Identity Politics on the Left and Right

Identity Politics on the Left and Right September 19, 2018

A couple of weeks ago I did a blog on why putting so much energy towards the defense of Kaepernick is a losing strategy. Of course I got pushback which is fine and dandy. I also saw name calling and dehumanizing which is not acceptable. I decided to remove such emails from the comments. I simply do not understand the lack of introspection that comes with thinking that insulting others is the way to win them over to your cause.

But that got me to thinking about what was happening with some of those comments. And I have concluded that what drives some, but not all, of the Kaepernick worship and defense is identity politics. Identity politics is something that I have been thinking about lately. There are those with strong social identities tied to Kaepernick’s political activism who almost reflexively defend him due to their commitment to identity politics. A great deal of our politics today is driven by identity politics, and this identity politics is a major reason why we cannot solve social problems.

About five years ago, this would have mostly been an issue connected to the left side of the political spectrum. But that is no longer the case. Because I am what I could call a “critical political independent” I am not afraid to criticize those on the left and the right in my facebook posts. Naturally I tend to irritate both political liberals and conservatives. Until about two years ago only progressives would defriend me due to my commentary. But that changed with the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. I became very hostile towards Trump and his candidacy. I could not stand the idea that he might become our president, and my posts reflected my frustration. As a result several of my more conservative friends defriended me as well. They could take my critique of other conservative policies, but attacking Trump seems to be too much for them to accept.

What I think happened is that Trump appealed to a type of white nationalism which in critical ways resembles the identity politics that had been a feature of the left. What Trumpism has done is made it acceptable, in certain social circles to ground one’s vote in being white. Forget the differences of political issues between these different types of identity politics. On both the left and the right we have individuals who have a certain social identity and use that identity to make decisions on politics. In that, identity politics and on the left and the right is the same.

Why is identity politics problematic? Reams of social research have shown us how powerful our social identity is in shaping our social and psychological health. Among other tasks, our social identity helps us to maintain a healthy level of self-esteem, to feel good about our social norms, to understand who our allies are and to deal with social problems. Our social identity is a critical part of who we are and we cannot easily dismiss its effects upon us.

Consider what happens when we connect our politics to our social identity. Critiques of our political positions are not merely objective assessments of our political ideas. They are attacks on who we think we are. Attempts at dispassionate analysis of political opinions based on identity politics are seen as cruel and insulting. This makes it very hard to debate issues connected to identity politics since we are not merely dealing with issues of logic and rationality but also of emotional and passionate connection to what people consider part of their identity.

Look at how individuals rooted in social identity approach political debates. To avoid hearing political viewpoints that may threaten their social identity, individuals develop ways to shut down debate. Those who debate points that threaten that identity may be called part of the “swamp” or racist. Those who threaten social identity cannot be seen as completely human. They are either bigots or snowflakes. We know that in war it becomes easier to kill the enemy when those individuals are dehumanized. This type of dehumanization suggests that those relying on identity politics, on the left and the right, are engaging in a mentality that is not unlike the mentality of soldiers who are in war.

Does that scare you? I hope it does. It scares me. It scares me, in a culture where I want to raise my three boys to make a difference, that they may have to navigate in such a polarized and toxic culture. Can we move away from this type of polarizing identity politics from both sides of the political spectrum and create a politics that finds solutions? I believe we only can if we stop focusing on using conflict to force capitulation and instead focus on finding lasting solutions. But protection of our identity generally demands such capitulation.

My orientation as it concerns political issues is to find useful solutions more than adhere to socially constructed political ideologies. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I am neither a consistent liberal nor conservative. If I felt that identity politics would lead to useable solutions, then I would be doing all I could in order to facilitate more of such politics. But instead I see identity politics as a barrier to lasting solutions and a force to insure more polarization in our already divided society.

I have written about active listening as it pertains to dealing with racial alienation in our society. I have also thought about whether such listening could be useful in helping us to deal with the cultural and political divide in our society as well. Identity politics get in the way of our ability to use active listening to find consensus in our society. Identity politics prevent us from hearing the perspectives of others since their critiques of our positions are more personal and cut to the core of our identity needs. If somehow we could move past anchoring our politics to meeting needs tied to our social identity, then perhaps we could work together rather than against each other.

But I am skeptical about whether we will be able to do that. I fear that the sort of blowback I received with my blog on Kaepernick is going to become more common in our society rather than less common. The reflective defense of Kaepernick, or Trump for that matter, is indicative of the unwillingness of individuals to engage with those with whom they disagree. When our identity is at stake it is much easier to just demonize those with whom we disagree rather than work towards solutions. The emergence of identity politics on the right is not making our politics better by arming conservatives with the same weapons that the left has used. It has made our politics worse by reducing our ability to communicate with each other.

Is there anything we as individuals can do to dial down the temperature created by the imposition of identity politics on the left and right? We can try to engage in some introspection about how we create our political values and how deeply those values are tied to our social identity. If we conclude that those values are deeply tied to our social identity, then we can decide if we are willing to re-evaluate how we conceptualize political issues. Can we take a step back and realize that some of our passion about the issue is not tied to a cognitive evaluation of that issue but to dearly important social psychological needs? Can we acknowledge that perhaps we have not been open to the possibility that we are wrong rather than demonize our political opponents? Can we work towards an environment where political dialog with people with whom we disagree becomes possible?

