Is our ultimate goal ensuring the compatibility of diversity and democracy? Then promoting the overlapping interests and identifications that enable citizens to become more comfortable with difference and thus more tolerant and trusting, is absolutely necessary.
schrijft Sheri Berman, associate professor of political science at Barnard College, Columbia University, in The Guardian
Volgens Berman levert identiteitspolitiek rechts meer op dan links. Racisme is vooral latent aanwezig en moet ‘getriggerd’ worden voordat het problematisch wordt. Jonathan Haidt hierover:
“It’s as though some people have a button on their foreheads, and when the button is pushed, they suddenly become intensely focused on defending their in-group … But when they perceive no such threat, their behavior is not unusually intolerant. So the key is to understand what pushes that button.”
What pushes that button, Stenner and others find, is group-based threats. In experiments researchers easily shift individuals from indifference, even modest tolerance, to aggressive defenses of their own group by exposing them to such threats.
In de Verenigde Staten speelt identiteit nu ook in de tegenstelling tussen de Republikeinse en de Democratische partij
In the past, the Republican and Democratic parties attracted supporters with different racial, religious, ideological and regional identities, but gradually Republicans became the party of white, evangelical, conservative and rural voters, while the Democrats became associated with non-whites, non-evangelical, liberal and metropolitan voters. This lining up of identities dramatically changes electoral stakes: previously if your party lost, other parts of your identity were not threatened, but today losing is also a blow to your racial, religious, regional and ideological identity.
Republikeinse kiezers voelen zich bedreigd in hun identiteit. Dat triggert aggressie richting mensen met andere identiteiten.
Maar de reactie van links om mensen dan het etiket ‘racist’ op te plakken raden sociaal-psychologen af:
“telling people they’re racist, sexist and xenophobic is going to get you exactly nowhere. It’s such a threatening message. One of the things we know from social psychology is when people feel threatened, they can’t change, they can’t listen.”
Berman citeert een klassiek werk van de socioloog Lipset:
“the available evidence suggests that the chances for stable democracy are enhanced to the extent that groups and individuals have a number of cross-cutting, politically relevant affiliations”.
…en komt zo tot de hierboven geciteerde conclusie.
En dat rechts meer belang heeft bij identiteitspolitiek blijkt ook uit uitspraken van Trumps ontslagen alt-right adviseur Bannon:
As long, therefore, as politics is a fight between clearly bounded identity groups, appeals and threats to group identity will benefit Republicans more than Democrats, which is presumably why Steve Bannon infamously remarked that he couldn’t “get enough” of the left’s “race-identity politics”. “The longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em … I want them to talk about race and identity … every day.”