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What Is the Hierarchy of Identity Politics?

July 3, 2017

The 2008 and 2012 election showed that a coalition of minorities was the winning formula.  As for 2016, not so much.

With all the minority identity groups out there vying for political power, social media control, fund raising and media presence; how do they stack up when they compete for hierarchy?  At some point, when the power and money is being doled out, the queue is determined by some order.  Who are these groups and how do they vie for power?

Author disclaimer: I have no dog in this hunt.  I am a pattern watcher and try to learn from them.  Human nature is hard to understand and explain due to it’s ever changing allies and favored group status depending on circumstances.  I was watching the groups at the last election and wondered how you coalesce a group of disparate people with conflicting causes as a voter block.

Who are they?

While this isn’t a comprehensive list and I am not discriminating as I just Googled it, the last election revealed the groups of Black Lives Matter (BLM), LGBTQ (apologies if I omitted a letter), Islam (including ISIS), socialists, Antifa, environmentalists and feminists.  They each compete for their cause and have usually selected an enemy with whom they are opposed to, but are now conflicting with each other in the power grab.  They for the most part have an ideological position (some more than others) and garner the lion’s share of media attention.

What happens when the identity groups who desire to command the headlines conflict for attention and finances?

 

Before the haters come out, I write this post because of my position that one of the characteristics of a higher IQ is the ability to argue from multiple positions on a subject. I will proceed with this post from that premise.

I also am merely an observer of trends. The consolidating power of the above listed groups is becoming a relevant discussion regardless of where you source your information. I’ve excluded the typical mainstream media as sources of information on both sides as their coverage is either too conservative or liberal.  Their inherent bias excludes them from this conversation.  I also excluded Hollywood and celebrities since they have a limited integration with the real world and often spout declarations for others which they do not adhere to.  When you get to the heart of their talent, they pretend to be others and to take their opinions seriously is difficult at best.

Here are non-comprehensive, yet representative examples of identity group disagreements.

BLM vs. LGBTQ

I first noticed this when BLM shut down a gay pride parade.

These are two significant voter populations when added together.

What surprised me that it was during the last election cycle and both groups made up a voting block for the same candidate.  From said article:

BLM held Toronto Pride hostage, unless their demands, which included excluding police from the parade, were immediately met.

(Pride parades typically have contingents of LGBT cops and firefighters, and booths set up by the local LGBT officers’ group at the accompanying street festival.)

Judging by their success in forcing Toronto Pride to capitulate, I suspect we’ll see Black Lives Matter groups protesting more Pride parades in the future. And as a longtime national and international LGBT rights activist, I have a problem with that.

In my internet search for protests, it seems that BLM also protested and shut down Bernie Sanders and Hillary whom they supported.  It goes without saying that they all protested Trump, but that is not the point of my curiosity as I assumed this was a given.  This alone is surprising since both are a part of the coalition of voters candidates need to be elected per the aforementioned 2008/2012/2016 campaigns.

ISLAM vs. Feminists and LGBTQ

I later observed the Muslim and ISIS positions that women are treated poorly and that homosexuals were declared wrong and being executed. On a side point, they also considered most pets as unclean and black dogs should be killed (animal cruelty), which brings in the animal rights group, but they don’t be as significant as the other groups currently.  Apparently, women don’t have the same rights as men and must be subservient.

Then there is the recent Linda Sansour dust up revealing this dichotomy:

  • What the West needs to know is that in the Muslim world, jihad is considered more important than women, family happiness and life itself. If we are told, as Linda Sarsour said, that Islam stands for peace and justice, what we are not told is that “peace” in Islam will come only after the whole world has converted to Islam, and that “justice” means law under Sharia: whatever is inside Sharia is “justice;” whatever is not in Sharia is not “justice.”
  • Rebelling against Sharia is, sadly, for the Muslim woman, unthinkable. How can a healthy and normal feminist movement develop under an Islamic legal system that can flog, stone and behead women? That is why Sarsour’s jihadist kind of feminism is no heroic kind of feminism but the only feminism a Muslim woman can practice that will give her a degree of respect, acceptance, and even preferential treatment over other women. In Islam, that is the only kind of feminism allowed to develop.

It further goes on to say:

Sarsour apparently identifies as a feminist. Sarsour’s kind of feminism, however, embraces the most oppressive legal system, especially for women: Islamic religious law, Sharia. Sarsour’s feminism is supposedly for empowering women, but it twists logic in a way similar to how Muslim preachers do when they claim that beating one’s wife is a husband’s way of honoring her.

