Liveblogging 300 BC: Fall: "Stag Hunt" Mosaic Created by Gnosis
Noted for Your Morning Procrastination for January 30, 2015

On "Identity Politics": Live from La Farine

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Scott Lemieux watches Matthew Yglesias hit one out of the park:

Scott Lemieux: On "Identity Politics": "What Yglesias says here...

...responding to Jon Chait’s definition of “identity politics” as “shorthand for articles principally about race or gender bias” is very true and very necessary:

This is, I think, the problem with idea of “identity politics” as a shorthand for talking about feminism or anti-racism.... The (accurate) observation [is] that social media distribution creates new incentives for publications to be attuned to feminist and minority rights perspectives in a way that was not necessarily the case in the past. But where some see a cynical play for readership, I see an extraordinarily useful shock to a media ecosystem that’s too long been myopic.... The implication of this usage... is that somehow an identity is something only women or African-Americans or perhaps LGBT people have. White men just have ideas about politics that spring from a realm of pure reason.... You see something similar in Noam Scheiber’s argument that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went astray by emphasizing an “identity group agenda” of police reform at the expense of a (presumably identity-free) agenda of populist economics.... Not addressing a racially discriminatory status quo in policing is itself a choice... a kind of identity group appeal--to white people... striking the balance between liberty and security... by depriving other people of their civil liberties....

Christopher Caldwell’s assertion that Obama only getting 40% of the white vote suggested that he was racially divisive (something he wouldn’t say about Romney getting less than 10% of the African-American vote or less than 30% of the Hispanic or Asian-American vote) is another classic example. Opposition to “identity politics” generally provides particularly strong illustrations of what it’s decrying.

I would only add that I find it hard to think of a more rock-hard version of take-no-prisoners identity politics than that practiced by a group I call "friends of Marty Peretz"...