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    HomePoliticsDiagnosing the disease of identity politics – Chico Enterprise-Record

    Diagnosing the disease of identity politics – Chico Enterprise-Record

    When considering the utility of reparations – that is, financial compensation for the descendants of slaves – a fundamental question should be asked: On what basis is wealth distributed when and where our society distributes resources for the purpose of “promoting the general Welfare?” That is, as tasked by the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

    Imagine if the Preamble, instead of using the words “general Welfare,” directed us to “promote the Welfare of people of color, women and LGBTQ Americans.” If this were our mandate, it would be perfectly consistent to approach economic justice as a matter of race and gender identity, and not a matter of general welfare. That is, we would be Constitutionally oriented toward addressing welfare on the basis of specific and limited phenotypical identity – nothing general about it.

    The alternative to promoting welfare by race, gender and sexual orientation is to act on the basis of means; that is, means as defined in terms of measurable material stature, along a spectrum from one-percenter opulence, to the deadly, street-level deprivation experienced by the dispossessed of all colors.

    Only in a political culture deficient in its understanding of economic justice as a function of ECONOMIC IDENTITY – aka, class–would race and gender identity-focused, poly-myopia erode working class cohesion, diminishing the zeal for actionable systemic restructuring among those with clear, compelling and commonly held economic interests.  Reparations brainstorming is a symptom; identity politics is the disease. No finer gift was ever so gratefully received by an ever more gluttonous ruling class.

    — Patrick Newman, Chico


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