The first issue is that identity groups have to get more and more outlandish in their cries for ‘equity.’ If, for example, the National Organization for Women woke up one day and found that men and women were 100% equal, what would they do? Would they celebrate and disband? If the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People woke up one day and found that all ethnicities were 100% equal, would they celebrate and disband?
We know the answers to these questions, because these groups are equal, in terms of equal treatment under the law, and yet they do not disband.
When economists look at such statistics as women who have never married or had children, and compare them to men who have never married or had children, women make more – not less – than do men. When we look at women who work the same number of hours as men, in the same fields, with the same amount of experience and the same level of education, we find no difference in income levels. When we look at African Americans and white Americans from two parent households, we see no difference in incomes. When we look at gay people vs straight people, we find that gay people make more – not less – than straight people. When we look at African Americans with two college educated parents vs white Americans with two college educated parents, we find that African Americans make more than do white Americans. Such noted economists as Thomas Sowell have studied these issues into the ground. We know these things to be true – and you can read about these (and other) facts in many of Dr. Sowell’s works, such as ‘Intellectuals and Society,’ from which the specific facts I just mentioned are cited.
When you look at differences between groups in America today, all of the evidence says that they are driven by socio-economic differences, or differences in choices that different people make. Women make less than men on average, for example, primarily because they work fewer hours, on average, than do men. Women also often choose to work in different fields than do men. African Americans are far more apt, on average, to have been raised in single-parent households, and are far more apt to have grown up in inner cities, on average, than are white Americans, and these factors are the primary cause of the differences we see between these groups.
There is of course some discrimination within the United States. In a country of almost 330 million people, there will always been some racism out there, and we see stories of racism, and other isms, every day. The question is not whether or not discrimination exists, but rather how significant a factor it is in determining the opportunities available to different genders, different ethnicities, and different people of other groups, and that is a question that can be quantitively answered.
The answer is that discrimination does not make enough of a difference to be measurable, which from a purely scientific perspective means that it makes no difference at all. In other words, discrimination exists, but it does not exist to a degree that would reduce opportunity.
Those who believe in identity politics work around the problems facts present by using circular logic to ignore facts. Blaming anything other than discrimination or ‘privilege’ for any statistical differences between groups is called ‘blaming the victim.’ Somehow it is lost on the practitioner of identity politics that to ‘blame the victim’ there must be a ‘victim,’ making this argument completely circular. Practitioners of identity politics also use arguments based on words like ‘mansplaining.’ Essentially this phrase is used to imply that facts presented by people who are not members of a victim group have no value, and can be ignored. Only victims are allowed to present ‘facts,’ the line between ‘fact’ and ‘opinion’ is destroyed through circular logic, and the most hated people of all are those who are members of victim groups but who claim no such membership – such as Dr. Thomas Sowell, from whose voluminous works I am drawing these facts.
Practitioners of identity politics have completely separated themselves from objective reality, and in doing so they have made themselves sound utterly ridiculous to the rest of us. To make matters worse, by separating their beliefs from reality, they have freed themselves to become ever more outrageous in their claims, and indeed, the more outrageous they get the more ‘courageous’ they are called. Unless the practitioners of identity politics can successfully give the rest of the country schizophrenia, they will eventually alienate the rest of society, and at that point identity politics will collapse in upon itself. We may in fact already be witnessing this implosion around us, in spite of outlets like CNN continuing to push the same tired narrative.
No idea is more ridiculous than that of privilege. There is a popular YouTube video that shows how, in a race for $100, some have a better chance to succeed than do others, and some have no chance at all. The video however is terribly flawed in its analogy of life.
In a real analogy – an accurate analogy – there would be no ending line, and no $100 prize. There would, rather, be five dollar bills laid in lanes, with a new five dollar bill every so many feet out, stretching out into eternity. At the start of the first race, you would have some people start walking forward in their lanes, picking up $5 bills as they go, based on having had a more favorable starting point, but when the ‘race’ starts, each person would run ahead at whatever pace they are able, picking up the $5 bills in their lane along the way.
After a certain amount of time (which would vary randomly by participant), the race would end and someone else, representing the person’s offspring, would take whatever money the previous racer had not already spent, and would start running from whatever point their parent finished at.
This process would go on and on into eternity, with each generation starting at whatever point their parents left them.
