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Wed Dec 14, 2016, 12:17 PM

 

Identity politics is a right-wing slur for civil rights

IMHO, no one on the left should use that term except to point out that it's been co-opted by the rightwing and various liberal critics.

I guess the term has been around for a while, but now it's a pejorative. Is there a problem with using good old fashioned "civil rights"???

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_politics

Now enjoy this Samantha Bee segment that inspired me:

42 replies, 2464 views

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Reply Identity politics is a right-wing slur for civil rights (Original post)
Fast Walker 52 Dec 2016 OP
FarCenter Dec 2016 #1
Fast Walker 52 Dec 2016 #4
FarCenter Dec 2016 #5
bettyellen Dec 2016 #6
La Lioness Priyanka Dec 2016 #9
Fast Walker 52 Dec 2016 #18
La Lioness Priyanka Dec 2016 #32
Uponthegears Dec 2016 #31
La Lioness Priyanka Dec 2016 #33
Uponthegears Dec 2016 #36
JHan Dec 2016 #13
Fast Walker 52 Dec 2016 #19
JHan Dec 2016 #21
Uponthegears Dec 2016 #35
Demsrule86 Dec 2016 #16
ck4829 Dec 2016 #2
ymetca Dec 2016 #3
Baitball Blogger Dec 2016 #7
whathehell Dec 2016 #8
La Lioness Priyanka Dec 2016 #10
whathehell Dec 2016 #11
La Lioness Priyanka Dec 2016 #12
whathehell Dec 2016 #20
La Lioness Priyanka Dec 2016 #29
whathehell Dec 2016 #37
La Lioness Priyanka Dec 2016 #39
whathehell Dec 2016 #41
Post removed Dec 2016 #25
La Lioness Priyanka Dec 2016 #27
MadDAsHell Dec 2016 #15
La Lioness Priyanka Dec 2016 #23
jalan48 Dec 2016 #14
yurbud Dec 2016 #17
Dems to Win Dec 2016 #30
DemocraticSocialist8 Dec 2016 #22
betsuni Dec 2016 #24
bravenak Dec 2016 #26
Uponthegears Dec 2016 #28
Fast Walker 52 Dec 2016 #42
David__77 Dec 2016 #34
Uponthegears Dec 2016 #38
David__77 Dec 2016 #40

Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 12:21 PM

1. Civil rights is about equality, while identity politics is about advantages for specific groups

 

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 12:43 PM

4. OK, so should Democrats ever use the term?

 

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 12:55 PM

5. As a coalition including groups based on racial and gender identities, I doubt they can avoid it

 

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 12:59 PM

6. It's always about civil or human rights for specific groups so "identity" minimizes the issues.

 

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 01:35 PM

9. actually Identity Politics is about coalescing as a political force to get civil rights for those

 

who don't yet have them.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 03:34 PM

18. right, but the question is whether the term is tainted and if there is a better term for it

 

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:09 PM

32. the term is a right wing term, that the left after this election seems to have taken up

 

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:08 PM

31. Thank you for this

 

And your other posts (with the single exception of the one Bernie dig) in this string.

It amazes me that on DU there are people who don't accept that some folks deserve more because the are starting behind.

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Response to Uponthegears (Reply #31)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:10 PM

33. it's not a dig to say he did poorly with minorities. it is a fact.

 

much like hillary did poorly with youth.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #33)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:13 PM

36. I kinda meant the dig at his language

 

Btw, he didn't as much do poorly with people of color as Hillary did well. Her primary message was spot on.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 02:22 PM

13. It was "identity politics" which gave birth to the civil rights movement..

since public policy has historically and continues to affect some groups to the benefit or detriment of others. Pointing this out is something no Liberal should be afraid to do, we should embrace it..

The constitution was originally conceived to benefit white men alone - white identity is central to almost every public policy decision and the response to changes in cultural norms and values throughout our history. As a result, the Civil Rights Movement challenged this white privilege by emphasizing how State Power impacted blacks disproportionately ( because of Identity) and Civil Rights mushroomed into an umbrella for all groups :- women, "native-americans", homosexuals etc etc.

Political fights arenít won with universal principled arguments alone, and pretending that they are is often a mask for the identity politics of the staatsvolk. As citizens of a liberal state trying to preserve it, we need to be able to hear each other talking about particularized injustices, and to cheer each other on when we seek to overturn them. Members of disadvantaged minorities standing up for themselves arenít to blame for the turn to populist authoritarianism; and their energy and commitment is a resource that free societies canít do without in resisting it.


https://niskanencenter.org/blog/defense-liberty-cant-without-identity-politics/

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Response to JHan (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 03:35 PM

19. I personally think this is important but am wondering about the term itself-- is it tainted

 

Like "entitlements" for example

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 04:19 PM

21. I think that's a good analogy ...

For instance, the effects of Reagan's negative welfare narratives had a long sustained effect on our perception of all forms of entitlements, when it's a philosophical approach we shouldn't shy away from- it covers wages/ poverty, housing policy, healthcare. etc

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Response to JHan (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:10 PM

35. Yep

 

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 03:18 PM

16. That sounds very republicanesque...I could not disagree more.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 12:32 PM

2. The right has framed several issues in their favor

And unless we go our own way on this and define them in our favor, we can see this happen to even more issues.

