The toxic nature of Identitarianism

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Belle
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The toxic nature of Identitarianism

Post by Belle » Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:39 am

This is a thoughtful essay and very apt for the times. I was left questioning King's assertion that most immigrant groups to the USA had been given grants and other forms of assistance to help them succeed in their new country - but it appears he overlooked many Jews, like the family of Irving Berlin - whom I have read about only recently - who lived in great poverty and had to fight for every scrap of food. Berlin had to abandon school so that he could work to support his family. Such stories were far from unusual.

https://quillette.com/2021/01/17/three- ... t-society/

And another very good essay on this same subject:

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/01/1 ... ces-equal/

jserraglio
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Re: The toxic nature of Identitarianism

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:10 am

Identitarianism. The word itself is an insult, both to the ear and to the mother tongue. I long for the days when writers on the Right knew how to write.

What this inelegant term is commonly understood to mean betrays just how little its users know about American history and culture.

American politics, for better or worse, has always been about embracing, organizing, and seeking advantages for the subgroup one identifies with.
Last edited by jserraglio on Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

barney
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The toxic nature of Identitarianism

Post by barney » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:44 am

jserraglio wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:10 am
Identitarianism. The word itself is an insult, both to the ear and to the mother tongue. I long for the days when writers on the Right knew how to write.

What this inelegant term is commonly understood to mean betrays just how little its users know about American history and culture.

American politics, for better or worse, has always been about embracing, organizing, and seeking advantages for the subgroup one identifies with. Mostly for the better, I think.
Joseph, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this characteristic actually is found beyond the US. :lol:

jserraglio
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: The toxic nature of Identitarianism

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:54 am

barney wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:44 am
Joseph, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this characteristic actually is found beyond the US. :lol:
I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
So I could only know,
What the words for them should be.

Rach3
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: The toxic nature of Identitarianism

Post by Rach3 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 12:24 pm

These embattled restaurant owners in Salem,Oregon know all too well about Identitarianism:

By Alex Baumhardt,WAPO
Jan. 18, 2021 at 5:12 p.m. CST

In ‘battle for the soul of Salem,’ a Black business owner is targeted. Jonathan Jones and his wife opened one of the few Black-owned restaurants in downtown Salem, Ore., in 2019. As the state’s capital city became a staging ground this fall for white-supremacist and far-right groups, he and Epilogue Kitchen became the target of vandalism and organized harassment.
SALEM, ORE. — Jonathan Jones named his restaurant Epilogue because it was supposed to be the end of a beginning.
Jones, 32, and his wife, Maura Ryan, 31, moved here from Wilmington, N.C., in 2014, to delve into Oregon's wine industry and to try to open their own restaurant. They started with a food truck called Prologue Pastry and in 2019 finally turned it into a brick-and-mortar establishment serving dinner and cocktails. Epilogue Kitchen & Cocktails was the fulfillment of a dream and made Jones one of few Black business owners in Oregon's capital city.

Now, he and Ryan, who is White, wonder if this is the city to carry on their new beginning. The two have been targeted by far-right extremists and white-supremacist groups, and the attacks have intensified over the past few months as several of these groups, including those supporting President Trump, have held marches and rallies at the Capitol and spilled into downtown.

Demonstrations also have been held to protest Gov. Kate Brown (D) and her coronavirus restrictions and other policies. In December, a group of right-wing protesters entered the Oregon Capitol after a Republican state representative let them in. Republicans in the state have tried to recall Brown multiple times, and she and Trump have clashed on social media over her handling of last summer’s protests.

State representative opens door to Oregon Capitol building, allowing protesters to enter
Video appeared to show state Rep. Mike Nearman (R-Independence) open the door to the Oregon Capitol on Dec. 21 as protesters were trying to break in.


Over the weekend, the Oregon Capitol was locked down with windows boarded and National Guard troops called up in the event of a violent attempted insurrection, like the one in Washington on Jan. 6, when a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol.

This year, especially the past few months, have “felt like a battle for the soul of Salem,” Jones said.But Jones now feels like he is a target in the battle.
After a Nov. 27 rally by the Proud Boys, a male-chauvinist group with ties to white nationalism, Jones said a member of the group followed him and threatened him with bear spray. A week later, a security camera captured someone — Jones believes it was the same man — using white spray paint to cover a message in the window of his restaurant that says “Hate has no place here.” Salem police are investigating.

A few weeks later, street lamps and poles on the block around Epilogue were papered by Patriot Front, a white-nationalist group that sprang up after the violence in Charlottesville and has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and others.


Jones and the restaurant also have been subjected to online harassment. Profiles with the same photo of Trump’s face but different account handles have trolled Epilogue’s Instagram page, leaving disparaging comments on videos of Jones and on pictures of the food. Jones said one comment called his wife a race traitor for marrying him.

Then, on Jan. 1, several rallies, including one organized by Oregon Women for Trump, drew members of the Proud Boys and the far-right Patriot Prayer group. Jones was headed to work at Epilogue after attending a rally sponsored by an anti-fascist group. He and a few friends were gathered outside his restaurant when about 20 participants from the far-right rallies confronted them and became aggressive. Police arrived, along with more Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer members, until, Jones says, there were about 50 of them surrounding the restaurant and about 20 police, including two armored cars.


Jones said he tried to explain to police that he owned the business they were trapped in front of, but it wasn’t until a White friend stepped forward to corroborate the story that police believed Jones was not the aggressor. Police eventually threw pepper bombs into the crowd of marchers to disperse them.Jones and Ryan closed the restaurant for the rest of that afternoon and took the next day off. They talked about leaving Salem for good.
“Not even necessarily from fearing directly for our lives, though there was definitely fear for that,” Ryan said, “but just feeling like this was not the place for us anymore.”

Today, they vary their route home to make sure they aren’t being followed.
“Home is strange now,” Ryan said. “We’re basically just hoping that none of our neighbors are any of these people — and we’re fairly confident they’re not — but you can never really know.”
When an online campaign to post disparaging comments and leave poor reviews about the restaurant on Instagram and Facebook was underway in early January, friends and community members stepped up to counter and post positive stories. Jones and Ryan say their friends and people in the community have been mostly supportive.
“I think that it was pretty clear that it was a more conservative town, but I think we had a lot of blinders on because we were hopeful for the future,” Jones said of the couple’s decision to move to Salem. “So we didn’t really register the warning signs."

“We saw the potential,” he said. “The restaurant scene was in its infancy in Salem in terms of like, true caring about craft and experience. So we saw an opportunity to really thrive here, and this town was actually way more small-business friendly.”

Oregon, however, has a long dark history of racism. The authors of the state’s constitution in 1857 barred Black people from living there, and two years later a law was passed dictating public lashings for those who violated the decree. The state also has a disproportionate number of active hate groups, according to classifications by the Southern Poverty Law Center.


Still, despite all they have been through, Jones and his wife decided to spend the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday serving up to 200 free lunches downtown.“Feeding the community was a huge part of the civil rights movement,” Jones said.

The restaurant partnered with a local radio station, 105.5 the Moon, to broadcast two of King’s most famous speeches over the noon hour while they handed out free chicken sandwiches and salad. Jones also passed out their homemade anti-racism guide with each plate, too.
Jones insisted the station play King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, as well as “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” He was concerned that the former presents a unity narrative, he said, and he doesn’t believe that healing or unity can exist when ideologies such as those of Patriot Front and Patriot Prayer still hold power in his town.

He and Ryan will watch the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on TV at home on Wednesday. Epilogue will be closed. Only a security camera will keep watch.
“No physical presence, and we’ll be hoping that things stay quiet,” he said. “But I do not expect that to happen.”

maestrob
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Re: The toxic nature of Identitarianism

Post by maestrob » Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:13 pm

The restaurant partnered with a local radio station, 105.5 the Moon, to broadcast two of King’s most famous speeches over the noon hour while they handed out free chicken sandwiches and salad. Jones also passed out their homemade anti-racism guide with each plate, too.Jones insisted the station play King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, as well as “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” He was concerned that the former presents a unity narrative, he said, and he doesn’t believe that healing or unity can exist when ideologies such as those of Patriot Front and Patriot Prayer still hold power in his town.
Let them instead come to Manhattan, where they will be welcomed warmly! Even our Mayor is in a bi-racial marriage!

