Identity Politics vs. Diversity
Arin N. Reeves
For better or for worse, national politics and diversity have crashed into each other in 2008. We have witnessed historical achievements that signal the disintegration of long standing racial and gender barriers in American politics. Yet, the choices we make as to how we talk about these achievements have the potential to resurrect the same barriers we have fought so hard to break down.
The 2008 political campaigns have given us a tremendous opportunity to celebrate and leverage the diversity of talented leaders who are willing and eager to serve this country. These same political campaigns have also provided us the opportunity to use stereotypes and biases – identity politics – to politicize our differences. Given a choice between diversity and identity politics, we are unfortunately shunning the future benefits of the former to embrace the heated rhetoric of the latter.