Toxic Identity Politics


Identity politics is a popular subject in the news. It also was a hot topic when I went canvassing for Virginia’s November election. Specifically, some said they were tired of identity politics because they could not identify with a group like transgender youth, or women who marched for social justice, equal pay and a professional work environment.

Minority groups band together for safety.  They seek to combine their voices because they are tired of being drowned out by the majority. They want a seat at the table. They seek inclusion.

Unfortunately, the majority wrapped in privilege’s embrace may be unaware of the plight of their neighbor because they may be consumed with their own problems and issues. They cannot see someone else’s pain through their own tears.

If they hate conflict, they feel threatened and defensive especially if they realize they have not been kind to their neighbor. They do not want to be held accountable for their cruelty. No one likes to be held accountable for his or her bad behavior.

I think this may be where we are with the #MeToo stories.

We hear the protests of perpetrators.

We moved forward to protect women on college campuses.  To avoid consequence, perpetrators sought allies to nullify those protections and bully victims into silence.

We also moved forward with sexual harassment protections for people in the workplace.  To avoid consequence, perpetrators restricted time limits for victims to report crimes allowing offenders to escape punishment.

Many cruel, mean, hateful and often criminal people have banded together as a toxic identity to prey upon the weakest members of our community.

We all have met toxic people because they slither into every group and organization – no exceptions.

They boldly strut through the front door luring victims and their community to follow them by declaring to be interested with two words, “Trust Me!”

A toxic identity group bands together to retain their privilege to hurt others.  They shout louder to drown out the voices of their victims. They already have most of the seats at the table but still want to exclude everyone else.

A toxic person is harmful, destructive and dangerous.  They play on our fears. They may be physically, sexually, emotionally and/or psychologically abusive.

They hurt people without remorse.

They pull groups apart.

They defend their malicious behavior.

A toxic personality gets worse when challenged.

Everyone is occasionally dysfunctional. We all have flaws, weaknesses and fall short.

However, if we are not toxic, we strive to see beyond ourselves.

We all want to be heard.  No one likes to be drowned out especially if they have been hurt.

We do not have to understand someone’s identity politics to give him or her a seat at the table.

Nor do we have to keep giving up our seats or our humanity to bullies.

 

Resources

Daily Prompt: Identity

Not all ‘identity politics’ are equal  WaPO

I Was A Racist Cop  Huffington Post

George H W Bush Apologizes Huff Post

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