Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump

Asad Haider. Verso, $17.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-78663-737-6
Haider, an editor at Viewpoint magazine, constructs a comprehensive and critical dissection of identity politics in his hard-hitting debut. Beginning with “black revolutionary theory”—which he attributes to Malcolm X and Huey Newton—Haider explores different social movements’ attempts to imagine and actualize an anticapitalist and antiracist emancipatory politics. Drawing on prominent thinkers—such as Stuart Hall, Amiri Baraka, Wendy Brown, and the Combahee River Collective—and his firsthand experience as an activist and Pakistani American who grew up in rural Pennsylvania, Haider asserts that the anti–Iraq war and Occupy movements failed to take account of the needs of marginalized people when formulating their goals and demands. Haider also asserts that traditional identity politics is more focused on gaining recognition for individuals than collective work toward broader social change and persuasively argues that society must move beyond identity politics—separate marginalized groups demanding inclusion in existing systems—to a politics of universality—all seeking emancipation, justice, and inclusion for all. This book is an important contribution to discourses on American politics, race, and social movements. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/09/2018
Release date: 04/17/2018
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