Identity, Not Yelling

To the Editor:

I have always thought that the ultimate goal of any reform effort was to bring people closer together, to overcome differences and to unite disparate elements. Not to shove problems under a rug; not to pretend things are peachy when people are in pain, but to genuinely work through misunderstandings and hurts until harmony is achieved. However, what I’ve been seeing in these pages recently doesn’t seem to work along those lines. I see no quest for harmony, for unity; instead, what seems to be the object for many people is a sort of “separate but equal” program, an insistence on divided-ness. 
Identity politics are necessary. It’s just the same as any other problem: you can’t solve it until you admit it’s there. However, at least in my own particular utopia, identity politics are a means to an end –– not the end itself. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe I’m crazy, but it seems to me that keeping people in lonely little boxes isn’t the way to solve any problem. Labels are good to hurt people with, but I haven’t seen any label yet that can bring healing or peace. 
The many that is the masses are made up of the you and the me, the reader and the writer. We are all people. We all feel pain. All of us feel devalued, unappreciated. I have no scale for measuring which particular group of us has the most right to be sad. However, I do know that if we all just sit here, sure that we’re right, and yell at each other, we will all be equally miserable and we will never get anything done. So there.

–Westen McConnell
College junior


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