Why I Identify with Hillary Clinton

Cross-posted at http://francislholland.blogspot.com/

I am a Black man, as many of you know.  Recently, I was banned from participation at DailyKos, where there are only 2.5% Black people and threatened with banning from MyDD, where there are only 1.5% Black people. http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/2/4/203958/7683#readmore (I post a link to the MyDD banning threat here in the interest of transparency.) The attitude seems to be, "It's not that we don't value people of your demographic group, but we think that your participation at this time is mostly negative and we would be better off without you."

I can't say this attitude surprises me, because it is the same attitude that many on the "progressive" Left seem to have toward Hillary Clinton.  "It's not that we don't want a liberal Democratic woman to run for President, but we don't like you, Mrs. Clinton, and we think the race would be better off without you, even if that means that there are no liberal Democratic women in the race at all."

For those who dislike Senator Clinton personally, it doesn't seem to concern them in the least that the effect of somehow convincing her not to run would be that there would be no gender diversity among the choices.  

Unless you have been a member of a demographic group that is considered superfluous, you simply cannot understand how it feels to have people say that they want you out of the race, even if that means that nobody like you will be among the choices available.

Now, many people want Hillary out of the race because they know deep down that, if she stays in, there's a strong likelihood that she will win.  These people don't want competition from a candidate who is stronger.  If she were weak, it wouldn't matter that she stays in the race.  They only want her out because they want to free up her front-runner position for someone more to their liking.

Well, that's not really very different from the debates that we've had in America over affirmative action.  "If that woman gets the job, then I'll be left out in the cold." White men in general won't be left out in the cold if Hillary Clinton is the nominee. It's true, however, that white male presidential candidates will, for the first time in US history, have to serve in a supporting role.  Let's face it:  That's going to be a new experience for all of us, and it's going to be something for everyone to get used to.

I am the first person who has said these things at MyDD in this way.  A lot of people aren't going to like it.  They aren't going to like it when I point out the 43-term exclusively white male monopoly of the Presidency as a reason for Hillary Clinton to stay in the race.  Again, they think that the 43-term white male monopoly of the American Presidency is an irrelevancy when choosing a new President, just as they believe that the fact that I am Black is irrelevant when they want to throw me out of a group that is 98.5% non-Black.

So, that's why I identify with Senator Hillary Clinton.  Both of us have had to try to make a way in a society that historically has excluded our participation as if it were completely natural to exclude us.  I have mostly failed to make my way, so it is even more important to me that Hillary Clinton succeeds.
It amazes me that white men (and some white women) can express resentment that, for the first time in US history, someone other than a white man seems to have corralled all of the important resources early, to lock up the nomination.  They even argue that Hillary feels "entitled" because she is the spouse of an ex-President.  

Here, the irrationality of sexism rears its ugly head, in my opinion.  Because, when, I ask you, in the entire long history of the United States of America, has being the spouse of an ex-President ever helped any woman to become President of the United States?  It has never happened in the past and to assert that it is a reason to resent and resist Hillary today is specious and offensive.  Effectively, these people deeply resent the only narrative that has ever brought a woman to the point where Hillary is today.  They think that the only woman ever to reach Hillary's position has an unfair advantage over the white men who have always run for office.  I'm very familiar with this sort of resistance to and resentment of diversity, because it is the same resentful resistance that occurs when one Black fireman or lawyer seeks employment at an all-white workplace. White men who have always utterly and exclusively dominated a field of endeavor believe they face "unfair" competion when someone - one person - who is not a white man seeks to succeed.

Now, let's talk for a moment about the "Two Americas" of John Edwards:  To my mind, the two Americas have always been (a) those who historically were denied the right to vote and be elected to public office and were thereby disenfranchised from the political, economic fruits of American society, and (b) those who have been historically privileged with the right to vote and be elected to office.  In the latter group, we find only white men, the wealthier of whom have voted since the first votes were taken in the New World.  In the former group - those who historically were disenfranchised, lacking votes, property and privilege - we find white women, Indians, Asians, Blacks and everyone who was not a white man.  

As a result of disenfranchisement at the voting booth, women, Blacks and everyone who was not a white man also lost the right to buy and sell real property, the right to open businesses and make contracts, and even - in the case of Blacks - the right to learn to read and write.  Only white men enjoyed the privileges of American society from the very beginning, including the right to vote.  

And it shows.  The sequelae of that past exclusion are present in the lower wealth and wages that women and Blacks and others continue to have and receive in America, the poorer health, the lack of participation in government and industry, and even our self-esteem.

Therefore, electing John Edwards president - far from alleviating the historical "two Americas" problem - will inevitably perpetuate and exacerbate the "two Americas" privilege that white men have always enjoyed - the privilege to run the country for their own benefit, to the exclusion of others.  

Now, some people say there are other characteristics that make John Edwards a better candidate than Hillary Clinton, in spite of the fact that John Edwards performed no known public service work before he ran for the US Senate; has been in public life a shorter time and has less experience; and only proposes a national health plan now, as part of his second run for the Presidency.  These people argue that, although John Edwards voted for the war in Iraq, yet we "know" that John Edwards is more liberal because . . . because of the words that come out of John Edwards' mouth.

To people who feel this way, it does not matter that Hillary Clinton was appointed by liberal President Jimmy Carter to the National Board of Legal Services for the poor even while John Edwards was still getting rich suing the rich, or before that. They do not care that Hillary was working the the liberal Children's Defense Fund with Marion Wright Edelman while Edwards was doing . . . What was he doing?! 

When you are a woman or a Black in the United States, there is always something "more important" at hiring time than the fact that you have more traditional qualifications than those who are hired or promoted instead of you.  

Before I was banned from DailyKos, I wrote a diary in which I demanded to know whether there aren't ways in which America would inevitably improve as a result of electing its first liberal Democratic woman President.  And now I pose that question here at MyDD:  As well as denouncing me for writing this diary, I challenge every person who reads to this point to also state at least one way that America might improve if America, for the first time in US history, elected a liberal Democratic woman President.  Those who argue that there is no conceivable way that America could improve, and those who perpetually "forget" to address this issue at all, are, in my opinion, the ones who believe that women as such are superfluous.  "Like the fact that there are only 1.5% Blacks at MyDD, women just don't matter and their interests are just not sufficiently important for us to worry about them while we go about building our "progressive" dreams."

A lot of people will argue that Hillary is not "liberal".  Well, I can only say that most Black people disagree with you, as shown by the polls that say that most Blacks would prefer to vote for Hillary than even to vote for another Black person, Senator Barack Obama.  Meanwhile, somewhere between 39 and 43% of Democratic voters polled say that Hillary Clinton is exactly the sort of Democrat that they want for President.

Now, if you hate me for espousing what is surely a contrarian view here at MyDD, then I can understand that.  I am Black.  I'm used to being hated.  

But if you ban me from participation here because I have expressed these view, then you confirm the assertion that you DO NOT value diverse views, and you DO NOT value diverse people.  If this is so, then the 39-43% of Democrats who support Hillary Clinton now absolutely ought not listen to MyDD when they determine whom to support for President.  Because America is an increasingly diverse country and needs to be led by people who understand and cope effectively with diversity, not by those who run from diversity into all-white online enclaves of homogenous whiteness.

