Identity politics is utterly ineffective at anything other than dividing people

It is facile to equate ‘straight, white men’ with privilege

Dean Scurry, who was criticised on Twitter for the name of his podcast, Pow Wow with Dean. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Dean Scurry, who was criticised on Twitter for the name of his podcast, Pow Wow with Dean. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

I grew up in Dublin’s inner city, an environment where poverty, violence, and addiction were normal. Given the odds I had to overcome to get where I am today, I thought I’d meet a lot of allies among those who preach equality. But instead, I was often met with open hostility, despite the fact I campaign on a variety of related issues. Why? Because I happen to be straight, white, and male.

“Straight white male” is an identity I didn’t choose. I mean it wasn’t a decision I had any say in, what sexuality, race, or gender I am. I was born this way. But also, “straight white male” was never something I chose to “identify” as. At various times if you’d asked me about my identity, I might have said “Irish”, “a Dub”, or “working class”, but never straight, white, or male – let alone the arbitrary combination of all three. But people who talk a lot about “choice” and “freedom” chose for me, and decided that’s what my identity should be reduced to.

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