We need not suppose Third Wave Antiracists do this cynically to amass power. Take a look at, or listen to, that family member, neighbor or coworker you know who thinks this way and ask yourself whether they really give any indication of being a power-seeker. The Third Wave Antiracist genuinely reviles racism, as do most of us. They also seek a great deal else in the name of this that seems impractical, idealist, or just plain mean. But under our current conditions, the shakiness of their platform does not get in their way. This is because they can at any time shout out that you are a racist – and they do.
And to all but a very few, being called a racist is so intolerable today that one would rather tolerate some cognitive dissonance and fold up. This wouldn’t have worked as well in, say, 1967. In that America, many white people called racists by this kind of person, for better or for worse, would have just taken a sip of their cocktail and said “I don’t think so at all.” Or even just “Fuck you!”
Today, ironically because of progress, things are different. Now most cringe hopelessly at the prospect of being outed as a bigot, and thus: in being ever ready to call you a racist in the public square, the Third Wave Antiracist outguns you on the basis of this one weapon alone. Even if their overall philosophy is hardly the scriptural perfection they insist it is, that one thing they can and will do in its defense leaves us quivering wrecks. And thus they win.