Maybe the problem isn't race

The thing that bugs me about modern Identity Politics is how it leads to an intellectual cul-de-sac. It does this by isolating groups from one another. People select an identity rather than forming their own identity.
Pro-ID people also ignore the basic fact that the ruling elite have always maintained their power by dividing the lower classes over cultural issues, racial identity being the most used cultural issue.

But I'm a white guy, so I'm precluded from pointing out these empirical facts.
Only a black person can have an opinion about what black people think.

“We want the same thing everyone else wants,” says the Rev. Wendell Anthony, pastor of Detroit’s Fellowship Chapel and national board member of the NAACP, which is holding its convention in Detroit this week. “One of the basic issues for everybody in America, black or white, is health care. We want safety. We want jobs. We aren’t looking for pie in the sky. We want basic stuff.

In other words, pandering is not necessary. Today's concerns are universal.

That makes perfect sense. So how come you rarely hear that in the media?
Oh right. Conflict sells.

Still, Roberson says, black Democrats will go to the polls carrying the same concerns as their white peers.

“Not just black voters, but across the board voters are looking for progressive ideas that can help all of us,” she says. "We have to stop thinking that the issues are so different based on color and race. They really aren’t. Macomb County voters want to know they have an opportunity for jobs and an education for their children. African Americans want the same thing.”

You mean working class blacks and working class whites have much more in common than not?
How can politicians, media pundits, and internet trolls virtue signal and shut down debate if everyone wants the same thing?
Surely there must be some poll data that shows that.

The survey, which was conducted by two Democratic polling firms, Hart Research and Brossard Research, found a three-way split on the top issues on the minds of African American voters, with 77 percent of respondents each saying that affordable health care, college affordability and creating more jobs with benefits were “extremely important issues.”
Health care generally polls as the top policy issue among Democratic voters, regardless of race.

If people recognize that the primary concerns of everyone, white, black, and latino, are the same with everyone, they might start asking for the things they actually need. Rather than finger-pointing at their neighbors.
Maybe neither working class whites, nor latino and muslim immigrants, are the causes of all the world's problems. If only there was a candidate that spoke like this.

Mr. Sanders’s pollster, Ben Tulchin, said the campaign’s focus groups had revealed widespread economic anxieties among working-class Democrats, even in an improving economy.

“We’re seeing that across the spectrum, whether you’re African-American, Latino or white working class,” Mr. Tulchin said.

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lotlizard's picture

if you’ll excuse the expression, intellectual scam of interpreting everything in terms of (check one or more boxes) [ ] white [ ] male [ ] hetero [ ] cis privilege.

Of course, a blind person might ask when [ ] sighted privilege is finally going to become a thing?

Issuing one-size dollar bills is unfair to the blind, US appeals court rules

Note that the article is from May 2008. I wonder what is happening with this lawsuit. Obviously the Treasury department under neither Obama nor Trump had, or has, any intentions of doing anything but slow-walking and fending off any switch to dollar bills in different colors and different sizes for different denominations.

You know, like every other developed country has? Sort of like universal health care?

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Bollox Ref's picture

@lotlizard

Alan Turing has been selected by the Bank of England as the image for the new, variously coloured £50 note. There for his mathematical/scientific nous.

Can you imagine the hysteria in the US, if the image of a gay man were to find its way on to a dollar bill... in colour..... with different dimensions to boot!?!

The horror!

(Edited)

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

Centaurea's picture

@Bollox Ref

has said that it will be re-designing the $5 and $10 bills soon.

To replace old Alex Hamilton on the $10, I propose Bruce Bastian, the creator of the best word-processing program ever invented, Wordperfect.

(Yep, Bastian is gay.)

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6 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Centaurea

To replace old Alex Hamilton on the $10, I propose Bruce Bastian, the creator of the best word-processing program ever invented, Wordperfect.

(Yep, Bastian is gay.)

Bruce Bastian doesn't qualify, thank Cat!

US Federal Law requires that anyone pictured on US money be dead. Mr. Bastian isn't dead. So he doesn't qualify -- for the very best reason!