As I think about my social identity, I realize that my faith is the most central part of that identity. This means that I have to be extra careful on political issues connected to my faith. I have to make sure that what I politically ask for Christians, that I am willing to give to those of other faiths and non-faiths. I must look to defend the rights of non-Christians to make sure that my focus is not merely upon helping “my people” get their due. I think this may be one of the reasons why I have blogged about religious freedom for Muslims as well as Christians. Intentionally making sure we go beyond our own group is going to be important if we are to make sure that our social identity does not blind us to the concerns of others.

Beyond working on ourselves, I am not sure where we as a society can go from here. The genie is out of the bottle and identity politics is here to stay for the foreseeable future. But perhaps having some awareness about how it plays itself out among our political allies will help us to be more careful about not allowing them to get carried away with this tool. Perhaps but I am not optimistic about that.

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  • jock1234

    Kaepernick? I care as much about him as the dog down the street, who is constantly barking. Does that pretty well sum things up.

    * Oh, I’m not buying NIKE either…

    • Fartrell Cluggins

      Did you make sure and burn what Nike you do own, along with smashing your Keurig?

    • NIKE’s sales recently went through the roof for some reason. If you really wanted to hurt them, not buying them wasn’t the way to go. DONATING your used NIKEs (sp?) to someone who otherwise would’ve paid the company for new ones in the recent weeks would’ve been the way to hurt NIKE.

      Personally I cannot stand sports, at least at the professional level (schoolyard sports is good for fun and fresh air at least). But even *I* recently bought some NIKE shoes and socks in bulk to give out to high schoolers in my old hometown, now primarily Black and Hispanic, with whom I stand on the matter of police brutality.

      NIKEs are quite expensive because of their arbitrary branding name, but there is a sense of belonging and pride for the students who get to wear something in solidarity with a hero like Kaepernick.

    • Barros Serrano

      And so you’re proud of your racism. Thanks for not holding back.

      • jock1234

        How long have you been a racist? You can change, if you want it bad enough…

        • Barros Serrano

          You are taking the racist side. You’re fine with disproportionate Police violence against non-whites.

          You’re fine with the President calling people names for legally protesting.

          You’re just fine with the Tiki torches in Charlottesville too, I’ll bet.

          • jock1234

            You slime ball – YOU called me a racist above, and ignited this. EXPLAIN THAT ONE – BOZO!????

          • georgeyancey

            Barros I have been reading your comments. Argue whatever point your want. Any more insults will result in you being banned. If you cannot make your argument without insulting others then perhaps you do not have an argument. Consider this your last warning from me.

          • Barros Serrano

            I have been subject to the usual litany of connedservative insults in here and I don’t see you warning them.

            So, boy, how about this: take your hypocrisy and shove it up your fascist ass. Or come see me and I’ll insert it for you.

            Cram your ego-fueled power trip along with your hypocrisy. Can you manage that?

            Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, boy. Ridiculous treasonous jackass.

          • georgeyancey

            Barros has been banned. He is clearly a troll and I do not think we should waste any more time trying to have a conversation with him.

      • jock1234

        ANSWER WHY YOU CALL PEOPLE RACISTS, YET YOU INITIATE CALLING THEM ONE FIRST!
        Can’t do it. A total dork…

  • Richard Daggett

    I agree with you on these issues. My only concern is that you appear to believe that “identity politics” is a tactic that began on the liberal side of the political spectrum. I’m sure that a history of political discourse (or shouting) will reveal that identity politics has muddied both ends of the political spectrum.

    • Barros Serrano

      Identity politics is caused by racism. It is made necessary by racism.

  • DNetter

    If we, as U.S. citizens, were to fix our focus on realigning to our foundational governing values, the lesser differences would cease to divide us. We have allowed media, television, entertainment to seduce us into falsely believing we’re tribally and inter-sectionally divided. A lunacy that’s turned us into an emotive wreckage – resentful, depressed, suspicious people. We really lack fidelity to our divinely-inspired and hard-fought form of government. Pursuit of happiness (where social-psychological needs can be met) is being strait-jacketed. We are being reduced to slavishly emotive impotence and functional breakdown. If we continue to be a nation that’s ugly in spirit – slanderous, libelous, licentious, deceivers and deceived we will wake up to find ourselves living in a despotic nightmare. This author is trying to make sense of it all but I think it’s a bit underwater. #AWOKUSPOCUS #RECONSTITUTEAMERICA #NEWFOCUS #FIDELITY2AMERICA

    • swbarnes2

      Ah, yes, the foundation governing values, whereby only men could vote, and some people owned other people as property.

      I am sure you are absolutely sincere in wishing that we would hew closer to those ‘values’.

      • DNetter

        A parent takes a picture of two children at just a split second after one of them punched the other in the gut. Forever a violent person? A stupid moment in a juvenile stage and corrected by caring diligent parents . You think the parents negligent? Or are they continually adapting to the immature mistakes their offspring inflict on each other? Your oversimplification in characterizing the sturdy foundational principles of our Constitution seem ignorant. Though I’m sure you’re not. Think deeper…

        • Somewhere Free

          “Your oversimplification in characterizing the sturdy foundational principles of our Constitution ”

          You have a very weak grasp of American history. The foundational principles of America were set out in the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution is the result of a coup de etat (yes, threats of military intervention were used) by the Federalists to kill America and replace it with a clone of Rome.

          If you knew your American history, you’d know that.

