Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Identity Politics Observed in the Wild

Now, this is ... interesting. In a Facebook comment on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez' primary win in New York, someone wrote (angrily? I think so):
'working class New York.' By which she did not mean ethnic white hardhats but multicultural, multiracial men and women who have to kowtow to other people just to make ends meet." You just couldn't not exclude the white working class from the working class, could you?
This is a lovely example of a common attitude, most visible among Trump's base but also evident in certain Democratic circles. "Working class New York" includes the white working class on its face. So does "multicultural, multiracial," unless you assume that whites, even white hardhats, are not a "race." But to this mindset, if you include people of color in the working class, you are excluding whites. If you let women into the big tent, you are driving out the men.  I've seen it often, but rarely spreading its plumage so openly in the wild.

While I'm on the subject of Ocasio-Gomez, several people passed along the reaction of a leading liberal cable-news pundit (and voice of the #Resistance!) to her victory.

Bear in mind that Reid is referring to a woman of color running for office in her own city.  But of course she hadn't paid any attention to her campaign before.  Another funny thing is that, as a commenter pointed out with links under her tweet, Ocasio-Gomez has actually received a fair amount of coverage.  But political journalism, c'est moi.