Identity Politics

By Vicky Diloné

You are betraying your race.

This statement and others like it have been directed towards me throughout my adult life. I have been called a tool of the patriarchy, an extremist, and yes, someone who hates minorities. Having said that, this post isn’t about me being a victim to hateful comments or discrimination. In fact, it is the opposite.

I am not a victim. I am not oppressed by white supremacy or the patriarchy. My failures or hardships are not the result of nationwide systematic racism. The rise of identity politics seeks to make me a victim, one that can never be saved because of who I am.

Source: David Klein

Identity politics is defined as “politics in which groups of people having a particular racial, religious, ethnic, social, or cultural identity tend to promote their own specific interests or concerns without regard to the interests or concerns of any larger political group.”

At first glance identity politics doesn’t seem bad, nonetheless people tend to forget the last part of the definition. Claiming to be a part of a specific group does not automatically grant anyone special authority outside of that group. We are all given equal inalienable rights; we should all be seen as human and given fair treatment. If one comes from a different or even problematic culture, they are to be treated with respect.

I’m not saying that fair treatment is always given or that discrimination doesn’t exist. Boxing ourselves into an infinite number of identities and checking our “privilege” does nothing but make us hyper aware of our differences. Continue reading “Identity Politics”

How to make the UI more inclusive

A diverse group of UI students pose in front of the Admin Building.
UI students pose in front of the Admin Building.

By Rosemary Anderson 

For me and many others, receiving an education from the University of Idaho is one of the best gifts we’ve ever been given. The campus is beautiful, the faculty and staff are welcoming, and the student body is diverse–or is it?

According to the numbers, 71% of students are white and only 29% of students are people of color. For a national average, 58% of all college students in America are white and the remaining 42% are people of color. From the 1970s to today, these percentages have been shifting more towards middle ground.

Although the diversity numbers for the UI may be a little higher than other universities, it’s not something to be proud of, at least not yet.

After talking to a few professors on campus, I learned that the faculty at the UI is disparagingly white as well. I was told that there are only about two dozen faculty of color. So how can we make our classrooms more inclusive?

Continue reading “How to make the UI more inclusive”

On Being a Non-White Feminist


So if feminism is supposed to be a movement of solidarity, why then is there still such a division amongst women? We are quick to recall Susan B. Anthony and Rosie the Riveter when we think of feminism, but often forget about Audre Lorde, Dolores Huerta, and Julia de Burgos. As a Latina, I have fought the struggles of both sexism and racism and feel that it is important to recognize that the two are very much interrelated. If as feminists we are going to fight for equality, it should be equality for all people– not just that of white women.

Being a woman of color, it has been difficult to “pick a side,” so to speak, when defending my rights as a woman and as a Latina. It is disheartening to me when I see and experience division between each of the movements. I’ll admit I was even a little discouraged at signing up to write for this blog when I went to the first meeting and was surrounded by all white females. I chose to stay to represent my underrepresented race, and am proud that I did.  Continue reading “On Being a Non-White Feminist”

Fighting For the United States


By Cassie Greenwald

Women in combat are not a new phenomenon. Historically, there have been a few women in combat roles. During World War II, there were an estimated half-million women serving on anti-aircraft batteries in Britain. In Germany, women served as partisans in German-occupied Ukraine, and directly on the front lines. Soviet women were also deployed as snipers against the Nazi Wehrmacht, but most of their names have been forgotten. There are some countries that have already had women in combat, such as Israel, Germany and Canada. “They’ve done very, very well in Afghanistan, which is really Canada’s first time having women in the infantry” (Neuman, 2013).

Women today make up about 15 percent of the military (about 203,000 troops). Since 2001, more than 280,000 women have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. This has helped to alleviate some of the concern surrounding women in combat roles. Women soldiers are held to the same standards as men. “For example, to be a pilot, your femur has to be a certain length, you have to have a certain sitting height. Those are the occupational standards, and any woman going into any job has got to meet those in the exact same way as a male does” (Neuman, 2013). West Point requires cadets to pass an indoor obstacle course that tests agility, stamina and strength. The obstacle course is designed to determine whether future soldiers will be able to meet the demands of combat. Freshman Cadet Madaline Kenyon completed this course in 2 minutes and 26 seconds. This score is equivalent to an A-plus of the men’s scale. Continue reading “Fighting For the United States”

Think Before You Speak

Nick Dimico

Companies all over the world have been caught in the scandal of speaking before thinking. This, of course, is not anything new, but one company has made major headlines over past weeks due to the anti-gay remarks made by its president.

