levels by having a white American loudly saying the aliens "can't do that just because they've got better weapons", and receiving a dirty look from a Native.
  • The short film Love Is All You Need? is about a world in which homosexuality is the norm and a heterosexual teen is bullied by her peers.
  • The 2014 movie Persecuted imagines a United States where freedom of religion isn't already guaranteed under the Constitution, where the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation, where Christians are being persecuted in America, and where Evangelicals use rosaries.
  • The French short film Majorité Opprimée (Oppressed Majority) has this as its focus. It tells the story of a man going through his day in a matriarchal society, facing casual sexism, street harassment, and eventually sexual assault. Women go around bare-chested, urinate in the street and catcall passing men, while men are constantly objectified, belittled, and shamed for not being ‘modest’ enough.
    • In 2018, it became a full-length movie under the title Je ne suis pas un homme facile (I am not a man of easy virtue)

  • Both the book and stage version of Noughts & Crosses (black people are in power; white people are victims of discrimination).
  • The novel Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo is a pseudo-Alternate History novel taking place in a world where "blak Aphrikans" enslave "whyte Europanes" for the transatlantic slave trade. The title and premise are a flip on Roots.
  • From a single Alternate History anthology (although some of these are a bit iffy):
    • "The Wandering Christian" by Eugene Byrne and Kim Newman (Judaism becomes the major world religion; Christianity all but wiped out)
    • "Hush My Mouth" by Suzette Hayden Elgin (African former slaves rise up and seize power in the United States after the Civil War; white Americans all but wiped out)
    • "The English Mutiny" by Ian R. MacLeod (India colonizes England)
    • "Islands in the Sea" by Harry Turtledove (Islam becomes the major world religion; Christianity is practiced only in a few small areas)
  • Harry Turtledove likes this kind of irony and often uses it:
    • In both his epic fantasy-retellings of the American Civil War and World War II, the slaves and the subhumans due for extermination are the white, Aryan-looking blondes.
    • In Ruled Britannia, the English Protestants must go underground after the Spanish invade and hand power over to the Catholics. Many of the occupying forces in England are Irish.
    • In the Southern Victory series, the Confederate Goebbels expy is a Jew. At one point, a character muses that if blacks were not scapegoated for the CSA's problems it would probably be the Jews.
      • In the same series, the rump United States joins the Central Powers and defeats Great Britain. This results in Quebec and Ireland (covering the whole island) becoming independent, CP-aligned republics, with Anglo-Canadians and Irish Protestants becoming second-class citizens in their countries.
    • In The Disunited States of America, the states broke away into separate countries due to the Constitution never being passed, as the weaker Articles of Confederation couldn't keep them together. The southern states, as you'd expect, remain oppressive to black people, although they eventually abolished slavery. This oppression caused black rebellions, and one in Mississippi was successful. The victorious black people there then treated the whites much as they themselves had been earlier.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's controversial Farnham's Freehold posits a future where the members of a white family are the slaves of cannibalistic black masters. The cannibalism is what pushes it over the edge into "Black people are worse" territory.
  • One Sheri S. Tepper novel, Six Moon Dance, is about a repressive matriarchal society. Tepper has a very feminist message in a lot of her work, so this is sort of like "examining demographics that would lead to men being oppressed in the same way as women".
  • Steven Barnes' Lion's Blood series is set in an alternate history world where African civilization and Islam became the dominant forces in world culture. The main story is set in an alternate American south, centering on a young (black) nobleman and his (Irish) freedman.
  • Edgar Allan Poe's story The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Feather. It involves inmates taking over an aslyum which "coddled" them and treating their former doctors, now the inmates, in a Bedlam House way. It has a kind of Family-Unfriendly Aesop: If you treat those weaker than you with kindness, they'll just take advantage of you and then do worse. One interpretation of the story is that it's a metaphor for Poe's views of American blacks (which, considering that he was a proponent of slavery, isn't terribly implausible). The film Stonehearst Asylum was based on this story, and is far more sympathetic to the patients, given the kind of "treatments" used in 19th century insane asylums.
  • Gulliver's Travels with the talking horses domesticating the human "Yahoos" as farm animals. Also, the horses had a strict hierarchy based on color... with the darker ones in charge.
  • In Katherine Kerr's Polar City books, blancs (i.e., whites) are a lightly oppressed minority.
  • In a Fantasy Counterpart Culture version, Flora Segunda has the largely European-flavored (though apparently California-dwelling) Califans conquered and ruled by the pseudo-Aztec Huitzils.
