A Black person is seen from behind at a protest, holding a sign. It reads: it's a privilege to educate yourself about racism instead of experiencing it

Interview on Intersectionality

I was interviewed by writer and social justice coordinator with the American Humanist Association, Sincere Kirabo, about misunderstandings of intersectionality and the problems with the term “identity politics.”

He writes:

…White identity politics go “undetected,” as we’re socialised to regard the sustaining of dominant culture as “what is expected” or “the way things ought to be.”

Dr. Zuleyka Zevallos, sociologist with Swinburne University, echoes this sentiment, stating:

‘If the phrase has any value at all — and it really doesn’t — “identity politics” calls attention to the ways that people from majority groups, especially White people, do not “see” how their identities are governed by politics.

This is how Whiteness works: White culture is embedded into all fields of public life, from education, to the media, to science, to religion and beyond. White culture is constructed as the norm, so it becomes the taken-for-granted ideal with which other cultures are judged against by White people.

‘Hence, White people do not recognise how their race shapes their understanding of politics, and their relationships with minority groups.’

Update: first published on medium in February, and republished on Open Democracy on 1 July 2018.

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