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Response to brooklynite (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 16, 2020, 04:27 PM

16. "Identity politics"

Sounds like a Progressive. I do know progressives complaining about "Identity politics" hurt Bernie Sanders in both primaries.

Barbara Smith Shares the Real Meaning of Identity Politics, the Most Misused Phrase in Our Lexicon

If you want to know the real definition of identity politics, don’t expect to get it from a bad leftist podcast, a right-wing reactionary, or opportunists who believe that it’s another way of saying “representation.” Instead, ask the black feminists of the Combahee River Collective who coined the phrase in the 1970s to articulate a specific political ideology.


From the New Yorker:

Smith told me, “By ‘identity politics,’ we meant simply this: we have a right as Black women in the nineteen-seventies to formulate our own political agendas.” She went on, “We don’t have to leave out the fact that we are women, we do not have to leave out the fact that we are Black. We don’t have to do white feminism, we don’t have to do patriarchal Black nationalism—we don’t have to do those things. We can obviously create a politics that is absolutely aligned with our own experiences as Black women—in other words, with our identities. That’s what we meant by ‘identity politics,’ that we have a right. And, trust me, very few people agreed that we did have that right in the nineteen-seventies. So we asserted it anyway.”

This also included black women’s right to formulate political agendas in the socialist sphere, which was and still is prone to class reductionism.

The C.R.C.’s renowned mission statement argued that black liberation, feminism, and socialism—together—were essential factors required for the liberation of all people. “If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression,” read the C.R.C. statement. If one attempts to extract sexism and racism from the equation, such an outcome would be impossible.


Coalition building is very difficult.

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