I have confessed to you that I am Black in this essay, even though I know I could have remained anonymous, and thereby avoided the risk that you would know of my skin-color and discriminate against me.  Online, I could have all of the "advantages" of being gay, wherein nobody would no of my "difference" unless I somehow slip and mention the movies I like, the people I date, the neighborhood in which I live, the music that I prefer . . .  If I just kept my mouth shut about being Black, then everyone might assume I was a white man, and nobody could discriminate against me.

This is the "Black Extinction Theory" of the white blogosphere, holding that Black can avoid white discrimination if we only pretend not to be Black and scrupulously avoid all appearance of being Black.  

Even if I were to succeed at that, then when I left the online whitosphere for the real world, the fact of color-based bias would hit me in the face like a ninety degree day does when you've spent the day with air conditioning.  I could pretend while in here that it is not snowing outside, but I would still have to shovel my car out as soon as I hit the street.  And that is the problem of pretending to be white in the whitosphere.  It doesn't help in any way to change the fact that, as soon as I get outside, I will still face all of the same resistances to  Blackness that existed before I spend a few hours pretending not to be Black online.  

There is another problem with the "Black Extinction Theory":  I enjoy being Black, I'm proud of my culture and the unique way in which my experience combines with my expression, and I refuse to hide these things about myself, regardless of where I am.  

And so I reject the suggestion that if I only hid my Blackness I could avoid being discriminated against online.  Yes, and if you don't eat while you are in a restaurant, you can avoid paying a bill when you leave.  That's not very helpful to me.  If I haven't eaten then I might as well not have been there at all.

So why, then have I created a whole offensive vocabulary to describe my experiences in the white online world?  I'll be happy to explain my thinking:

I describe "progressive" blogs such as DailyKos and MyDD as part of the "whitosphere" simply because their own internal polling shows that DailyKos is about 95% white and MyDD is about 98% white.  In a country increasingly characterized by diversity, these websites stand out like the anachronistic all-white country clubs that still exist in many places.  The difference is that white the all white country clubs have been so for centuries, the whitosphere represents an opportunity that has been both created and lost just over the few six years.  In any case, any blog that has only 1.5% Black membership and similarly lacks other minorities can certainly, fairly and accurately be characterized as part of the "whitosphere."

I have asserted that there is a "White Blog Pass System" at such blogs simply because if Blacks need the permission of whites to participate, then that is the same thing to me as the Apartheid pass system in South Africa, in which Blacks could not enter "white" cities without a pass saying that whites had given their permission.  And this really negatively distinguishes the whitosphere from the rest of America, in my opinion.  I can file suit against a white restaurant that has no Black patrons and that refuses to knowingly let me participate as a Black man.  That right was guaranteed to me by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  

However, in the whitosphere, the blog owners insist that their blogs are proprietary, are not the sort of public accommodations described in the Civil Rights Act, and therefore they are within their rights to maintain utterly white blogs should they choose to do so.  I don't think this is a legally tenable position, and I don't think that taking this position will increase the effectiveness of the "progressive" Democrats.  In any case, if I don't have the same right to participate at a white-owned blog that I would have to eat in a white-owned restaurant or to ride a white-owned bus, then I think the "progressive" whites are actually leading the way to a giant step backwards for civil rights in America.

People have asked me what right I have to come to the white blogs and criticize them on their own turf?  Where would you prefer that I criticize you?  On the pages of the New York Times, so that the MSN can write more stories about the divisions within the Democratic Party?  Your blog is exactly where I should criticize you, to give you an opportunity to respond and to make any changes that are appropriate before our dispute becomes a distraction in the national media that would hurt the chances of our Democratic candidates.  It is absolutely appropriate that I appeal to you first, just as I would directly present myself and apply to participate in an all-white club before filing suit against that club in federal court.

Should white-owned blogs be bound by the same civil rights rules that apply to white-owned restaurants?  I think that they should, but I would be very interested in hearing arguments that they should not.

Finally, if online blogs are to be as central to American political discussion as many hope they will be, then we cannot ignore the social and political effects of an effective online apartheid.  If Black people and white people, women and men do listen to one another and not resolve our disagreements online, American will become even more segregated than it already is and minorities - who will soon be the majority - will become even more disenfranchised, just like in Apartheid South Africa.

I have been challenged to start my own Black blog to express my unwanted Black views, rather than express them here.  If I and other Blacks do so as a response to being unwanted in whitosphere, then America will have yet another significant realm in which it is utterly segregated.  

I have referred to this digital divide as "Blog Apartheid", because a system in which whites participate in white blogs and Blacks in Black blogs is an Apartheid system, particularly if Blacks don't participate in white blogs because they are banned by whites when they express Black views.

I am a Black person and my views are Black views.  I do not represent all Black people, but when I am the only Black person here I am the only representative of Black people.  If you refuse to listen to all Black people because none of them, individually, represents all Black people then you engage in a mental gamesmanship that can only end in new race wars.  

What happened in Iraq when George W. Bush refused to engage in negotiations with Iraqis, with the UN or with American allies?   In the absence of direct discussions, the only alternative was war.  This was a triumph, in my opinion of white male arrogance.  "I decide whose opinions are worthy and yours are not worthy, so I do not have to listen to anything you say," says the white man, George W. Bush.

It is ironic that white "progressives" fight to end a war in Iraq that has its origins in the same kind of thinking that reigns at white blogs here in America.  And it is for this reason, perhaps, that whites find it difficult to enlist Blacks in efforts to stop the war in Iraq.  Because, just as in World War II, we know that when we fight for justice oversees it will not guarantee, in any way, that we experience freedom at home.  We agree that the war in Iraq is wrong, and yet we see so much similarity between the white male rightists who started the war and the white "progressives" who oppose it than we Blacks refuse to join the whites on either side of the conflict.  Making common cause with whites such as these, who own blogs that are 1.5% Black, will not lead to freedom in Iraq or in America.

Someone will say, now, that I really should be banned from participation because I have said too much that other people disagree with.  If not, they will argue that I have not shown the respect for the white people here that they are due.  Or, they will argue that, unlike the war in Iraq, justice in America ought not be discussed and argued about day after day, because it becomes tiresome.  Yet, the unwillingness to discuss justice in America undermines the credibility of "progressives" every time they raise their voices about injustices in Iraq.

Many will argue that I am a troll.  Certainly, the Black and white freedom riders who integrated the lunch counters and polling places of the Jim Crow South would also have been called "trolls" had the word existed in the same way at that time.  After all, weren't freedom riders disruptive?  Didn't their every civil disobedience action lead to "flame wars" that eventually enveloped the entire nation and the world?  When Blacks insisted on marching across the Sam Petite (?) bridge, in spite of whites' orders not to do so, wasn't that intentionally disruptive of the peace and tranquility of the pre-Civil Rights South?  

Of course those actions were disruptive.  That was the point.  Injustice needs to be disrupted.  The utter homogeneity of the whitosphere needs to be disrupted and replaced with the diversity that characterizes the Democratic Party and the United States of America. If I am a troll, please call me an "integration troll", an "equality troll", a "justice troll".  Call me a "rebel rouser", an "outside instigator".  You can even call me a "nigger-loving subversive" if you want.   I love Black people and I love white people, and I would like to see us live in harmony, for once, within the same geographical and physical space.

