Identity Politics is Racist
I love politics. I also hate politics sometimes. I love politics but I understand the power it has and how much good it can do when used properly. The reason I sometimes hate politics is that it divides. Politicians pit us against one another and leave us to clean up the messes they’ve made. They leave us to mourn the lives lost due to their political ineptitude. Politicians use reckless language to keep us separate and unequal.
I hate that.
Politicians make terrible messes too. Messes like bad, short-sighted policies, wars, poor financial planning, personal bias, and choosing personal or political ambitions over community/country. But the biggest mess politicians create are those messes which creates political classes. Classes like White Working-Class voters, Black Voters, immigrants, college-aged adults, conservative, liberal, older voters, Evangelicals, the Religious-Right, and other classes used to label voters for easy targeting.
Both parties engage in classist and racist politics. So if you think I’m for one or the other let’s just clear the air now. I’m not.
Both political parties are racist. Both parties use racist and classicist tactics to engage, energize, and anger voters. Both parties engage in racism, they just use different words to make the blow softer depending on the party, but the blow still feels like a blow.
Racist Keywords Political Strategists Use
All taxpayers and anyone who can legally vote desires to be heard, it’s the reason most of us take the time to exercise our votes. None of us wants to be overlooked. Nobody wants to be forgotten. And surely none of us want to intentionally be left behind even though many of us have been. The problem is, both political parties and our entire political system leaves most of us behind each election cycle. Instead of fighting for all of us, they cherry-pick topics and people to focus on — angering and/or energizing us.
They use race-baiting keywords like reparations, which to some when heard means giving Black people free stuff. The word also causes people to fear collectively take responsibility for an entire nation’s atrocities. They have no problem with giving away billions in farm-aid, because most farmers are White. Politicians intentionally bring up reparations during election cycles to get Blacks excited and energized with false hopes, and to get White folks mad because they don’t want to pay for the inequality and inequity they’ve not only constructed in some form or fashion but also inequality and inequity they’ve also enjoyed.
The identity terms Black voter means everybody America considers Black, even if they aren’t (like Africans). Politicians don’t indicate whether we work in our labeling, nor does any other label they used to label Blacks, like Black women. The same applies for persons falling under the college aged young adult identities. As soon as college kids are mentioned, politicians, pundits and strategists note negative things with this voting segment like they won’t show up to vote, lazy, apathetic, millennial, and other true but derogatory labels like college aged kids are unemployed/living on college campuses. College kids are of mixed race, and a kind of lower class voting block because they don’t pay taxes.
Spanish-speaking voter is another identity term strategists, politicians, and pundits use that is a mixed bag of poo. Again, Spanish-speaking populations are all lumped together (that’s the American way), as if Spanish-speaking communities and individuals are a monolith.
The “Religious Right” identity term is a label for those who have concerns dominated by religious and sociocultural issues. Those people are again mostly White/Anglo/European and associated with the largest national religions within the class of Whiteness. Often, other religious groups associated with the lower political classes (i.e. Blacks in Methodist settings) will follow the Religious Right voting bloc, but only because they have been fooled by their respective religion.
Most don’t realize they are voting for conservatism and conservative judges who don’t agree with desegregation, Brown vs. Board of Education or the Civil Rights Act. As long as they say they are pro-life and saved, they’ll vote for the person, even if it’s against their households own best interests.
Most minorities voting with the religious right really don’t understand voting with the bloc means voting an entirely different set of political issues and conservative values which are usually anti immigrant, anti-minority, and anti-American values. But anything and by any means necessary for God, I guess.
“White Bread Protestants” are conservative White people who tend to care more about economic issues. Why the need to segregate White people even more than they have already segregated themselves from everyone else? I have no clue.
And when we get into the weeds with certain labor industries (i.e. firefighters, police, unionized workers), politicians are usually focused on working White men, although they’d never say it. Historically, White men are the largest racial group employed law enforcement and fire sectors. They both are sectors with epic hiring bias issues against Blacks.
So by default, Whiteness is always America’s top priority in any election cycle, state, local, or national in scope, whether or not voters want to acknowledge this truth.
Let’s take the term loaded White working class voters, used by politicians to describe all the dreams, aspirations, fears, needs, and wants of White people who live and work all over America, although they’ll have us think these White folks they call unto live only in certain pockets of the nation.
According to 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics data (the most recent available), by race, Whites made up most of the labor force (78%). Blacks made up 13% while Asians made up 6%. American Indians and Alaska Natives made up only 1% of the labor force, while Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders comprised less than 1% of the workforce.
But here’s the thing. Whites have the highest employment rates of all ethnic groups in America while Black unemployment is the highest of all groups in America. Black and American Indian unemployment has been a problem for a long time and is dire need of a solution, but it’s never a priority for either party. No one can seem to figure out what the problem is, nor can they create a cure to decrease the numbers of Blacks unemployed. Notice the two groups who have an issue with unemployment also have a historical gripe with America. It’s no accident.
Politicians and strategists can somehow never find Black and American Indian unemployment rates to be a problem no matter how high they get. They instead go back to their old trusty default, White people, who are the most protected and looked after class in the nation. If we elect if politicians to solve problems, why isn’t Black and American Indian unemployment addressed with the same veracity and tenacity as the White working-class voters? Voters who already have jobs?
