People love to point to "identity politics" as if it's a new, progressive phenomenon, but there is no shortage of examples of how racial and cultural identity has always played a role in politics. It's just that up until recently, the identity in identity politics was white.

This has not only been the case in the U.S., where white, male identity politics kept women and racial minorities out of power for most of our history, but in other Western nations as well. Case in point: A story from New Zealand of a Maori lawmaker who was ejected from parliament proceedings because he was not wearing a necktie—or at least not a necktie that fit Western standards of "business attire."

The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, and Maori representatives make up nearly a quarter of the country's parliament. Rawiri Waititi, a Maori MP, was kicked off the parliament floor after the Speaker Trevor Mallard twice refused to recognize him due to his attire. Instead of a necktie, which male parliament members are required to wear, Waititi wore a hei tiki—a traditional Māori greenstone pendant—tied around his neck.

"It's not about ties, it's about cultural identity, mate," Waititi said as he was leaving.

Watch the parliament exchanges here:

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