New Take on ‘Identity Politics,’ Racism and Rights?


I was fascinated to read an article on the CNN web-site, entitled: “We need a ‘PC’ that includes white people.”

Essentially, the article, written by a black associate professor at Columbia University, advances the notion that it really is no longer any good the left simply railing at white people to feel guilty, improve themselves and do better.

Many white folks feel they are doing the best they can, and the demands are actually a reverse form of discrimination. For they feel that they too have a legitimate ‘identity.’ And not always one that should immediately be described as ‘white supremacist.’

I think the article is a useful contribution. But, I can’t help wondering if the author of the article does yet truly understand the angst of many decent white working folk – without in any way diminishing the continuing and legitimate angst of those people in the US who continue to feel that they are discriminated against solely because of their identities.

Hmm. Once more wandering into the territory where no angels are found. I think where the author himself does not ‘wander’ far enough (my opinion only) is into that area of discussion where we perhaps define a new balance between shame and responsibility.

From my own experience, not least with offering possible solutions to the increasing distrust between communities and the forces of law and order (, I can’t help but feel that we are putting obstacles in the way of honest discussion, when we prevent certain analysis because it is automatically categorized as profiling or shaming. When some might feel they are only asking for all parties to shoulder what should be their own responsibility and to face reality, in order to find genuine solutions to very real problems.

In this latter regard, I offer a post of mine from the past, about profiling. I have other thoughts. But this will do as a gentle primer, for a Saturday morning …


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