All politics is identity politics — meaning that everyone is motivated by the things that most affect their personal interests. Lobbyist who are advocating for tax breaks for their industry are no different from someone talking about #MeToo or Black Lives Matter. It’s just that rich White men ARE the system and so people who are not that who are advocating for their interests seem to be attacking the system.
Granted, overt sexism and racism are better than they were 50 years ago when we still had laws on the books that codified both, but that just means that it becomes a bit more subtle — or perhaps not. All one has to do is to turn on the news to hear of yet another Black person who was minding their own business who got the cops called on them because some White person determined they “didn’t belong” there. When you read about the institutional sexism in places like CBS, Pixar, Google, FEMA, our nation’s national security agencies, etc., etc., etc., one can hardly say that sexism isn’t still a huge problem.
It’s only divisive because those who have historically had power do not wish to relinquish any of that to those who have not historically had power. They do not wish to take responsibility for the society that they helped to co-create and from which they have benefited. The answer to that is not for those who have been wronged to sit down and shut up. We live in a dominance hierarchy (patriarchy) and stepping on others to try to get higher up the pyramid of power is an integral part of that. Below is my new favorite quote, which at some point I’ll write an entire piece around. In the meantime,
It is not that we have created the patriarchy around us. Or the working conditions, or even the dominant culture. What we have done is colluded with it. We cannot mature inside a culture without having internalized aspects of it. Our ability to change our political environment begins with the understanding of how we have helped create it. Our consciousness is where the revolution begins. Fifty percent of the work we need to do is on ourselves. The other 50 percent is to focus outward and use ideas like stewardship to redesign the practices, policies, and structures that institutionalize what we wish to become.
Block, Peter. Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self-Interest