The Problem Of Identity Politics And A Lack Of Leadership On The Left Is Nothing New

1102 Words Dec 7th, 2016 5 Pages
The problem of identity politics and a lack of leadership on the left is nothing new. Since I 've been involved with leftwing political movements, identity politics has been a driving force on the left. Obama has gotten away with murder, literally, because of identity politics. Hillary Clinton 's electoral loss could be attributed to identity politics. And many people argue one of the primary limitations of Black Lives Matter is their adherence to identity politics.

When identities take precedence over ideas, values, principles, political programs, strategies and tactics, the left can expect to keep losing. Unfortunately, the same is true at Standing Rock, where tribal leaders wanted to talk about white privilege, whereas rank and file natives were more interested in talking about strategy and tactics and how to stop all oil pipelines, not just those running through native lands.

The fact that Wes Clark Jr. and the tribal elders didn 't seek input from rank and file activists isn 't unfortunate or a coincidence, it 's how power functions when power is centralized and unwilling to seek advice in a democratic manner from people who often know better. The fact of the matter is that the tribal leadership at Standing Rock has virtually no experience organizing political movements, let alone acts of civil disobedience or direct actions. We were essentially told that if we weren 't native, to keep our opinions and ideas to ourselves. Again, this is not how you organize a serious…

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