This sugary excerpt from Gary Younge is infuriating because it shows that people who have grand theory about identity politics without acknowledging its frivolity are cons:
Thinking of identities as being part of a fixed hierarchy is a terrible mistake. Being gay and black doesn’t mean that person has it twice as bad as a straight white woman. That’s the kind of mess some white feminists got into with the 2008 presidential debates between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. They suggested that somehow a black male candidate had it easy, and that it was much worse to be a white woman candidate, which is just crazy. Not that it was more difficult for Obama than her. It’s just that the terms of the discussion weren’t helpful to either of them.
One of the many reasons this is an obstacle is that identities aren’t fixed in place and time. Their meaning and relevance is always shifting. As much as anything, this book is an attack on essentialism, because one thing essentialists have always tried to do is suggest there is a fixed notion to who and what we are. Actually, we are many things to many people while also being one thing to ourselves. Whatever else is said about Hillary Clinton, no one questions her being born in America or claims she is a Muslim. They have certainly said other things – demeaned her on the basis of her relationship with her husband or etched out every laugh line, crease and wrinkle – but identity should not be a competition. And if it is made a competition, then everybody loses.
Hey Younge leave Hillary Clinton alone, isn't Black the new president ? So deal with it and explain to us one more time why the One had to be the One.