Long Live Identity Politics: A Word to the Complainers

D. Elisabeth Glassco
4 min readMay 9, 2019

Here we go again.

Like 2016, here come the think pieces on the evils of identity politics aka talking about difference (race, gender, sexuality) and complaints about politicians crafting policies based on identity rather than adopting broad- based economic strategies.

And then there are the White folks making the case for White identity politics (a.k.a. White grievance/White nationalism).

Newsflash: y’all ain’t fooling nobody. We know what you’re trying to do.

The granddaddy, of course, is race. People just don’t want to talk about it. They want it to go away — -but don’t want to do anything to help make it go away.

Just why, they implore, are people of color so wrapped up in their identity? They’re always talking about it. They can’t stop! Always bringing it up at the most inopportune time. They’re always playing the race card. Why? Why?

Identity is multi-faceted. Here’s an historical perspective on Black American identity borne of suffering and sustained by systemic, institutionalized marginalization.

A primer on African American Identity that Binds

William Edward Burghardt DuBois (1868-1963)

A substantial scholarly body of literature exists on identity formation — -especially on how African-American identity determines the confines of…



D. Elisabeth Glassco

A native of of the great state of Mississippi and proud resident of New Jersey. Lecturer and Doctoral candidate in Media, Race, Class, and Politics @Rutgers.