I WANT TO CHANGE THE IDENTITY POLITICS NARRATIVE!!!! We all know that identity politics sucks, yet we keep falling into the narrative. In that, we're as guilty as those who promote it. What can we do to change it? Going down the pub and having a good moan about it isn't good enough. What can we, as ordinary people, do through our everyday lives?
A few days ago, I was reading a news article about the New Zealand attacks on FB. The article was clearly generating a Muslims vs Christian type of notion - typical. I got a little mischievous , and dropped a comment "My heart goes out for the families of the victims who lost their lives amidst the mosque shootings." (I meant it!) to see if I would get any reaction. Sure enough, one white lady (I could tell by her profile photo and assumed she was Christian) reacted and said "How dare you! Stop virtue signaling. How many Christians do you think were killed by Muslims during this and that, not to mention the 9/11?!" So, I replied "What virtue signaling? I don't even know what it means. Plus, what is so wrong with expressing condolences to those who're going through very difficult times, regardless of their identities? It sounds like you've fallen into the very narrative of identity politics." I had no comeback. XD
In my simple mind, ideologues are definitely playing a mind game, a very powerful one, and like StrykerWilfe M says, I feel that we've done enough fact check, we know what they are doing and, they are winning. I keep wondering if there is a way not to play their mind game, if not fight back, and to change the mindset of people, especially the young. I'm not suggesting that we should all become activists and behave like SJWs by storming into gender study classes or anything like that - oh no, heavens no. I keep wondering, though, if we could come up some kind of counterattack words and phrases which ordinary people, including children, can guard themselves with. Words like "racist", "fascist", "Nazi", "Islamophobe" "homophobe", etc., are very powerful and influential, and are circulated through social media nonstop, and just saying "No, I'm not a racist, etc." or trying to reason with them doesn't always seem to work. I feel that we could also spread words which are equally powerful so that we can make them retreat, and then, we can finally reason with them. We'll have to find such words/phrases, first, though. lol
This really is a billion dollar question... Sorry, I've been thinking aloud! Just random thoughts. Thank you, guys, for your inputs! Feel free to continue with the discussion.
As to your primary question, "what can we do to change it?" That's a toughie. The mass media has a bullying pulpit and a mega-phone that is like to drown out dissent. I suppose that the only thing that can oppose such stentorian pontificating is a multitude of quiet voices. Soft answers not to turneth away wrath but to show the contrast betwixt the maddening crowd and a campaign of whispers.
So in addressing an argument the first question to ask yourself is "Why." Why are people pushing the identity politics narrative so hard. In this instance... that's probably simple enough to answer. It's about political power. So far the people pushing the narrative have not improved the lot of those they speak for. And odds are they probably won't.
So then... given why then "how."
Another poster stated that you have to challenge the narrative... I agree. I think it's important to question the basic assumptions of the narrative first... and often.
White privilege... is it bad? I wish I had more of it. I was born lower middle class. I wish I was a bit higher on the economic scale... but I don't hate people who are.
So what's the underlying reason they decry privilege? They're saying it's not Fair. Of course life isn't fair, and you can't legislate it to be that way. There are many types of privilege... some are born smarter, taller, more beautiful, healthier. You can't fix any of that through legislation or political movements.
Also... well they're decrying being in the minority rather than the majority. Yep. But if those with a different shade of skin were born into a nation where that was the more common occurrence then they would be the majority with its concomitant privilege. Would that automatically make them bad people? You can't correct Accident of Birth.
None of this identity politics narrative works without White Guilt. If the majority were indeed racist... then this entire identity politics narrative would have never gained any traction whatsoever.
Combine White Guilt with the new secular religion of trying to appear "more compassionate than thou" then you have the driving force behind the movement.
White guilt... is not inherently a bad thing... it's natural to feel bad about the past and to want to correct it... but the political movement behind this is merely exploiting it in the most divisive way possible.
So... is there any credibility to the movement? If people are still being discriminated against on the basis of race then we should correct that ardently... on a case by case basis.
People say that they've been denied a voice... because of their sexuality, their religion, or whatever. At this point I'm pretty sure that everyone has a voice... but they're not entitled to a louder voice than anyone else.
Again... if there's discrimination let's find it wherever it is... but let's not pretend it's everywhere. Address each instance, redress it and go on to the next... that in itself should kinda discourage discrimination.
Equality of Opportunity should be an important consideration. A good education and equal access to it is the best way to implement that. Equality of Outcome is a ridiculous fantasy.
I'm going to post something called The War of Concepts... it's better thought out than this rambling over verbose response. I think it has a more cogent approach to challenging the base assumptions of the identity politics narrative.