  • In Waberi's "In the United States of Africa", Africa is the largest superpower while the Western world as we know it is plagued by the very maladies that current Africa faces, from the perspective of an adopted white French girl.
  • In Kirill Moshkov's Special Expert, Legioner Tauk is sent to a Lost Colony, whose population is predominantly black, with the whites being treated as second-class citizens. Since Tauk is himself white, he has to pass himself off as a servant, while another agent, a black woman, can freely pass herself off as a member of the societal elite. She does explain to a local man that back on Earth, it is their people that used to be subservient to the whites. The man has a hard time believing it.
  • William Tenn's story "Eastward Ho!" is set in a post-nuclear-war future where Native Americans are in power, and the oppressed whites keep fleeing further and further east. Eventually they plan to sail to the land of freedom—Europe.
  • The hero of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness ruminates on the colonial relationship by invoking the Roman invasion of Britain and wondering aloud how the Ancient Britons saw the colonial system from the other side. Later he suggests a counterfactual scenario:
    The population had cleared out a long time ago. Well, if a lot of mysterious [blacks] armed with all kinds of fearful weapons suddenly took to travelling on the road between Deal and Gravesend, catching the yokels right and left to carry heavy loads for them, I fancy every farm and cottage thereabouts would get empty very soon.
  • Many of the stories in the Chicks in Chainmail quintet, edited by Esther Friesner, deal with the male-female issues by gender flipping, or other plot device, some well-done, and some belaboring the point.
  • Black Like Me is an account of journalist John Howard Griffin's dyeing his skin black and living in an area he had visited as a white man and describing the differences.
  • Save The Pearls: Revealing Eden is a controversial dystopian novel in which the white minority ("pearls") are oppressed by the black majority ("coals") after ozone depletion kills off people with low melanin. The pearls have to wear blackface in public. The author, by-the-by, is white.
  • In the dystopian future of The Forever War, the protagonist is a relativity-time traveler, and upon one of his later returns to earth he finds that population pressure has made homosexuality the socially-acceptable choice. His subordinates—particularly the females—are creeped out, and behind his back call him "queer." He's understanding, realizing how they must feel about serving under a "sexual deviant."
  • The War of the Worlds has a variant in which the Martian attack on England is meant to parallel the real life subjugation of Africa by the British; the invaders have more advanced technology that makes their conquest frighteningly easy, and diseases that the defenders are largely immune to but which the invaders have never encountered before holds the invasion back. As the Trope Maker for Alien Invasion, this is what has led to similar subtext appearing in derivative works. The book specifically says that, before humans judge the Martians too harshly, they should remember events like the extermination of the Tasmanians (which had happened just decades earlier). Should they expect more mercy from alien beings than they gave to other humans who they colonized? The entire novel can be read as a massive Take That! against imperialism and Wells own country in particular, showing what the British Empire did overseas happening to England.
  • Aliette de Bodard's "Xuya" Alternate History universe is based on the idea that the Chinese colonised the Americas from the West coast in the fifteenth century and then formed an alliance with the Aztecs against the Spanish. As a result by the twentieth century North America is divided between an independent Chinese-culture state called Xuya, a modern-Aztec-culture Mexica Empire, and a much smaller English-speaking nation centring on New England that is very much the poor underdog to the other two. A couple of stories depict white English-speakers in Xuya or Mexica in a manner that reflects this trope, although it definitely isn't the main focus of the series.
  • In Ray Bradbury's 1951 short story "The Other Foot," the population of Mars is entirely black. Because the planet was colonized within recent memory, adults have memories of segregation and lynchings, and when the news arrives that a rocket manned by whites is entering the atmosphere, a furious mob gathers, planning to institute Jim Crow laws in reverse. They are ultimately deterred when it's revealed that Earth has been bombed out after a nuclear war, and the story ends with the survivors settling on Mars and the hope of a new start for humanity.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, after Daenerys frees the slaves of Astapor the council she leaves in charge is quickly overthrown by a former slave and butcher named Cleon, who takes the highborn boys to be trained as Unsullied-i.e. eunuch slave soldiers.
  • In "When The World Is All On Fire", the trope is discussed when the Native American cop kicks the white refugees off the reservation. A woman asks him why he won't share the land; he responds, "We tried that, lady, and look where it got us."
  • In the Deathday and Earthrise duology, Earth is invaded by an alien race known as the Saurons. The Saurons have a Fantastic Caste System based on scale color: black-scaled Saurons (Zin) are the ruling class, brown-scaled (Kan) are the soldiers, and white-scaled (Fon) are the laborers. When the Saurons enslave humanity, they treat darker-skinned humans much better than white-skinned humans as a result, which sets the stage for racial strife among the humans even as they try to overthrow the Saurons.
