The American Caliban (substitute) wrote,
The American Caliban

is there a word for this?

I am usually the Vocabulary King, but I can’t find a word for something.

What do you call a system of belief in which people are judged by their race or class or other group membership rather than their actions, i.e.., the same thing done by a member of one group is good and by another is bad.

Examples: A white man beating a black man is appropriate because he’s punishing a lower caste member; a black man beating a white man is committing a crime. Or: a black person who commits a street crime is legitimized as a revolutionary acting out “class rage” but a white person who does the same thing is a criminal. Or: American soldiers who blow up someone’s house to teach them a lesson are heroes, but Islamic guerillas who do the same thing are terrorists.

The opposite being a system of morality in which an action is judged independently of the group membership of the actor: you get a ticket for going 100 mph no matter who you are; anyone who beats a child is arrested for assault; any person who becomes an apostate from the religion is put to death, etc.

Is there a word for that difference, or a word for either system?
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