If so, I have news for you: you are practicing identity politics.
I know. It’s a shocker. And you seemed like such a good person.
In case you weren’t aware, “identity politics” is a loaded phrase that refers to the tendency of ethnic minorities to vote for other ethnic minorities.
To conservatives, this “central superstition of the diversity industry” means that minorities are slaves to their racial or ethnic group and don’t bother to think about the issues or give white candidates a chance. Indeed, to many pundits, identity politics is a tribal instinct and divisive force that keeps us from being united as Americans.
Yes, it’s truly bad mojo. And weirdly enough, it afflicts only minorities.
Well, obviously those people aren’t practicing identity politics. They’ve made a careful examination of the issues and analyzed each candidate’s position. Then they chose the white Mormon guy.
The truth is that it “is human nature to identify with others who look and act like us.” There is an argument that it is somewhat rational to think “that because of his or her race or ethnicity … a candidate might pursue an agenda that would advance the interests a voter is committed to.” In other words, people vote for what they believe in, and they often assume that a person who shares their race also shares their values.
The dark side of this is when voters say they will not vote for someone who is of a different race or ethnicity. According to the GOP, that is exactly what black people are doing when they snub Romney.
For people who denounce identity politics so furiously, the Republican Party has a conspicuous tendency of tapping into white resentment. Even some conservative commentators have pointed out that Romney’s base is “old white men” and that many GOP leaders think it is “better to leverage or at least accept the racism of much of the Republican base than try to clean it up.”
Again, that’s not my opinion. Conservatives are writing that.
But it is, according to them, ethnic minorities who are supposedly obsessed with race. In essence, when Democrats aim their message at Latinos or blacks, it’s identity politics. But when Republicans rile up anxious whites, it’s “appealing to the base.”
Aren’t you happy it’s just that black-and-white?