Identity politics worked very well for the Democrats for a long time, provided that they played the various little groups off against “white men.” Barring some in-fighting in academia amongst various “victim” subgroups — a spectacle that Christina Hoff Sommers described to hilarious effect in Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women — Democrats mostly managed adroitly to hide from their interest groups that, if you define the economy as a finite, government-controlled pie, eventually there will not be enough pieces to go around.
Or maybe the Democrats shouldn’t get even that credit. Because the obsession with identity politics didn’t gain traction until the Reagan years (although it existed before), there was usually enough pie to go around once one had successfully dispossessed those poor white males. Now, however, despite or because of 3.7 years of Obamanomics, the pie is small and crumbly. And with that small pie, the allegiances are getting frayed as well.
A friend Servo1969 sent me a link to an interesting post contending that Native Americans have had it up to here and beyond with the Democrat team’s game-playing. They were offended when it turned out that Elizabeth Warren had parlayed a false (or, at least, incredibly attenuated) Native American heritage into a well-paid legal career. Now, some are even more peeved, and rightfully so, by the fact that the Democrats are pandering to a Muslim group that identifies itself as representative of “indigenous Muslims”:
Native Americans are very angry to learn that Muslims in the United States of America are being touted as “indigenous”, a complete falsehood.
Twenty-thousand Islamists and their sympathizers are expected to attend the opening of the Democratic National Convention on August 31 [BW: It's actually September 4 to September 6] to focus on Islam with Jumah[sic], the Friday prayer, to draw in Muslims to the DNC. The important prayer and two days of events are being coordinated by the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs (BIMA), a national Muslim non-profit claiming that the event is non-political. Being a part of the actual convention makes it pretty hard to claim that it isn’t a political event. The initials BIMA quickly caught my attention because I’m keyed in to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the agency that my husband works closely with in his capacity as Director of Security for an Indian casino. I was appalled when I went to the BIMA website and saw the words “Indigenous Muslim.”
The word “indigenous” is a term of art. It does not mean that someone is born within a country’s borders. Instead, it refers, always, to the original people who populated a country before an imperialist force (Western or Eastern) took over. One can have American-born Muslims, but there are no “indigenous Muslims.” It’s either foolish, disingenuous, or dishonest for Muslims to try to parlay their non-white status into a simulacrum of the United States’ true Native American population.
Lesson to Democrats: You can successfully complain about pie allocation when there’s lots of pie. If you destroy the pie, however, you may regret trying to slice it into so many different pieces.
UPDATE: As you can see, I substituted “Servo1969″ for “A friend.” I mention that here because, if people send me emails with information, I always ask people’s permission before using their name in a post. When I wrote the post, I hadn’t yet confirmed that Servo1969 wouldn’t mind showing up in here.