…s for justice is to “listen to black people,” it stresses differences rather than common interests. This essentialist perspective is politically counterproductive because it gets in the way of universalism. And it’s intellectually bankrupt and morally offensive because it flattens particularity.
This is an arbitrary stance, quite frankly. Whether or not it is politically productive to highlight differences re: the population versus similarities has more to do with which approach is beneficial to that particular group and/or person.
From a conceptual standpoint, the group which is losing power will want to emphasize unity, because they can see/feel that their power is going away. This is a conceptual reality: that is, to emphasize 'unity' is to say 'please don't notice the divisiveness that our domination over you has caused, now that you are gaining power.' It makes sense to emphasize unity when one's security is disappearing, but only if the concerns of the oppressed are sidelined. The manner of sidelining the concerns of most POCs is called 'focusing on economics' and alleged 'unity.' These tacks keep us from moving forward.
By the same token, the groups who feel that their power is increasing will desire to emphasize the DISUNITY--which is embodied by white supremacy and the dominance of white people over others and esp black people--because this is the exposure of that oppression. DISUNITY will be felt by oppressors once they hear about their oppression. Of course, the natural tension is that the subordinated MUST expose this dominance. There appears to be necessity for the dominant group to feel uncomfortable, since they persistently sideline racial issues, which is often phrased strategically as 'disunity.'
Can you see how both are biased views, and that the group with the power will also leverage the superficial fact that this APPEARS TO BE ABOUT UNITY; IE, is fundamentally hypocritical. That is, from the standpoint of many oppressed people, the fact that 'unity' may prevent the EXPOSURE of dominance makes this 'unity' unattractive and hypocritical.
Erasing or marginalizing race is virtually always emblematic of benefitting from whiteness, and thus is a form of participation in white supremacy.
White people's idea of 'unity' is a pseudonym for not discussing onerous topics that make white people uncomfortable. Can you see why that won't feel like authentic unity to many people of color?