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Why Identity Politics Is A Bigger Threat To The US – OpEd

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By Dalia Al-Aqidi *

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In early May, the White House announced the appointment of Karine Jean-Pierre as the new press secretary, replacing Jen Psaki, who departed a week later per her desire. A statement issued by the White House on May 13 highlighted Jean-Pierre’s experience, talent and integrity that are needed for this position. “She will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the current administration on behalf of the American people,” said the statement.

It did not take Americans long to figure out why US President Joe Biden picked Jean-Pierre to play a vital role in this administration. On her last day at the job, Psaki formally introduced her successor, stressing the points that made Jean-Pierre unique to relay the US presidential message to the American people and the globe. “She will be the first black woman … to serve in this role, which is amazing because representation matters, and she is going to. She will give a voice to so many and allow and show so many what is truly possible when you work hard and dream big, and that matters, and we should celebrate that,” Psaki told reporters in the White House briefing room.

Appointing a White House spokesperson based on her identity instead of achievements was not different from how the US vice president was picked. Prior to being the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential race, Biden publicly promised his voters to put a black woman on the ticket. That is how Kamala Harris was chosen to be his running mate. Since taking office, she has proved her incompetence in all her duties as the second person in command.

According to an article published by the Los Angeles Times, as of May 17, 40 percent of registered voters had a favorable opinion of her, while 52 percent did not. “Last polls show how the favorability of previous vice presidents changed during their first four years in office. Harris’ net favorability is slightly lower than that of former Vice President Mike Pence at this point in their respective tenures, and it is well under the ratings of three previous vice presidents,” the article read.

Another example of how liberals reduce people’s career paths and experiences to gender and race was the appointment of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the US Supreme Court. Although Jackson was qualified for the job and was confirmed by the Senate in a bipartisan vote last year, she was considered for the position because she is a black woman. During Biden’s 2020 campaign, he promised to nominate a black woman. “The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity, and that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the US Supreme Court,” he said.

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The American progressive movement has overly focused on racial, gender and sexual identity as a way to mobilize voters and shift the debate away from its policies and strategies that are already damaging US societies with its socialist agendas.

While the US liberals led by Biden claim to be the unifying force to narrow the gap between Americans, they continue to demonize whoever stands against their way of thinking. Opposing identity politics or criticizing it will subject you to a vicious wave of criticism and hatred by the very people who preach tolerance and inclusivity.

Why is identity politics dangerous?

Adolf Hitler was the master of identity politics; he comprehended its ultimate power and used it to polarize his people and weaponize them against the world, leading to a world war.

The far left is implementing the very same ideology to target youth with its false narratives and theories, encouraging the new generation to wave the cancel weapon against others who disagree with them.

Russell A. Berman, Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, emphasizes the danger of identity politics by pointing out its transformation to self-righteousness, arrogance and prohibitions on thought in the name of diversity and postcolonialism. “Criticism of identity politics is increasingly treated as solely the province of unacceptable extremism of the right, allegedly deserving of cancellation. That stigmatization deserves to be called out: The hegemonic left in power in cultural institutions denounces any critics as renegades and reactionaries,” Berman wrote.

American politicians and community leaders should consider seriously and cautiously the consequences of such theories that most likely will lead to more considerable fragmentation, exclusion and bipartisan extremism. Identity politics is a much more severe threat than China and Russia and should be dealt with immediately.

A brief look at Western history should be enough to set off the alarm in the American conscience. And if we ought to cancel anything, it should be the ideology of identity politics.

 Dalia Al-Aqidi is a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy. Twitter: @DaliaAlAqidi

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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