        • Barros Serrano

          This is a lot of vague rhetoric. Why don’t you state what you want… the repeal of the 14th Amendment, I suspect…

    • Somewhere Free

      “If we, as U.S. citizens, were to fix our focus on realigning to our foundational governing values,”

      You have a very strange understanding of US history. Our “foundational governing values” are the Women, brown people and children are chattel and only White Men are smart enough to be in positions of power. That is not something to look back to, let alone return to.

    • Barros Serrano

      The divisions are caused by racism. And it is the dominant group who created it.

      I imagine that black people didn’t need the news media to tell them they were being mistreated.

      Tribal divisions are created, for example, by the gringos in California who get upset when I speak Castilian in public. By the white racists who let people know every day that they are unwanted and despised.

      As I was in an inter-ethnic marriage in California, I experienced racism from whites EVERY DAY.

      You have little to no apprehension of reality

  • Alexandra

    Professor Yancey,

    It is hard for me to understand how we can get rid of identity politics, when specific groups of people are marginalized. It seems to me that identity politics has to play a role in order to identify oppresses groups and to address the issues. It is hard, for instance, to address the issues of incarceration in the US without recognizing that disproportionate numbers of African American and Latino men are incarcerated. It is difficult to address the issue of domestic violence or sexual abuse in our society without recognizing that it is women who are disproportionately the ones victimized.

    I went back to read your Kaepernick blog. It seems that the one thing that you did not consider is that, sometimes, people protest or demonstrate, simply to bring attention to an issue. I am not sure that anything will change the minds or hearts of some white people about issues of race. Others’ minds can and need to be changed. I agree with you that Kaepernick’s actions, alone, will not cause a change of mind or heart. But I do think that it’s possible that his protest caused more people to talk about the issue. If there’s talk (as opposed to shouting, or name-calling, I think that is always a good result. For too long, too many white people in this country chose to keep questions of race off their radar. I’m glad to see that this has changed again, at least to some degree.

    • Nimblewill

      “It is hard for me to understand how we can get rid of identity politics, when specific groups of people are marginalized.”

      Do you believe that white males are ever marginalized?

      • SCUBAsabre

        I would be happy to answer that question when you answer if you recognize that groups are marginalized (as in disproportionally receiving ill treatement by contrast to other groups) for the issues Alexandra mentioned. Once you acknowledge this I would be happy to discuss what you see as the marginalization of white males.

        • Nimblewill

          Did you for one second think that I was suggesting that people aren’t marginalized? But for argument’s sake exactly who do you think are “disproportionally receiving ill treatment by contrast to other groups.” It simply does not happen in my small rural community.

          • SCUBAsabre

            Ah… the answer that always comes from someone that is NOT part of a group that is marginalized. I get it… you didn’t experience it personally so of course it’s not possible that it has ever happened. yes… I’ve heard this dismissal without ever acknowledging that it does happen. So… to be clear are you saying your answer is that it doesnt’ happen to anyone and especially in your “rural community”?

          • Nimblewill

            I answered your question with my first sentence but no one in my community is “disproportionally receiving ill treatment by contrast to other groups.” Your definition of marginalization. I wish you could have heard our Hispanic Salutatorian’s graduation speech about our community. Now can you answer my question. Watch the media, white males are “disproportionally receiving ill treatment by contrast to other groups.”

          • White males are most certainly NOT “disproportionally receiving ill treatment by contrast to other groups.” I realize it appears this way to someone who’s so very accustomed to a near-monopoly on all rights and privileges, but please know that to those accustomed to privilege, equality looks like oppression.

            One of you (who makes your sort of claims from within the comfort of a privilege-swaddling so tight that you don’t even recognize how much better you have it than the rest of us) once tried to prove that women and gays/LGBTQI, and PoC (non-whites) have the world kowtowing to them because — here it comes — bookstores have sections for Women’s History, African American Literature, Spanish reads, and basically a bunch of sections for non-whites, non-straights, and non-men. NEXT he tried newspaper sections for Women’s Sports, Women’s Health, Women’s Finances, and the (occasional) LGBTQI section insert. I patiently waited for him to add several women’s channels, Black people’s channels, channels for Hispanics, various Asian ethnicities, and LOGO (a 50/50 gay channel).

            When he was done, and when he sat there basking in what he presumed was a guaranteed Oppression Olympics win, I instantly shot down his argument by stating the reason those “niche” industries weren’t evidence of straight/white/males being oppressed or receiving ill treatment (LOL at that term) is because the ENTIRE WORLD caters to the needs, beliefs, desires, and gaze of straight white men, and that in fact the presence of all of these niche categories only goes to prove that non-straights, non-whites, and non-men are afterthoughts, and not equal to straight white men.

            All things NOT labeled with “Women” or “African American”, etc., are in fact written FOR, aimed AT, and most often FROM straight white males’ perspectives and FOR others just like them (not even always intentionally). Newspaper sections of “Health”, “Sports”, Finances”, etc., may make mention of women here and there, but they are primarily dedicated to the generic… which is male because it has *always been* male. Entire college syllabi contains reading materials by [straight] white men, and no one blinks, because generic/normal/always-been-this-way. BUT, if you try this with an all-female or all-Black or all-LGBTQ author syllabi, ***suddenly*** it becomes identity politics at its worst, and the WhatAboutTheMen?™ contingent feels oppressed again because they/you aren’t achieving 100% of the attention.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/99e5043d26da079e83a853c0806d313e62a62b11028babdac489fb816e8052e2.png

          • Nimblewill

            …………and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

          • The dudebros are indeed weeping and gnashing, and let’s not forget the renting of clothing.

