The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint: Liberals need to stop hiding behind identity politics now

Photo Courtesy of Manny Becerra/Unsplash
Photo Courtesy of Manny Becerra/Unsplash

Juan Salinas II
campus editor
juan.salinas465@my.tccd.edu

The concept of white liberals shielding people of color from “big evil conservatives” is irksome.

Back in November 2021, after the Virginia gubernatorial election was won by Republican Glenn Youngkin, a Democratic firm held a focus group to figure out what went wrong in the state. The result was interesting, to say the least. The participants of color — and their white counterparts — felt that Democrats had the better economic policies, but voted Republican due to the party’s cultural values falling closer to their own. Before you just throw out those participants as “MAGA lovers,” the firm only surveyed people who voted for Joe Biden.

There is a significant disconnect between the working class, the majority of which are people of color and the upper-class, which, you guessed it, is primarily white.

I dislike reducing this conversation down to just race because I believe that identity politics — the concept of forming a political alliance based on your identity — can be harmful to improving the lives of the working class. Improving the lives of these individuals requires a broad coalition that focuses on populist ideas, but sadly this ideology is the minority.

This harmful way of thinking seen by politicians and talking heads on Twitter trying to earn “woke points” has oozed down to the younger generation. 

A prime example of this would be the debate surrounding the word “Latinx.” Yes, the origin of the word indeed stems from Latin American protests, according to David Bowles, Mexican-American author and professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, but most people that use this term are white people that want to be outraged for us with no regard to how we, the Latino community, actually feel about the subject. 

White liberals use these activist terms and hide behind identity politics to shield them from valid criticism. As a result, people who raise these criticisms are often bombarded with idiotic rebuttals that boil down to the belief that having representatives who look similar to you is more important than the actual policies they run on. 

I think white liberals would help us more by focusing on tangible policies. 

A survey shows that 55% of voters support Medicare for All, as of April 2021, according to the research company Morning Consult. However, it would be a pipe dream to think the administration would change course on this issue since President Joe Biden ran on a public option instead of universal health care. 

But, he did run on raising the minimum wage. It has been months since his first attempt. Imagine if the energy we disperse into identity politics was used toward pressuring the administration to keep its promises instead.We should focus more on class issues rather than race. Then, this country wouldn’t be such a dystopian hellhole. 

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