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A Statement on Identity
Progressive Republicans believe in personal dignity for all persons regardless of their demographic situation. Dignity means respect for individual and group identity. In today's context, too often it means the restoration of dignity that has been lost. It means regaining respect for one’s own or another’s personal identity. I am what I am. You are what you are. But what is that? Each person has a right to answer that question for himself or herself. No one else can tell you who you are or ought to be. That is your prerogative alone.
Are you an American? Are you a white or black person; or an Asian, Latino, or native American? Are you, perhaps, a member of the human race? You answer that question for yourself. As an individual person, you combine identities on several different levels. Or maybe you refuse to accept aspects of yourself that might be claimed.
Do you have a grade-school education or did you graduate from college? Have you been in trouble with the law or are you squeaky clean? Are you considered attractive or do people avoid you because they can’t bear your sight? It doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you be proud of yourself.
So many people in America have a shameful identity thrust upon them. If you are a white person, you have guilt on your hands because your ancestors may have enslaved blacks. If you are a black person, you may be seen as inferior because your ancestors once were slaves. There’s always a reason for keeping people down. You need to declare your identity independence when others treat you that way.
Histories are written to say that some groups of people are good and other groups are bad - and this ought to be everyone’s opinion. Nonsense. The world does not revolve around anyone’s particular point of view. The general history belongs to everyone. There’s no historical guilt except through political aggression - and that phase is about to end.
We say everyone deserves a positive identity - white people, too. Are you ready for that? A new day of more universal respect is about to dawn if only you can accept it.
The fetters that bind you have been fashioned by politics; and by politics they will be removed. Democrats and Republicans, be aware that identity politics is about to take a new and better turn.
In our view, you do not add luster to your own character by putting someone else in a negative light. You stand on your own two feet. You do not define someone else’s identity but only your own. Identity is the most intimate part of yourself. You neither intrude on someone else’s personal space nor accept another’s intrusion on your own.
But that’s the beauty of it: You get to decide who you are. And then you find others who are like you or agree with you in some way. And finally you build a community of mutual respect where personal fulfillment becomes possible in this world. One might call it an identity revolution. Through such boldness, America will again be strong.
four principles of personal or group identity
the dilemma of today's progressives in the Democratic party
On identity independence