90 Miles From Tyranny : Stacey Abrams’ Full Embrace of Identity Politics Is a Recipe for Disaster

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Stacey Abrams’ Full Embrace of Identity Politics Is a Recipe for Disaster

Following the 2016 elections, liberal intellectuals like Mark Lilla and Francis Fukuyama counseled Democrats to stop embracing identity politics and instead appeal to Americans as Americans, not as divided groups.

The Democrats’ choice of Stacey Abrams to deliver the response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address may be a sign that’s not in the cards.

Abrams ran for governor of Georgia last year and lost by more than 50,000 votes, but has yet to be gracious about her defeat. She is now using the enthusiasm her campaign generated among her far-left base to argue against the universalist Enlightenment ideas upon which this nation was founded.

Abrams says those ideals are false, or at best “devoid of context.” What we need is “revolt.”

Her recent essay on identity politics, published last Friday by Foreign Affairs, is a forthright defense of dividing America into groups based on identities that can be as varied as race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and even disability status. The only thing that matters is the ability to claim a trait that bestows victimhood status.

To people like Abrams who subscribe to this view, this status—and not intrinsic worth, hard work, or talent—is what entitles one to respect, government protection, and benefits.

This is a Marxist worldview that divides humanity into monolithic dominant or subjugated groups where any interaction between them is viewed only in terms of power relations.

Not everything that Abrams wrote in her essay is wrong. She is right to note that organized labor for a long time discriminated against African-Americans, and this “contributed to the rise of a segregated middle class and to persistent pay disparities.”

But much of the rest of her essay, written in a response to one by Fukuyama in the same publication, relies on selective or just plain wrong views of history.

She is wrong, for example, when she writes that “the marginalized did not create identity politics: their identities have been forced on them by dominant groups, and politics is the most effective method of revolt.”

Blacks in America have a long history of victimization and exclusion. But analogizing their unique experience to that of other people and creating a long list of different castes with grievances is a complete non-sequitur. Yet it is a project to which activists have devoted a lot of time and effort, as an examination of...

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  1. good ole' stacy TANK abrams,let her finish lunch and we will get some fellas to roll her back down the beach kinda free willy

  2. Fat, black and liberal is no way to go through life. It's why she's so unhappy all the time.

  3. Hmm? Her, their, identity politics is the only chance to wake enough whites to the South Africa future that awaits us if we don't racially reclaim our nation. Give that hog a mic everywhere possible.


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