Isn't this a rant that I have posted today?  Isn't the Declaration of Independence a "rant" against British Colonial rule?  Here's another rant, written by African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglas and delivered in Rochester, New York, as part of the 1852 Fourth of July celebrations:

I say it with a sad sense of disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you, that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation (Babylon) whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin.  http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/dou glass.htm

So, Hillary Clinton and I have very much in common, even though I am a Black man and she is a white woman.  If she is not free to become the first woman President of the United States, ending the 43-term white male monopoly of the Presidency, then I, too, am not free.  We are bound together in our enslavement for so long as it shall last.

Cross-posted at http://francislholland.blogspot.com/

francislholland@yahoo.com

Tags: 2008, abolition, Apartheid, civil rights, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, racism, sexism, Women (all tags)

Comments

55 Comments

Re: ?

Who on this blog is objecting to Hillary being in the race because she is a woman?  Show me where this opinion is prevalent.  If you can't, this is (yet another) irrelevant diary.

by justinh 2007-02-07 05:59AM | 0 recs
I'm a white guy

And the blogosphere is every bit as intolerant towards my opinions as they are towards you.

The blogosphere is prone to the most pathetic craven forms of hypocrisy claiming that using a right wing media source as a means to attack a fellow democrat is off-limits, and then the minions froth at the mouth as the leader of dkos does just that.  Attacks a democrat using quotes culled together in a misleading way by FOXNEWS to attack hillary clinton.

if a media source made a "revelation" about dean or feingold based on this standard of investigative journalism:  "When senators or staff members did not respond to repeated requests for comment, Politico used public statements to attempt to establish the senator's position." there would be a nice sustained chorus of outrage, but the "revelations" about Hillary Clinton is regarded as sacrosanct, cues are given, the usual epithets come out.

Hypocrites?  Yes.

Racists?  Sexists?  No.

by Stewieeeee 2007-02-07 06:21AM | 0 recs
It is truth that is important!

I agree with you that we ought not automatically discount right wing media sources when they report information that happens to be true.  We ought not discount ANY information from ANY source if it is true.

What if a right wing or corporatist media source is the first to report that a Consitutional officer has died?  Should we wait until Raw Story reports the same thing before reporting that information here at the blogs?

If the Blackwater website reports a new contract for torture chambers, should we wait until that's picked up by the New York Times, or can we trust Black Water when they announce their new Government contract?  At least trust them enough to report that they announced it?

Some people impune the type of source when they have no basis for impugning the information that the source has provided.  The fundamental question must always be, "is it true or not?"  If Fox reports that Bush appeared on NBC today, that the fact that FOX is the source doesn't necessarily mean that Bush DID NOT appear on NBC.  Some people confuse the quest for the credibility of the source with the quest for knowing whether the facts reported are true or not.  If the facts are demonstrably true, then it doesn't matter who the source is.

Hypothetically, who should I cite for proof that FOX criticized a Democrat today?  Can I cite the actual article in which FOX.COM critized the Democrat, or do I have to hunt around for a leftist source that has reported the FOX criticism?  Let's not be silly about this!

What if I want to demonstrate that Republican organs are using a certain type of criticism?  Don't I have to cite the Republican organs to best prove that?

by francislholland 2007-02-07 04:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Identify with Hillary Clinton

This is a diary about diversity in America.  I'm suggesting that banning ANYONE because you don't like what they have to say or for any other such reason is profoundly un-democratic and un-American.  It will not lead to "progessive" justice but is the epitomy and the essence of authoritarian injustice.

Why wasn't Frederick Douglass banned from speaking in the public square when he persistently opposed slavery?  There is only one reason:  The First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Why weren't women banned from speaking in the public square when they insisted on the right to vote?  Three is only one reason:  The First Amendment free speech rights guaranteed to all of us in the Constitution of the United States.  When you assert that a group of people can determine in the public square, within the Democratic Party what others have a right to say, then you engage in a tyranny that has no legitimate precedent in the United States of America.

Even were we to agree that there are circumstances in which should should gag a person, like US troops do did to Iraqis at Abu Graib, your desire to encourage diversity within the support of the Democratic Party should make you think long and hard before banning one of the 1.5% of Blacks currently participating here.  There ought to be Due Process and the requirement of a showing of specific legitimate rules that were broken before taking such a radical step.  

But, these requirement of transparency, application of consistent and clearly stated rules, and due process should hold regardless of the identity of the person you don't like and would like to get rid of.  It is simply all the more important when the disfavored person is a member of tiny minority and therefor cannot rely upon the support of people like him when resisting his exclusion.  

At such times, the majority must exercise the highest of standards and the greatest transparency and due process, to demonstrate that their actions are not simple acts of tyranny by a ruthless majority run wild.

If anyone should be banned from participation in the public square, it is Ralph Nader.  He is destructive.  Why not simply ban him from saying anything at all in the United States of America, apply the same sort of gag to his mouth that we apply to Iraqis in Abu Graib and Guantanamo Bay?  The only reason is this:  the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Equal Protection Clause require us to let him speak his peace and receive as many votes as the public deems he merits, even though we vehemently disagree with his opinions and his effect on the electoral process.  Because if we bind and gag him today, then his only alternative is to arm himself and seek to overthrow the majority by force of arms.  Free Speech protects us all from the even greater disruptions of armed diputes and civil anarchy that now obtain in Iraq because of the lack of free speech and the lack of freedom for the powerless to express themselves other than with car bombs.

by francislholland 2007-02-07 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Identify with Hillary Clinton

Where is anyone being banned on this blog?  And more to the point of your most recent diaries, where is anyone being banned (or under threat of being banned) because of their race or gender?  If you can't demonstrate this, this diary and your previous two are completely without merit.

by justinh 2007-02-07 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Identify with Hillary Clinton

If you can't explain why this blog is only 1.5% Black, then my line of inquiry is just as relevant as anyone else's on this point, and you should welcome my interest and persistence in helping to address the question.

You'll find a screen shot of the written MyDD message threatening to ban me here:

http://francislholland.blogspot.com/2007 /02/edwards-is-done-but-he-doesnt-know-i t.html

I offer this link to the MyDD threat to ban me in the interest of practicing here the very sort of transparency that the Bush Administration hates when it consigns colored people to tortured silence within the walls of its Guantanamo Bay torture cells.  Because we are all progressives here, we will all welcome transparency, particularly when threats to curtail free speech are involved.

by francislholland 2007-02-07 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: That makes no sense.

What does the percentage of blacks on the blog have to do with your claim of being banned from it because you are black?

by justinh 2007-02-07 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Identify with Hillary Clinton

Nicely written article, but i totally disagree with you.  If you want to get rid of sexism and racism, the answer is not to force more blacks, hispanics and women into races and jobs, etc.  It really shouldn't matter what they are, and i know it sometimes still does, but I will not vote for Hillary, and it has nothing to do with her being a woman.  I am a white male (not that it should matter), and i see only three people i would like to see get the nomination- Gore, Richardson or Obama.  A white male, a Latino and a black male.  But my point really is that most progressives dont really look at if they are male, black or latino, they look at their values.  I will not vote for someone who supports the war, i would rather vote for Mike Gravel.  Your whole article is about pointing out who is white and black and has no real substance on why people really dont like Hillary

by DocD 2007-02-07 07:31AM | 0 recs
Isn't the inevitable result of general intolerance

the silence of expressions of opinion by those who are less powerful?  In America, if white men control what everyone can say at prominent Democratic blogs, isn't that inherently sexist and racist?