You know, when I posted this topic, I had a simple but realistic scenario in my head. It goes like this:
Mr Just Ordinary Man lives a simple, humble life. He loves his family, he loves his home and he is very grateful for what he has. He hasn't got much education but he has good common sense which his grandma taught him. And politics? No, he isn't particularly interested in it. His family are happy and safe, and that's all he cares about.
One day, Mr JOM went to a local store where he met a man who was very rude to him. So, he told the man not to be so rude. This was met by outrage. The man, who happened to be black, shouted and accused Mr JOM of being racist in front of everybody. Mr JOM defended himself by saying that he wasn't a racist and he was only pointing out the black man's rudeness, but the black man kept talking over him and continued to call him a racist. As his good common sense told him, Mr JOM stayed calm, disengaged himself from the conversation and walked away. After he went home, Mr JOM soon became inundated with horrible tweets, and the following day the media were all over him and his family. Mr JOM tried to explain what really happened, but no, they'd already made up their minds that he was the aggressor and the black man was the victim.
A month later, things finally calmed down, and Mr JOM's life was back to normal. One day, Mr JOM went to the local store and saw the same black man harassing one of his neighbours there. As much as he wanted to rescue his neighbour, he decided not to get involved, carried on with shopping and left the store because he couldn't possibly have gone through what he went through a month before.
(You could replace the black man with a Muslim, LGBTQ, etc.)
You see how words like "racist", "Islamophobe", "misogynist", etc. have so much impact on decent, civilised people's minds with such an immediate "shut down" effect. Mr JOM doesn't even know what identity politics is, yet he was thrown right in the middle of it, plus, now his mind is conditioned not to speak out.
So, back to the original billion dollar question - what can we, just ordinary people, do to not let this kind of things happen?! Hear my scream in frustration!!!
I"m going to disagree with the general tone of the replies below, in that I don't see a solution in our side learning more facts, or just tossing the whole idea of emotions in politics. We already have the facts, and have had them for quite some time now, so that won't solve anything. Emotions aren't going anywhere from our political landscape anytime soon either. We have to learn how to translate our facts into an emotional appeal that is stronger than the ones being presented to people everyday. There are a lot of cool concepts in psychology that can be used to this end, but such concepts require study, and I don't anticipate a popular understanding of them anytime soon. So I guess the best recommendation would be to socialize as much as possible, in order to learn how to discuss these topics with a larger variety of people.
Take one day a week and try to see things from someone else's point of view. Don't act on those thoughts or ideas, because if they're wrong you'll wind up harming the process more than helping.
What we can do is take a real look at what is being done. Real laws, look at bill numbers and summaries, watch a little of the back and forth on actual cspan rather than catching a highlight reel of what other people say you should be focused on. See who is doing what and be content to people watch until a situation allows you to interact with what you will find to be a treasure trove of actual information.
Always, when interacting with people, try to find the path to peace rather than the path to victory. We don't have to change the world, but nor should we allow ideas to be thrown at us in a vicious way without standing up for what we believe in.
Find out what you believe in. And when you find it, make damn sure that's what you actually believe. You can do that by taking it apart and using other arguments against it to test it's resolve. By trying to one up your own belief, you could find that it's not what you actually believe at all. If it is, putting it through the wringer now and then makes it even more solid. Stronger. Layered and complicated but always true to self.
Get to know the layers without getting upset about them. Emotions are best kept out of politics. If emotions bleed in to your perception of facts or a situation, stop. Ask yourself why you're getting so wound up, honestly. Then address the issue before it becomes a full on confrontation.
I'm trying to find a proper answer to this myself. My brother believes there is going to be a rift that develops between us because I love our president and he hates him. I stopped him, asking "Have you ever met the man?" And he went to rail against the disgusting, sickening pig's tweets. I asked again "Have you ever been to his house, held a conversation with him, asked him how he really felt about things.." again more angst. In this I realized as he stormed off that those questions only undermined his entire perception. So I pulled back and he came back madder than before. I explained, in no uncertain terms and using language I'm not proud to admit better belonged on some urban gang documentary, that we are brothers. We've been to the bottom together. We've been to college together. We've met women who care and love us for who we are even though we're imperfect assholes. And that nothing, not politics, or opinion, or the planet itself, can change that. So if he was going to develop some fucking petty rage issue against me because I won't placate his white guilt complex by agreeing with idiocy, fine. I'd understand, give him my blessing, and leave, but none of that family crippling bullshit spewed by major news networks is going to make me hate my brother because I'm not a peon.
After that things were fine. Went out to dinner, where his simmering rage was directed where he would let it be. Wasn't in my damn direction and that was enough of a victory for the day.
Make no mistake, Americans. We are in a civil war right now. A war on peace. A war on the sanctity of family and morality. The only cure is the truth but we have to care enough to find it out for ourselves. We can't let these writers, producers and trolls on both sides of the nation right now pollute us any further.