As I came to really understand international affairs, as they relate to people, I would often say this: “The world is a big plantation, and Americans are the house negroes.”
Field slaves think house negroes have it so good…and in some ways, in certain instances they do. In other ways it’s just a milder, slower form of torture.
Here is the problem with house negroes though, they get so invested in keeping their paltry privileges, they easily and sometimes brutally, oppress all the other slaves. This dynamic was prevalent on the American southern plantation, and this dynamic is still in place inside America in a variety of forms within a variety of institutions.
But…ultimately we’re all slaves, and as the regime grows more global, Americans are losing many of the small privileges we used to have. How much longer can we hope to hold onto this house negro status? A good portion of us are already working in the fields.
Identity is important. It can’t be ignored, it’s a ridiculous suggestion that has no basis in reality or practical application. Identity totally controls the sorts of rights people do or don’t have so, Identity IS politics. So Enough of the semantics about “identity politics.” Identity politics IS politics. It can’t be avoided. People outside of America are going to hate Americans. If I ignore this, the reality of that hate doesn’t go away. So I think it’s better, in a hyper connected global world, to have some understanding of the identity politics, of the world.
Case and point: I live in an extremely multicultural area, just outside of D.C. I was at Aldi’s buying groceries, standing in line with some other dark-skinned African- Americans, when some Indians (from India) jumped in front of us, not even acknowledging our existence. Because of India’s caste system, it is not uncommon for them to do those things IN INDIA.
In America, it’s not necessarily okay, but in America we clearly have a caste system too, and within it, Black lives don’t matter as much as white ones -(this really isn’t up for dispute with me, so please don’t go there).
So in this instance, these Indians brought their identity politics all the way from India, and easily integrated them into American society. Now if you want to tell me this isn’t political, have at it. But I will tell you this, the reason I go out and vote every November is to keep shit like what those Indians did in Aldis illegal in America and I am only voting for politicians who want to keep that sort of thing illegal.
The identity politics are getting so extreme over here, speaking about it as plainly as I do causes all sorts of uproar. Why is that? A variety reasons. This being the main one -the identity politics in America are changing swiftly. That is making everyone extremely uncomfortable. No one really knows what the results of all these changes might be. Indians in the store jumping to the front of the line without any repercussions disrupts American identity politics, in a lot of different ways. Who knows where this ends. I’m of the hey, we all got to live together mindset, but a lot of Americans are screaming (at Indians and many others) Get out! Get out!
And…a lot of them are getting pushed out, especially under the Trump administration.
I say all of that to say this: ignoring identity politics is to ignore politics all together. Is that your suggestion? Perhaps that is best. But, in some ways, it seems unavoidable.