"Identity politics" is one example, "political correctness" is another, it's becoming a strawman for the right to use against anyone and anything they don't agree with, including climate science and getting called out on pushing obviously fake news.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 12:41 PM

3. While I agree the term is pejorative

I would say that ALL politics is identity politics, by design. The concept of the nation/state itself is pretty much an Us vs. Them mass delusion.

Eventually it devolves into one scoundrel or another invoking the old "what's good for the nation" trope as an excuse for oppressing one minority group or another. It's how we got into the pickle of believing those so-called "inalienable" rights were somehow bequeathed to us by our "founding fathers".

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 01:20 PM

7. Very confusing. Doesn't the other side practice identity politics?

For example, "Make America great again" is a dog whistle.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 01:25 PM

8. While I agree that it's not an ideal term (I'd prefer "social issue politics", Bernie Sanders

used the term, and, please, he is NO Right Winger!..You may not like him, but he is decidedly NOT Right Wing, and I honestly

think he wants the best for EVERYONE in this country, and even the world...Everyone makes mistakes, sometimes.

Have you ever heard of Todd Gitlin?...He's an author and a progressive of undeipsuted credentials, and he said the same thing way

back int the early nineties -=- No one, not Bernie or Gitlin wants to eradicate our focus on social justice, they simply want to include

more economic justice issues which would help ALL of us, Black, White, Latino, LGBT, male, female, everyone. That's how I see it.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 01:40 PM

10. bernie sanders is not right wing but he never has had to cater to nonwhite constituents

 

and if he now wants to, he should try to develop a language that is not alienating to us.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 02:05 PM

11. He had to cater to non-whites in the primaries

Last edited Wed Dec 14, 2016, 03:41 PM - Edit history (1)

and, from what I saw, he did quite well.

I don't think one word makes an entire "language', and I think those who would judge him so harshly on the basis of it, are neither seeing or appreciating the real man, and I'd say a number of his
black supporters seem to agree.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 02:06 PM

12. no, he did very poorly with non-whites. even young non-whites voted for him at much lower levels

 

than young whites.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 03:40 PM

20. I think that had less to do

with his "language" and more to do with other aspects of the campaign.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 05:55 PM

29. right. my point is that he didn't do well with minorities, and he will continue to alienate us

 

if he continues this careless language issue. it doesn't matter if all he wants to do is be a senator from VT, but if he wants more D leadership type roles, it will matter.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:15 PM

37. "and he will continue our to alienate us if

continues this careless language issue".

This 'careless language issue' consists of one word?

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Response to whathehell (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:18 PM

39. no, it's his distancing from identity politics over all.

 

and his inability to be able to tell civil rights coalitions apart from tokenism.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:22 PM

41. "his inability to tell civil rights coalitions apart from tokenism"

I don't know what you mean. Could you give me an example?

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #12)


Response to Post removed (Reply #25)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 05:49 PM

27. maybe in your head, but not in real life. nt

 

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 03:13 PM

15. "'cater to' nonwhite constituents?" What an insulting phrase. nt

 

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Response to MadDAsHell (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 04:59 PM

23. attend to, listen to, deal with, be sensitive to: are all phrases that i can live with

 

man has no experience with any of the above.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 03:11 PM

14. Is environmentalism an identity politics issue as well?

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 03:18 PM

17. I like your idea. Identity politics sounds too much like "Vote for me because I look like you"

not "vote for me because I have a track record of working on issues that are unique to your community."

Sadly, the first version is all we often get from politicians.

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Response to yurbud (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:01 PM

30. "Vote for me because I look like you" is what a lot of people think of

 

when they hear the term 'identity politics.'

Others rightly call this tokenism. As many have pointed out, I wouldn't call it a feminist victory if Sarah Palin had been elected. It's not enough to look like me, a politician has to fight for me in order to win my vote.

There was discussion of the disappointment older women felt when a lot of younger women supported Bernie in the primary. Some of the talk did take the tone of demanding that young women HAD to vote for Hillary because she's a woman. That doesn't create good results, and might be what people are reacting to when they are negative about 'identity politics.'

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 04:56 PM

22. Identity Politics can apply to all groups regardless of race or party affiliation

The Southern Strategy was identity politics too. Don't forget about that.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 05:11 PM

24. K&R

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 05:35 PM

26. Of course it is and the ones using it that way are complicit in the alt rightining of america

 

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 05:52 PM

28. May I repeat my humble attempt at a different word?

 

Now is NOT the time to abandon "identity politics."

Indeed, it is my firm conviction that we lost in part because we abandoned "identity politics" during the general election in favor of seeking out issues (mostly AN issue) with more universal appeal. You will pardon me if I now abandon the term "identity politics" and replace it the general statement of principle that our "politics" should be publicly and unashamedly fighting for the oppressed and against their oppressors AND having the courage to say that both exist.