          • Nimblewill

            I only see women in a panic. I have nothing to fear from you or any other woman. #sillyfeminist. Not tears, no teeth, grinding and clothes intact here.

          • If you only see women in a panic, then the problem is either with your eyesight or your honesty.
            Either way, not my problem.

          • You really need to look into mood stabilizing techniques. In one post, you claim you have nothing to fear from women, in another post, you claim that you (and men and BOYS!) must fear women today or else!

            Then you claim you told your boy “to be afraid of women” but then, LOL, you quickly changed that claim into it being your supposed wife who told your supposed son to be afraid.

            My claims remain in their original state because they are factual; your claims are all over the place because they’re lies.

            I don’t intend or even believe that my calling your lies out will cause you to become honest, don’t worry. I just don’t want you to think for a moment that your lies even come close to being believable by anyone.

          • Barros Serrano

            How arrogant and presumptuous, lauding your male privilege, strutting like a dog who killed a baby bird,

            Pathetic. The panic we are seeing is yours. The sexist men are on the run, feeling cornered. Yeah, you can’t say the N word in public any more and you can’t go around grabbing derrieres at work. It’s so tough being male boo hooo hoo,,,,

            I am male but the only problem I have is being embarrassed by all the misogynists continuing to act like… ok no I will not insult the neandertal community here…

          • Nimblewill
          • Cool! Want everyone to send you a few dozen links about Egypt sending women to prison for the equivalent of showing some ankle or other such ‘crime’? If so, please include your PayPal address so that I know where to send my bill for collecting that info for your lazy behind.

          • SCUBAsabre

            Point of fact, not MY definition… and NO, you didn’t answer, you posed a question as your first sentence. Perhaps reread your own post?

            No, white males are not receiving ill treatment disproportionatley to other groups. Being held accountable for behaviors that this group is accustomed to getting mostly benefit of the doubt on is NOT receiving ill treatment. When the primary group that had always had a priviledged place is suddenly not as priviledged and treated the way historically non-priviledged groups have been, it’s a culture shock. I get it, if one has always been priviledged it FEELS like persecution when the priviledge is not automatic anymore.

            Oh and before you assume I am a liberal or democrat or wearing “identity politics” in some way… SWING and miss. I am none of those things. I am Civil Libertarian/ Moderate Libertarian and lifelong registered Independent.

          • Nimblewill

            I wrongly assumed that someone of your intelligence would recognize a rhetorical question. My apologies. I DO believe that there are people who are marginalized. If you are a libertarian and you have watched any American sit-coms in the last two decades you would see that men are made to look like buffoons. To me that is an attempt to marginalize men. I work in a world that is dominated by women in which I see absolutely no marginalization of any person or group of people. Same pay, same opportunity for advancement and many more women than men. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen though.

          • SCUBAsabre

            So you claim to have provided an answer when you actually posed a question and I am supposed to divine your actual answer from what exactly? Yes… keep telling yourself that you answered. Point of fact being a Libertarian has no relevance to my ability to objectively view television shows (since that’s your evidence) for character portrayals.

            You are pointing to sitcoms specifically? Then lets do that shall we… where women and minorities have been portrayed for decades as 1-dimensional stereotypes from the dawn of tv as mere supporting characters of the men in the sitcoms. Give me a break… if TV sitcoms is your justification, you have no idea what you are talking about. You don’t like how people who look like you are portrayed? Try it for decades. It still happens to women and minorities but at least there are also more multidimensional and stereotype breaking roles since you are talking tv portrayals. The vast majority of tv shows remain dominated by male leads and primary characters that are far more developed than other groups. So men have some unflattering portrayals too… welcome to the world the rest of us have lived in since the dawn of TV.

            Men aren’t in an elevated or positively embellisehd portrayal in every sitcom any more… wow… men are so persecuted! /s

          • Nimblewill

            Instead of teaching my son to respect women the way I was, I find myself telling him to be afraid. This irrational gobbleydegoop is ruining our ability to have conversations. I never said that others weren’t portrayed in a negative light, just that white men were. I pay very little attention to stereotypes as of late and more attention to silly women making up stories from 36 years ago about teenage boys with an attempt to ruin their lives. I bet you would do the same in a heart beat. Your are further dividing people.

          • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

            Then ask for an actual investigation instead of looking guilty and a liar.

          • There are two kinds of dogs — the kind who become terrified with the sound of fireworks and/or thunderstorms, and those who pay that noise no mind at all. Know how you can tell the difference between those dogs? It’s not the breed, it’s all in how they were trained!

            We took two puppies from a litter, and our neighbors took two puppies from that litter. Our two grew up learning that January 1st, July 4th, and other noisy days were no big deal; our neighbors dogs act squirrelly AF when there’s loud noises. We shushed our puppies when they acted afraid; the neighbors hugged and protected their puppies when the noise got loud, they paced back and forth ruing the noise, they tried playing gentle music LOUDLY to cover the noise. In essence, just like our neighbors ‘taught’ their dogs that the noises were scary, dangerous things to be feared, you have taught your son a lie also. Because it made you feel good, and/or because you weren’t very good at problem-solving.

            I can see that your mind is made up about women being silly, females being evil/attention-whoring/otherwise annoying by “fabricating” stories from 36 years ago… with the intention of ruining a man’s life, despite none of your beliefs being rational. Again, you have these hateful, ignorant beliefs because they make you feel good, not because they’re even close to correct. You can be a victim this way, and you have it rattling around in your cranium that being a victim is fun. Then you claim certainty that others (or at least SCUBAsabre) would merrily do the same nonsense that no one else in the real world would do.

