…we love identity — because we don’t love class. We love thinking that the differences that divide us are not the difference between those of us who have money and those who don’t but are instead the differences between those of us who are black and those who are white or Asian or Latino or whatever. A world where some of us don’t have enough money is a world where the differences between us present a problem: the need to get rid of inequality or to justify it. A world where some of us are black and some of us are white — or biracial or Native American or transgendered — is a world where the differences between us present a solution: appreciating our diversity.
That is from Walter Benn Michaels’s forthcoming The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality.