Personally, I think "identity politics" is a phrase which demonstrates how too much of the American media is white, heterosexual, and male oriented. If there is no diversity in the faces we see telling us the news, naturally the important issues affecting those who don't fit in the above categories are shuffled off into some box of "odds and ends," as if they are trifles instead of pertinent problems.
That's my take on it, but Boris Dittrich in The Advocate has an equally wonderful look on the difficulty of us so-called minorities (African-American, lgbtq, etc.) have in getting our concerns looked at seriously instead of sidebars. There is an excerpt from his piece, Identity Politics Forever:
LGBT activists advocate for equal rights and nondiscrimination. They do not claim special or extra rights. They aspire to a society where LGBT people are not bullied at work or in school and have the same relationship rights as others do. Equality and nondiscrimination are values that concern everyone in society. They require a robust defense. Because the values of human rights depend foremost on the ability to empathize with others — to recognize the importance of treating others the way we would want to be treated — they are especially vulnerable when the argument of the majority versus minorities is invoked.
Politics that stops talking about minority rights on the theory that upholding them is “divisive” or makes it harder to win over majority voting blocs, will only lead to a more fragmented society, not bring people together. Instead political leaders should make clear that rights are not a zero-sum game — protecting my rights does not undermine yours. On the contrary, it creates a framework we can all rely on if our rights come under threat.