            So when you accuse *others* of dividing people… step way back and look at your own behavior. You’ll see that you are doing nothing more than projecting your own faults onto others.

            I hope you were lying about actually having a son. Lying to him at that level is nothing short of abusive. In case you’re an intactivist, you’re taking something away from your son that he will never restore by lying to him about women like that. Also… intactivism has been a tenet of feminism since at least the 1970s. Cosmopolitan Magazine preached against circumcision throughout the 70s. Men, predictably, told the feminists to fxck off and die because circumcision is a “manly rite”.

          • Nimblewill

            My wife makes more money than I do although we have the same jobs. My boss is a woman. I’m under the leadership of a woman at church. I have three sisters and two daughters. A lesbian friend once told me that if she were ever to marry a man it would be one like me. I’m just as comfortable talking to a group of men as women. It was actually my wife who told our son to be extremely around girls because he could ask to kiss a girl and she could say yes then accuse him of assault the next day. And yes I’ve taught him it’s proper to ask. I’m sorry that you have had bad experiences with men. Truly. I know that some men are creeps. But some women are too.

          • “It was actually my wife who told our son to be extremely around girls [not me, even though that was the story I was peddling before this one]”

            Yep. Lots more of your attitude changed too, not just your original claim which you’ve backed away from.

            “I’m sorry that you have had bad experiences with men.”

            Holy sհit, I’ve had bad experiences with men that I didn’t know about but you somehow DID know about??? Can you please share with me these “bad experiences [I’ve] had with men”??? I’m dying to know not only what these “bad experiences” are, but more importantly how it is that I have no memory of them but someone online who can’t keep his stories straight does know about them.

            ^^^This should be good.

          • Nimblewill

            Nobody is this angry without bad experiences.

          • I am on the Autism spectrum; dealing with liars will make me angry every time, without exception. Your latest lie — that I have had bad experiences with men — is no different from your earlier lies. Infuriating, pointless, and I am the wrong person to foist your falsehoods and fabrications upon if you didn’t want to get called out.

            Having said this, I’m happy to see you admit that other than you, I have had no bad experiences with men or frankly anyone else.

          • Barros Serrano

            Anyone who’s studied social science knows that anecdotes prove nothing.

            It is good that those situations exist which you describe. Women when I was young rarely were in those positions. Nonetheless, overall women still have nowhere near the power of men, and continue to be oppressed.

            A boy wanting to kiss a girl is not the problem. Massive sexual assaults and rapes ARE continuing and are a problem. If you knew what goes on in so many college frat houses… weekends are often a rape fest. And most of it goes unreported. The lid needs to be blown off of not only Kavanaugh’s very low character, but the entire entitled misogynist fraternity culture.

          • Why are your two lone upvotes from spam-pushing *Russian* profiles, with bylines reading:
            “mild burning young girls ready for sex vctrechu tomorrow waiting for you here.”
            (ericwtke)

            &

            “lооking fоr sех 1 twiсе а wоmаn fоr thе sаkе оf thе gеnеrаl mееtings rоzdyhа hеrе dеnsеr hеrе.”
            (jakerand)

          • Nimblewill

            So if I up-voted you it would say something about you?

          • Never answer a question with a question.

            So again — why are phony, spam-pushing Disqus profiles the only ones upvoting you?

          • Nimblewill

            Didn’t Jesus always answered questions with questions?

            As for my up-votes, Don’t know, don’t care.

            I have better things to do than to track down “spam-pushing Disqus profiles.”

          • “Didn’t Jesus always answered [sic] questions with questions?

            As for my up-votes, Don’t know […]”

            Nope. So another thing you apparently don’t know is the definition of “always”. But *cool beans* about comparing your actions to those of [an imaginary version of] Jesus.

            When your opinions are only bolstered by spammers, your opinions are only worth what spammers are worth.

          • Nimblewill

            My opinions should be of absolutely no value to you, as yours should not be of any value to me. I just like arguing.

          • SCUBAsabre

            So wanting an actual investigation rather than not for a lifetime appointment is an unreasonable expectation to you. Got it….

            So you went from projecting that a woman who had nothing to gain and everything to lose by making a personal experience public is “making up stories”… and then you jump to projecting that I will make up stories… based on what exactly? That I expressed a contrary opinion to yours and produced a salient context for it renders me “dividing people” in your mind???

            You are exactly the kind of person that is dividing people…. pretending and projecting that anyone who disagrees with you lacks ethics exemplifies the dividing. You don’t even realize how ridiculous you sound!

          • Barros Serrano

            ah, so there’s your agenda… you’re upset that a misogynist racist quasi-fascist may not make it to the Supreme Court. And his own low character of course should be ignored while we demonize every woman who speaks out against him.

            Right. Republican.

          • jock1234

            That is right – everyone – vote GOP !!!

          • Barros Serrano

            By all means vote GOP if you support.

            misogyny
            racism
            environmental destruction
            science denial
            rightwing religious nuts
            abandonment of women and minority rights
            pushing U$A workers further into serfdom
            letting the middle class rot
            making us an international pariah

            You’d have to be insane.

          • jock1234

            Your head is screwed on backwards. Funniest thing, is you don’t even realize it! hahaha

          • Barros Serrano

            You address nothing, say nothing. Why do you post? If you lack the requisite intelligence to participate in a conversation, then just keep quiet. Is that too difficult?