Of course I can start my own blog, and I have, at

francislholland.blogspot.com

So begins the blog apartheid.  If I insisted that my blog was only for Black people, I would be called a "racist".  This blog over-whelmingly serves only white people.  Is that not equally racist?

Blacks and whites often differ greatly in our opinions about fundamental issues.  If whites had banned Blacks the they most disagree with over the last century, wouldn't a white majority have banned Martin Luther King, Jr. long before they had clearly heard what he had to say?  Wouldn't they have banned Malcolm X, effectively forcing him to turn from strong words to strong measures?  

If people cannot say what they think at MyDD without fear of exile, and regardless of their gender or skin color, then what is the difference between the repression of free expression here and the repression of free expression under the reign of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile?  Is someone at MyDD more qualified to determine who should  forever be banned than was President Botha of Apartheid South Africa?  The most well-known  precedent for using "banning" to prevent undesireable "speech" was the Apartheid Government of South Africa, that declared that certain people's opinions ought never be heard in the public square.

You cannot make a "progressive" movement by borrowing oppressive practices and phrases from Apartheid South Africa.

by francislholland 2007-02-07 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Isn't it . . .

"In America, if white men control what everyone can say at prominent Democratic blogs, isn't that inherently sexist and racist?"

It would be, if you had any evidence at all that this was happening.

by justinh 2007-02-07 07:36AM | 0 recs
Here's your evidence, at this link to MyDD

http://francislholland.blogspot.com/2007 /02/edwards-is-done-but-he-doesnt-know-i t.html

Not only did they threaten to ban me here at MyDD, but they said they were relying, at least in part, on the fact that I have been banned at DailyKos.  This (and the fact that the DailyKos FAQ that specifically states so) proves that these specific white men are acting in concert to ban a specific Black man (me) from participation in their part of the virtually all-white blogosphere.  

Is it because of my opinions or because I have not expressed the opinions in a way that these white men deem to be respectful of their position?  

Nowhere in all of American jurisprudence is it advised or permitted that we read everything a person has written in the past to determine whether they should have a right, at all, to publish their opinions in the future.  Only in Apartheid South Africa could a Black man's (or anyone's) opinions be deemed so disruptive to the ruling authorities that the person's opinions should be pre-emptively "banned", an exercise of prior restraint.

Of course, there is nothing that compels "progressives" to observe the protections of individual rights at blogs that are guaranteed to under the Constitution of the United States, because blogs are not "state actors" (unless they accept Government advertising, links from government websites or other subsidies); and because state and federal courts have not yet determined blogs to be governed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  

Nor has Congress yet intervened to state that banning Blacks from national white blogs burdens interstate commerce.  Is this really the civil rights pissing contest that the Democratic Party needs in the run-up to the 2008 elections?  "Can't we all just get along?" without the US Congress and federal courts telling us that 1.5% Black participation is an embarrassment and white-owned blogs, like white-owned lunch counters, deserve to be integrated?

by francislholland 2007-02-07 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Here's your evidence, at this link to MyDD

Well, the link didn't connect to anything when I tried it.  What's it say that "proves that these white men are acting in concert to ban a specific Black man (me) from participation in their part of the virtually all-white blogosphere."  And what makes yopu think it's because you're black?  You've never answered this question.  

by justinh 2007-02-07 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Here's your evidence, at this link to MyDD

http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/2/4/20395 8/7683#readmore
by francislholland 2007-02-07 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Here's your evidence, at this link to MyDD

Another phony link.  (And no attempt to even paraphrase what the evidence might be.)

by justinh 2007-02-07 04:34PM | 0 recs
The DailyKos FAQ warns that those banned there

are likely to be banned at other blogs, because the blogospere is a small place where everyone knows one another.  Well, that would put white men at a considerable advantage, in my opinion.

by francislholland 2007-02-07 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: The DailyKos FAQ warns that those banned there

Even if everyone did know each other (which is false), why would that result in others being banned?  What "advantage" would people knowing each othe give them?  Another claim that is illogical.

by justinh 2007-02-07 12:05PM | 0 recs
I thought you were a white woman

FWIW, I know I debsated with you in the past and it had nothing to do with you being a fellow non white american(which I am too, even if I am Indian). In fact, I thought you were a white woman for some reason and the fact that I realize you are a black man does nothing to change my opinion of your past comments on Hillary. (yeah yeah, I know Frances is generally the female name instead of Francis, but I don't know why, I just had that impression).

Anyway, the whole thing with affirmative action is that blacks are not part of the old boys network(see Rooney rule in the nFL). Even if people are not racisst, they tend to give positions to people they know or part of their network. That is why the Rooney's rule was implemented in the NFL. What I see with the Hillary campaign is bullying donors and trying to railroad the competition this early that no one outside the old boys network (WHICH HILLARY IS PART OF) will have a chance of a say in government.

by Pravin 2007-02-07 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: I thought you were a white woman

What you're describing is also called "hard knucle politics", "playing hardball", "playing to win", "playing for keeps".  You can hate these game-based metaphors is you want, but they weren't invented by women and they weren't invented by Hillary Clinton.  they were invented by men, and Hillary is only using the same tactics that men before her have used.

This is a competition, and one way to see who should go up against the Republicans is by seeing who competes most effectively among the Democrats.  Men who claim that Hillary is playing unfairly and overwhelming them are going to sound more like "whiners" then Black people and women ever have, particularly in light of the historical advantage that white men have had going in.

Some people resent the fact that Hillary started early.  "The early bird gets the worms," seems to be Hillary's motto.  It seems to be working, and those who resent it should simply start working harder and earlier next time.

The only way to win the nomination is to tie up and recuit the support of all of the forces, constituences  and constributors possible before someone else does so.  That is exactly what Hillary Clinton is doing, just as every successful nominee before her has done.  It's the American way.

by francislholland 2007-02-07 08:35AM | 0 recs
Link to MyDD ban threat (for transparency's sake)

http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/2/4/20395 8/7683#readmore

by francislholland 2007-02-07 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: transparency?

Where does that say you've been banned because of race?  What did you say that prompted the warning?  Again, not a shred of evidence to support your charge.

by justinh 2007-02-07 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Link to MyDD ban

The fact that link still exists and your diary was not removed by MYDD administrators tells me they still let you express your opinion.

I have been warned in the past for a comment making fun of Harold Ford. So you are not alone in getting censured.

It certainly has nothing to do with your status as a black man even if I personally think there was no need for that warning by MYDD. BUt then again MYDD has issued warnings like that to white members who didn't put anything that out of bounds.

by Pravin 2007-02-07 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Identify with Hillary Clinton

First, let me congratulate you on attempting to hold a conversation; I have not noticed that in several of your previous posts. In my mind, the largest weakness in your work has been that in many cases, you come up with an argument against something that few readers believe in, so your arguments fall flat. Let me go through a couple of the points above:

"It amazes me that white men (and some white women) can express resentment that, for the first time in US history, someone other than a white man seems to have corralled all of the important resources early, to lock up the nomination." - I should note that it seems that at MyDD, two of the more popular candidates are Richardson and Obama, neither of whom are white males. Personally, I've yet to be sold on a candidate (I lean towards Clinton); my choice last time was Moseley Braun. I loved both her positions on foreign policy and domestic policy, and I felt she had plenty of experience for the job.

