Do you consider yourself a feminist, Black nationalist, a deaf activist, fighting for fat acceptance, or part of the Christian right? And how does this self-labelling focus on your race, gender, sexuality, income level, faith and so on… impact your views of political, social and economic events and institutions around you?
Like Roger Daltrey wailed in 1978, “Who Are You!” Because all this is known as identity politics. To express who you are in the political world, based on, often, characteristics that put you in the minority. For instance, homosexuals letting us know what it’s like to feel oppressed.
Identity politics is criticized for focusing on differences that can even isolate and marginalize people when integration into so-called mainstream society has its benefits. Besides, maybe the issues of identity politics should be secondary to more bedrock matters of having food, shelter and employment. Mind you, the dominant culture in society might just not be sensitive enough to accept, assist and encourage those of a different bent.