I always find it somewhat amusing when science comes along to prove the blatantly obvious. But in this case, this is a well-timed study. From the European Journal of Social Psychology,
"Groups that perceive themselves as victims can engage in “competitive victimhood.” We propose that, in some societal circumstances, this competition bears on the recognition of past sufferings—rather than on their relative severity—fostering negative intergroup attitudes. Three studies are presented. Study 1, a survey among Sub-Saharan African immigrants in Belgium (N = 127), showed that a sense of collective victimhood was associated with more secondary anti-Semitism. This effect was mediated by a sense of lack of victimhood recognition, then by the belief that this lack of recognition was due to that of Jews' victimhood, but not by competition over the severity of the sufferings. Study 2 replicated this mediation model among Muslim immigrants (N = 125). Study 3 experimentally demonstrated the negative effect of the unequal recognition of groups' victimhood on intergroup attitudes in a fictional situation involving psychology students (N = 183). Overall, these studies provide evidence that struggle for victimhood recognition can foster intergroup conflict."
Victims usually perceive a perpetrator. This goes for individuals as well as groups. Of course, sometimes they are right. If someone assaults you, you are a victim and the person who committed the assault is the perpetrator.
But with regards to groups, especially in multiethnic, multiracial and multicultural societies, a victim mindset is destined to produce discord and division. The "oppression Olympics" as they're sometimes divisively called will undoubtedly create what this study calls "competitive victimhood" and thus, "negative intergroup attitudes."
This is an unavoidable problem when true oppression is there. And while I would never deny that there are no problems of oppression in the United States, isn't it ironic that some of the most privileged people who have ever walked the face of the planet-namely American college students-are the loudest in talking about how supposedly oppressed they are.
This mindset has already caused plenty of damage. If it persists, it could lead to a catastrophe.
"Every day is a new life to the wise man."
The Righteous Mind
Star Slate Codex
Consulting by RPM