|A Pace Odyssey||
In the last few years, this country has seen a rise in Identity Politics. Identity Politics is defined as, "A tendency for people of religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics". This type of movment has been best shown by The Black Lives Matter movement. When a number of police shootings occurred and many black men lost their lives, the black community banded together and decided to raise awareness for the problem. Unfortunately, when this kind of movement receives attention, it often causes a backlash and the rise of other groups rooted in identity politics. This was seen in the increased popularity of "White Lives Matter" groups i.e. Neo Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, etc. I think we can all agree this is not a good thing. But , if the Black Lives Matter movement had not been started, would the problem of police brutality be receiving the attention it deserves?
Ice-T's metal band, Bodycount, has provided, what I believe at least, to be a refreshing take on the issue in the song "No Live Matter" (you all should check it out, the language is on the salty side, but the rhetoric is sound). In it he acknowledges the point of the Black Lives Matter movement, and that people should not get jealous when they aren't the center of the issue. However, he then says that racism isn't the issue, rather it is a cover for the fact that poor people are treated like dirt in this country, "Don't fall for the bait and switch Racsim is real but not it They f*** whoever can't fight back But now we gotta change all that The people have had enough Right now it's them against us This s*** is ugly to the core When it comes to the poor No Lives Matter!" Ultimately this can be decipered as a call for unity. But, for everyone to take up this stance seems almost like a utopian ideal in this country.
So I ask you, do we need Identity Politics to raise awareness for issues faced by minorities? Is all of this identity stuff a ploy to get away from the real issue? Or is it something else entirely?