The Last Acceptable Prejudice

The other day, I was thrilled to spot a link someone posted on social media pointing to an article titled “The Last Acceptable Prejudice.” I was excited because for the past two decades, I’ve been a casual collector of things that people claim is the Last Acceptable Prejudice (LAP). I’ve heard of LAPs from boyfriends, relatives, casual acquaintances, and of course from op-ed writers for years, and amazingly, very few LAPs ever match one another.

This is fascinating to me because by definition, there can only be one LAP. “Last” means “final,” and so amongst the many LAPs I’ve heard, all but one can only be, at best, the Penultimate Acceptable Prejudice (PAP), and even that can’t be awarded until we’re down to just Two Remaining Acceptable Prejudices (TRAP).

Without further ado, here is a partial list of the LAPs I have heard people proclaim (links to articles when I had them handy). Which will be the one true LAP, after humanity has finally rid itself of all other acceptable prejudices?

The Irish (US)
The Irish (from Ireland)
Southerners (US)
Fat people
Indians (from India)
Native Americans
White people
The poor
The mentally ill
Old people
Young people
Female athletes
and now…
People with accents

So which one do you think it will be? How long will it take for us to wipe out all the other LAPs? Leave your prediction below.

Featured image unrelated to post, unless and until kittens become the true LAP.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon mstdn.social/@rebeccawatson Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky @rebeccawatson.bsky.social

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    1. Is that actually a prejudice? For someone to be deemed “willfully ignorant” should mean they have a track record of not only being wrong but of ignoring arguments and facts that disprove their contentions. This behavior lowers the prior plausibility of anything they say, so automatically doubting what they say is not a form of prejudice.

      On the other hand, placing someone in the category “Willfully Ignorant People” solely due to what they say or who they are (rather than on their repeated rejection of new knowledge) and automatically dismissing them is a form of prejudice.

  1. Anybody different from “me”, isn’t it?

    But I’m going with ageism because that has been around for thousands of years and was written about in classical times. Meaning it will probably take at least another couple of thousand to eliminate.

    Of course each generation creates a new bunch of protagonists, so it’s probably going to be the forever war. Also, isn’t it ironic how we all start out on one side and end up on the other?

    1. This seems plausible. The war over raising children is endless, and LOTS of people think children are property, even if they don’t all phrase it that way.

  2. The Last Acceptable Prejudice will likely be against pedophiles.

    There will always be parents scared for their children and even mental health professional have difficulty treating it like a psychiatric disorder.

  3. Doesn’t this assume all prejudices are unacceptable, that they will all eventually die out, and that there will be one last one which is acceptable? Surely there are prejudices which are acceptable, and should be? I guess it depends on how you define the word prejudice, but I do know all discrimination isn’t unacceptable, nor should it be. People use the term discrimination as if discrimination is inherently bad, but in reality, what we are opposed to is unacceptable discrimination. Acceptable discrimination – like discriminating between red and green lights at an intersection – is not only not necessarily bad, but often positively good.

  4. Ask and ye shall receive…

    Ageism: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/maher-ageism-is-the-last-acceptable-prejudice-in-america/
    Sexism in Sports: http://www.sbnation.com/2013/4/24/4261288/sexism-female-sports-reporters-duncan-keith
    Anti-semisitism in football (!): http://www.eurojewcong.org/combating-anti-semitism/10608-ejc-president-says-anti-semitism-has-become-the-last-acceptable-prejudice-in-football.html
    Americans: http://kirstenalexander.com/published-works/homeless/the-last-acceptable-prejudice-hating-americans/

    I’m sorry. Sorta.

    Anyhow, I think the last acceptable prejudice should be people who think there is a last acceptable prejudice. Because those people basically seem to think that the world is fixed except for the one thing that affects them.

  5. Pretty sure the LAP will be cyborgs. The 100% robots will hate the still-somewhat-human cyborgs, after they both eliminate the soft and squishy people-people.

  6. The last acceptable prejudice is against people who have radishes instead of eyebrows. I’ve never heard anyone stand up for their right to be treated equally.

  7. I would say nationality. (Admittedly this is pretty similar to “people with accents”.) What I mean is, it will be a long time before passports and borders vanish and people are allowed to live where they like, regardless of country of birth, language spoken etc. Even though passports are a relatively recent invention. We’re too tribal and afraid of people we don’t understand and of losing our way of life.

    But I think it will happen eventually. Discrimination based on country of birth is pretty obviously arbitrary and wrong when you think about it.

      1. The great thing about hipsters as a LAP is that you can just relabel anything you don’t like as hipster, and thus fitting the model.

        1. I recently heard that not being a hipster is the new hipster. That should pretty much cover everyone.

          BTW, if no one got my joke, I was referring to the featured image at the top of the page. If *everyone* got it, I apologize for bashing you with it.

  8. I vote for sexism. You can get away with saying things about women that would get you in huge trouble if said about pretty much any other marginalized group.

    1. Southerners is a general term, while hillbillies is usually derogatory and refers to a specific demographic of (often) scots irish people who live in the Ozark or Appalachian mountains.

      1. I am both a Southerner and a Hillbilly. Both Southerners and Hillbillies talk funny but Hillbillies also have one leg shorter then the other from walking up and down the hills.

  9. I been having a serious identity crisis since I retired 4 years ago. After reading the LAP List above I feel so much better. It seems I have a lot of identities i.e. Southerner, Hillbilly, Fat, Redhead (until it turned white), White women (complete with freckles and skin cancer), Heterosexual (long inactive), Poor, Mentally Ill (but thanks to the LAP List I am now less depressed), Old and Atheist.
    Life is good!

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