"However, in the whitosphere, the blog owners insist that their blogs are proprietary, are not the sort of public accommodations described in the Civil Rights Act, and therefore they are within their rights to maintain utterly white blogs should they choose to do so." - I'm not clear that they were reprimanding you for your race; it would appear that they were concerned with your bashing of non-Clinton candidates in ways that did not help the conversation (ex: lack of foundation, or arguments contrary to foundation).

Myself, I've really liked a few of your recent posts. In general, those were ones that supported the argument that Clinton (or a female in general) should be the next president (example: "12 Q & A on the 1st Woman President"). I've been less fond of the ones that attempt to attack other candidates, particularly when your arguments appear to run contrary to foundation; "Obama's Iraq Bill Would Restore Republican Credibility" is probably the worst example of this; if you note, I accused you in a comment to that article for working for Hillary's opposition. Having read more of your work, I retract that accusation, but I still fail to understand the argument.

by Zimbel 2007-02-07 09:38AM | 0 recs
This is not a conversation.

      It's a personal attack, and should be troll-rated as such.  The diarist ascribes so many sinister motives to the front-pagers that it is hard to keep track of them all.  If the diarist wants to have a real dialogue about the lack of black representation on blogs, then he should be less accusatory.  Other minority groups such as atheists, Jews, and homosexuals are very overrepresented on MyDD.  Why is this?  I'm not sure, but it certainly takes credibility away from the diarist's attacks.  It's probably all just a matter of personal preference.  It's possible though that the front-pagers don't do well covering black issues, but if they don't have the experience, then it is hard for them to comment on black issues.  That doesn't make them racist.

by cilerder86 2007-02-07 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: personal attack

I disagree. What person is he attacking in this article? Does he name, or slander some individual? Even if you consider this a personal attack, he actually has a (very weak) foundation here. Furthermore, he actually bothered to respond to several of the comments. This is a couple of steps up from some of his previous diary entries.

by Zimbel 2007-02-07 11:17AM | 0 recs
Racism

  "Black extinction" theory and "whitosphere" are tantamount to charge of racism.  I would take them very seriously.  His evidence is that DailyKos is 2.5% black in a straw poll.  Weak.

by cilerder86 2007-02-07 11:21AM | 0 recs
I don't think I used the word "racist"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I used the word "racist" in my diary.

by francislholland 2007-02-07 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: "racist"

Your diaries have clearly been nothing more than race baiting.  You have not given any evidence at all to support your claim that you or others are being banned or threatened on this blog for being black.

by justinh 2007-02-07 04:09PM | 0 recs
You danced around the word in your diary.

    Just so you could make that comment.  But when you accuse people of banning you because you are black, you are accusing them of racism.

by cilerder86 2007-02-07 04:20PM | 0 recs
What is Obama's Bill passes?

I think Barack Obama is great, a superior intellectual and literary talent in every way, based on having read both of his books.

But, I have to take issue with the belief that Obama's solution to the Iraq war is somehow better than Hillary Clinton's solution.

As a threshold matter, I acknowledged that Obama was right about how this war would turn out.  Had he been in the US Senate at the time, he would have had a chance to stake his career on his vote by voting contrary to every other Democrat who has decided to run for President.

As it is, Senator Obama has proposed to bring all of the troops back by March 2008.  If this bill succeeds, it will resolve the war in a manner favorable to the Republicans sixteen months from now, but just eight months before the November 2008 Presidential elections.  Having thus successfully "won" the war in Iraq, Bush could campaign with his selected and endorsed Republican successor, touting themselves as the "Party of Peace".

Now, let's compare that to what Hillary Clinton has proposed.  She has has urged Bush to bring the troops home before he leaves office.  This could, theoretically mean bringing the troops home anytime between the end of this week or the end of Bush's term.  It could be sooner than Barack has proposed and it could be later.  

Clinton has proposed that we elect her President so that, if Bush has not brought the troops home during his watch, Hillary will bring the troops home in January of 2009.  

Hillary Clinton knows that, based on what Bush has repeatedly said, this war is not going to be over before Bush leaves office.  She also knows that it politics you show your weaknesses by demanding that your opponents do that which you have no power to compel them to do.

Under Hillary's approach voters are encouraged to think of 2008 elections as the time to end the war by electing a Democratic President.  Obama's approach encourages voters to hope for an (unrealistic) end to the war on Bush's term, followed by an election in which the Republicans run as the Party that won the Iraq war.

I have all of the respect in the world for Senator Obama and I like him quite a bit, based on all that I've read.  I hope he will make an outstanding Vice President and/or President of the United States at some time in the near future.

I imagine that the title of my diary on Obama's deadline may have been a somewhat harsh reaction to those who claim that Obama's deadline is superior to Clinton's call for ending the war.  Clinton has called for bringing the troops home "before the end of Bush's term".  That could just as easily mean tomorrow as in 2009.  It could just as easily mean before Obama's deadline as after.  

The difference is that Clinton's proposal recognizes - based on all that Bush has said - that nothing short of impeachment will compel this President to bring all of the troops home before the end of his term.  It therefore encourages US voters to look forward to electing a Democrat in 2008 as the most realistic way to bring this war to a "right end".

by francislholland 2007-02-07 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: What is Obama's Bill passes?
This is certainly a nicer way of putting it than your original diary entry on the subject, but I still can't understand the argument. It appears to make two assumptions that I find highly dubious:
1) "If this bill succeeds, it will resolve the war in a manner favorable to the Republicans sixteen months from now, but just eight months before the November 2008 Presidential elections."
 - If one wants to start withdrawing troops (a position I'm in favor of), why would minor issues like a short-term potential partisan advantage matter? In my personal case, I have a number of friends who are presently in Iraq as part of the U.S. Army. Do you really think that I could give a (insert curse word of your choice here) about electoral politics in comparison to their likely safety?  If I had, say, a spouse, lover, child, sibling or parent in Iraq, I'd probably find this suggestion offensive and/or repugnant.
2) "Having thus successfully "won" the war in Iraq, Bush could campaign with his selected and endorsed Republican successor, touting themselves as the "Party of Peace"."
 - I'm highly skeptical that the Republicans would either try to pull this off, or in the event of trying, succeed. Even without Iraq, we'll still be at war (in Afghanistan) in two years.
by Zimbel 2007-02-07 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: What is Obama's Bill passes?

This is silly. What Hillary proposes is a politically convenient deadline. She has opposed timetables in the past because definitive deadlines are silly as she seems to imply. BUt then she comes up with a deadline that has nothing to do with the best time from a strategic POV to remove troops. WHat is magical about seting the election day as a deadline? Will the conditions in Iraq all of sudden by conducive to a withdrawal because of a change in Presidency?

It is obvious the only reason she sets that deadline because it lets her off the hook with respect to the war and nothing else. THe withdrawal timetable, if there hass to be one, has to be independent of the change in government over here and what is militarily best. I personally feel that very few in DC even have a clue as to the outcome of any move anyway. So you might as well bring them back ASAP.

