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Tribal identity is more dangerous than tribal politics

Marisa Treviño

The term “tribal politics” is widely used to explain the deep political fissures cracking the foundational parties of our democracy. Yet, there’s another tribal term that has the potential to be more dangerous in splitting the country — tribal identity.

Identity meaning one group is white and all the rest aren’t.

Being a person of color these days evokes not only excessive attention by police:

The Guardian: “People of color in the United States have dramatically more years stripped from their lives due to police violence than white people, according to a new study.”

But identity has devolved into an “us” vs. “them” mentality in ways and frequency not seen since the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

May 8, 2018:  Yale responds after black student reported to police for napping in common room

May 8, 2018: Racial slur by Haddonfield boys’ lacrosse player prompts state bias investigation

May 3, 2018: Nordstrom Rack wrongly accuses 3 black men of theft, apologizes

May 1, 2018: Colorado State University investigates after two Native American men are pulled off tour after nervous parent calls cops

April 30: 911 call fuels a national discussion on racial bias and police involvement

April 12, 2018: Social media video shows arrests of black men at Philadelphia Starbucks – video

At a time in our country’s history when politics has become more extreme and radicals have overtaken common sense and civility, it says something that the benign reminder — ‘See something, say something’ — to ensure public safety should have been co-opted to humiliate, intimidate and devalue non-white lives.

But it’s the overreaction of law enforcement and the quiet acceptance from most fellow citizens that speaks volumes about the sad trajectory of our once great nation.

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