            You spent a LOT of time in the principal’s office, didn’t you…

          • jock1234

            Again, your head is 180 degrees twisted, cowboy!
            Stay on topic now, big fella…”Identity Politics”!
            Good boy…

          • Barros Serrano

            Stay on topic like you, little boy?

            The topic became your ineptitude, low cognitive skills, as you kept dribbling that nonsense all over the screen.

            What is YOUR identity, by the way? Christian Identity? Aryan Superhero? Really, I’m curious.

          • jock1234

            Texas Ranger basketball/softball specialist, coupled with psychiatric skills, child!

          • Barros Serrano

            Right, so you’re WHITE then.

          • jock1234

            Left, so you’re BLACK/BROWN then.

          • Barros Serrano

            Why would you assume that? I know you’re white because you didn’t name a real ethnicity. That’s what whites do, pretend they’re “Just Americans” and don’t have any of that nasty leftwing “identity” going on, but you’re white and you know it and everyone knows it.

            No i am also white but i have the benefit of Appalachian ethnicity, and so am culturally superior to you flatlanders haaaaaaaa….

            But seriously I know I have an advantage thereby. I do not get pulled over for “driving while black”, for example. I don’t get followed around in stores. I don’t discriminated against for my ethnicity. White.

            I’ll bet you feel VERY white every time someone next to you in the store or in the street is speaking Spanish…

          • jock1234

            This is the complete truth: Your brain, is so compressed, that you sadly think you are intuitive, but guess what? You are dumb as they come, and that is the truth in totality! Don’t spam me anymore butthead!

          • Barros Serrano

            Read your post again, and then consider the word “spam”, Beevis.

          • Barros Serrano

            Yes they preferred the ditzy Lucy with Ricky the firm voice of reason…

            It’s not the ’50’s any more, folks.

          • Barros Serrano

            see no evil, hear no evil…

            stop covering your eyes and ears

          • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

            As a fellow white person I think you’ll join me in wanting to trade with minority races. They’ll get “bad media portrayal” and we can have pleasant surprises in our childhoods like police shooting our dads dead in their own garages and then not one juror in the embarrassing state of Florida thinking one dollar per each of the children and one for wifey, too, is a cruel thing to do to white families. It was conveniently all our dads’ faults they had the music too loud/they were drinking in their own homes/they had a nice car- so of course the police were called to administer the death penalty! Yeah, let’s get white people some of this!

            https://youtu.be/gGww-pEG9sw

            EDIT: OH YEAH FORGOT THAT THE JUDGES END UP AWARDING OUR FAMILIES NOTHING!

          • Barros Serrano

            Exactly. And they wouldn’t like too much being female either.

          • fractal

            How would you know?

      • Alexandra

        I believe that white males may be marginalized if they are poor, or if they are victims of abuse, or if they belong to any other group of people who are marginalized by society. But, within those groups. white males are often treated better than other members of the given group.

        Individuals may also be marginalized, but that is a different issue than systemic marginalization, although no less painful to the person being marginalized.

        • Nimblewill

          We are in agreement. I have to admit that I am somewhat prejudice, but it has absolutely nothing to do with skin color, gender, or sexuality. I prejudge people who simply choose not to learn from their mistakes, regardless. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for them. AND I know that is wrong as well.

      • Classic WhatAboutDaMenz???!?!™, but with the addition of ‘white’.

        No issue that happens to not be in honor, praise, or support of [now white] men can go without the question, “But What About The Men?” And sadly, well-meaning Alexandria took the bait and chomped the hook.

        Think about how many pit bulls maul cats. It’s a lot. It’s a real problem. Now think about how many cats maul pit bulls. Yes, cats have mauled pit bulls, but at the same [incredibly low] ratio as non-straight, non-whites, and non-males to straight white males in the Marginalization Olympics.

        Trust this non-male when she tells you that your Marginalization Olympics is something that the rest of us wish we could stop being forced to play. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5858c5c9fcf951268bcc9f85a55a68a7f996ab66fa3beb5d00b20f5ab391578b.jpg

        • Alexandra

          I didn’t “take the bait” or “chomp the hook”. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong. I don’t have that much time to read this stuff, so I don’t know who are the trolls. Chorbais has shown himself to be one. I will no longer engage with him.

          • I accept that, and I see that now. I’m sorry for having jumped the gun on it.

          • Alexandra

            🙂
            No offense taken. I was just explaining. 🙂

      • Barros Serrano

        They are not marginalized for being white or male.

        They are marginalized in the sense that if they think their freedom depends on saying the N word in public, then their speech is being socially restricted. I’m sure that’s very traumatic for some of them.

        What is being marginalized is white racism. If that bothers you, then check yourself.

    • Chorbais Dichault

      > For too long, too many white people in this country chose to keep questions of race off their radar.

      You Marxists don’t want a frank, honest discussion on race. You want white apologies, surrender and guilt. Whenever somebody truly starts to discuss the question of race (say, like suggesting races are as real in humans as breeds are in dogs), you shout the discussion down.

      This is not, has never been, a free and sincere academic discussion. It has always been war by another means, the means of making white people doubt themselves and offer sacrifices for their perennial guilt. You’ve gotten loads of apologies for photo-ops with David Duke but have yet to apologize for the same with the equally execrable Louis Farrakhan. You can dish it out but you can’t take it.

      (BTW, I’m a Jew and proud supporter of the conservative President with Jewish grandchildren. It’s the Left that supports Jew-murderers, particularly of the Arab/Islamic persuasion.)

