Carina Chocano is asking, "Can people form a real 'community' when someone else is making all the rules?" The question comes from Chocano's "First Words" column in The New York Times Magazine. The hard copy version of the column is titled, "Group Think."
One of the main points that Chocano makes is that the word "community" is now being used, in politics, to "convert huge groups of people into neat, undifferentiated units." The designation of a named "community" is now being utilized to denote what might actually be called a "segregation" of society at large into a series of separate entities. The "Black community" is really "black people;" the "Gay and Lesbian community" refers to gays and lesbians.
Genuine community is the very opposite of such congregated categorical designations. "Community" includes everyone, across all the categories, and the key thing to realize about any community is the incredible diversity that is always present.
Finding a way to make collective decisions in a community characterized by diversity and difference is what a healthy politics is all about.
A healthy politics requires the exact opposite of "group think," now sometimes called "identity politics."
Think about that!
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