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Will the Women’s March Resurrect the Democratic Party?

‘The Women’s March on Washington, which is expected to bring hundreds of thousands of participants to the capital on Saturday, was intended to demonstrate opposition among progressive women to the policies of President-elect Donald J. Trump.But the loudest criticism of the march has come not from Trump supporters; rather, it has come from participants who argue that women of color have hijacked the event by focusing it on themselves, instead of women more broadly.

March organizers told me they received a surge of complaints after women of color called for more representation on the march’s leadership team.In essence, black and brown women are being labeled divisive for wanting to finally see themselves reflected in the modern feminist agenda.

This criticism echoes one of the most persistent attacks against Democrats, from the left and the right, after the presidential election: that a focus on so-called identity politics was in part to blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss. Proponents of this view argue that Democrats have been sidetracked by trying to accommodate the various needs of a diverse America and thus have failed to promote a unifying narrative.

Critics miss the point. It’s not selfish — nor need it be divisive — for women of color to push to be included, just as it wasn’t inappropriate for minority groups to expect to be courted by Democrats during the campaign. The problem is not that “identity groups” have some undue obsession with their own agendas. It’s that the groups with the most power often fail to have a sense of solidarity across race and class that would allow for a vision of multicultural liberalism that could reinvigorate the Democratic Party…’