Breaking Down White Working-Class Identity
Lets breakdown what White working-class voters really means. And please don’t leave me comments below pissed at me for talking about it. I didn’t create these games, shenanigans and labels used in our corrupt politics. I’m just a spectator making a comment on how the game is rigged/biased.
Examine the words “White.” Politicians and strategists are referring to the racial construct of the American White and White passing people with a job and the ability to vote. Those jobs equate to tax dollars they can spend/steal. When politicians and strategists refer to “Working.” Politicians are referring to White people who have jobs. Now, let’s talk about this last word which is the most divisive and racist of all the words, “Class.” Politicians and strategists are overtly flaunting their prejudices against other classes, races, and groups in favor of people belonging to this social or racial class called White people.
With this understanding, every time you hear the term White working class, regardless of the side of the coin you vote, you need to understand the term refers to a racial preference for the White people who pay taxes. And while politicians, pundits, and strategists will try to say these people live in certain parts of the country, their geographical location has absolutely nothing to do with them being White, whether they work, or their class. It’s simply another stupid racial construct we fall for hook line and sinker. In this instance, White people are a class, the premier class in America’s caste system.
The identity politics/label of White working-class people is nothing more than a bigoted class system, encouraged by our nation’s leaders at the highest levels of government. Racist identity politics is used comfortably by politicians, pundits and political strategists because America’s priority has been always Whiteness and always will be until the nation falls. Truth be told, we shouldn’t be using identities at all, because they are weaponized to divide.
The Biggest Complainers are the Biggest Beneficiaries
What I find interesting is how many White people claim they want to do away with identity politics, yet they are the biggest beneficiaries of identity politics. Strategists and politicians are forever trying to figure out how to pander to that fickle, fair weather and unloyal White working-class vote.
Ever notice pundits, politicians and strategists don’t pander to wealthy White class voters. One reason no one panders to rich folks is because it’s not that many wealthy people in America to vote and make a difference. Rich people can help politicians get elected by donating money which helps them buy adds, travel, pay their staffs and strategists, etc. Rich folks are repaid for their donations through laws, policies, political appointments, and deals made outside of Congress and state legislatures. Everyday poor, middle-class, and upper middle class folks in America get politicians elected. They coddle and reassure us with words and empty promises. Nothing more.
Politicians in both parties use identity politics to cover multitudes of their racistly sins.
Politicians, pundits, and strategists have perfected racism and classism in their political strategies to get us to vote for them. Every election cycle, the same people, use the same racist identity politics to make the case for the largest racial group in America, White people.
But there are so many other ways political strategists could group us without having to include race.
Our ages, our genders, our states, or our geographical locations. We could be labeled anonymously by our disability status, the number of children we have in our households, educational attainment levels, incomes, individual or community needs, or any other manner of labeling which could help identify us better than the two main characteristics that divides and excludes us the most — race and religion.
If you work, you pay taxes, and you want your politicians to work for your best interests. The government doesn’t ask what color you are when they deduct your taxes from your paycheck. They just take your money from your employer and CONgress spends your money however they please, regardless of what they promise us during their election cycles. Politicians have perfected the art of dividing us. Politicians speak racistly to us all the time, and we move like herds of cows following the sounds of their voices, allow them to lead us to nowhere slowly. We respond like ladies of the night being called by a John.
We voters tolerate them putting us all into classes too. They call voters things like “the rich” causing us to hate our fellow rich Americans instead of the people who created the laws and systems to make the rich get uber rich. We hate White everything because it’s America’s default, her original sin for which she will not repent, repay, or make whole. We shouldn’t have systems that allow a race to be a default, nor should we hate our fellow White citizenry. They do themselves no favors by falling for the race-bait.
We voters tolerate labels like rural voters, Black voters, values voters, and everything except the thing that really matters — taxpaying voters, politically engaged voters, politically astute voters, or voters with enough common sense to know bullies, racists, and instigators when we see them.
It’s time for us to meditate on every single word spoken by every person responsible for informing us, leading us, guiding us, or making us better, regardless of party affiliation or political leaning.
Your party isn’t always right. Your party isn’t always wrong. But both parties have historically been racist and classist because they both use identity political strategies which is wrong.
It’s time we call out both parties, all pundits, and all politicians who use race as the primary way to identify us. After the color of our skins, we have far more in common than we do differences. It’s time both political parties stops pandering and catering to Whiteness as if other taxpaying voting segments of the population don’t matter. If we focused on the ways we are alike, the gaps, issues, needs, inequality, and inequity in our nation and put race aside, we could get a lot more done. We’d be in a much better place than we are right now.
Race is the place that divides us.
Some people would rather poor gasoline on America and burn this mothersucker down than to put a check on all race-baiting segregationists (I’m talking to Black and Brown political strategists too). For those of you in the default class (Whites) who hate it when a particular racial group is mentioned you dislike (for whatever reason), please remember to not accept the benefits and privilege that comes with being in the premier class. If you hate it, fix it.
White people need to dislike identity politics all the time, not just when it excludes you and your racial group.
If you’re alive, you matter. It’s time we make our politicians put away childish, racist political tactics and come into the 21st century with a new global worldview and attitude on taxpayers. We are their bread and better.
It shouldn’t be the other way around.
©2019 Marley K. All rights reserved.