Jeff at Protein Wisdom writes:
Roy and many of his equally vulgar commenters believe that black racism against blacks is to be dealt with by blacks themselves…and that white folk, who clearly have no stake in the battle, need to mind their own business.
Speaking for myself, it’s mainly that I’d like to see white people – many of whom seem to have an infinite capacity for opposing racism if it’s a matter of whites not being allowed to say “nigger” without criticism, or of any incident in which a person of color could be says or does something that’s racially offensive – find better priorities. For instance, maybe they could worry about the enourmous racial inequalities in access to good voting equiptment, or in wealth, or in jobs. You know -things that actually make a difference.
In this country, the oppression of white people by insensitive people of color is simply not a pressing problem. The need for racial equality in saying the n-word is not a pressing problem, either. On the other hand, the real effects of racism – both historic and ongoing – against blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians (among others) – are serious and pressing problems.
In this context – a context I, in my wacky left-wing dialect, label “reality” – I’m more worried about discrimination against non-whites by large social institutions and powerful elites. Does that mean I’m a racist who values white people less? Well, let me ask you: if a surgeon decides to deal with Judy’s collapsed lung before dealing with Bob’s scraped knee, does that mean she values Bob less as a human being?
John at Balloon Juice, discussing identity politics, writes:
Maybe this incident will help people (in particular my friends on the left, but not exclusively) recognize why this brand of politics will lead to nothing but rancor and should end now.
Yes, because what good has identity politics done so far? I mean, aside from ending Jim Crow, bringing voting rights to minorities and to women, creating a nationwide network of rape crisis and battered women’s resources, removing laws against sodomy, vastly increasing Deaf rights, changing homosexuality from a sickness to an orientation, making much of society more accessible to the disabled, wage equality laws, giving married women the right to own property, and a thousand other changes that have helped the disabled, the non-white, the queer and the female, when has identity politics ever done anyone any good?
John’s right – putting every social improvement this country has made in the last century aside, identity politics leads to nothing but rancor.