What is/was “identity politics”?

“Identity politics” can be defined as putting a political focus on minority groups. That focus first began in America 400 years ago when Africans were brought to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619, identified as inferior, and then enslaved. Then European Americans began to pass more and more laws that focused more and more on oppressing blacks. Today the real “identity politics” is the focus on silence about the terrible injustice of America’s history of white supremacy..

“Identity politics” is even written in the American Constitution where “other persons” (meaning enslaved blacks) are labeled as inferior in “the 3/5 Clause.” Another example is the Supreme Court’s “separate but equal” ruling in 1896 which was violently enforced until the 1970s.

Labeling the call for full equality as “identity politics” ignores 350 years of blatant white supremacy in America. Meanwhile, celebrating our past culture that subjugated people through cruelty and brutality seems unkind, unjust, and unloving. Perhaps we should go beyond both those positions and work for true and full equality among all Americans.

For a nation to proclaim “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;” while legally trafficking men, women, and children was an amazing contradiction. Worshipping God while disrespecting people is hypocrisy.

Many are afraid to read black history because it exposes America’s legacy of human trafficking, terrorism, and white supremacy. The traditional way of thinking about race hasn’t healed America’s wounds. Find a fresh way to think about race in my book: Off the RACE Track–From Color Blind to Color Kind @

If churches will talk about the Protestant Reformation (500 years ago), why not talk about American slavery (154 years ago)? My book can help you “speak the truth in love.”

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences in non-traditional church, called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia." If you need encouragement, search for: Elephants Encouraging The Room and/or check out my Amazon author page. Thank you!
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