On The Current Identity of Identity Politics

Some might argue that in 2017 the case for identity has become a crisis labored over for too long. Perhaps an opinionated animadversion in direct response to this claim would be that such a misconception of preposterous bounds could only be crafted by a person with a myopic world view. But within both of these pejorative remarks, it is obvious that there can be no solution to an issue as complex as identity politics if all parties involved in the dialogue only want to see who can make the most incendiary retorts.

For years, those taking true pride in a sexual, or racial characterization of themselves, were roughly accosted by those who felt their own identity would be threatened if non-idealistic entities became overt. To be frank, people felt safe in an historically conciliatory society. Now Americans have no option but to stifle their humorous histrionics over changing ideas, because political correctness has seized the helm of America’s social ship with intense celerity. In school, at work, and for some, even at home, summarily respecting black transgender women is expected in order to sustain a certain level of propriety in the constantly evolving role of identity politics. The dichotomies previously used to categorize someone have morphed into a massive maelstrom of personal uniqueness that can sometimes seem impossible to keep up with on err of being offensive. And with transracial and non-gender binary people becoming less of a rarity, the realization that prerogatives of the past have been deflated has to be swallowed as if a brackish cocktail. As devious as this ideology is, it has been solidified within the minds of avid youth. Which means for those that do not belong to this demographic, and also opposed to identity freedom: get it or get left out.

Anyone attempting to accuse someone of sacrilege against “traditional American values” in 2017 can expect to be told that tradition can no longer even be used in the same sentence as American values. There is no way to undulate through the waters of being “colorblind” when who someone is plays a role in every part of their life, from doing their hair to receiving healthcare. Acknowledgement that identity is not a talisman that can temporarily be displayed and then discarded of, has created a suppliant call for education on the breakdown of each identity. This is not to say that the only way to stumble upon a truly halcyon era of America is for everyone to be experts on all of the letters in LGBT+, but instead that everyone should simply be aware of how differences affect interactions. Making the gambit of asking someone about their identity is always better than blatantly writing them off because of assumptions rooted in stubborn ignorance.

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Clay Morris
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When he is not fighting for the rights and safety of all groups of people, Clay Morris’ hobbies include learning fashion history and designing, Speech and Debate, and running his fashion blog clayxcouture.tumblr.com.

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