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Saturday, August 11, 2007

MyDD, YearlyKo, DailyKo, Race Matters

I recently posted on the blog MYDD regarding the YearlyKo Convention. Heres what I wrote and some interesting comments from white and black folk. It's intersting that many whites have a different view of the race issue, year after year.

YearlyKos =The White Citizens YearlyKouncil ? Add to Hotlist

The White Citizens YearlyKouncil.

Yes, I said it. Come on folks, stop beating around the bush. Stop sugar coating it. Let's stop playing Games. Let's stop intellectualizing white blogger racism. Let's call it the way it is, The Democratic Presidential candidates just went before the Yearlykos a 21st century White Citizens YearlyKouncil. An exclusive club of middle aged whites guys, who sit around playing the "liberal card" with all but a few black and Latinos who attended the YearlyKos event.

I recently blogged about the YearlyKos event as a guess blogger on Rude Pundit. In my post I talked about how Hillary and Obama would be at the Lilly white, YearlyKos forum. Little did I know that the Washington Post would view the Yearly Kos Bloggers' Convention, a Sea of Middle-Aged White Males. But I go a little further. I see them like the members of the United States Senate, as a group of white men who could care less about issues impacting the poor, working class, and African American communities across America. The White Citizens YearlyKouncils agenda is the self preservation of you know what, white male bloggers.


OK, thats what I was thinking a moment ago, but let's be real. I could have blogged about that, but I didn't. Act like you didn't even read what I just wrote.

The reality is, The DalyKos, YearlyKos, WhiteKos, really didn't outreach to the African American blogger community to get Black Bloggers to participate. The AfroSphere/ AfrSpear group to my knowledge was not outreached to or contacted, Black bloggers were not really encouraged to attend, so therefore it is what it is. As it turned out to be, a white group talking to each other about issues important to them. White folks. White Citizens (with a few black folks for good measure).

But hey, that is a snap shot of my opinion today, my opinion could change tomorrow. Here are other opinions on the same topic.
Mirror on America, Jack and Jill Politics are blogging about the subject, as is Francis L. Holland , a blogger who blogs regularly about The Truth About Kos (DailyKos) in a recent post he notes, The Hot Air Blog calls YearlyKos, "whiter than an NHL game at the North Pole during a snowstorm." Hot Air points our attention to a Washington Post article of August 6, by Jose Antonio Vargas, that calls YearlyKos 2007 "a Sea of Middle-Aged White Males."

Maybe Francis L. Holand knows more than he is sharing when he writes about Markos Moulitsas and the annual meeting of the whitosphere sponsored by DailyKos.

What do you think? Am I wrong?

http://aapoliticalpundit.blogspot.com/20 07/08/yearlykos-21st-century-mini-white. html

[new] Re: YearlyKos =The White Citizens YearlyKouncil ? (none / 0)

Kos is Hispanic.

You're so completely off-base it hurts to read.

by Jay R

[new] Re: YearlyKos =The White Citizens YearlyKouncil ? (none / 0)

Tiny correction: He's half greek/half hispanic.

by DPW

[new] Re: YearlyKos =The White Citizens YearlyKouncil ? (none / 0)

Well, if you are part Greek, you are 99% Greek. :-)

(Disclosure: I am half Greek myself.)

by georgep

[new] Do you only see people as skin color? (none / 0)

Cuz that's sad, regardless of whatever color you happen to be.

by cosbo

[new] Martin Luther King said: (none / 0)

...Do not judge people by the color of their skin.

Ask yourself: Are these whites for, or against minority rights? The answer is obvious.

In the Democratic debates, there are no blacks. There is one mixed candidate: Barack Obama. Half black, half White. I guarantee this racial composition will not discourage blacks or Hispanics from voting en mass for a Democratic candidate, because Democrats care about minorities.
Needless to say, there isn't a systematic efford to keep blacks and Hispanics from attending the Yearlykos. Steps will be taken to make the panel look more diverse. But is it a big deal? No.

by kingsbridge77

[new] Re: YearlyKos =The White Citizens YearlyKouncil ? (none / 0)

The above comments are completely dismissive. They are the type of responses we'd give to a diehard Republican on this site. At least look at the substance or crux of what is trying to be said and respond to that. Okay, so Kos is Latino. And Pam Spaulding was on a panel. And Barack Obama who is bi-racial but who identifies as black was one of the candidates in the debate. But as one of the weekend bloggers here has been writing about weekend after weekend is the dearth of black and Latino blogs/bloggers. It's not merely that YearlyKos might have done less outreach than they could have. It's also that there are far, far fewer blogs written by people of color. Quick, can you name three political blogs written by Asians? by blacks? by Latinos?

The sad part is that bloggers are becoming the next leg on the stool of the Establishment. (The blogoshpere/netizens, etc. aren't quite there, yet. But it's getting there.) And to not have active members of the major minority groups as part of that political establishment would be a travesty.

So, I won't go on and say that white bloggers can't be concerned about racism and minorities. But, really, isn't an attitude that says that "We'll take care of you" just a bit patronizing?

by blackmahn

[new] Re: YearlyKos =The White Citizens YearlyKouncil ? (none / 0)

Yes it is patronizing. Yes the big boys should do more to develop and support blogs authored by minorities. A failure to have minority groups and persons well represented in the blogosphere will ensure a weaker progressive movement and less strength behind the agenda shared by progressives.

What is your view of why there are too few popular blogs written by minorities? What do you recommend be done about it?

I also believe much of what is expressed in the diary is unfair. The lack of diversity of YK is a big problem but the mostly white people in attendance are not some monolithic group.

