Prejudice plus power

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Prejudice plus power, sometimes alternatively described as power plus prejudice, also known as R=P+P, is a definition of racism used used in progressive politics. Later the same pseudo-equation was applied to sexism.[1]

Patricia Bidol-Padva first proposed this definition in a 1970 book, where she defined racism as "prejudice plus institutional power." According to this definition, two elements are required in order for racism to exist: racial prejudice, and social power to codify and enforce this prejudice into an entire society. Adherents write that while all people can be racially prejudiced, minorities are powerless and therefore only white people have the power to be racist. This definition is supported by the argument that power is responsible for the process of racialization and that social power is distributed in a zero-sum game. This view is commonly shared by social liberals and progressives.

The equation is predicated on society existing as a strict hierarchy with white men at the top. To the extent that this hierarchy ever existed, people who believe this are living in the past.[2]