Smile

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Centaurea's picture

@thanatokephaloides Lol

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2 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Centaurea

Well, that hardly seems fair.

I've got an idea! Let's put Jerry Garcia on one of the bills!

Being both Dead and dead, he's double-qualified! And I, for one, would be Grateful! Biggrin

/snark

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3 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@lotlizard @lotlizard Here's my question: Could a correlation be found between colleges that push this garbage, and those that the Koch brothers and the like have been buying up?

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5 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Steven D's picture

for one simple reason - it would harm corporate sponsors who benefit from polarization along racial, ethnic, religious, etc. lines.

Corporations love to shout to the heavens how much they support diversity, all the time they screw over the people to whom they market their products, and their workers, in the most unbiased fashion.

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30 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

movie buff's picture

there was always one party (first the Democrats, then the Republicans) that stoked racial divisions, while the other party took a more constructive tack. Now there are two parties stoking divisions. This may be a pretty hard ship to turn around, since if a Republican says we're all one big human family his base will call him a cuck, and if a Democrat says it he'll be called a white supremacist.

Although of course, the establishments from both parties are loving it. Every minute they spend demonizing minority groups or beating dead horses like busing or open borders is a minute they're not having to answer for the fact that they are overseeing the largest upward transfer of wealth since the days of feudalism.

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"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." --Noam Chomsky

Pluto's Republic's picture

@movie buff

If people would reject their nationalities — No, that's too big of a step for them right now.

If people would all refuse to be identified with any race or any culture or any gender. — Too late for that. They got tricked by intermittent reinforcement and now will always divide themselves into smaller groups.

The People are trapped and kettled They are deep in the weeds, and the weeds have grown high over their heads. They can't trust anyone and can't see the way out. Their perspective is always too close to the ground. They never had a leader with a vision of the Big Picture. If such a leader did emerge, we would kill him.

Worst of all, the real solutions are as counter-intuitive as the truth is.

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17 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus

Racism. I know, no shock out here to that statement mostly. Now if you care at all about racism you're merely an ID panderer due to the obvious use of race as THE problem on the left. But to admit that yes, even many Trump voters didn't vote for him based on racism but took him at his word on what his intent truly was, i.e. to "save" America, then you are racist for not dealing with his obvious use of race. So once again, divide and conquer but do not EVER admit the true divide is up and down, not right and left, not black and white but the filthy rich against ALL of us.

I am probably not doing a great job of explaining it but my feeling is we're now completely trapped into that dichotomy with no clear way out of that and back to the reality that we've all been used and abused by our self serving "representatives" in these discussions. And I for one find it extremely difficult not to respond to racist jargon because I too have been trained to react the way I do. Trained might not be the right term here, socialized maybe? I think I'll fight that battle within myself for life, constantly trying to rein in my emotional anger to use rational thought instead of yes, knee jerk condemnations of racism without assessing the actual reality.

Not sure any if that is terribly coherent but that feeling of being trapped, circular arguments never meant to end, is how it feels to me. Just the way our owners prefer too, ignore that proverbial man behind the curtain and just enjoy the show...

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snoopydawg's picture

@lizzyh7

So once again, divide and conquer but do not EVER admit the true divide is up and down, not right and left, not black and white but the filthy rich against ALL of us.

How is systematic racism different from class warfare? In both black and poor neighborhoods the PTB do their best to keep people down. The poor of any race will see places like dumps, oil factories, chemical waste plants, etc. And both will be harassed by cops although blacks get harassed most. Poor people get behind on their bills and get hit with fines and late fees..blacks get stuck with paying for things related to their crimes.

This especially..

but my feeling is we're now completely trapped into that dichotomy with no clear way out of that and back to the reality that we've all been used and abused by our self serving "representatives" in these discussions.

Bingo! Our government is set up to do the bidding of their donors and to transfer wealth from the lower classes to the upper one. Bernie points out that if someone like Bezos accrues over $100 billion then he did that at the expense of his workers and on their backs. And now we see Trump's henhouse guard dawgs deregulating every thing that they can so that corporations can make even more obscene profits while the lower class suffers even more.