  • The Goosebumps book "Awesome Ants" is about a boy who wins an ant vivaria in a contest but starts overfeeding them, which results in the ants growing to massive sizes. At the end, he wakes up to find that ants have taken over the earth and secluded humans in their own vivaria. The TV episode based on this story was even weirder; it's said that ants have *always* been the dominant species, so the boy was really dreaming about a Persecution Flip inversion.

    Live Action TV 
  • Sliders had one episode where women were the dominant gender. Another where Mexico won the Mexican-American war so Americans were the day laborers. And some others that get just bizarre.
    • In the first case, Arturo gets involved in politics by running for mayor. Wade is against this, as she believes his "equal rights" campaign will ultimately lead to a patriarchy. Interestingly, Arturo actually wins the election, although a miscount results in him leaving before the official results are announced.
    • The pilot episode has Quinn listening to a radio broadcast about Americans illegally crossing into Mexico in search of jobs. This is the same world where traffic lights are inverted (green means stop, red means go).
    • A mild case in the first episode involving the Kromaggs, when the heroes slide into a world where US was largely colonized by France, and Arturo is being made fun of for being English.
    • In one episode, There is a world where Kromaggs are timid docile creatures who wouldn't hurt anyone. Humans oppress them and put them in labor camps.
  • The Twilight Zone episode "The Eye Of The Beholder", in which beauty is a pig nose and cleft palate while movie-star looks are a deformity.
  • Star Trek:
    • In one episode, an androgynous race views any gender identity as an illness to be cured. Since all of the androgynous culture were played by female actors, it additionally had overtones of "separatist butch lesbian feminists oppress straight femme women". Jonathan Frakes suggested that the alien that gets romantically involved with him, and identifies as a female be played by a man, with the others portrayed by a mix, but Paramount didn't approve.
    • In another episode, a race of humanoids is ruled by women, while men are their servants and sexual playthings. They also have more diminutive bodies, just to reinforce this.
    • On still another episode, a child-alien persecutes the adults on the ship for imposing rules on children.
    • In another episode, Worf travels to an alternate universe where the Bajorans are enemies of the Federation and they overpowered the Cardassians.
  • In one episode of Red Dwarf, the crew visit a parallel universe where women are the dominant gender. Their entire history is gender-flipped, so Hamlet was written by Wilma Shakespeare, Nellie Armstrong was the first person on the moon, and men organised equal rights marches and burned their jockstraps in the '60s. Oh, and it's the men who get pregnant.
  • Sexism and Gender Stereotypes are played with in the weird little German-UK SF series from the 1970's - Star Maidens. In which, two men escape from the planet Medusa which is ruled by women and where men are badly mistreated and head for Earth because one of the men has heard it's ruled by men. They are pursued by a couple of their female mistresses. Let's just say it wasn't subtle and leave it at that.
  • One season of The Two Ronnies had a serial called "The Worm That Turned" in which men were oppressed in a fascist female-dominated future England. It was about what you'd have expected at the time.
  • It's mentioned in Time Trax that, in the 22nd century, the One World Order has whites as a minority. Darien is once derogatorily called a "blanco" (Spanish for "white").



     Tabletop Games 
  • In the GURPS Alternate Earths Alternate History of Ezcalli, early exposure to Old World diseases from Carthaginian traders allowed Native Americans to develop resistance early, while the Roman Empire collapsed in infancy, leaving Europe open for Mongol-dominated Asia, Christian African kingdoms, and subsequent Aztec raiding fleets to plunder its squabbling villages for slaves.


    Video Games 
  • The conflict between the Templars and the Mages in the Dragon Age franchise is a result of this. To summarize, long ago the mages used to rule over ordinary humans and keep ordinary humans as slaves. Then a woman named Andraste inspired an uprising against them, and a new religion was formed around her after she was betrayed and killed. Unfortunately the people who founded the religion believed that all mages were like their previous mage oppressors, so to make sure that never happened again, the religion teaches mages from the time they're born that they're full of sin and must redeem themselves, and mages are given no choice but to be shipped off to "Circles" to learn to control their magic. Thus, where mages used to persecute ordinary humans, now the mages are the ones being persecuted precisely because the ordinary humans never got past their pain at their previous enslavement. And just to complicate matters even further, there are still mages around who enslave ordinary humans, namely the Tevinter Imperium, which some of the now-persecuted mages end up joining in hopes of turning the tables on the Templars, and that's not even counting the desperate mages who turn to blood magic and really do go crazy. Potentially, this cycle could go on forever.