We are in desperate need of great new restauranteurs here as so many have had to close due to the pandemic.

The owner of our favorite neighborhood restaurant (which has sadly closed) was gay, as was one of his managers. Nobody cared that his head chef was Latino or that many of his staff were Black or of other origins. The restaurant was invariably packed with diners, even on weeknights, and was the most successful business in our neighborhood.

Come on down! :wink:

Rach3
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Re: The toxic nature of Identitarianism

Post by Rach3 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:12 pm

Racist Pompeo remarks today , while some here are posting about "toxic":

MSNBC today:

Jan. 19, 2021, 2:24 PM CST
By Steve Benen
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's timing could've been better. Yesterday, of course, was the national holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Today, Tony Blinken, nominated to succeed Pompeo, was sitting down for a confirmation hearing, exploring the work that will need to be done to clean up the outgoing secretary of State's mess. Tomorrow, Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the first woman of color to hold national office.

It was against this backdrop that Pompeo thought it'd be a good idea to tweet some thoughts about American culture.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized "multiculturalism" on Tuesday, his last full day as America's top diplomat, saying in a tweet that it was "not who America is."

"Woke-ism, multiculturalism, all the -isms — they're not who America is," Pompeo wrote. The text appeared above an image in which the Kansas Republican added that "censorship, wokeness, and political correctness" put a nation on the path to "authoritarianism."

Of course, the timing was hardly the only problem with his rhetoric.


The reference to "censorship," for example, seemed especially ironic: it was just last week when a Voice of America journalist was demoted for daring to ask Pompeo follow-up questions after one of his political appearances.

But it was Pompeo's denunciation of "multiculturalism" that stood out as extraordinary. The New York Times reported:

"The tweet infuriated American diplomats abroad and in the United States who described it as a final insult by an administration that has promoted far more white male Foreign Service Officers than women or people of color. Black and Hispanic diplomats each make up 8 percent of the Foreign Service, and Asians account for 7 percent, according to State Department data from March, the most recent available."

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which oversees the State Department, responded to Pompeo's missive with one of his own: "I guess I appreciate him just saying it out loud. That America's multiculturalism is a weakness. That if you're not white with European ancestry, you're not American. It's stunning to hear him say it, but at least he's not hiding it."

maestrob
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Re: The toxic nature of Identitarianism

Post by maestrob » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:04 am

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which oversees the State Department, responded to Pompeo's missive with one of his own: "I guess I appreciate him just saying it out loud. That America's multiculturalism is a weakness. That if you're not white with European ancestry, you're not American. It's stunning to hear him say it, but at least he's not hiding it."
Keeping to that stated position will doom the Republican party to permanent minority status, IMHO.

Remember, Republicans have not won the popular vote since George W. Bush's second term, and he was a self-styled "compassionate conservative" who sponsored major efforts against AIDS in Africa. Whatever he may have done with his other lies and distortions about terrorism and the war in Iraq, "W" was not an openly anti-Black president, with Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice in his Cabinet, as well as Alberto Gonzalez.

jserraglio
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: The toxic nature of Identitarianism

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:37 am

Trump is threatening to form a third party, the Patriot Party. I wish him success. Divide et impera.

Sean Hannity said last nite, after spending 15 minutes savaging Mitch, that he was not a Republican. I am a registered Conservative,” he proclaimed.
Last edited by jserraglio on Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

Rach3
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Re: The toxic nature of Identitarianism

Post by Rach3 » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:38 am

Rach3 wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 12:24 pm
These embattled restaurant owners in Salem,Oregon know all too well about Identitarianism...He was concerned that the former presents a unity narrative, he said, and he doesn’t believe that healing or unity can exist when ideologies such as those of Patriot Front and Patriot Prayer still hold power in his town.
He and Ryan will watch the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on TV at home on Wednesday. Epilogue will be closed. Only a security camera will keep watch.

“No physical presence, and we’ll be hoping that things stay quiet,” he said. “But I do not expect that to happen.”
From "Men Yell at Me " today:

Trump propelled himself to the presidency on a white wave grievance—playing on the racist tropes and assumptions that immigrants were coming for white American jobs and China was destroying our economy.

