In his book, City of Rhetoric, author, David Fleming discusses the recognition of the individuality of each citizen because they make up the entirety of society. As a result, they predict the politics of the city and contribute to the theory of placelessness of politics. Flemming proposes that, “To pretend that race, class, and gender are irrelevant, or that one is “blind” to them, is often just a way to favor those who allegedly have no race, class, age, sexual orientation, or gender — that is, white, middle-class, middle-aged, heterosexual men” (21). Flemming implies that ignoring inherent differences between individuals leads to the assumption of equality but not the actions of equality.
Consequently, this is typically known by the phrase as being “color blind,” where the advantaged groups (predominantly white men) erase the identity of marginalized groups (21). The differences in each human are their defining characteristics that make up their entire being- from how they are raised to how they see the world and to how the world sees them. Acknowledging these differences in each person is essential to the growth of society as they determine where society struggles and where it is strengthened.
In the same way, an example of when the differences between people are not recognized, results in political movements like“All Lives Matter.” The “All Lives Matter” group was created in response to the “Black Lives Matter” movement because they did not agree that one group of persons should be singled out in importance. They, “All Lives Matter,” are blind to the persecutions that black people still face in America today. “All Lives Matter” ignores the struggles of black people and the crimes against them and creates a movement that surrounds white people, who do not face racial bias or hate crimes at all. At no point in the “Black Lives Matter” movement was it stated that only black lives matter or that other lives do not.
The “Black Lives Matter” movement clarifies that there are crimes against black people and that they deserve to have the same treatment as white people. And if “All Lives Matter” was originally created to be a support group for all lives they would have agreed to support black people and other minorities. It is ignorant to think that all people face the same issues and struggles when they definitely do not. Thus, this movement emphasizes the importance of recognizing human differences and diversity.
To summarize, if everyone were equal, as some like to believe, there would not be a need for legislature to finally declare equality and freedoms among minorities. This is specifically seen in everlasting fight of Roe v. Wade, the recent win of marriage equality, the Voting Rights Act, and with desegregation of public places. Especially in political terms, people are always treated differently. Fleming clarifies that, based on the statement made by National Standards for Civics and Government (1994), “the identity of an American citizen is defined by shared political values and principles,” this fact is not true (20). Characteristics of “ethnicity, race, religion, class, language, gender, or national origin” derive perspectives and positions on political issues (20). All these individuals make up the community and are, ultimately, the constituents.
Many different perspectives and lives lived changes political views, votes, and concerns for each citizen. Each citizen adds to the placelessness of political theory because each person is so unique in their identity and concerns. The people create the place where politics happen.
Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric. Ithaca, US: SUNY Press, 2008. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 4 February 2017.