From the original. As one fundamental example, U.S. voter protection laws passed in the civil rights era of the 1960s are being eroded by the U.S. Republican party.

For instance, gerrymandering and voter suppression keeps black people from having their votes counted in our democracy to this day, sixty years after MLK Jr.’s “Give Us the Ballot” speech. Alabama legislators who restricted voting rights, claimed they were working to take down the “black power structure” in the state. Similarly, North Carolina’s district lines and voting laws are getting overturned because they targeted black communities based on race with “almost surgical precision” according to a recent court ruling.

Hate crimes are also on the rise in the United States. According to FBI statistics, in 2016, there were more than 6,000 hate crimes committed nationally. More than half were motivated by race, ethnicity or ancestry. Twenty-one percent involved religious discrimination. The balance targeted people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and ability.

That’s the real identity politics. But when someone says they’re against “identity politics” what they usually mean is that addressing discrimination makes them uncomfortable. To which I say, get over yourself and ask how your politics does or doesn’t address the real “identity politics” that are actually hurting people.

Democracy is pretty cool. We should try it some time. Voting rights, science policy, political communication and grassroots activism.

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