Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Communication from the Democratic National Convention Committee regarding perceived racial inequities in the State Blogger Pool

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Communication from the Democratic National Convention Committee regarding perceived racial inequities in the State Blogger Pool

From DNC's Aaron Myers to members of the Afrospear last week, including Francis L. Holland. He has not published this on any posts on his blog...someone else who received it put it in the comments. Francis has been repeatedly courting the media to write his "Jim Crow" story.

Thanks for writing.

The blog list that you're speaking about is the Convention's initial list of state-focused blogs. These blogs report on politics in their home states. The Convention plans to provide credentials to an additional larger list of blogs by the end of the month (next week). Those additional blogs will also have access to the Convention floor -- contrary to some of what has been said online. Like any other members of the media, bloggers with timed "floor passes" will be able to walk around on the floor and conduct interviews with delegates. Floor passes will be available to all of the "General Pool" bloggers.

In the application process, most minority-focused and issue-based blogs did not apply for "State Blog Corps" credentials. They applied for the "General Pool." When the additional list of blogs is announced in a few days, I think you'll be very pleased with the blogs selected. Our goal is to reach the entire Democratic audience. This next group of blogs will be very representative of the entire Democratic family.

-aaron


Today, Pam Spaulding wrote up a post at "Pam's House Blend" describing the conversation she had with Aaron Myers over the weekend about the DNC's attempts to resolve this issue. At the end, Pam and I had, as she called it, a "pertinent exchange" in the comments. I'll print it here:


COMMENTS:

I don't think this issue is "solvable" for this Convention... (0.00 / 0)
...not in this short of a time, not with space limitations and not in a way that's going to satisfy anyone.
The best the DNC can do is remove any restrictions that may exist with the General Blogger Pool. It sounds like that is what they are working on. It's not perfect, but it's a start and it's also pretty much the extent of what the DNC can do. The rest must be done within the blogosphere.

The only way to fix this is to continue to pursue integrating state-focused blogs with POC voices, to continue de-mystifying blogs for others (I did a lot of that this past weekend at the AK Dem Convention) and encourage more folks of all walks of life to join the blogosphere, especially encouraging minority bloggers. Also, encouraging more folks to approach blogging from the "50-state strategy" is important for maximum impact in state elections.

We also need to pressure our Local, State and Federal representatives to find more and better ways to provide Internet access to EVERYONE, regardless of urban/rural location or economic status.

Through all of this, I've learned that having a discussion on race is extremely difficult and most Progressives (especially white Progressives) completely shy away from it. Some of them have a wicked case of denial of the problem. However, I believe...I know...that a whole lot of folks are afraid that they will be labeled as "racist" just by discussing their thoughts.

I can attest to that one. My POC boss, friends and family were pretty blown away when that label was thrown at me.

I've discovered that it's easy to get riled and it is easy for misunderstandings to occur on all sides. It is also common to have one's words twisted by folks with an agenda and then pushed for their own personal gain. No matter what is true, some folks will see what they want to see, even if they have to alter reality to do it. That applies to folks of all colors.

The DNC can no more effectively and efficiently integrate the 2008 Convention by itself than white America can fix the racial inequalities in the US by itself. Any of this requires constant dialogue, unwavering teamwork and give-and-take on all sides.

Name-calling halts that process in its tracks.

It makes one wonder what folks who can toss those names around so easily and inaccurately at fellow Progressives...fellow Obama suppporters...are really trying to accomplish?

It also makes one wonder who benefits?

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by: CelticDiva @ Mon May 26, 2008 at 23:12:47 PM EDT
[ Reply ]

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no one benefits, in the end (0.00 / 0)
I've taken the slings and arrows from both sides.
I get blasted by some white progressives for pointing out their lack of coverage of Jena 6, then I receive the most rank and horrible emails from some POC (selling out, wanting to hold a brother back) for holding Obama accountable for the McClurkin nonsense. It seems to come with the territory for me. I just wish there were more willing to step into the public line of fire with me to try to bridge these gaps.

I agree with what you've said - the PR damage has been done, and thank you for saying how difficult it is to discuss race for the reasons both of us outlined. Admitting this is how you start to break down barriers -- by acknowledging the damage caused, inadvertently, by politically correct culture that makes it difficult to speak frankly with curiosity about our difference (particularly out of benign ignorance) without having the minority group jump down your throat.

On the other hand there is also a strain of willful ignorance in some about issues of concern to minorities results in "it's their problem to solve" because progressive whites see nothing in it for them -- loathing the thought of being perceived as racist even as they try to speak up. It leads to lack of acknowledgment of the very white privilege they enjoy in their silence, and the vicious circle of poor communication, misunderstanding and lack of inclusion or outreach continues.

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by: pam @ Tue May 27, 2008 at 06:27:10 AM EDT



Please read the related posts on this and Pam's blog and come back to make comments.

2 Comments:

Blogger Villager said...

For what it's worth ... Francis did share that missive from Aaron last week. I don't know if it is posted ... but, he did share it with the team of Black bloggers that are working with him to get this issue resolved.

55 State Bloggers Corps selected by DNC and given special privileges in Denver. 53 white men. 1 woman. 1 Latino. Zero African Americans.

That is a problem. That is a process that is horribly wrong.

Do we ignore the problem? Or do we fix the problem? Personally, I like the idea of finding ways to partner the 53 white men who have been selected with some non- white men (woman or bloggers of color). How hard can that be?

And the idea that the DNC cannot add 15-30 additional seats on the floor is ridiculous (IMHO). I'm hopeful that Aaron or others in the DNC will fix this State Bloggers issue before they announced the General Blogger Pool, as I don't anticipate that the General Blogger announcement is going to make Black bloggers feel 'whole' in this discriminatory process..

peace, Villager (Ohio-area blog)

5/28/2008 4:44 PM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

Is it likely that POCs are not represented at the levels found in society...because of the nature of the blogosphere? Yes.

Has anyone demonstrated specifically what levels those are? Nope.

Is it possible to do so? Nope...because too many of the blog owners and contributors are not ethnically or even identified.

Are your numbers total bullshit? Yup. You haven't even done the most basic of research if that's what you came up with.

I tried previously and couldn't come up with accurate numbers due to the anonymity of it all...a good example being at PolitickerNJ whose primary blogger is a number of people writing anonymously under one pseudonym. However, I have done enough to know that the co-founder of New York blog Room 8 is Rock Hackshaw, celebrated teacher, writer and politico. The Natchez Blog is owned by a woman and has two other women and a man as writers. I own mine and I'm a woman. The primary bloggers on Blogging for Michigan are women. The Guam blogger is a Chamorro (indigenous tribe). Pam at Pam's House Blend also blogs for BlueNC, Democracy for New Mexico - owned by a woman, Democrats Abroad-Argentina - Latino, AZ's Rum, Romanism and Rebellion - multi-cultural Latino and white, Fired Up Missouri - woman and that's only from a cursory look. If you want to look up those blogs, do so HERE.

Look, we've ALL acknowledged there is an issue here and there is a good discussion at Pam's House Blend on the topic. However, don't try to pedal bogus information in an effort to inflame the situation more.

That's...well...so Republican.

5/29/2008 1:04 AM  

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