The so-called conservatives are muttering about how the choice of Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate is an ominous example of identity politics. She was picked for her skin tone, they say, which is the worst thing possible. In their fantasy country, the only thing that matters is the content of your character. They have it all wrong, of course, but the selection of Harris does provide some good insights into how identity politics will work in the new non-white America of the near future.
For starters, Kamala Harris did not end up on the ticket solely because of her burnt orange complexion. That was how she was sold to Biden, who was still hurting from being called a racist by Harris in the debates. She was on the list, however, because she is the favorite of a powerful constituency in the ruling class. The Silicon Valley oligarchs backed her candidacy. They are an important part of the empire’s ruling elite, so they have a great deal of influence in both parties.
The reason Harris is so popular with Silicon Valley is the number of high caste South Asians in the executive suites of these companies. The old gag about the tech call centers and programming shops being located in India is still true, but the management suites are now increasingly filled with South Asians. This is why they lobby so hard for worker visas. This allows them to bring their co-ethnics over and begin the process of normalizing them into America.
Unlike the so-called conservatives, stuck in the past with regards to the contours of identity politics, the new tribes jostling for power in America play identity politics the old-fashioned way, the tribal way. It’s why Harris took to Twitter to celebrate Indian independence day with her people. Harris was not the only “American” politician to celebrate her people’s national holiday. Not to be outdone, Nikki Haley included a nice little graphic in her celebratory tweet.
It turns out that there is one group that plays identity politics as well as Jews and that is South Asians. They stick together wherever they find themselves. So much so they were able to elbow the Jews out of the Amsterdam diamond market. That is a remarkable feat, given the history and nature of the diamond market. In the United States, they are taking over the wholesale jewelry business. They are doing it on the power of informal agreements among co-ethnics.
That’s the real nature of identity politics, but the yesterday men are not entirely wrong in how Democrats play it. Even there, they miss the point. Barak Obama did not win with huge black support simply because he was black. He resonated with the black community in America because he strongly appealed to black identity. A mixed-race child of extreme privilege with a foreign sounding name was able to click with black voters like no black politician in American history.
Obama appealed to the strongest element within black America, which is black women, who dictate the size and intensity of the black vote. Obama looked and sounded like what every black woman fantasizes for herself and her son. He also married a very typical black woman, thus flattering black women. He had two children with her and gave them goofy fake African names. Obama may have been a mixed-race son of privilege, but he strongly identified with black identity by choice.
That’s how identity politics works. It is not the superficial nonsense about skin color or even ethnic heritage. This is what the yesterday men of both the Left and the Right fail to grasp. Identity goes much deeper. It is the essence of who we are, because it represents the long arc of history that led to our existence. It’s the confluence of history and biology. It’s why Africans are not African-American. It’s also why Kamala Harris is not a person of color to black Americans.
That’s why Harris was probably the worst choice for Biden. She helps bring in South Asian money from Silicon Valley. The tech monopolies will now swing into action in a million little ways to help their co-ethnics. She will titillate the upper middle-class whites who reliably vote Democrat. She will turn off blacks, however, who see in her what they see at the cash-only convenience store in their neighborhood. A foreigner leap-frogging them in the hierarchy of American identity.
There is another lesson in the Harris story. In the primary, even the media found her unpleasant, despite being paid by Google to promote her. Andrew Yang, in contrast, was a likable character, who had no institutional support, but was able to get grassroots and media support. According to the yesterday men, he should have got tons of elite support, based on his race. There are many more East Asians than South Asians, so by their logic he should have been a great candidate.
The difference between Yang and Harris is South Asians are very tribal, while East Asians are not very tribal. We see this in genetics and marriage patterns. India is a beef stew of various tribes, castes and ethnic groups. China, in contrast, is dominated by Han Chinese. East Asia tends toward mono-ethnic societies. Put another way, the biology of South Asia reinforces and encourages extreme identity politics, while East Asian biology tends to encourage uniformity and conformity.
In America, the East Asians that come here are the least ethnocentric of their kind, so they look to quickly assimilate. They name their kids Bob and Sally, take up golf and join the local Christian church. High caste Indians move here and name their kids Sinjar and Amala. They have a tandoor clay oven installed in their house and they find a local Hindu temple to join. In Asia, South Asians are as tribal as Jews are in the West, while East Asians are about as tribal as white people.
This is why South Asians get one of their own installed on the Democratic ticket, while East Asians are discriminated against by the Ivy League. South Asians and Jews are wildly over-represented in elite institutions, while East Asians and whites are ridiculously under-represented. So much so that the Democrats are comfortable putting a bitter bindi on the ticket and giving the affable Andrew Yang the stiff arm. He will have no role in the coming Democratic convention.
This is the shape of things to come. The Judeo-Puritan ruling class is now making room for high caste South Asians. Soon, saying anything unapproved about Indians will be as forbidden as holocaust denial. Native Americans will no longer be allowed to refer to themselves as Indians. Whites and East Asians will be the lumpen proletariat of the new Tribal States of America. Despite having numbers, they lack the ethnocentrism to make those numbers translate into political power.
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