Black Blogs Fight to be Included in the Fight to Elect Obama, Down-Ticket Democrats
whose screen shots are shown below.
Yesterday, I was contacted by the Colorado Statesman, the Chicago Tribune (let’s see if they write a story, too) and I recorded a interview with the BBB World Service (link pending) concerning the DNCC’s Jim Crow state pool blogging corps, that is almost entirely white (at a Convention with 21% Black delegates and more Latinos), a Convention that grants privileges to white blogs that will be denied to Blacks, Latinos, and others. It is a clear case of “separate and unequal.”
Democratic National Convention state blogging corps.”
And yet, 2008 is the year in which the Democratic Party will nominate and elect the first Black president of the United States, a man of great intellect, compassion and ability, who may even have a female running mate. That’s something to be immensely proud of, elated and determined to work hard for, alongside all of the diverse constituencies of the Democratic Party, including the diverse whites of the Party.
So, when the afrosphere insists on blogging from the floor of the Convention, just as white blogs will, we are not trying to hurt or stigmatize the Party or its electoral chances. We are not trying to hurt the Democratic Party’s “brand” as the party of inclusion. Rather, we are helping the Party to realize its full promise and electoral potential by challenging the Party to respect and meet the needs of constituencies without whom it cannot have success at the polls.
The organizer of last year’s virtually all-white YearlyKos annual white bloggers’ (whitosphere) conference, referred to in the afrosphere as “YearlyWhitosphere,” Gina Cooper famously said, “I hate using the word ‘diversity.’ “ When people have hate in their hearts, it inevitably becomes apparent in their behavior and the proof is in their pudding. YearlyKos was approximately 1.3% Black and Latino.
Matt Stoller, owner of MyDD, said in blog policy statement about diversity (or the lack thereof),
Now first I’m going to address this community about our culture. Most MyDD readers are comfortable within what I call ‘Jewish political culture’, which is a very individualistic, progressive style of argumentative discourse . . . There are lots of other cultures out there, and lots of other ways of thinking about the world. These represent themselves online, but they don’t necessarily represent themselves here. Does it matter that they don’t? Maybe. Maybe not.
( . . . )
The liberal blogs are partially descended from the white libertarianism of Silicon Valley, which has a very different and apathetic history with regards to social justice. [Emphasis added.]
People who hold such attitudes cannot be entrusted to design and implement the program that determines blog access to the floor of the Democratic National Convention, or any of function of the Democratic Party of the United States Government, or the governments of the several states and municipalities.
could to irreparable harm to the Democratic Party ‘brand’. “
We know that, although Barack has a strong following among white people, still the slight majority of most white people will vote for the Republican candidate, just as they have in previous presidential elections, unless Obama totally reworks the demographic map, which isn’t impossible. 53% of whites will vote for Obama’s white opponent, but 90% of Blacks will vote for Sen. Obama and we will tip the scales in his favor, unless the Democratic Party so alienates Black voters that even a Black candidate cannot motivate them to forget the marginalization we have experienced historically.
must never become a slogan of the Democratic Party.”
Blacks are more eager to support Barack Obama as we have been to support any other candidate in America’s history, so we do not want to hurt his chances by unnecessarily while wrangling over desegregating the state bloggers corps at the Convention. But fighting segregation it is such a matter of principle, that it cannot be ignored even for the sake of an electoral victory.
while excluding our participation in May and August.
As soon as the DNC agrees to credential 15 Black floor bloggers chosen by the afrosphere and 15 Latino floor bloggers suggested by the afrosphere and confirmed by the Latino bloggers themselves, with a representative number of women and with a similar proportionate representation in the general blogger pool, then we in the afrosphere will announce, accurately, that the problem was limited to a few insufficiently supervised rogue elements, but the resolution of the problem has truly proved the Democratic Party to be the Party of equality and diversity this time.
Then, we can move forward to partying about the historical nomination of Barack Obama, which is where our focus should be this summer, and building Black people’s enthusiasm for voting in droves in November, which can only help Democrats down-ticket. We will build a new unity that will make the Republican Party look like the Party of segregation.
Florida was only lost by 700 votes, which might have been the margin of Blacks feeling ignored within the Democratic Party and by unresponsive politics generally.
of the “niche audiences” (Blacks 20% and Latinos 10-15%) that the DNCC proposes to segregate and alienate
at the Democratic National Convention.
It is often said that white campaigns wait until two weeks before the election to reach out to Black voters, thinking that spreading a little money around on the street will be as effective as engaging us as thinking human beings with our own political objectives. This effort we’re engaged in is part of making the party more effective and more successful.
We’re helping white people as surely as we helped white people when we encouraged them to stop the hate and share the lunch counters, which literally doubled segregated Southern restaurants customer bases, virtually overnight. Where would McDonald’s and Burger King be without Black people? The restaurants that insisted on discriminating have long since been eclipsed by those that opened their doors to everyone alike.
“It is better to be integrated in victory
than united in defeat.”
Woolworth’s (some of us still remember Woolworth’s) apparently thought segregated lunch counters were essential to its business model, otherwise they were so color-antagonistic that they didn’t care that segregated lunch counters limited their clientèle by half. Can anyone remember the last time they saw a Woolworth’s lunch counter? It turns out that low prices and fast food and convenience are infinitely more important, even to white customers, than are segregated lunch counter. Only a color-aroused person or institution would have difficulty figuring that out.