You keep saying people protest the thuggery by the DLC types  only because they have a woman who is doing it now. HELLO???? DId you see the vitriol by us when Lieberman was getting the soft treatment from the same folk? Hell, even Edwards is getting slammed here. If Edwards aligned with the DLC and did the same kind of shit Hillary has done, just imagine how he would get slammed. Hell, Edwards got taken to task for not coming to campaign for Lamont even though he still did more to show up at a Lamont event and never did double talk about lIeberman being OK as Bill CLinton did. Hillary is party of the OLD BOYS NETWORK in the Dem party. Yet you act like Hillary is going to open up opportunities for other outsiders. The ONLY reason she has high visibiklity is because she is Mrs Clinton, no different from third world leaders like Indira Gandhi or Bhutto who got into power only because of family connections.

Guess which race will benefit from catering to the politcially connected relatives - WHITES!

So you are no different from NFL owners who gave opportunities to other whites in the past(and not all of it was direct racism, but just going with the old boys network familiarity). You just want to look past Hillary Clinton's behavior because you have your mind made up this early who your candidate will be and you will find some excuse to discount the others.

by Pravin 2007-02-07 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: What is Obama's Bill passes?

I actually think that your response here was a bit "silly."

Look, all the deadlines or timetables in the world can't change the simple truth that they are meaningless, unless enacted.  Sure, they make for good rhetoric, and if they are debated (which they are currently not because of the Dems not posessing at least 60 seats in the Senate) they can even serve to put politicians on record, which will help GOP opponents in 2008.   The best "deadline" that I have heard of so far, because the only "realistic" one, is the one HRC advanced, immediately following "her" election and takeover of presidential responsibilities in Jan. 2009.  

I wish there was a magic wand that would produce 60 Democratic Senators, so the competing timetables ranging from "immediate" to "by the end of the year" to "by March of 2008" could mean a damn thing.  As it is, they mean diddly beyond symbolism and ammunition for 2008.  ONCE the Dems take additional power, as in either a 60 vote majority in the Senate OR the presidency (or both, preferrably) they can THEN do something about this blasted Iraq war, are THEN in the position to stop the war and bring the troops home.  

The explicit announcement that she would bring them home if Bush was incapable of doing so was a needed and strong step and shows that she does not intend to keep the troops in Iraq at all, would rather start withdrawing troops much sooner, but is realistic enough to understand that the Democrats don't have the means to force the issue on that.   Of course, they have to keep at it with the debates about it to remind the American people of what they must do to change the situation in Iraq as far as their votes are concerned in 2008, but the only truly "realistic" time table was HRC's not preferred-but "sand in line"-like one that puts the withdrawal date as Jan. 2009.

by georgep 2007-02-08 01:20AM | 0 recs
Re: What is Obama's Bill passes?

You totally miss the point that what Hillary is asking for is a deadline that has NO connection with the strategic concerns in the middle east. She was lecturing us on how one should not enfroce deadlines because it is not wise to do so, and that is what she wants now. who cares what changes in the US? What is the situation in IRaq in 2008 that is different from Oct or Nov 2007?

by Pravin 2007-02-08 09:35AM | 0 recs
Thanks, Zimbel!

My "whitosphere" characterization has been called "inflammatory" (in comments above), but it is based on internal polling (established facts) here at MyDD and at DailyKos that have been published in diaries here and there.  The internal polling shows that DailyKos is 2.5% Black while MyDD is 1.5% Black.  

This issue is typically one that Black people, women, and others who are least represented will be most concerned about.  So, if I am threatened with expulsion or actually expelled at blogs after forcefully addressing a factual lack of diversity, then I am really being punished for behavior that is intimately connected with who I am as a Black man - e.g. working to address issues of segregation.

But, my legal right to redress for being banned from a blog may turn on whether white blog owners have the same obligation to serve Black clients that white restaurants have to serve Black clients, i.e. whether a blog is a public accomodation or not.  This is unsettled law, although a case involving a disabled person trying to log onto an airline website seems to address the issue.  

I predict that if blogs are not considered to be public accomodations now by the courts, then Congress will intervene to guarantee the right of minorities and women to participate to the same degree and extent as white men.  (This would mean, for example, that a public blog could not ban all black people or all women, or erect barriers or enforce policies that would have the effect of preventing our or discouraging our participation.  Blogs found to have taken such steps against one person might be asked by the courts or Congress to take affirmative steps to make all such people welcomed, if Congress determines that public blogs are like restaurants, in that all must be welcomed.)

Some factors that will surely be important in future court decisions are:

- whether the blog accepts advertising;

  • whether the blog is formally linked to government websites, showing "state action;
  • whether the blogs receive support from the government, such as grants, advertising, hosting on the Government-sponsored World Wide Web, which was and continues to be developed with Government funds that we all support through taxes;
  • whether participation in the blogs becomes an essential part of choosing candidates for elective office, such that inability to participate in blogs meaningfully is a barrier to exercising one's electoral rights;

The greater the role of blogs in our electoral system, the more likely it is that Congress and the courts will insist that blogs be open to everyone, lest a system of political apartheid grow out of a de facto system of blog apartheid.

Although I haven't done this research, I would also look to cases and histories of the integration of the Democratic Party in the American South of the 1960's for precedents addressing the role of de facto party organs in choosing candidates and therefor the need for these organs to be open to and accepting of everyone, with everyone having an equal opportunity to participate.

So there are so many issues that arise out of "simple" demographic poll showing that an important Democratic policy blog has a stunning underrepresentation of minorities.

by francislholland 2007-02-07 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks, Zimbel!

"So, if I am threatened with expulsion or actually expelled at blogs after forcefully addressing a factual lack of diversity, then I am really being punished for behavior that is intimately connected with who I am as a Black man - e.g. working to address issues of segregation."

Whent his happens, then you'll have an argument.  Until then the charges of "on-line apartheid," the claims of being banned or threatened because of being black, etc. are of course inflammatory.  In fact, they are the most despicable kind of race baiting.

by justinh 2007-02-07 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Identify with Hillary Clinton

Um Hillary Clinton IS NOT A LIBERAL!!!

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-07 10:19AM | 0 recs
Hillary Clinton = Liberal?

While I agree that Clinton is less liberal than Nader, I'd also submit that she's more liberal than Romney. My point is that "Liberal" is a matter of degree, rather than a yes/no question.

"A lot of people will argue that Hillary is not "liberal".  Well, I can only say that most Black people disagree with you, as shown by the polls that say that most Blacks would prefer to vote for Hillary than even to vote for another Black person, Senator Barack Obama." - francislholland

I think that the majority of African-Americans like Clinton because both she and her husband have actually done a number of things that have substantially helped the cause of African-American civil rights. I'm not convinced that this has anything to do with her political ideology (outside of this particular area).

Personally, I usually classify her as moderate. I think that on many issues, her positions are more conservative than her husband's. However, this is far less of a turn-off to me in an executive candidate than in a candidate for a legislature.

by Zimbel 2007-02-07 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I Identify with Hillary Clinton

That is your opinion and you have a right to that perception even in the face of Clinton's actual liberal voting record.  But when I look at her voting record, which I think is important, it says "liberal" to me.  http://votesmart.org/voting_category.php ?can_id=WNY99268

Unlike many who hand on the candidates ever press conference and position paper, I think  a voting record is the best way to tell what candidates do when the chips are down, when everyone is breathing down their backs and they have to make a choice between competing constituencies.  Talk is cheap, but votes do matter.

