The Uncle Tom Principle refers to a tendency in discussions around social justice where a person who is considered a member of an oppressed group has their arguments valued more by those apologizing oppressive system because they are a member of the group disenfranchised by said system.
The term "Uncle Tom" was originally the name of a character from Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin in which Uncle Tom, one of the main characters, is an excessively servile individual who makes apologies for his master's mistakes and seems unusually comfortable with his position. The term "House Negro" is also very common as a synonym, as slaves who tended to household chores were often treated far more humanely and therefore were far less likely to oppose their masters.
In modern times, an Uncle Tom (or an Aunt Jane, is said person is female) would refer to a member of a disenfranchised group siding with any group seeking to oppose equality (like the alt-right or the MRM). Furthermore, said person will almost always be spared the bigotry usually associated with the oppressive movement (unless of course, said person is either too overt about their hated characteristic (as in the case of Milo Yiannopoulos being something of a parody of a feminine gay Jewish man) or opposes a certain action undertaken by the movement (as is the case of Christina Hoff Sommers when she rushed to the defense of Michelle Fields, who was groped by Corey Lewandowski)).
The arguments of an Uncle Tom are immediately given significantly more legitimacy due to the oppressive movements ability to dodge accusations of prejudice/bigotry. They may also be used as a way to deflecting criticism, as was the case with the #NotYourShield hashtag during Gamergate.
List of notable Uncle Toms:
- Christina Hoff Sommers on feminism and gender issues (particularly pernicious, as she identifies as a feminist and used to teach gender studies).
- Thomas Sowell and Larry Elder on racial issues.
- Milo Yiannopoulos on LGBT rights.
- Working-class people who vote for fiscally conservative parties on class issues.