Evergreen College, Free Speech, and the Meaning of Social Justice

A Jay Adler:

“Identity politics” rises on all sides. Identity politics are commonly attributed to the political left, where they are a response to the original, historical identity politics – male, and, in the modern era, significantly white and Eurocentric. Reactionaries on the right deny this original phenomenon. They call it reality. Nothing to see here. Look right through it. Yet in response to humankind’s increasingly global reorientation, reactionaries now reassert their racial and national identities. Their more moderate, which is to say conservative, intellectual defenders offer covert, rationalized support for this cultural revanchism. Its representatives, they say, are angry; they feel left behind by the confluence of progressive internationalism and neoliberal economics; they feel, of all things, marginalized. In offering this empathic defense of, for instance, the Trump voter, conservatives manage to ignore the contradiction between this desire for reclamation and denials of the historical politics of white, Eurocentric identity.