As it turned out to be, a white group talking to each other about issues important to them. White folks. White Citizens

I think the war in Iraq, health care, economic inequality, citizen participation, excessive executive power and trampling the constitution, gay rights, etc. are not issues important only to white people. It is a problem if white people think they understand all the ways these and other issues are important without participating in a dialogue about them with minorities. But surely it is not off base to suggest these are concerns among more than "white citizens".

by Trond Jacobsen

[new] Re: YearlyKos =The White Citizens YearlyKouncil ? (none / 0)

"It's also that there are far, far fewer blogs written by people of color. Quick, can you name three political blogs written by Asians? by blacks? by Latinos?"

This seeems like an unfortunate track to take.

1. If it is true that fewer blogs are written by people of color, what does that have to do with anything here? It is not like we can legislate interest in blogging amongst minority groups. Whoever feels like it can start a blog, it is not hard to do. It does not matter what skin color one has. It does not take a lot, only a computer and an internet connection. And interest in creating a blog.

2. To your silly exercise to name minority blogs: When I check out a political blog, it never enters my mind to even care or check whether the blogger is an Asian, African-American, Hispanic or Greek/Turkish/Belgian/British/Eurasian/A ustralian person. The important part is the information and the mindshare. The beauty of this medium is that it does not MATTER the least what skin color the writer possesses. I never care to read the full name of the blogger. AmazonX or Kim35 works just fine for me. Don't care if boy or girl, how old, what race, religion or social layer. You just like reading what flows out of that person's mind. GET IT? MIND. Not skin.

by georgep

[new] Re: YearlyKos =The White Citizens YearlyKouncil ? (none / 0)

Thanks for calling my exercise silly. You may not be interested in the race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation of the author of a blog. But I would assume you are a white male. You have that luxury. The others of us are very interested in who authors a blog. We look for community that is like us to support to hear from.

By the way, any anthropologist/sociologist/bio-anthropol ogist/etc. will tell you that what is on the outside affects the way the mind works, the thoughts, etc. For instance, as a black gay male, I'm going to be far more interested in the high incidence of HIV in the black community and its link to homophobia. Not that those issues will rule me, but, for instance, I took special note of the way Obama handled this question at the Howard debate.

It really is great that you don't think about those things. I'm just offering the persspective that you have that luxury because you most likely come from the majority culture.

by blackmahn

[new] Re: YearlyKos =The White Citizens YearlyKouncil ? (none / 0)

I've missed Francis L. Holland around these parts. He added a certain something.

I'm surprised by the accusation that there was no effort made to reach out to female and minority bloggers to attend the Yearly Kos conference. I had heard the exact opposite from at least a few people.

I note this comment from the "Black Kos" discussion group at DKos.

I got in on Wednesday. I went to the African-American caucus yesterday. WOW! It was Famous Black Bloggers and activists and me. :) I'll post some pics once I get them off my camera. The conversation was interesting. We discussed where "Black leadership" is, how they've failed and why are they the "Black leadership". Many in the room, set that aside saying that we are the black leadership of today.

Tracy Russo from the DNC (I think she's working on Edwards campaign) was there talking about how campaigns can connect to the black netroots. It was interesting because everyone knows who she is, and she knew many in the room, but wasn't aware of the afrosphere listservs out there. She discussed how the feminist, LGBT or whatever listservs worked with campaigns and wondered how to make inroads on the afrosphere's listservs. She also mentioned that she noticed that the black blogs don't coordinate to write on one specific subject like other "issue-oriented" blogs. People explained why; different POVs, or specific issues one writes on-I didn't quite catch all of that, but I think there will be some more coordination.

One thing that is funny, I was talking to Paul Hogarth from OpenLeft about this last night is the number of white people there who say, "I wish there was more people of color." I usually snark, "Then go home, that'll even it up!" But there really are more people of color here this year and I think due to kid oakland ChicagoVoices17, that really helped. I got asked last night by one guy if this was as much "diversity" as it was going to get. I said, "Oh, I know of 5 more black people coming on Friday and 2 on Sat. That's 7!" Discussion was just this one YK thing is supposedly about uniting the netroots, but for some reason, there really is no outreach to minority progressive bloggers and it shows.

It's something we should continue to work on. I don't know why it always seems to get raised in the most combative manner though.

by Steve M

[new] Re: YearlyKos =The White Citizens YearlyKouncil ? (3.00 / 1)

I was at both '06 and '07. It looked like a LOT of women were there this year, I believe many more than last, and quite a few minorities.

Why do you want to create a rift where none existed?

by rickeagle

[new] Re: YearlyKos =The White Citizens YearlyKouncil ? (none / 0)

You know, I don't know what the answer is, but I do admit that not even inviting the Black bloggers that we both read frequently is the beginning of the problem. These Black bloggers didn't even have the opportunity to say that they COULDN'T go to YearlyKos...they weren't invited.

I do have to wonder why it seems so hard for them to reach out to the Black bloggers.

Goes back to that ludicrous photo of Bill Clinton, IN HARLEM, surrounded by nothing but WHITE FOLK.

by rikyrah

[new] Invited (none / 0)

I'll take "Ignorant comment for $1000, Alex"

Invited? Invited?

Anyone can go. Really. Everyone's invited.

Your statement is truly absurd.

Karl in Drexel Hill, PA
by KB

[new] Re: YearlyKos =The White Citizens YearlyKouncil ? (none / 0)

This ' issue' keeps on coming up and one has to ask....

You know, one year it happens, and you could say it was an ' accident'.

But, this keeps on happening, YEAR AFTER YEAR.

I guess someone doesn't want true diversity at their convention.

by rikyrah

[new] Sheesh (none / 0)

Wow - what a sense of history and perspective.

YKos has existed for all of two years. Two instances. Nice.

I'm sure you have no interest in my advice, but here it is: Be the change.

Karl in Drexel Hill, PA
by KB

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