    • Also, the series flips the traditional dichotomy in a Standard Fantasy Setting where the elves are a majestic, technologically and/or magically advanced race with far greater power than the humans. That was the case a long time ago, before the ancient elven civilization fell to Tevinter, a human empire (although Dragon Age: Inquisition challenges this account, along with many other aspects of the lore). Now the elves are a powerless, persecuted minority, akin to Jews in medieval Europe, while the humans are the dominant political power in all of Thedas.
    • On a Real Life level, the Chantry is a not-so-subtle Take That! at the Catholic Church for its failure to allow women to become priests, since the Chantry is run exclusively by women, and there's many times throughout the series than you can confront Chantry priests over their failure to include men in the priesthood. Incidentally, the arguments heard are exactly the same as what you hear in Real Life, just with the gender pronouns flipped.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, this happens a lot, both in the backstory and in the time that this game takes place. The Dunmer had previously enslaved the Argonians, but by the time of Skyrim the Argonians rose up against their masters and now the Dunmer have been driven away from the Black Marsh. The Thalmor faction of the Altmer (high elves) persecute the Nords for allegedly being a threat to the Altmer's very existence, and they got the Empire to ban Talos worship. The Nords, as revenge for Thalmor persecution, persecute all the elves, including innocent Altmer as well as the Dunmer (who had no hand in the Thalmor's behavior) and Bosmer (ditto). The Nords also persecute the Khajiit for supposedly all being sneaky thieves and won't give the Khajiit legitimate work, but in response the Khajiit all do become sneaky thieves so they can survive amongst the Nords at all. Meanwhile, when the Nords first landed in Skyrim, the Falmer (snow elves) attacked their settlement of Saarthal because the Falmer were suspicious of Nord expansion. So as revenge the Nords started persecuting the Falmer, which drove them underground where they were enslaved by the Dwemer, only now the Falmer wish to destroy the Nords right back. And then there's the fact that the Nords persecute the Argonians and Dunmer just for not helping the Stormcloaks, so now they discriminate against the Nords right back and refuse to help them. If all of that sounds like a mouthful, let's just say that the Nords tend to be on both ends of this trope a lot (either flipping the persecution they receive from others, or starting the initial persecution and then having it flipped on them).
  • This drives a great deal of the plot in Tales of Symphonia. At first glance, it looks like just a case of the Desians (who are half-elves) being assholes to the humans, since when you start the game the Desians have humans rounded up and taken to a ranch. Later in the game you discover that the reason the Desians are persecuting the humans is because previously, the humans were being assholes to them (and to complicate matters, the full-elves also treat the half-elves badly). In fact, the motivation of the Big Bad is that the Big Bad is a half-elf who finally couldn't put up with discrimination anymore, so he deliberately set up the Cruxis organization to bring forth the Age of Lifeless Beings, except that Cruxis then attracted half-elves looking for payback against the humans.
    • And then in the sequel, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, the people from Teth'ealla are still discriminating against the people from Sylvarant, so the Vanguard is formed to allegedly fight on Sylvarant's behalf, only the Vanguard ends up persecuting the people from Teth'ealla.

    Web Animation 
  • Ultra Fast Pony gets weird with its Fantastic Racism. Fluttershy is a former slave, and the institution of slavery in Equestria is clearly a reference to slavery in the US. Now that she's freed, Fluttershy is actually angry that slavery was completely abolished, because she wants to have slaves of her own. She tries to make the animals her slaves instead, but she's "just so bad with animals!"
    Fluttershy: Oh, I get it. It's okay to have Fluttershy do everything her owners say. But as soon as she gains ownership of her own farm, suddenly it's all "Equal rights" and "Slavery is not okay anymore!" In the name of the black smoke in the sky, I demand reparations!

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • There is a growing number of anti-bullying Internet videos such as this one which depict worlds in which being gay is the norm and heterosexuality is seen as deviant, forcing the (usually) straight protagonists to hide their sexuality or be bullied for it and ostracized by their families. Interestingly, and perhaps unfortunately, these shorts will sometimes depict a reversal of gender roles. For example, the video linked to shows a female-dominated Catholic Church, and there is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to American football being a girl's sport.
  • The "Man who has it all" Facebook page started as a parody of self-help guides for working mothers, but spun into a whole world where men are the victims of Housewife, Ms. Fanservice and Token Girl tropes.
