You’ve probably heard the term “identity politics” used to refer to people who believe that identity colors one’s experiences, and this idea is not without merit. Identity is an important concept, and is essential to the fighting of bigoted stereotypes and ideas about marginalized groups. It is very easy for people who have never lived or seen a certain kind of oppression personally to believe that it just doesn’t happen, even despite statistics. But people who seek to misuse the term take that concept all the way down the slippery slope. According to them, as long as someone identifies as something, it is true. No exceptions.
The numbers are derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Between January 2009 and March 2012, there was a net job loss of 740,000. Women, during that time period, lost 683,000 jobs, or 92 percent…
… In 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, 16.4 million women were living in poverty. In 2014, 18.4 million women were living in poverty.
I remain curious why the “debate” over antiracism as a politics takes such indirect and evasive forms—like the analogizing and guilt by association, moralistic bombast in lieu of concrete argument—and why it persists in establishing, even often while denying the move, the terms of debate as race vs. class. I’m increasingly convinced that a likely reason is that the race line is itself a class line, one that is entirely consistent with the neoliberal redefinition of equality and democracy. It reflects the social position of those positioned to benefit from the view that the market is a just, effective, or even acceptable system for rewarding talent and virtue and punishing their opposites and that, therefore, removal of “artificial” impediments to its functioning like race and gender will make it even more efficient and just.
From this perspective even the “left” antiracist line that we must fight both economic inequality and racial inequality, which seems always in practice to give priority to “fighting racism” (often theorized as a necessary precondition for doing anything else), looks suspiciously like only another version of the evasive “we’ll come back for you” (after we do all the business-friendly stuff) politics that the Democrats have so successfully employed to avoid addressing economic injustice.<
Adolph Reed Jr., The Limits Of Anti-Racism, Left Business Observer #121, September 2009