I cannot fathom being so far removed from my actions that I could believe who I am as a person is in any way detached from my political choices or that it should be.
Yet here I am, on social media, reading people decrying the the evils and dangers of identity politics. Where did we get the idea that you can vote someone into or out of a public office and not have any part of that decision be influenced by your person, history, community, etc.
Oh wait, what does “identity politics” even mean? Let’s ask the dictionary.
Thank you, Google.
Now, about this whole identity politics thing. Political decisions we make involve our person. The policies that our government involve our person. Our man or womanhood, education access, what happens to our spouses and children, whether or not being raped is a pre-existing medical condition that should disqualify someone from receiving reasonably priced medical treatment in general…
In sum: the very things that are part our being. While I can understand the concern for potential manipulation of people using their very identity as a prop, I want to proffer a simple remedy for that:
Ignorance is the means by which people are manipulated to do things, not “identity politics” and shame on those who would use someone’s identity against them, but shame also on those who would suggest that a person should erase or omit their identity when making political decisions.
The Civil Rights movement and women’s suffrage – as a start – are pretty hardcore identity politics and even if there are a few who would have loved for neither of those things to have occurred, they did because people, from the depth of who they are, demanded a more equal world for everyone.
Here’s a free clue: that will continue to happen until we reach that equilibrium or until everyone expires.
However, I’ll step back from all the points, I made above and ask this question for those who decry identity politics: what would you have done to ensure a better world for everyone otherwise?
Further, what part of your identity would you have discarded to have that?