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The Trouble with "The Blacks"

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Donald Trump famously praised himself for his "great relationship with the blacks", and was almost universally ridiculed for it. Maybe it was the perfect ridiculousness of this statement that brought a larger societal problem into focus for me.

In his magnificent crassness, Trump highlighted the issue of lumping together every individual of an enormous group on the basis of gender, skin color, religion and a host of other identities. Maybe it was the article "the" that made it so clear. "I have great relationships with many black people" wouldn't be nearly so tin-eared as saying you have "a" single great relationship with "the blacks".

His exact words aren't clich├ęd and well-used, so they rang loudly. However, we hear the exact same statement from supposedly sensitive types referencing "the black vote" or "minorities" and tend to think nothing of it. But, say something like "the red-headed vote", and you immediately identify the problem. 

Expecting all people with black skin to think, vote, and act alike is the pinnacle of racism, in the sense that it strips a person of their personal identity, and applies in its place a prefabricated racial identity. Or gender identity. Or national identity. Or religious identity. Or sexual identity.

Cementing a fixed identity based on inborn traits to everyone but white males creates a caste system, and predetermines to a large extent the opportunities allowed to each group (of course, with the exception of white males, who can do whatever the hell they want until they break off into one of the typecast subgroups). Allowing this typecasting to take place is toxic to everyone except white males, and everyone but white males stand to gain a great deal by asserting their individuality and rejecting the idea that "the black vote" or "women's issues" define them  perfectly.

Richard is an engineer by day, and a political activist by night, fighting would-be totalitarians and government busybodies everywhere.