You’re Not Being Intellectual Enough/You’re Being Overly Intellectual
These two steps are always best exercised when married together. They can definitely be used individually, but you will further dismay and infuriate the marginalized person in question if you use them together.The key here is maintaining a careful blend of disdain and dismissal no matter what the marginalized person throws at you.
It is important, as a privileged person, to constantly hedge marginalized person according to both your class and your expectations of them. Even though the conversation taking place is reflective of or about real life circumstances and situations for human beings, you must be careful to first insist on placing it within an academic framework. If the marginalized person involved is speaking in vernacular and placing too much emphasis on personal experience, you must swiftly impress that you cannot consider it a proper “debate” unless theory and philosophy play a key component, complete with big words normally not found outside of academic papers. This is another way of pressing home your own privilege by demanding the conversation take place on terms the marginalized person may not be intimate with. After all, academia has little to do with reality, but pretending that it does is sure to undermine your opponent.
It’s a good opportunity also to subtly insult the marginalized person’s intelligence, by suggesting they simply aren’t educated, or well educated enough, to really be participating in these conversations.
However should the marginalized person suddenly reveal that they are well-versed in academia, or other marginalized person who are join in, or if the whole thing began on an academic footing, you can swiftly take the other tack and dress them down for being “too intellectual”. Remember, marginalized person who conform to the standard perception of “intellectual” are getting above themselves and so deserve nothing but your derision.
You can talk about how they are alienating people, speaking above them and behaving in a very condescending manner. You really want to think about your language here, to truly communicate just how much disdain you have for their education/manner. “Uppity” is a particularly bristling word to People of Color particularly African-Americans, as they have routinely been called “uppity” when they have been “getting out of place”. “Hoity-toity”, “highhanded” and “snobbish” are also excellent words. It suggests that the marginalized persons are entertaining lofty notions of themselves that are undeserved when all they are doing is communicating in the manner you would insist on had they not. We all have places in life and the preferred place for marginalized person is under your shoe.
The important thing is to really drive home that you consider their intelligence and education – whether formal or self-gained – to be sub par and that they are demeaning/ostracizing others by utilizing it. You want them to feel ashamed of it, or at the least reminded that Privileged People® think they have no rights to it.
It’s a really good idea to get a friend involved in this one – one of you can take the path of “intellectualism”, whilst the other can be derisive of the same. This is especially useful if more than one marginalized person is involved in the conversation. Keep battering at them from all sides and things will swiftly deteriorate.
It’s also really awesome to utilize the tactic of correcting grammar and/or spelling mistakes and criticizing comments on form rather than content to further distract from the issues. You want people for whom the language being used is second, third or fourth, or people with less formal education to really be aware of their shortcomings and you want others for whom it is a first language and who have formal education to feel chastised by their mistakes (even though in heated conversations and general internet discourse such mistakes are common and not reflective at all of someone’s capacity). This tactic covers ALL angles in this regard and is sure to incur feelings of shame and diminished.
You’re Interrogating From The Wrong Perspective
This is a very special tactic but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be freely or liberally used. If anything, it means you should use it as often and as widely as you can.You see, in this one you get to insult their intelligence and perceptiveness but in a very subtle and underhanded way! This one is very useful in discussions about literature and other media or academia.
The gist of it is this: there’s nothing offensive in there, you just don’t get it (because you are too stupid)!For example – you might want to impress your belief that context is irrelevant (there’s no racist parallels in a mythological planet where beautiful white elves keep horrible, animalistic orcs as slaves – it’s completely detached from earth’s history!), or that they’re just reading it wrong (well sure, you could take that attitude if you approach it from that perspective, but that’s not the perspective it was meant to be read with so your argument is just flawed!).
Once again (and truly a fundamental aspect of derailing) you demonstrate your lack of awareness of their issues but you also get to tell them that they’re wrong because you (and all the other privileged people) simply know better. Try it out and just wait and see what you get back.
Burn, baby, burn!
You’re Arguing With Opinions Not Fact
If you really want to excel as a privileged person you need to learn to value data, statistics, research studies and empirical evidence above all things, but especially above personal experiences. You can pretend you are oblivious to the fact most studies have been carried out by privileged people and therefore carry inherent biases, and insist that the marginalized person produce “Evidence” of what they‘re claiming.Their experience does not count as evidence, for it is subjective and therefore worthless.
This is very important because it works in two ways: 1) it communicates to the marginalized person that their personal testament is disbelieved and of no value, causing them great hurt; and 2) it once again reinforces your privilege.
You see, the very capacity to conduct studies, collect data and write detached “fact-based” reports on it, is an inherently privileged activity. The ability to widely access this material and research it exhaustively is also inherently privileged. Privileged People® find it easier to pursue these avenues than marginalized people and so once again you are reminding them you possess this privilege and reinforcing that the world at large values a system of analysis that excludes them, and values it over what their actual personal experience has been.
The process of valuing “fact” over “opinion” is one very much rooted in preserving privilege. Through this methodology, the continued pain and othering of millions of people can be ignored because it’s supported by “opinion” (emotion) and not “fact” (rationality).
It is also important because it calls on the marginalized person to do something that is simply impossible, and that is to summarize the entirety of their group’s experiences into a definitive example. It is important that you establish this precedent for the next couple of steps.