For example, Edwards voted exactly as Clinton did on IWR in 2003, but he now wishes to distinguish himself based upon his post-vote verbiage.  To me, his vote is more important than his verbiage.  He did exactly what Clinton did when the chips were down.

by francislholland 2007-02-07 11:16AM | 0 recs
Ooookay!

    Chris Bowers, you forgot to add this argument to your post of "how to win an argument with another progressive."  Simply call them racist.  Just because some of the front-pagers don't like Clinton doesn't make them racist.  I'm also pissed that you call this the whitosphere.  The front-pagers have, time and time again, explained why they don't like Clinton - because she's bad on important issues/they don't trust her.  No racism there - just preference.  I support Obama, and I think you're a racist for not supporting the black candidate.  If I were a front-pager, I would ban you merely for your massive  persecution complex.  

by cilerder86 2007-02-07 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Racism

I don't know Francis, other than from half a dozen diary entries he's made here, but as an African-American in a profession that (in most areas in the U.S.A.) is overwhelmingly white and disproportionately male, he may experience racism frequently enough that he sometimes mistakes non-racist negative feedback as racism.

by Zimbel 2007-02-07 11:03AM | 0 recs
What's wrong with term, "whitosphere"?

Is there any good reason NOT to characterize a blog that is 95-98% white - that has only 1.5% Black members -  as part of the "whitosphere"?  

Would you object if I called a country club that has no minority members an "all-white club", or a "white club"?

If it is not wrong for a Democratic Party blog to be only 1.5% Black, then why should anyone object when I characterize such a blog as part of the "whitosphere"?  It's simply a matter of demographic fact, based on the blog's own internal polling.

Do you object because you think it is not literally true or because you think it is not complimentary?

by francislholland 2007-02-07 11:26AM | 0 recs
Both
   It's not complimentary because blacks are allowed and encouraged to join the blogosphere.  Because of the nature of the medium, we don't usually even know the race of a particular blogger unless they explicitly state it.  No one is excluding blacks from the liberal blogosphere.  Not agreeing with the majority of blacks on candidate preference is not tantamount to alienation, exclusion, or racism.
  It may not even be literally true because they are only straw polls.  Not sure.
by cilerder86 2007-02-07 11:42AM | 0 recs
I've been recalling an experience

When I was a college student, I had a white woman friend from a very wealthy family.  She was student at an Ivy League university and her father was one of the most wealthy and powerful men in our community.  My friend invited me to party that her father was holding, at their enormous home in the most wealthy and exclusive neighborhood of our town.  There were perhaps four hundred people present, and all partaking of free-flowing lobster beneath an enormous party tent on an immaculate lawn.

I wore a blue suit and black wing-tipped shoes, with a neatly pressed white oxford shirt and a conservative wine-colored dilk power tie.  Having interned in the Governor's office, and been involved in politics for years, this sort of party was not entirely new to me.

When I introduced myself to my friend's father he said to me, and I'll quote here, "I'll bet that's the ONLY blue suit you have!"

I was speechless and behaved pretty much as if I had not heard what he said at all.  I had not prepared myself with a comeback for such a remark, since I could hardly have imagined that anyone would say such a thing.

I have no evidence at all that he said this to me because I was the only Black person at a party with hundreds of white people.  Perhaps he said this to all of his wealthy white guests as well, but I doubt it.

Although he did not explicitly bar me from future parties, his response to my presence was sufficiently adverse that I never met him again on any occasion.  His future parties might well have been even more "all-white" than the one I attended that night.

Today, I refuse to be quiet about how it feels for me as a Black person to participate at a virtually all-white blog. When I express ideas and opinions that would be unremarkable among Black people but are nonetheless greated with derision and disbelief here, I think it is appropriate for me to discuss my experience.  Perhaps what I tell you will help you in your efforts to "allow and encourage" Blacks to join this blog.

There has to be SOME reason why a Party wherein 50% of some primaries are Black nonetheless has blogs that are 95-98% white.  Although I cannot tell you what those reasons are, I submit to you that threatening to ban Black people who express support for Hillary Clinton will not help to increase Black participation here.  The first step to increasing participation is learning to accept, albeit reluctantly, the actual Blacks who are already actually here.

It is not enough to say, "I didn't even know you were Black, so how could I be participating in segregation?"  Everyone who is at an all-white club is participating in an all-white club.

Perhaps an analogy to nature will help elucidate, in some way, the suggestion that I am making.  If you want to know where all of the birds have gone, first ask yourself where all of the trees have gone.  Although cutting down all the trees may not have been an intentional act against the birds, yet the consequences are predictable, if you think about if for a moment.  It took us decades to realize the relationship between our DDT and the death of the birds.  Maybe if Black there are so few Black people at the "progressive" blogs, it could be because the environment is toxic to many of us in a way that has yet to be identified.

 

by francislholland 2007-02-07 12:21PM | 0 recs
But that's absurd.
   The internet is the epitome of the colorblind society.  You can't be racist if you don't know the race of other people.  Once again, you can't call people racist because they don't support Hillary Clinton.  They don't even have to be fair Hillary Clinton.  Being unfair is not equivalent to being racist.  Where are you getting the number that 50% of Demcoratic primary voters are black?  Are you making it up? If you can't identify WHY an environment is toxic, then it can't be change.  If you don't offer up a way to change the blogs, then I don't want to hear the complaints.  
    I'm sorry that lots of white people are racist.  I'm not and the front-pagers aren't.  They just don't share your support of Hillary Clinton.  You're being unreasonable.  
by cilerder86 2007-02-07 04:02PM | 0 recs
Stop the whining

Very few of us even knew you were black. Your comments have stood on their own as something that needed to be debunked.

If you are that concerned with African American visibility, why aren't you on the Clinton's case when her husband said it was OK to elect Liebermnan despite the fact that he marginalized people like MAxine Waters as characters on the fringe of the party all over national TV the day after his primary defeat. I did not see the CLintons expressing outrage over this affront to their African American brethren.

Unlike otherss, I do think Hillary is not as conservative as her other detractors make her out to be. BUt she is worse. She has shown that she will drop her principles pretty easily when there is any slight threat to her character.

Hillary is not that  different from Reese WItherspoon in Election.

Do you know a single African American who was censured or denied an opportunity to blog because of his/her race?  Hell, I have seen some of the white bloggers here tiptoe on the issue of race sometimes because some of them still harbor some white guilt.

And why don't you start a diary suggesting some African American alternatives to President? Or do you pick and choose when black invisibility is a problem? At least at MYDD< any black person is free to blog. On the national stage, unless you got a chance to make a speech at the DNC, many black candidates will have trouble getting traction because people like you will go with the old and tired choices like Hillary.

by Pravin 2007-02-07 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Ooookay!

It seems a little odd that Hillary is the only candidate (that I know of) that every front-pager seems to hate.

It sometimes seems that they can find good things to say about every candidate except her.

Not sure what I'd call that, but it sure seems strange.

by forecaster15 2007-02-07 12:04PM | 0 recs
Hmmmmmmmmm

by francislholland 2007-02-07 02:51PM | 0 recs
So they hate Hillary.

   Fine.  Are they anti-Hillary bigots now?  It's all about candidate preference.  Go make a Hillary blog.

by cilerder86 2007-02-07 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Ooookay!

