When you hear someone throwing around the suddenly-ubiquitous term “identity politics,” it’s useful to try substituting the words “civil rights” and “equality.” “Identity politics” can easily be used as a frame that trivializes bedrock progressive values — as though fighting, say, voter suppression is the frivolous agenda of a special interest group. Do some people take their idealism too far? Of course. But the right has long employed a strategy of cherry-picking the most over-the-top examples of college student activism as supposedly representative of all the Left’s struggles for marginalized groups. We internalize their narrative at our peril.