White to Black? Trans-racialism in Identity Politics
The topic of trans-racialism is one I have been thinking about for a few months now. I asked a friend recently “Should white people be able to identify as black?” His answer was :
“The toxicity of whiteness should not be allowed into black spaces”
Some of the arguments for trans-racialism are that if people can ‘choose’ their sex and identify as transgender why cant they identify with a race other than the one they were born in. One is if race is simply a social construct should identity politics not transcend the boundaries of race (This cannot possibly a coherent argument). Arguments against have said that race is so predetermined we cannot compare it to gender. I am not interested in either of these arguments because I do not think they address the realities of what really happens when white people identify as black.
Black culture has been accessorized by whites for monetary gain for centuries. Should we not be trying to protect our spaces not making them more susceptible to theft? Black separatism is so important to allow people of color to take a breathe from white domination and and share ideas with people who have similar lived experiences. I am not suggesting segregation. I am saying within identity politics there are some identities that take precedent over others and they must never be violated.
The academic piece I am sharing below is not particularly about trans racialism. It discusses trans racialism and integration without differentiation as an effect of seeing economic identity as the only true identity. I discuss economic status as identity and how it perpetuates oppression of people of color and women. The list of sources used is below. The referencing style is South African Law Journal House Style.
Please find the link to the essay below:
Natayla Antonova ‘Economic Identity and Professional Self-Determination’ (2014) 1 Athens Journal of Social Sciences
Angella Harris ‘Race and Essentialism in Feminist Legal Theory’ (1990) Stanford Law Review.
Bell Hooks ‘Loving Blackness as Political Resistance’ in Black Looks : Race and Representation (1999)
German Lopez “The battle over identity politics, explained” (2017) Accessed on 10 September, https://www.vox.com/identities/2016/12/2/13718770/identity-politics
Andrea K Newlyn ‘The Power to Change: Gender Essentialism, Identity Politics and the Judds’ (2010) 27 Popular Music and Society
Adolph Reed ‘From Jenner to Dolezal: One Trans Good, the Other Not So Much’ (2015) available at https://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/06/15/jenner-dolezal-one-trans-good-other-not-so-muchAccessed on 10 September 2017