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Fellow Bakari Sellers “The Politics of Identity” (Students Only/Off the Rec...

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Institute of Politics

5707 South Woodlawn Avenue

Chicago, IL 60637

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The Democratic Party is at a crossroads. A segment of the party wants to move away from identity politics to a message that they would argue is more universal while ignoring the base of the Party. In a recent Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Atlantic article entitled, The First White President, he explores this juxtaposition and responds to Mark Lilla’s New York Times essay The End of Identity Liberalism. Coates wrote: “The name Barack Obama does not appear in Lilla’s essay, and he never attempts to grapple, one way or another, with the fact that it was identity politics—the possibility of the first black president—that brought a record number of black voters to the polls, winning the election for the Democratic Party, and thus enabling the deliverance of the ancient liberal goal of national health care. ““Identity politics … is largely expressive, not persuasive,”” Lilla claims. “Which is why it never wins elections—but can lose them.” That Trump ran and won on identity politics is beyond Lilla’s powers of conception. What appeals to the white working class is ennobled. What appeals to black workers, and all others outside the tribe, is dastardly identitarianism. All politics are identity politics—except the politics of white people, the politics of the bloody heirloom.” This is the central question of the New Democratic party.

This seminar is part of IOP Resident Fellow Bakari Sellers' series, “The Progressive Movement within the Democratic Party & the Politics of the South."

  • This seminar is open to students only and off the record.
  • Registration is required. However, seating is limited on a first come, first serve basis; capacity in the IOP Living Room is 45.
  • Doors will open 30 minutes before the event begins. Any unclaimed seats will be released 10 minutes before the event begins. Please arrive early to claim your seat. If you can no longer attend, please cancel your ticket order on Eventbrite so others may register.
  • This venue is physically accessible and has gender-neutral restrooms. Please contact the Institute of Politics at politics@uchicago.edu or 773-834-4671 with any questions or accommodation requests.
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Institute of Politics

5707 South Woodlawn Avenue

Chicago, IL 60637

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