Friday, September 15, 2006

What progress?

I feel the need to weigh in the Clinton/bloggers meeting this week. To recap, Bill Clinton had a meeting at his office this week in Harlem and there were not any people of color at the meeting. The picture passed around the blogosphere has a blindingly white group surrounding Clinton. Blabbeando, a blog written by my friend Andres Duque about Latinos, has the picture. Put on your sunglasses first.

Another shining light in the POC pantheon of bloggers who were not invited, Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend, has had an interesting discussion going at her place about the lack of inclusion for a meeting like this. She has, again, inspired me to speak out.

So a group of "progressive bloggers" meet with Clinton to talk about blogging. They know there are no people of color at the table. No one says anything on their blogs afterwards except to post the pictures. How is this progressive? How does this advance the movement for equality? And why is it ok for these alleged progressives to not say something on their blogs after their meeting? Well know what, it is not acceptable.

This in not true progressive politics, it is the politics of power and exclusion, the same thing we rail about every day on our blogs. We want equality, we want the Republicans kicked out, we want the cheats, liars and thieves kicked to the curb. Unless it involves giving up a seat at the table.

They didn't say one word. Just like a nice, comfortable country club where everyone looks and thinks the same. Not one damn thing except from the people of color who started hollering right away. WTF, did they think we wouldn't notice?

Obviously there a gazillion blogs out there. There is a definitely an A list now. A caste system has emerged - who are the popular blogs, who is acceptable, who makes us uncomfortable, who is angry, who is published, who is on Air America, who is the smartest one on the keyboards. But how hard is it in 2006 to ASK? Calling Keith Boykin!

People of color have found each other in the blogospere. We have been helpful, supportive and creative. How hard is this? Oh wait, that shouldn't be a question asked about a Clinton meeting.

Markos Zuniga of the DailyKos has talked about the need to crack open the gates. It is past time for the gates to be opened for the rest of us. You white guys, get out of the way and make room for the rest of us. Only then will the real progressive movement start.


Nanette said...

I missed this in following the links talking about this incident.

I like how you've put the initial silence on it in the context of the caste system and country club, etc (although each one of the attendees would not doubt vehemently deny any such thing).

You white guys, get out of the way and make room for the rest of us. Only then will the real progressive movement start.

Thing is... I think that what they are, quite intentionally, doing is standing at the gates in order to make sure that no real progressive movement takes hold.

These (guys and gals alike) are the folks that are obsessed with electing Democrats, any Democrat no matter how much a Republican they are, and also with maybe making a slight tweak in the corporate party system.

The last thing they want is a real progressive movement. Within a movement such as that would not only be a re-centering of power, but it would be a different sort of power - bottom up (or more likely, sideways) instead of top down... not at all the sort that people looking to become players or political operatives are seeking.

miss wild thing said...

Agreed. That is why I noticed the similarity with the country club environment. They would like to just replace folks not change the system.

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