Unfortunately, this fight is hampered by the refusal in some quarters to acknowledge the oppressed, or, for that matter, the oppressors. It is hampered also by the fallacious belief in some quarters that political victory can only be achieved with the aid of the oppressors.

Because the acrimony here on DU (and for you "DU isn't the real world"-ers, even in the "real world" contest for DNC chair) appear tied to the definitions of "oppressed" and "oppressors," there might be the place to start. Hopefully, we can all agree that the descendants of slaves and those who look like them are members of the "oppressed" without having to go through a long discussion of 400+ years of American (in particular Southern Plantation) slavery and its pernicious effects. Hopefully, we can agree that Spanish-speaking immigrants and non-citizen residents (both documented and undocumented) are also among the "oppressed." Hopefully, we can agree that women are among the "oppressed." Particularly in this day and age, one would hope that we can agree that adherents to the tenets of Islam are among the "oppressed." We should also all be able to agree that those who are unable to provide their families with the necessities of life AND hope for a better future are among the "oppressed." Finally, we should all be able to agree that people whose sexual identity and/or sexual orientation do not align with the dominant religious ideology are "oppressed." Obviously this list is not exhaustive, but I offer it to demonstrate the breadth of those who would be our natural constituency under an "oppressed vs. oppressors" (f/k/a "identity politics" political ideology.

Of course, if we ran on such an ideology, there would also be people who would vote with us who are not oppressed, but place the needs of the oppressed over their own desire for further privileges.

Who, then, are the oppressors? Basically, they are everyone else. They are the .1%, the holders of the overwhelming majority of the nation's capital. An infinitely small group made even smaller by subtracting out those among them place the needs of the oppressed over their own. They are the people whose dominant social objective is to harm the weak. Hopefully another small group. They are the people who place their own further privilege above the needs of the oppressed. Again, to consciously say "I choose for the oppressed to suffer so that I may have more than my already-satisfying life gives me" requires a level of psychopathology that this group also has to be somewhat limited. Finally, there is a group that exists amid the REALITY, whether they believe it so or not, that their vote does not personally harm them, but believe that it does. They are people who actually have little to gain or lose from voting against the interests of our natural constituency, but have been convinced that they do. That is a large group.

Those are the battle lines in the political ideology of "oppressed vs oppressor." Those of us who truly believe in that ideology (i.e., who truly believe in "identity politics", and I count myself and those other DU members who have espoused "identity politics" among them, believe that there are more people on our side of those battle lines than their are on "theirs" If we are correct, we should be able to go to the oppressed with policies that favor them WITH NO REGARD WHATSOEVER FOR THE OPPRESSORS and say, "We are here for you and no one else," and, because we are the many, drive the kind of turnout that leaves the oppressors' concerns unimportant. We will not say "All lives matter," or "Blue lives matter," We will say "YOUR lives matter." We will not say "Low taxes matter," or "Limiting the size of government matters," or "small businesses matter" We will say "YOUR lives matter."

To those who bemoan the loss of the American ideal of a unified people, the ideal President Obama described with such grace and eloquence, it died on November 8, 2016.

Unless we have a plan for convincing last large group of oppressors I described above that they aren't hurt by equality, by social justice, and by economic justice, and can do that in the next two years when we haven't been able to do it in the last 25 years (and god knows I would love to hear it instead of the watching incessant turf war for the soul of this party),

It is now us, or it is them.

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Response to Uponthegears (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:52 PM

42. thanks-- to be clear, I am not against anything you wrote, it's just whether the words

 

"identity politics" are useful.

I just found this interview that is relevant, about the racism that peaked after Obama's election:
http://www.vox.com/identities/2016/12/12/13894546/obama-race-black-white-house-cornell-belcher-racism

This part is disturbing:

What my research has shown and other research has shown is that people become more conservative or nationalistic with the increases in diversity ó I think thatís exactly what my research has picked up on in the electorate, going back to the beginning of Obamaís presidency.

In battleground states, particularly more diverse states, the percentage of white people voting Democrat decreases significantly as that population gets more diverse. So diversity is having an opposite impact that is harmful to Democrats.

Thatís why I argue to Democrats that you are going to lose more and more white votes, and unless there is a major party realignment, this is going to continue to be a phenomenon. As the Republican Party is seen more and more as the racial identification party for white people, youíre not gonna see us all of a sudden winning blue-collar white voters.


This is a tough issue, and the interview is important in entirety. I don't know where this is going, but it doesn't seem good.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:10 PM

34. Ok.

What could one call the viewpoint that those who are not members of a specific group are totally unqualified to speak to the conditions of said group?

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Response to David__77 (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:16 PM

38. Speak to

 

or define?

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Response to Uponthegears (Reply #38)

Wed Dec 14, 2016, 06:19 PM

40. Define, without invalidating any other viewpoint.

I don't think that affirming one's view point means invalidating the viewpoint of another necessarily. I don't think that one must only listen; that said, I do think listening is important.

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