American Samizdat

Tuesday, October 03, 2006. *
Has the left elevated diversity as a focal point of politics at the expense of its fight for equality? In an excerpt from his new book, Walter Benn Michaels answers very much in the affirmative:
Giving priority to issues like affirmative action and committing itself to the celebration of difference, the intellectual left has responded to the increase in economic inequality by insisting on the importance of cultural identity. So for 30 years, while the gap between the rich and the poor has grown larger, we've been urged to respect people's identities -- as if the problem of poverty would be solved if we just appreciated the poor. From the economic standpoint, however, what poor people want is not to contribute to diversity but to minimize their contribution to it -- they want to stop being poor. Celebrating the diversity of American life has become the American left's way of accepting their poverty, of accepting inequality.
posted by Bill at 5:42 PM
Post a Comment

Site Meter

Creative Commons License