Politics

Beware of Identity Politics

Christopher Hitchens, in his small book Letters to a Young Contrarian (2001), instructs the nameless recipient of his letters to “beware of identity politics”. And he puts an even stronger stipulation on his reader in the very next sentence: “Have nothing to do with identity politics.” This kind of language is not a mere suggestion, but a demand. It is uttered with the same straight-faced conviction a parent uses when lecturing their child about avoiding those they perceive as being a negative influence. The sentiment of identity politics is that an individual’s immutable qualities (such as race, gender and religion)…

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