Ellison: We must all embrace intersectionality

Yep. The same guy who recently said that Kim Jong-un was acting more responsibly than Donald Trump is at it again. We’re talking, of course, about DNC Deputy Chairman and Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison. This time he was out at the Netroots Nation gathering of liberal activists, describing the party’s path back to electoral success… at least in his world view.

So what is this magic elixir of success? I’m sure he must have a way to combat violence in the nation’s cities. Or perhaps it’s a bold new plan to win back working class voters from areas of the country not perched on the two coasts. Perhaps some new foreign policy plans to deal with the unstable situation in Asia? Nope. They’re going to march back to prominence if everyone just embraces intersectionality. (Washington Examiner)

Ellison, a Democratic congressman from Minnesota, implored progressives gathered at Netroots Nation on Friday to embrace the philosophy of intersectionality. “All of us in this room have got to defend intersectionality as a concept,” he said from the stage, drawing cheers from the crowd.

“That applause ain’t quite loud enough!” Ellison went on, riling up the crowd.

Seated to his left was Kimberlé Crenshaw, the feminist scholar credited with introducing the philosophy of intersectionality in the 1980’s. Crenshaw said she’s been “astonished” by the attacks on her work, which even prompted her to go back and read it herself, wondering if perhaps she said something wrong. From that, Crenshaw explained she came away “with an even greater feeling that the distortion isn’t accidental.”

To be clear, this is neither a political strategy nor a policy prescription. This is a desperate bit of sloganeering designed to get the furthest rim of the leftward edge of the political galaxy to cheer for you and hopefully write a few checks. There is no substantive policy coming out of such a “platform” beyond convincing more people to show up at marches and rallies and generally grumble about how awful Trump is and cry into their green tea as they wonder how everything went so wrong.

For those less familiar with what Ellison is talking about, intersectionality is a regular undercurrent in most liberal political discussions which is designed to get their disparate demographic armies all marching to the tune of the same drummer. Democrats have run into trouble in the past when you have one segment of the base fighting for women’s issues, another for gay rights, a big swath of them going to Black Lives Matter marches and yet another group backing Muslims in trying to boycott Israel. This school of thought being pushed by Ellison seeks to claim that it’s really all the same thing, because all of the woke people are being oppressed by the white, male, Christian, cisgender heterosexual patriarchy in one way or another. So rather than having a whole smorgasbord of different types of alienated and oppressed Democrats, you should dump them all into one, big, seething stew of anger and resentment.

The Washington Examiner’s Emily Jashinsky probably expressed it much more succinctly, saying, “once you’ve accepted that everything is racist, consistency demands that you also accept everything is sexist, everything is transphobic, everything is Islamophobic, and so on and so forth. Think of it as the grand unified theory of victimhood.”

Well said, Emily.

Unfortunately for Congressman Ellison and his colleagues, the problems currently plaguing the DNC are not going to be solved this way. In fact, it’s attitudes such as those which have likely exacerbated their problems with working class voters in too many swing states and key collar counties. Rather than trying to ensure that everyone is equally angry at the common perceived “enemies” of the rest of your demographic pigeonhole groups, you’ll need to identify actual problems which affect the lives of voters across the board and propose feasible solutions. Of course… that would probably be a lot of work.

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