My example of a race is far more what life actually looks like than is what we see in the YouTube video. In my example, while some people start with more than do others, everyone has the chance to improve their lot as much as they are able, and to better the starting position of their children. Also, in my example, people are not competing with one another – they are only competing with themselves, bettering their own lives quite independently from what anyone else is doing.
The YouTube video is ridiculous, as are the arguments it tries in vain to support.
The second problem identity politics has is that it is based on racism. It is not hard to see that this is true. Every time you hear the claim that only white people can be racist, or that all white people are inherently racist, you are hearing excuses to perpetuate racism. Such claims are racist by definition, and yet such claims are common within identity politic circles.
The most sinister part of identity politics is its racism of low expectations. ‘Do not bother trying, poor oppressed one,’ the argument goes, ‘because white men are so advantaged that you cannot possible compete against them, and there is no point in playing a rigged game.’ Indeed – the YouTube video shows how many just stand still when the race starts, highlighting the futility of trying to succeed.
Under the banner of identity politics, if people are left free, they will oppress one another, based on identity group affiliation, until white men dominate at the top. Believers in identity politics point to the fact that the enlightenment, from which the notions of freedom and liberty spring, is a Western construct. Let’s break down some of the inherent assumptions in this statement – a statement we hear, essentially verbatim, over and over again from those who believe in identity politics.
One inherent assumption is that of it being impossible for anyone but white men to be able to live in a society based on ideals white men came up with. This is an incredibly racist assumption, as it assumes that race is the primary factor in determining the kinds of societies people can do well in. In other words, believers in identity politics start with an assumption that African Americans cannot compete in a society created by white people. This is perhaps the most racist statement ever made, and yet identity politics is based on this assumption.
There are other more mildly racist assumptions inherent to identity politics, such as the notion that it harms a people if someone borrows something from that people’s culture. How is it not racist to tie culture and race together as if they are inexorably linked? The opposite of racism is the belief that ethnicity does not matter. Identity politics is the belief that things like ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, are the only things that do matter.
However you slice it, things like race, gender, sexual preference, and other identity factors are critical differentiators to the identity politic adherent, and one of the great ironies of identity politics is that people like Richard Spencer believe exactly the same things. Richard Spencer wants to preserve rather than destroy the hierarchy other adherents of identity politics believe in, but other than that his beliefs are exactly the same as everyone else who believes in identity politics. It is no wonder that Richard Spencer calls himself the ‘alt-right,’ or literally the ‘alternative to the right,’ differentiating himself from the right while at the same time labeling himself an enemy of the left. The actual right abhors identity politics in all forms, and wants nothing to do with any of it, be it on the alt-right, or on the left.
This brings us to the third problem with identity politics: it grows the alt-right. When you teach America’s youth that success comes from privilege, and that you want to take this privilege away, it should go without saying that some of the people you call ‘privileged’ will respond by saying that they like their privilege. The left tries to disown these people but the alt-right sounds just like the rest of the left, except that the alt-right does not want to change what they perceive as the current power structure.
As much as the left tries to link the alt-right to the real right, the truth is that the alt-right is very much a left-wing movement, seeing the world through the exact same lens the left uses.
In order to maintain their base in a society that believes in equal treatment under the law, practitioners of identity politics have to continuously become more extreme, to the point of being ridiculous. The entire platform identity politics are based on is steeped in racism, and is thus inseparable from racism. The beliefs identity politics are based on are what builds the alt-right. More than anything else, identity politics is based on hate, and hate is incapable of uniting a society. Identity politics is a belief structure that can only destroy, and as such, it must be rejected at every turn.
Identity politics is evil, as are those who practice it. There are those who believe in identity politics who do not see themselves as evil people, but they teach evil things, and at the end of the day, you ‘reap what you sow.’
The right also has a problem with identity politics, which is that conservatives tend to recoil when identity groups invoke identity politics. The left calls us racists, sexists, and various types of phobics, but certainly with libertarians, and most other conservatives, none of these labels apply.
We need to stop recoiling, and start forcing identity politics adherents to defend their accusations. We need to turn the tables, showing them to be the racists, the sexists, and the people who are <insert group> phobic.
By rejecting identity politics and challenging its adherents, conservatives of all stripes have an opportunity to grow our base, showing the absurdity of the identity politics claims, and the evil inherent in their racist beliefs.
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