Roland Martin Has an Urgent Warning for Bernie Sanders and the Democrats About Their Messaging
News One Now host Roland Martin offered a history lesson this week for liberals and progressives alike advocating a shift away from identity politics on the heels of the disastrous 2016 election.
"We've heard a lot of folks [like] Bernie Sanders talking about this in the wake of Democrats losing in November, but [HBO host] Bill Maher was recently on CNN with Jake Tapper and the issue came up," Martin began Friday.
Maher, who identifies politically as a "9/11 liberal" due to his frequent criticism of Islam, told Tapper that liberals should "ease up on the identity politics" in order to win over Trump voters.
"Anytime you hear somebody bring up 'identity politics'...what they're really talking about is when you have groups out there who are fighting for rights long ignored," Martin countered.
The host explained that that the term "identity politics" was coined during the civil rights era to describe the work of African Americans in organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, National Urban League and National Congress of Negro Women.
"The critics then use that against them by saying, Oh my goodness, you're practicing identity politics," Martin quipped. "But here's the problem with that: Anytime that phrase is used, it's always used if you're not talking about white people. The reality is identity politics also includes white people. We saw that during this election."
"Anytime you heard 'working-class,' they were not talking about black people," he observed. "They didn't show us. It was always aggrieved whites who said Oh my god, we're looking at all these things that are happening for black people, for Latinos and others."
Martin argues rural America has been characterized this way for decades.