There are so many distractions happening that keeps people from focusing on what their government is doing to them. Racism is not new to this country nor is the fight against immigration, but Trump has taken it to a higher level and his other antics keep people focused on him while congress eats all the chickens.

I think that I can walk and chew gum at the same time whilst balancing plates on sticks and still see what is happening behind the scenes. There are more things that most of us want then there are that divide us, but first we need to learn how to talk to each other. This is the hardest part. IMO.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Lookout's picture

@snoopydawg

There are so many distractions happening that keeps people from focusing on what their government is doing to them. Racism is not new to this country nor is the fight against immigration, but Trump has taken it to a higher level and his other antics keep people focused on him while congress eats all the chickens.

May as well laugh as cry...(2 min)

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Dawn's Meta's picture

@lizzyh7

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Pluto's Republic's picture

Save your comment, @lizzyh7

You invested your truth into it, and touched on something universal.

Notice how people can 'see' it.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus

@lizzyh7 Trump is the flapping red cape
The picadors set their barbs
When they tire of the show
The sword is waiting for us all

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detroitmechworks's picture

Didn't even read the texts and got an A. On essay questions. In class.

Was incredibly simple. Just come at it with the assumption that white folks had the absolute WORST of motives for all actions. If the book was a piece of fiction, talk about how the incredibly overblown caricatures are how white folk "REALLY" behave in private. Nod head and smile.

I'm probably the wrong guy to talk about this too. Being A cynic I have a nasty tendency to assume that people would have interesting motives for wanting me to believe certain things about myself. The class provided an interesting insight into how people think I think. It's all wrong of course, but my rule is never to tell people in person who won't accept being wrong that they're making an error.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

karl pearson's picture

Unions negotiate employee benefits and working conditions without regard to race, gender, and ethnicity. Unfortunately, private sector unions have been on the decline for years and public service unions are under attack from many directions. Republican politicians have been overtly hostile to unions for decades. When unions provide $$ and boots on the ground to Democratic politicians, all they get are a few crumbs. I believe if we had stronger unions in the U.S., some of this ID politics would wane.

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20 users have voted.

What we are seeing is that white rural voters are picking Repugs because that is their tribe. It's in the Repug mantra, everything they say is to denigrated the libs, sjw, intellectuals. It's in white exceptiallism, the evangelical white churches. It doesn't matter anymore that the Repugs are not conservative (monetarily or otherwise). Republicans vote for Rs. It's a real problem. This is what we are up against. And I am emphatically not a Dim.

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etc.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

wendy davis's picture

against ID politics with:

“People select an identity rather than forming their own identity”, then quote an NAACP black minister in detroit touting ‘health care, safety and jobs (how bland and benign a place-holders those terms are). perhaps those are the asks of his flock? a black woman admits black incarceration post-bubba clinton still burns for blacks, “but still...” and moves onto the quote you’ve used. those are representatives of some monolithic ‘black voters’? brice's quotes on reparations are pretty fun, as well: 'packages, not checks'.

as a side note: how odd is it that no one mentions reparations for first americans and first nations on Turtle Island? not a large enough demographic?

Then you quote polling results you neglect to mention “The survey commissioned by the Black Economic Alliance comes ahead of the group’s forum in South Carolina this weekend, where it is seeking more information from presidential hopefuls about their plans to advance economic opportunities for African Americans.”

i finally found a way into the internals of the poll (pdf), but it surveyed 1,003 Black adults who had to self-identify as black for the survey to continue. and of course with polling, one always wonders who was contacted by phone, land-lines or cells (how do they get cell numbers, anyway?), in which locations, rural, inner city, etc. but as it turns out, this one was both by phone and online (no explanation i saw of where and how ‘online’.

yes, they were asked if they were registered to vote (most were), and most vote for democrats. and sure, the questions were mainly economic questions, economic concerns, etc. but for many blacks, those aren’t their only concerns, or even top concerns, i’d submit.