Here is the dichotomy:

Pro-Sharia feminism is a perverted kind of feminism that could not care less about the well-being of oppressed Muslim women. Sarsour’s logic concerning women does not differ much from that of Suad Saleh, an Egyptian female Islamic cleric, who recently justified on Egyptian TV the doctrine of intentional humiliation and rape of captured women in Islam. Saleh said, “One of the purposes of raping captured enemy women and young girls was to humiliate and disgrace them and that is permissible under Islamic law.” There was not even a peep in Egypt’s civil society about such a statement.

On 7/25/17 a direct conflict happened when this occurred: An Oakland Muslim plotted to attack a gay club in San Francisco and talked about killing thousands of innocents on behalf of ISIS.

Finally, there is this non-sequitur that I can’t fathom:

“Feminist” Muslim women calling beatings by their husbands a “blessing from Allah”!

Who wants a beating?

ISLAM (ISIS) vs. Antifa

I don’t fully understand this one.  It has the trappings of a sibling quarrel at best.  ISIS is claiming that Antifa has culturally appropriated their uniforms, that being their black flag and terrorist tactics. 

Here are some details:

Based on this proof, we hereby request that the UNHRC’s CESCR begin an immediate investigation into this matter, and, if you concur that ANTIFA is culturally appropriating ISIS, that you use all means at your disposal to put a stop to it. You could start by visiting this ANTIFA website, which contains links to many of its affiliates throughout the world.

Sincerely,

ISIS High Command

PS: You might mention to the ANTIFA punks that in quite a few aspects, we are at war with the very same people, organizations and ideas, and, in fact, Western civilization itself. So, if you could arrange a sit-down over tea with us, and them, it might serve all of our interests, and provide a holistic, inclusive resolution to our complaint.

Islam appears to have support from the media and the left side of the political sphere as does the other listed minorities claiming status.  One can see the obvious conflicts.

Socialists

It appeared that quite a bit of traction was gained by the Bernie Sanders crowd.  It seemed to have enough momentum to be a winning group within its’ primary. Somehow, it was defeated by a political machine by what is being revealed as suspicious activities.

Nevertheless, a discussion of the socialism movement by Ross Wolf summarizes some of my points:

Ross Wolfe argues in The Charnel House, the identity politics that arose in the 1960s, ‘70s and ’80s developed in reaction to the identity politics of actually-existing socialism itself:

The various forms of identity politics associated with the “new social movements” coming out of the New Left during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s (feminism, black nationalism, gay pride) were themselves a reaction, perhaps understandable, to the miserable failure of working-class identity politics associated with Stalinism coming out of the Old Left during the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s (socialist and mainstream labor movements). Working-class identity politics — admittedly avant la lettre — was based on a crude, reductionist understanding of politics that urged socialists and union organizers to stay vigilant and keep on the lookout for “alien class elements.” Any and every form of ideological deviation was thought to be traceable to a bourgeois or petit-bourgeois upbringing. One’s political position was thought to flow automatically and mechanically from one’s social position, i.e. from one’s background as a member of a given class within capitalist society.

Questions I Have

If you are courting one group, how do you avoid alienating another group if there is acrimony?  At some point you step on the wrong toes.

If there is limited money, how does the donor decide who gets it without upsetting other groups?

How do you herd this group of cats to vote together when trying to win an election?  It worked twice, but failed recently and there is finger pointing as to why.

What is Racist?

In Seattle, they can’t clean the sidewalks with pressure washers because it could be racist.

Council member Larry Gossett said he didn’t like the idea of power-washing the sidewalks because it brought back images of the use of hoses against civil-rights activists.

It seems that non-black people using gifs are being racist also.  I don’t understand this one though.

Finally, who wins this victim’s game?

I found this, which is someone else’s answer and not necessarily my view, but it seems to apply here:

The criteria used to judge that is two-fold: the perceived grievance and victimhood status of the group (more = better), and the amount of room within it for ideological and political pluralism (more = worse).

So I guess you have out victim everyone else.  By doing so, it disrupts the coalition of identities required by one of the political parties to win elections.  I suppose it is a popularity contest to win the money and the status.

My final observation is that human nature is the constant here.  People are selfish enough to grab power and money when possible.  Most do not have the ability to argue from multiple positions on the same subject and are ideologues for their cause.

This alone is going to make a coalition such as the one that voted in the president in 2008 difficult.  Being a female wasn’t enough of a victim status in the 2016 election.

These are things I ponder as we wind our way down the path of being a country.

 

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