In 1989, he called for the execution of the Central Park Five, the five Black teenagers who were convicted of raping a jogger in Central Park and whose sentences were later vacated after another man confessed to the crime. Even before he ran for president, Trump was also a proponent of the racist birther conspiracy, which questioned Barack Obama’s legitimacy as president. Once on the campaign trail in 2015, Trump embodied the fear and grievance of white America. He repeated the lie that Mexican immigrants were murderers and rapists. His narrative was that white Americans were the victims and the enemies were the press, “radical Islamic terrorists,” Syrian refugees, and Mexican immigrants. He’d build a wall and keep them out, he promised. He’d bring back jobs; white Americans would be rich and great again.

White nationalists loved him. Richard Spencer told Al Letson of the Reveal podcast in 2017 that Trump made white nationalism part of mainstream political culture.

And he did. From Charlottesville to El Paso to immigration policies to banning federal funding for diversity initiatives to the violent insurrection at the Capitol, white nationalism was in the White House.

Today is Inauguration Day. No matter what else happens, Donald Trump is no longer the president.

It’s tempting to say, “We made it.” But so many have not.400,000 Americans are dead from a virus that is preventable with a face mask. A little cloth covering. 545 children have lost their families because of the Trump administration’s family separation policy that forced them apart. Heather Heyer isn’t here. Five people died in the violent insurrection. So many of us are alive, yes, but we are ghosts of ourselves. Hollowed out by loss and harassment and illness. How many more people were terrorized and are dead because white nationalism was catalyzed by the highest office in the land?

So, no. We didn’t make it. And it’s not over.

White grievance is one of the few renewable natural resources that Americans are willing to invest in. And why not? It’s good business. Fox News has made an empire of it. Look at all the journalists who have made a lot of money writing books about Donald Trump. Think about all the people who have made money writing about their time in the White House.

We are a country and an economy built on white grievance. Even after slavery as a practice was ended in 1865, it’s never really gone away. Segregationist policies and politicians, Jim Crow laws, redlining practices and suburban white flight have set the boundaries and borders of our country. During the 2016 election, writers like Dave Eggers and George Saunders bent over backward to describe the anger and pain of the white voter, going to Trump rallies and writing about the slavering hordes in a way that othered and fetishized them. This narrative allowed white grievance to flourish; after a takedown in the “liberal media”, white voters could crucify themselves on the cross of culture, claiming to be the victims and misunderstood, the poor forgotten minority.

But what 2020 has shown us is that there was little difference between who we saw as the deplorable and who wasn’t. Pandemic and the anti-racist movements have collapsed the veneer of white respectability and plausible racial deniability. And even as Republicans, who slavishly supported Trump’s policies for years and benefitted from them politically, try to wash their hands of the violence, the violent legacy of white supremacy is still there.

Like with David Duke and Steve King, America is willing to forgive a bigot as long as he’s an effective bigot. But once the bigotry becomes too hard to ignore and it impacts their ability to get anything done, white grievance looks for a new home.

But the politics of white grievance, their force and power, remain with us.

The day before the inauguration, The Daily podcast just released an episode doing a “mood check” with Trump supporters. In my email inbox, I see the Iowa GOP trying to raise money off of the fact that Democrats “think National Guard members are a threat to national security.” How dare Democrats suggest that National Guard members who have ties to far-right extremist groups, just like the groups behind the violent insurrection, might be a threat? It’s the collective pearl clutching over the “attack on the First Amendment,” and it will be the concern trolling over “liberal spending.”

The great white whine refuses to be silenced.

American politics have always been about grievance. But whose grievances are aired and whose are seen as credible? That’s what’s changing more than the power and voice of white grievance. As racial reckoning expands not just from policing but to newsrooms, corporate boards, and city councils, the sheer absurdity of declaring oneself unheard while being the loudest and whiniest voice in the room and holding the office of the presidency is an irony that can’t be ignored.

White grievance thrives on being an outsider and an underdog, but after four years of being in power, maybe it’s time to admit to ourselves that it isn’t a fringe ideology. That people aren’t “brainwashed” or “misinformed” in part of America. And we gain nothing from lying to ourselves.

maestrob
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Re: The toxic nature of Identitarianism

Post by maestrob » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:51 am

Brilliant, as usual. 8)

"We have met the enemy, and the enemy are ours."

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