      • Alexandra

        You have decided that I am a Marxist and that I support Jew-murderers. All on the basis of a 248-word post.

        That’s REALLY interesting.

        Your post indicates a lack of interest in conversation.

        • SCUBAsabre

          Alexandra… given Chorbais Dichault’s commentary… he’s here to troll and spin vitriol. His projections of things being about “war” on white people is just more of the TROLL spin. You expressed a realistic approach without the villain nonsense CD tried to manufacture. You are correct, he is not willing to have a conversation… he’s here to TROLL.

          • Barros Serrano

            Likely a Russki, in fact. That is their trolling style we see here.

      • Wow, yet another Marxist-decrying Disqus account with scant posts declaring support for our president.
        If the Koch Brothers had a dollar for every time… oh, wait, they do.

      • “BTW, I’m a Jew and proud supporter of the conservative President with Jewish grandchildren.”
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f6daa075f9a59c47ffc207f3622dfdc859c8f2e59acc6d0ae40f0f07dd37aa39.jpg

        • Too funny!

          • The Antagonizer

            The Jews are laughing harder than the Gentiles, believe me.

          • Well, people with higher IQs are more adept at seeing the humor in this entire fiasco of an “Administration”.

      • fractal

        You don’t have a college education, do you?
        Most anyone with a degree would be EMBARRASSED to say something so ignorant.

        BTW, those Christians you support because you think they will bring back the holy land to the Jews?
        They think YOU ARE GOING TO HELL.
        They are using you and Israel to bring about Armageddon.

        • jock1234

          I have my Doctorrate ” fracture line”. And it seems we’ve been down this road before haven’t we? So clam up that orifice you call a mouth! And leave these people alone!

          • Is a “Doctorrate” anything like a “Doctorate”?

            Is a “Doctorrate” just a fancy piece of paper for people too stupid to earn a “Doctorate”?

          • jock1234

            do do do do, do do do do, The Twilight Zone!

      • Barros Serrano

        I’m a leftist progressive and active in support of Israel, though I am not a Jew. So much for your entirely contorted rightwing screed.

        Our “President” goes beyond “conservative”. He is a megalomaniac, narcissist, racist and misogynist who thinks he’s a dictator. But that’s ok with you? And if you assert that nobody on the Left has condemned those who associate with Farraklown, you aren’t paying attention.

        Yes, white racist is a big problem in this country and your denial of it makes YOU part of the problem. Don’t hide behind your Jewishness, as you have chosen to ally with white racists.

        • jock1234

          Clinically INSANE you are !

          • Hey, so I just noticed how the number of your posts and the number of your upvotes are nearly identical… and then I noticed that the only one giving you upvotes is you yourself.

            There’s probably an easy conclusion to make in those facts… unless you have a “Doctorrate”, in which case the conclusion will escape you entirely.

      • don’t need no short short man

        >>> You want white apologies, surrender and guilt.

        No one cares about useless things like those. White apologies mean nothing. White surrender is impossible (and unwanted). White guilt would provide nothing.

        I think that your perceived enemies, or Cultural Marxists as you call them, simply want you to stop keeping your Nazi jackboot crushed down upon the throats of women, lgbtq’s, and people of color without whizzing your pants in hysterics every time whites are asked to let others into the club.

  • Widuran

    Identity politics is everywhere.

    As a Christian I am not left or right but I tend to be moderate right.

  • Illithid

    I have to make sure that what I politically ask for Christians, that I am willing to give to those of other faiths and non-faiths. I must look to defend the rights of non-Christians to make sure that my focus is not merely upon helping “my people” get their due.

    Thank you.

    It is very difficult to have a productive dialogue with someone who starts with the assumption that as a non-Christian (and non-heterosexual) I’m some sort of demon.

  • On the left, identity politics include things like black folks being more than a little frustrated about extrajudicial murder of citizens, and the rights of trans people not ti be discriminated against, and women fantasizing about a world where sexual assault wasn’t covered up by abusive power structures.

    On the right, identity politics include things like people trying to build a white ethnostate.
    These really don’t really have a good comparison.

  • The Antagonizer

    Diversity is weakness.
    Races are not interchangeable.

    • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

      To be without enemies is strength, and boy are you burning those bridges!

      • The Antagonizer

        Oy vey. Reveal your true intentions. Go on.

    • Barros Serrano

      Diversity is reality.

      There is no “race”, There are ethnic groups. People may be physically identifiable by their geographical region of origin. But scientifically race is a bogus concept for Homo sapiens.

      RACISM exists. Race does not.

    • fractal

      I bet you watch Chocolate porn.

  • JimboFlex

    To the author.

    First I commend you for the willingness to wade into this heavily charged topic, that seems to bring out the worst in everyone. It take courage to put yourself out there.

    Second, I think the current reasoning is backwards. Everyone is focusing on Identity Politics as if it was a choice. Its not. It’s a reaction to the change in demographics of the US.

    I would compare it to a cough, from some who has a cold or the flu. You can do things to ease the coughing but at the root of the matter is the sickness driving the cough.

    The root cause has to be fixed or else you are just going to have to live with the downstream symptoms.

    • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

      Bigotry is probably not a “choice” (in as much as I don’t think freewill seems to be in evidence), but for those of us poised to stop bigotry I continue to see that as a positive cause with results (however long they take to come to be and whatever the setbacks).

    • The Antagonizer

      Diversity is the cause.
      People are tribal BY NATURE.

