Ditch Identity Politics

Alaina Fairley-Moore, Opinion Writer

Many of the Democratic candidates are using their racial, sexual, generational or gender identity to get ahead with the minority voters. While many may view this tactic positively because of the diversity it brought to the Democratic debate stage, identity politics can be an incredibly dangerous practice. Just because someone may culturally relate to you, it doesn’t mean that they are going to benefit you or your people. 

Candidates like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker used their identity as Black Americans to persuade minority voters, but in the past haven’t done anything significant for the black community as politicians. On her campaign website, Harris claimed that she “has been a fearless advocate for the voiceless and vulnerable and a vocal and determined fighter on behalf of all people,” but Harris has even gone as far as supporting policies and laws that disproportionately affected the black community such as the criminalization of marijuana, and the prosecution of parents for their child’s truancies. 

In the first 3 months of 2018, “89 percent of the roughly 4,000 people arrested for marijuana possession in New York City were black or Hispanic,” according to the New York Times. Harris advocated for this cycle of mass incarceration of blacks for non-violent marijuana charges.

it is dangerous for  voters to pick politicians solely based off of identity, because it becomes a substitute for actual research of the politicians. You can’t assume that politicians you identify with will cater to your political needs.

Rather than voting for a candidate because of their  race or sexual identity, you should go to their websites and view their policies in detail to ensure that your views align with theirs. Another way you can inform yourself is by viewing interviews or speeches on Youtube of the candidate online, because they often summarize their views for voters online.