others may have mentioned some of what i’d offered, and i’m sorry if i’m doubling up, but i’d offer that not only are blacks not monolithic, but due to skin color, especially blacks in the underclass will be treated as the suspect class, and have different needs than those three mentioned in the OP, and it’s all too easy that through our lenses of white privilege here to understand that.

for many, food and basic shelter are huge concerns. ‘black wealth’ diminished greatly under obomba rule, but as he’d said, he wasn’t the president of black amerikans, but all americans, i.e.: ‘sink or swim; a rising tide lifts all boats’ or whatever.

but seriously, how many blacks lost their houses during the subprime loan scandal? how many might be living 12 to an apartment, or be homeless altogether? how many have been ‘gentrified’ out their neighborhoods? how many inner city blacks live in food deserts (only quick-stops w/ crap food), banking deserts save for PayDay loans ‘banking’? how many live in areas where there’s no timely or reliable public transportation to work, actual banks, or grocery stores? how many rely on ERs for medical help, but are are turned away given they have no health insurance, and sent to charity hospitals or clinics instead?

how many blacks aren’t ‘safe’ from the law, killed by police with impunity; how many are incarcerated for ‘failure to appear’ bench warrants that double, triple up even as they couldn’t afford bail and were still in jail? how many try holding down three crap jobs just to try to feed their families? how many are kicked out of schools for the same ‘offenses’ that earn whites a few hours of detention? (yes, there have been studies showing that.) how many had their schools closed, the privatized into crap ‘teach for america’ charter schools?

how many are rousted for ‘driving while black’, and tased or worse for being ‘uppity’ to police? how many were shot reaching for their cell phones because ‘I thought he had a gun!’ or killed while ‘in police custody’? how many are followed by store security because they’re black, thus automatically suspect.

well, sorry to rant, but it’s far too simple to claim all blacks want is x, y, or z, just like the white folks do, as far as i’m concerned. and yes, gjohnist, i get this was all by way of an ad for bernie sanders, but still.

but let’s hear from boots riley, self-identified commie hip-hop rapper. and yeah, i think ‘race’ (color might be more accurate) enters into it, most especially in the underclass.

History has taught me some strange arithmetic
Using swords, prison bars, and pistol grips
English is the art of bombing towns
While assuring that you really only blessed the ground
Science is that honorable, useful study
Where you contort the molecules and then you make that money
In mathematics, dead children don't get added
But they count the cost of bullets comin' out the automatic

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@wendy davis

but for many blacks, those aren’t their only concerns, or even top concerns, i’d submit.

That certainly is what many tell us, but can you back up that claim?
It doesn't match up to my experience around blacks, but then I'm not black.

Every black person I've ever known worries about family, health, and money, first and foremost, just like everyone else.
They don't get up in the morning thinking about their skin color and how it fits in with society. That would be exhausting.

Just my $0.02
No offense meant or taken.

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wendy davis's picture

@gjohnsit

back up my claim with facts. can you claim what you've said about your black friends? are they in the comfortable, more privileged class? but i have a black son, an indigenous daughter, and have followed black lives and indigenous movements for decades, as well as having lived them.

i'll ask instead: given your opening thesis, why did you breeze by the items i'd presented? as in: cherry-picking to prove your ad for bernie?

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that class, as in income, and opportunity, and access to power, might become a dividing line that would show them in a less positive light. Whatever our differences, I share a lot more in common with the black working class men my age than I do most all of the entitled Social Justice Warriors who preach identity politics and all the crap that goes with it.

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longtalldrink's picture

anyone has ever thought of this concept before. (not really)
https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/poor-peoples-campaign...
or even
http://www.forgottenhistory.us/node/1181 speaking of Shay's Rebellion

Let's remember who the REAL enemy is...the minor elites, trying to maintain power over the major population

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Well done is better than well said-Ben Franklin

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

...what do we think about slavery reparations around here, what with the bill in the House and all? Why is the issue back from seemingly the dead? Why does ancestral slavery seem to matter more than slavery being practiced throughout the world RIGHT NOW?

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.