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Op-ed: Issues with Identity Politics


Establishment Democrats risk taking minority votes for granted. With President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris sworn in, it would be remiss to forget that an unfortunate 75 million individuals voted for former President Donald J. Trump . And with Biden now attempting to reach out to these voters by undertaking a centrist platform emphasizing bipartisanship, we see prominent national Democrats misunderstanding and misapplying the concept of identity politics to their political agendas. In doing so, another Trump-era presidency and far-right politicians regaining their power are at risk.

In 1977 , Barbara Smith co-authored the Combahee River Collective Statement, a document that spotlighted the economic and social oppression uniquely faced by Black women. The statement first coined the term “identity politics” and advocated for intersectionality in the feminist movement of the late 20th century — a movement that had the tendency to exclude women of color from its demands. Smith’s intention in creating the concept of identity politics focused on calling attention to a group’s specific identity and, in turn, forcing individuals to acknowledge the struggles faced by people of those identities. However, the support for this movement today has been increasingly minimized to buzzwords and insincere pushes for […]

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