Cannot Seem to Escape Identity Politics

March 13, 2015

The other day, I realized I was racial profiling my facebook comments. I was parsing through the faces, skipping commentary by white faces. How did I come to doing this?

My fear: Identity Politics.

More often than not, i find people described in articles via the various properties of their birth. Their skin color, their religion or their sex, their gender, or their sexuality. At least the religion aspect involves some ideology upon the person described. The problem with these descriptions is how often they’re used and how they’re used.

It follows a pattern like this, “X is Y, thus…”. This person is white male, so you know what that means. This person is transgendered, so you realize why…

Of course, X is a white male, so…

Being that Y is a Z, it’s likely that…

It seems to slip into every little bit of modern discussion. I dislike this practice. Honestly, I detest it, but I cannot escape it. I read it over and over, because I do not avoid conflicting viewpoints.

My issue may be that it’s having a negative impact upon me. If the point of identity politics is to say to people that these racisms exist then it’s worked on me in a very disturbing way. I doubt I had these racist habits before. I know I had some level of it when I was young and informed by those around me of racial ideas. However, I get past that point and judge someone on what they present to me. That is to say, I wasn’t like this last month.

People are people. I feel chilled when that individual identity is forgotten. Yet here I am, grouping people via shallow qualities and assigning them values.

I am racial profiling to decide who gets to be heard.

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