Identity Politics as Monoliths

From Maximillian Alvarez (a liberal):

Liberal multiculturalism professes “tolerance” of other cultures and identities above all else, which allows its practitioners to believe they have moved beyond the unjust discrimination of other races, cultures, ethnicities, etc.—or to profess a crushing sense of “woke” guilt for all the ways they haven’t. But as social critics like Slavoj Žižek have noted, this kind of “tolerance” has plenty discriminatory ticks built into it, particularly in the way it reduces other people and cultures to “the folklorist Other deprived of its substance.” Self-described tolerant liberals, for example, will often argue for treating people of a certain foreign ethnicity (and their culture) with equal “respect” and “understanding” while still reducing their human complexity to a monolithic, culturally determined ideal—or a handful of “charming customs.” (This happens all the time, for example, when well-meaning white, progressive friends will defend my Mexicanness and, in the process, make it sound like I was raised by George Lopez and La Malinche). In philosophy, this view—that the entirety of a single entity’s “essence” or identity is reducible to a core of unchanging characteristics—is called essentialism.

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