Barilla, the world’s largest pasta company, had its President, Guido Barilla, speak on an Italian radio show on September 25th. When the radio host asked why the company does not feature gay families in its ads, Barilla gave the following statement, per a Huffington Post translation of the interview.:

We have a slightly different culture…For us, the ‘sacral family’ remains one of the company’s core values. Our family is a traditional family. If gays like our pasta and our advertisings,  they will eat our pasta; if they don’t like that, they will eat someone else’s pasta. You can’t always please everyone not to displease anyone. I would not do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect toward homosexuals – who have the right to do whatever they want without disturbing others – but because I don’t agree with them, and I think we want to talk to traditional families.

Personally, I find it quite amusing when companies such as Barilla make comments like this, because you would think that with how big the company is in the industry, that they would have the decency to keep their anti-gay opinions to themselves. Instead they make remarks like this and try to cover them up with an apology the next day. Sorry Barilla, it’s not going to work.

In today’s society, making remarks like this will cost you. According to ABC News, Barilla brings in a half billion dollars a year in U.S. sales alone, which now could be affected.

Within minutes of the comments hitting the internet universe, people all over the world became angered through social media.

According to Daily Finance, Barilla trended on Twitter for perhaps the first time ever, and it appears a boycott is now well under way. The executive quickly issued a clarification of his comments, writing on the Barilla corporate website that he had “utmost respect” for gay people and their marriages and that he apologized if [his] words have generated controversy or misunderstanding, or if they hurt someone’s sensitivity.”

Sensitivity? Misunderstanding? I think we heard you loud and clear Mr. Barilla. You find that the LGBT community sits on a different level then you do. It’s OK; I think we got your point.

“It’s the kind of non-apology apology with the words “sorry you were offended” that’s unlikely to cure anyone’s damaged “sensitivity.”

Model Christine Teigan, wife of singer John Legend tweeted; “Yikes. Bye, bye, me using Barilla.”

After realizing the way in which Barilla’s remarks affected the public, Barilla met with the Italian LGBT associations on October 7th in Bologna, northern Italy to simmer the boycott from its products and company. Barilla is trying to turn down the heat by proposing pro-gay policies for the future.

Although Barilla said they won’t feature gay families in there advertising, many other pasta companies will according to the Huffington Post. Below are just a few of the companies that have been open to the LGBT community.

Buitoni Pasta:


Bertolli Pasta:


Garofalo Pasta:


According to the company’s website Guido Barilla issued a formal statement of apology.

At Barilla, we care about everyone, regardless of race, religion, belief, gender or sexual orientation. Our mission is to help people – every single person – live better, by bringing well-being and the joy of eating into their everyday lives. 

We value and respect a family, that includes everyone. As stated in the Barilla lighthouse – our strategy document – we promote diversity. Diversity of all kinds is a clear objective that the company has put forward. 

Barilla recognizes cultural, gender and skills diversity as an essential value for the company’s well-being. Integrity, inclusion, social and environmental responsibility are the values in which Barilla reflects itself, as results of a strong and widely recognized identity. 

Barilla firmly believes that, in order to qualify its business activities as ethical, it shall operate in respecting and safeguarding human rights, the regenerative capabilities of the Planet and the welfare of communities, while promoting a sustainable human development.

Barilla’s goal goes beyond bringing high-quality food products that are good for people. We also take care of our planet, by focusing on growing the business of those food products that have a low environmental impact. 

We will take advantage of the recent incident to learn and to promote even harder the diversity path that Barilla has undertaken.

To all our friends, family, employees and partners that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry.

-Guido Barilla

It’s shocking the way the company can go out and speak to the media and not be able to predict the consequences that come with their actions, especially by ‘coming out’ and stating an apology that you are wanting to propose pro-gay policies when we already heard that you don’t believe that the LGBT community has the same human rights as you do. Please save your fake apologizes for someone else, and next time, think before you speak.