It's simple. When a candidate stands by us, we will make some extra effort to give them an extra chance even when they mess up occasionally. Example: edwards. His apology and somewhat decent reach out to the netroots gave him a chance to let us reconsider him. But when he keeps fucking up, we will still call him on it (like the IRan thing). And if he is foolish enough to fire those bloggers because of right wing pressure, he is going to display a weakness of character that will give him less of a second chance on issues.

Wes Clark hasa tirelessly campaigned for others the last few years. When someone does thata for you, you will do anything for such people. So even if Wes stumbles, we will give him another chance. What has Hillary done? She has avoided taking a prominent role in stumping for the Dem party against Bush in 20004 because she didn't want to risk looking bad for 2008. She put her 2008 chances ahead of beating Bush. If she is not going to ever stick her neck out for us, why do you think we will bother to give her an overly generous look? This does not mean we will smear her unfairly. BUt we will not let her get away with anything.

by Pravin 2007-02-07 06:55PM | 0 recs
Well, I'm sorry.

       I don't know what his profession is.  It's crazy.  "Whitosphere" and "blogger apartheid?"  How can anyone have a discussion with inflammatory commentary like that?  He has may valid arguments for supporting Clinton over Edwards.  But I'm not going to listen to them.

by cilerder86 2007-02-07 11:11AM | 0 recs
Sometimes the truth IS inflammatory.

Whenever we learn that a country club in our town remains 100% white, even in the 21st Century, that's inflammatory information.  It challenges us to look at what we're trying to accomplish and to wonder why it is still taking us so very long.

The term IS inflammatory, but no more so then the facts that it accurately represents.

The news from Abu Graib was inflammatory.  The solution was not to ignore the news, or ban the photographs, but rather to work dilligently to make changes so that future expositions of the truth would not lead to international condemnation.

It is inflammatory to call Bush a "liar".  But, Bush is a liar by every definition of the word, even if saying so turns out to be upsetting to some people.  I would argue that at some point we have an obligation to call Bush a liar.

If I call a blog that is integrated the "whitosphere" then no one will pay any attention to me, if my moniker doesn't comport with the actual facts.  It is only when my characterization captures the actual facts, as they do here, that there.

For example part of ending segregation was the change of vocabulary from when we called it "sticking to our own kind".  It seemed ok when we called it "sticking to our own kind" but it seemed much less ok when we acknowedged that we had government sponsored "segregation".  The term "whitosphere" accurately captures the homogeneity of the "progressive" blogosphere, if DK and MyDD are representative.  If an accurate characterization is uncomplimentary, maybe it will spur us to look at ways to change the facts rather than gag the messenger.

by francislholland 2007-02-07 11:43AM | 0 recs
Fine.

   How should we change?  You don't even have an answer!!!  You're just yelling at people to shape up, and then you wonder why they get upset.

by cilerder86 2007-02-07 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Sometimes the truth IS inflammatory.

Can you explain why people like me were arguiing with you despite our lack of knowledge that you were African American?

by Pravin 2007-02-07 06:57PM | 0 recs
Anyone who argues these points . . .

Anyone, regardless of skin-color, who uses the terms "whitosphere" and "blog apartheid", for example, to describe the near-total absence of diverse voices is likely to encounter resistance at virtually all-white blogs.  Anyone, regardless of gender, who says that ending the white male monopoly of the presidency should be a priority in 2008 is likely to encounter historical opposition to that idea.  

Although the term "blacks males" is bandied out endless in the media, I think there is strong resistance to using the phrase "white male" in the way I have, pointing out the historic advantages that they have enjoyed. It's "normal" to be a white male and only being black or a woman is considered to be remarkable in terms of politics.

Even when people mistake me for a white woman, there is resistance to my meme and framing, "ending the white male monopoly of the presidency".  (The opposing memes constantly trotted out are "Are we ready?", "Can she win?")  

The person most likely to invent terms such as "the whitosphere" and "blog apartheid" would be a person who was particularly concerned about the lack of diversity - at blogs and in government - and such a person is most likely to be a member of a disenfranchised group, like women or Blacks.  Even if people don't know what color my skin is or what my gender is, there will be resistance to ideas that are based in the peculiar experience of being disenfranchised.  In that sense, it may hardly matters whether people think I am a white woman or a Black man, if I am arguing for the liberation of white women and Blacks.  White men, too, were lynched for supporting Blacks rights.

A white man who advocated reparations for slavery might get the same chilly reception that a Black man would, although the white man doing so would generate more astonishment.  The important thing is the animus toward Black and female equality.

How do I know that such animus exists here, beyond the facts that minorities and women are astoundingly underrepresented here and the fact that I was banned from DailyKos and threatened with banning from MyDD after expressing these ideas that challenged the 43-term white male monopoly of the Presidency and challenged the absence of diversity in the whitosphere?  It's notoriously difficult to gather "direct evidence" of discrimination, which is why the pre-Reagan US Supreme Court accepted statistical evidence of discrimination.

For example, before the 1980's, statistical evidence that there were no Black people on a fire department or in a school system in a community that was 50% Black would be some evidence at least of "disparate effects" policies that had the effect of excluding minorities and women.  It was not always necessary to prove intent, but rather it was sometimes sufficient to prove the effects of policies.  In any case, the disproportionate absence of diversity was an issue that called out for exploration and remediation.

After the Reagan Revolution, with it's effects on the courts and our thinking, it is respectable to argue that an utter lack of diversity is accidental, and then require people who argue otherwise to present clear proof of animus and actions clearly arising out of that animus.

I have proposed simply that if you have one Black person present who presents ideas that are challenging, better to let that Black person stay and struggle with the challenge rather than to ban that Black person (me) and end up with less Black representation still.

Of course, there are many Black people who participate in whitosphere sites in the same way that they do in white workplaces - by assimilating and presenting themselves in ways that are not overly challenging, ways that efface rather than highlight differences.  I suspect, without knowing, that in some cases the only reason the few minorities who participate in the whitosphere have been able to maintain their posting privileges is by exercising a self-censorship that keeps them out of trouble.  Since I don't exercise that self-censorship against expressing uniquely Black experience, I may get into even more trouble than others would.

Not many Blacks (or people of any color) would willing come to a place where their ideas would be ill-received and state those ideas anyway, continuing on even when they were excoriated for their audacity and persistence.  But, that's part of what distinguishes those who attempt to catalyze change from those who don't.

The bottom line is this:  When we start asking ourselves at a Democratic Part website whether fellow Democrats should be permitted to express their ideas, then we have taken a large leap down the road to tyranny.  

by francislholland 2007-02-08 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Anyone who argues these points . . .

Personally if I had a blog, I would allow any kind of speech and would delete only those posts that are incoherent, do not make any kind of point, and only serve to make it tougher to follow the flow of a discussion and are there just to troll. Personally, I would not have censured you on that.

I agree that most blogs tend to get a little too touchy at times. So I will not discount the issue that you may have been unnecessarily censured. I have seen whites censured on this blog and Dkos for no more provocative statements than you have made. That is all I am saying. I have made some pretty provocative statements needling whites (and for that matter, other races too) and religious people and when criticized, I just fight back. When I got censured by the admins, I made my case without using it as proof of racism here. None of my permissions have ever been reduced.

by Pravin 2007-02-08 09:29AM | 0 recs

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