The Sorensen Monologues

Archive for December 6th, 2016

If social justice movements tried not to offend anyone

When you hear someone throwing around the suddenly-ubiquitous term “identity politics,” it’s useful to try substituting the words “civil rights” and “equality.” Economic justice and social justice are part of the same package.

Do some people take their idealism too far? Of course. But the right has long employed a strategy of cherry-picking the most over-the-top examples of college student activism as supposedly representative of all historical struggles for marginalized groups. “Identity politics” can easily be used as a frame that trivializes bedrock progressive values — as though fighting, say, voter suppression is the frivolous agenda of a special interest group. It’s important, as we face staggering abuses of power in the future, that we don’t allow their rhetoric to divide us.


Jen Sorensen is a nationally-syndicated political cartoonist whose work has appeared in The Progressive, The Nation, Daily Kos, Austin Chronicle, NPR, Ms., Politico, and many other publications. The recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, she tweets at @JenSorensen.

Archives