Identity Politics

Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Tue Apr 18 21:48:21 MDT 1995

Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 23:00:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: Justin Schwartz <jschwart at>
Sender: Justin Schwartz <jschwart at>
To: Ralph Dumain <rdumain at>
cc: marxism at
In-Reply-To: <199504190015.RAA22816 at>
Message-ID: <Pine.3.07.9504182240.A27507-b100000 at acme>
MIME-Version: 1.0

Hi, Ralph. I continue to enjoy your stuff. I'm not sure you and Kenny
really differ all that much. It's just that he uses this unhappy phrase,
"identity politics," to refer to the fact that Blacks experience their
oppression as Blacks and resist it, first and foremost, through whatever
degree of self-organization in Black-identified groups they can manage;
moreover, that it is both wrong and futile to cricitize them more this.

course you are right that a lot of the misleadership of these outfits is
utterly coopted and cynically uses Black identifications for its own
narrow benefits, and this is to be condemned. But of course it has to be
condemned and opposed by the Black community, just as union democracy has
to be won by workers and can't be imposed, e.g., by the Justice
Department. (This was the TDU's beef with the government handling of the
Teamsters. Which the TDU in part won. [For them as don't know: TDU =
Teamsters for a Democra\tic Union, a militant rank and file movement in
the historically mob-dominated Teamster Union.]

I appreciate your continued helpful reviews of the literature.

Serve the people,

Justin Schwartz

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