EHRC: Identity politics divisive

Head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has voiced a concern that the concept of ‘identify politics’ is divisive and undermines the coherence of society.

The philosophy of identity politics, the self-definition by faith, sex, gender, sexual orientation, class or race has many issues, and stands directly opposite Martin Luther King’s idea of judging people by “the content of their character”, yet its influence in current society is as strong as that of Dr King’s, being the basis of many targets and quotas.

Yet, as EHRC Chair David Isaac notes, as reported by the Observer, it has served a purpose in helping progress civil rights of many groups, but he has warned that “individual interests” are creating narrower thinking and undermining empathy in wider society as choices of ‘belonging’ become binary.

Speaking of the current issues surrounding religious protests regarding LGBT, Isaac suggested that citizenship should have greater emphasis in schools and that ‘respect’ is a missing component s much of the discussions around these subjects.

As the debate around what ‘diversity’ really means and whether the labels that were applied only recently really encompass the variety of experience and potential of individuals, it may be a sign that at least the discussion of what is a suitable response has not yet been concluded.

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