Why Identity Politics can Be a Problem

 

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When I was about seven, I would stay up with my grandmother and watch our favorite show The Amazing Race. Every Sunday we would sit glued to the screen to see which team of two was going to walk across the finish line. On this particular night it was between two teams. If I remember correctly one team was two black sisters who were track superstars in college. The other group was a mother and son who were white, and the son happened to be deaf. Well the mother and son got to the pitstop first and were allowed to stay, however the two sisters were five seconds to late and were eliminated. I was happy the mother and son were saved because I saw my own relationship with my mother in them. My grandmother however, was shocked that I was glad that they won. She chastised me for not rooting for the black team, saying”You are suppose to root for your own”. This was my first entry into identity politics. As I have gotten older me and Identity politics have had a weird relationship. I have been told that I act and talk white ever since I can remember. People are shocked that I do not eat watermelon or crabs. That I do not like to drink sweet tea, or than I hate hot sauce. When I tell people that my favorite song is The Way we Were, their eyes bulge out like saucers. When while registering for voting in high school and I picked NO PARTY AFFILIATION INSTEAD OF DEMOCRAT I THOUGHT MY AUNT AND UNCLE WERE GOING TO DISOWN ME. Yea identity politics has been a pain in my ass for along time. In 2016, were there is all this talk about the minority, everyone forgets the biggest minority today. The individual. It seems like the individual no longer exist. I am so tired of being placed in a box because I am black. I am sick of people assuming that I am a democrat, listen to hip hop all day,and that I play basketball. There is nothing wrong with any of these things,but not every black person fits into those categories. I am black yes we all can see that,however that does not tell you what I think, or how I am going to act. I hate basketball and mostly other sports, I listen to some hip hop but my first love is pop music, and while I agree with democrats on some issues I classify myself as an independent. Now, hardly anyone black or white would get any of that from me based on my appearance. Which brings me to my second point, we need to start talking to each other. Like my man Dave said people are complicated. There are black republicans, and gay republicans, and Mexican libertarians. That does not mean they are Uncle Toms,sell outs, or just crazy. If you talk to any of these people you may see that hey may be like you than you thought.If we keep classifying everyone by whether they are white,black,Hispanic, Asian ,christian,Muslim,gay,straight,democrat,or republican then we will get nothing accomplished. Because, yea someone can be one of these things but that doe snot mean they act like everyone in that category. That is why I stick up for the minority that is the individual, and I am sick of the oppressor called identity politics.

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