      • fractal

        Any time someone uses “NATURE” as a way to defend their behavior, my guard goes up.
        This tired old meme is nothing more than an excuse for entitlement.
        Men in particular LUV this propaganda; it serves them well in the short run.

        Humans are more adaptable than most animals, and their brain is designed for such—we have no more instincts left other than perhaps the “pelvic thrust” during sex.
        If you cannot get with the program, and learn to live in peace with others, you and your kind will eventually be culled and phased out. The planet is too small and humans too numerous to put up with cave-men who are too stupid or stubborn to adapt—and if that inability is encoded in your DNA—

        Too bad for you; you and your spawn will be left behind.
        New millennium, sweetheart.
        We don’t need people with flaming amygdalas trashing our planet and our civilizations.

        • The Antagonizer

          LOL. Keep dreaming your SJW dreams.

          The Left’s willful irresponsibility in pretending diversity is a strength is driving the US toward the brink of civil war based along racial lines. Balkanization is only a matter of time. History teaches us no racially diverse nation can remain democratic long-term. Increasing diversity always leads to a decrease in social trust, decrease in democracy, and an increase in racial tension and conflict.

          Races are not interchangeable. You cannot just swap large groups of races around and expect the cultural, political and social landscape to remain unchanged.

          Different races are suited to being ruled by different laws that suit their own uniquely evolved traits, natures, and temperaments.

          To assume Western values universally apply is both arrogant and ignorant. This arrogance and ignorance is the main cause of the slow death of the West and a continued increase in ethnic tension and conflict.

          True freedom = supporting those that want diversity, and those that want diversity supporting those that don’t.

          • fractal

            You are goofy.
            Diversity is always the best choice in nature, and makes an eco-system stronger and more resilient.

            I bet you have more Neanderthal than most; how “dirty” is your blood? Have you had it checked by a genetics lab? My very Aryan looking daughter has more Neanderthal than 98% of the world population.
            Seems to me that misogynist men are the only ones who are fighting genetic diversity—they just cannot BEAR the thought that their Aryan goddesses are salivating over some brown sugar…
            Better lynch some Duskies, and keep our women making sandwiches at home!

            pathetic.

  • fractal

    I was lucky in high school; I was introduced to a bunch of “hippie-ish” people who would NEVER have considered doing such a thing to women. In fact, the amount of drinking was minimal—mostly, we smoked weed, which is not very conducive to rapey behavior.
    The “Preps” were also pretty low key, and were the “good kids”—unless they fell in with the jocks…

    But I certainly HEARD about this “get ’em drunk and do ’em” philosophy. It was a meme in two groups—the jocks and the greasers—a-la-GREASE.
    And yes, the athletes (jocks) and the delinquents (greasers) did have sex trains and group bangs—we ALL KNEW about it—usually some “damaged girl” who “didn’t matter” (in other words, someone who had already been abused and had PTSD).

    Now, almost ALL the jocks and greasers from high school that I knew then, are Alt-Right Trumpsters now!
    I don’t know how to get around this.
    I think it IS a partisan fight—because values matter, and the values of the right are quite different than the values of the left.

    • Barros Serrano

      Yes. I am not engaging in hyperbole when I call Rightists the sorts of names which get me banned on discussion boards.

      They are indeed deplorable. If Hillary can say that, so can I.

    • The Antagonizer

      Race matters. You know this.

      • fractal

        Race is an outdated notion.
        You would know this if you weren’t so insecure in your masculinity, that you cannot bear to let information in.

        Women know that “strange” genetics makes for healthy babies with much better immune system response. Which is why many women are sexually attracted to men of other races.

        I suggest that instead of whining like a pathetic incel, you try dating women from other races, and maybe even actually TALKING to them.

        You attitudes are decrepit and stale and stinky.

        Go make a baby with a Mexican, and learn to love again.

        • TinnyWhistler

          The Antagonizer is a troll. Just ignore them.

  • Barros Serrano

    You actually equated white nationalism with the “identity politics” (as Republicans call it) of the Left!!

    Do not people always vote their interests? Well if you’re a member of an oppressed ethnic group, and live in a democracy, would you not logically vote for your interest in alleviating your own oppression?

    That is nothing like white nationalism which comes from the group NOT being oppressed for its ethncity, and with no purpose but to hurt other groups! Where is the equivalency there?

    “Identity politics” is the label conservatives use to pretend that opposing racism is somehow racism. They want to go back to the fantasy of a homogenous society in which everyone are “just Americans”, pretend there is no ethnic problem and ignore the reality that racism continues to oppress people.

    It is part of the drive against “diversity”, which they also see as wrong. We’re supposed to not have any ethnic culture apparently. Everyone must assimilate to the mainstream white culture and essentially reject your own ancestry.

    Cops shoot unarmed black people with regularity, discrimination in jobs and housing is rampant, Nazi march in Charlottesville, but conservatives pretend that “identity politics” and “diversity” are the problems.

    That is why I make sure to not speak English in pubic, and to assiduously hold to non-mainstream-white cultural practices. Anyone having a problem with this needs to move to Russia quickly.

  • Pennybird

    We can dial it down by spending less time online (in my defense it’s about 5am. What else am I going to do right now?) and more time face to face. Most of our daily routines don’t involve politics at all. We used to have little awareness of our coworkers’ or neighbors’ politics because it never needed to come up in the course of our interactions. We should try to get back to that.

    That said, politics is fascinating and sometimes it’s hard to look away.