Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Will Netroots Nation Be a White-Out in 2008, Like it was in 2007

I've heard that, in contrast to last year's YearlyKos, this year's Netroots Nation was making a special effort to reach out to diverse parts of the Democratic Party, instead of having a virtually all-white conference again.

"A Diversity of Opinion, if Not Opinionators:
At the Yearly Kos Bloggers' Convention, a Sea of Middle-Aged White Males"

By Jose Antonio Vargas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 6, 2007; C01

In that article, the conference organizer, Gina Cooper was quoted as saying, "I hate using the word 'diversity.'

Apparently, she also hates using the word "black", because I searched the entire Netroots Nation website and I can't find a single instance of the use of that word to mean that color group of people that makes up 20% of the Democratic Party. I'm not saying the word isn't there somewhere, but check it out for yourself, using the search function, and see if you can find it! See if you can find us

This actually represents a regression relative to 2007, when the word "black" was used once, in a description of Alexis McGill, who "She has written and taught primarily on urban secession, black youth political participation and organizing the hip-hop generation. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University."

So, I searched for the word "African, but every mention of the word "African" is from the 2007 program, with none from 2008.

It seems like instead of trying to address the lack of diversity pointed out by the Washington Post last year, Netroots Nation may have circled the wagons and tried to make the conference even more monochromatic this year then last. Otherwise, why wouldn't they announce any break-out sessions or speakers or participants who are "Black" or "African" American?

Well maybe instead of recruiting Blacks, they're focusing on recruiting Latinos? Well, there are two mentions of the word "Latino" in the database, so maybe they're recruiting non-whites one color at a time.

OK, well now it's time for someone to explain how pseudo-"progressive" only-whites expect to win the 2008 election without input, participation or collaboration from Blacks and Latinos. It must be the progressive "serendipity strategy."


The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Yo, Francis:

Check out my "Netroots Nation" post over at JJP, dated July 20, 2008. Markos tried to claim he got Donna Edwards elected to Congress and she corrected him by giving the team at Black Agenda Report and CBC Monitor those props.

He got quite pissy when I pointed out I wasn't the only one who was screaming about the lack of diversity at that conference, but he decided to call me out instead of his fellow white guys.

Eight black bloggers got in the grill of Gina Cooper, the Netroots Nation Chair and asked why she disliked using the word "diversity". I read her the riot act and she asked if I was an attorney.

Naw, I play one on TV (though I do have a year of law school under my belt and contract law was my strong suit) LOL.

The pissy way he acted with me indicates that you're on to something; probably more than something. And your name was dropped quite a few times among bloggers of color who were wondering why the hell Markos is so damned defensive about the lack of diversity at his conferences?

Anonymous said...

Did you try searching for "African American"? I guess not. Because if you had, you would have found (among other things) that the conference had an African American Caucus (


The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

I was in attendance at the African-American Caucus, anonymous.

Whooops, yourself. If you had read my post you would have figured it out, numbnuts.