Let’s suppose there’s a group that society thinks is totally awesome and deserves social resources to protect, honor, and generally help them succeed.
For example, let’s suppose society really loves old people. They are given places of honor at family and cultural events, politicians make speeches about the importance of old people to society’s success, etc.
Any mistreatment or abuse of old people would be seen as a very serious problem, and any stories on the subject–the more sensational the better–would prompt total outrage.
By contrast, stories about an actually despised and persecuted outgroup would excite nary a yawn from people who don’t give a crap about them.
As a result, news outlets, blogs, etc., benefit from running sensationalist stories about mistreatment of society’s most favored people, and avoid yawn-worthy stories about the outgroup. As a result of that, the average person will be constantly inundated with stories about how this group they love is being horribly abused, leading to a completely false, out of proportion perception that the beloved group is actually one of the most persecuted in society.
Anyone who questions whether the beloved group is actually the most persecuted in society will of course be seen as a delusional hate-monger attempting to further the beloved group’s persecution. This makes reality very difficult to perceive/determine/discuss, while further cementing the dominant position of the beloved group.
Things could be further complicated if some parts of society actually value different groups. So some folks who do not particularly value old people could provide endless fodder for the group that does value old people.
It is pretty easy, especially in retrospect, to think of scenarios in which society has gone totally nuts trying to protect an already protected group against a basically imaginary predator. The conviction of Germans in 1935 that Jews were out to destroy their country and had to be stopped at all costs comes immediately to mind. Pol Pot’s genocide of 1/3 of Cambodia was probably motivated by similar concerns.
Closer to home, children are a highly cared for and protected group, and society demands they be protected from all dangers–including occasionally totally fictional dangers like Satanic Daycares.
Prediction: If the theory is true, then there should be at least one (perhaps multiple) group in society that is incorrectly believed to be oppressed while actually in a position of great power. You might even find that the group/s most popularly believed to be oppressed is actually one of the most popular/powerful.
Someone who doesn’t mind being hated by everyone could put together data on whether or not some of society’s favorite groups are actually being oppressed or not.