  • In January 2018, Eli Rezkallah released a photo series called In A Parallel Universe, which takes sexist 1950s advertisements and reverses the gender roles.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Tripping the Rift ("You Wanna Put That Where?") the crew find themselves on a gay planet where heterosexuals are condemned to die. They escape punishment by putting the community's leader as straight as a distraction, then presumably leave him to die.
  • In Ultimate Spiderman, Spider-Man travels to a Gender Flipped world. Spider-Girl (real name Petra Parker) is a bit disdainful of a boy taking on her title, there's a reference to Georgia Washington, and the female Green Goblin mocks Peter, so it can be assumed that sexism went the other way in this universe. Interestingly, both of these tropes combined means that the same people still discriminated against the same people throughout history (herstory?).
  • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, when two white government agents shoot a time-travelling Abraham Lincoln, who's covering the Teens' escape in a wooden rocket (doesn't make much sense in-context, either), they suddenly find themselves tied to a horse-cart with a black slave driver cracking a whip at them.

    Real Life 
  • This Not Always Right post has a customer attempting this. It comes off as head-scratchingly ridiculous.
  • This sort of thing has happened when different groups get the upper hand in a closely-divided country. Some prime examples are:
    • Protestants and Catholics taking turns persecuting each other during the European Wars of Religion (including the Thirty Years' War) whenever the ruler changed (either through succession, conversion, Klingon Promotion, or conquest). England's history is a prime example: Henry VIII was famous for persecuting Protestants mercilessly until that whole divorce thing, at which point he started persecuting Catholics; when his Catholic daughter Mary became Queen, she persecuted Protestants; and when Mary was succeeded by Elizabeth, she started persecuting Catholics again.
    • The same was more or less true when the Middle East was under Byzantine rule. Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Christians took the place of Protestants and Catholics, with the favor of the local governor being the variable.
    • In the interminable wars between the Byzantine and Sassanid Persian Empires in the 6th and 7th centuries, Jerusalem would inevitably change hands. Since the Byzantines were Christian and distrusted the Jews, every time they took over the city, Jerusalem would be purged of its Jewish population. Whenever the Persians—Zoroastrians who distrusted Christians as possibly loyal to Constantinople, but had no problem with the Jews—took the city, they slaughtered the Christians and spared the Jews. This happened several times over a relatively short period of time before the Muslim conquests put an end to that by destroying Persia completely and taking a huge bite out of Byzantium; when they took Jerusalem, they surprised everyone by slaughtering nobody.
  • The fact that Christians were brutally persecuted at many points in Ancient Rome is quite well known. Once Christians took power in the Empire, pagans were persecuted in turn. Pagan temples were destroyed, rituals were outlawed, property was seized, magistrates declared criminals if they refused to enforce these laws, and eventually pagan belief itself was banned under penalty of death. Individual pagans, largely priests, were put to death for practicing their religion, which was forced underground just as Christians had been. This was echoed in many countries that were then converted to Christianity in later centuries too-the choice of becoming Christian was often involuntary, with kings who had taken up the religion afterward compelling their subjects to as well.
  • The Rwandan genocide was partially a result of this. Without getting into who was persecuting who at which time, let's just say that the Tutsis used to be in elite positions, but then the Hutus engaged in revolutions, purges, etc. By the time of the genocide, the Hutus were trying to get rid of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
    • Averted with post-Apartheid South Africa. There was the fear that the new regime would actively persecute white people with violence equal to those used by the Apartheid Regime. Nelson Mandela went out of his way to make sure this did not happen and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission underscores just how far his presidency went to try and appease both white and black people.
  • A study done decades ago in a real class promoted and demoted blue- and brown-eyed pupils to show the effects and issues of racism and other -isms. The children, regardless of being told about the study, stated that they came to feel superior or inferior, and had trouble re-adjusting even years later.
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment was a study done with college students which had some be jailers, and some jailed. The jailers were somewhat oppressive, but only somewhat. After a time, they switched. The once-jailed-now-jailers were much more oppressive. The experiment's validity has been questioned, though, since it had the experimenter (Philip Zimbardo) actively involved (in the role of warden) and didn't screen whether participants who became violent were already prone to this. It cannot be replicated to find out whether its results were valid, as modern ethical rules prohibit doing so.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male, The Unfair Sex, and Men Are the Expendable Gender are full of examples of situations that would be viewed as horrifying if the genders were reversed, but because the victims are men, are played for laughs (or otherwise trivialized) instead.
  • Eminem was visciously bullied as he was growing up was because he was the only white kid in an all-black neighborhood.