Author: Remi Adekoya

Identity Politics Does More Harm Than Good to Minorities

It is difficult to think of an issue today as contentious as identity politics. Long criticised by the right as divisive and polarising, it has begun to be questioned by some on the left as well – from thinkers such as Mark Lilla and Jonathan Haidt. Writing from a liberal perspective in the Guardian, Columbia University professor Sheri Berman cited a host of psychological surveys showing that many white voters are supporting right-wing populists like Trump in a “defensive reaction” against perceived “group-based threats” that have been provoked, in part, by left-wing identity politics. Berman’s article – “Why identity politics benefits the right more than the left” – insisted that liberalism’s goal must be “winning elections,” which means “not helping Trump rile up his base by activating their sense of ‘threat’ and inflaming the grievances and anger that lead them to rally around him.” In her view, this requires “avoiding the type of ‘identity politics’ that stresses differences and creates a sense of ‘zero-sum’ competition between groups and instead emphasizing common values and interests.” Like Mark Lilla, …

The Fear of White Power

A new report by the American Enterprise Institute, “Black Men Making It in America,” uses Census data to show that African-American men are succeeding in the United States. Written by University of Virginia sociology professor W. Bradford Wilcox, director of research at the Institute for Family Studies Wendy Wang and Columbia University social policy professor Maurice Russel, the report reveals that more than one-in-two black males–57 percent–now belong to the country’s middle or upper class. That is up from 38 percent in 1960. Meanwhile, the share of black men in poverty has fallen from 41 percent in 1960 to 18 percent today. In comparison, 55 percent of Hispanic-Americans belong to the middle or upper class while the figures stand at 73 percent for Asian-Americans and 75 percent for white Americans. There is still clearly work to be done, but this cannot be described as anything other than huge socio-economic progress for black American males, a group often unfairly associated primarily with crime and unemployment. However, you would never imagine such progress was going on if you were to rely on …