Saturday, February 10, 2007

"Whitosphere vs. Blackosphere"

I want to post about something I saw over at My DD ,a progressive net roots web site whose primary focus seems to be the advancement of democratic party candidates.

 Now in the spirit of true disclosure, I have to say that I have posted on My DD from time to time, and I even link the site here on my own blog.

 But an African American blogger raised some very good points while posting over there about the lack of links to black bloggers on many of these so called progressive white sites, and the lack of black participation ( I think he said 2%) on the white web sites. So I thought that it was worth talking about. Now this brother-I think his name is Francis Holland- seems to have a (excuse this reference ladies) "hard on" for the people at Daily Kos (who apparently banned him from their site) and My DD. So I understand that there is an element of sour- grapes with his position. Still, he raised some interesting points, and this is a subject worth discussing among people of all colors on the Internet.

I understand that this is a touchy subject for many progressives, because 90% of the time blacks and liberal white progressives see eye to eye on many core issues and causes. But what about the huge elephant in the room? Yes, that one; race. I guess we have to ask ourselves: do we have to get along on the racial issues in order to come together and promote issues that we all care about? Can we practice a form of "blogger apartheid" -as Mr. Holland refers to it- on the net, yet come together around certain issues and politicians who we all support? Honestly, I am not sure I know the answer to that. I thought some of the responses the brother got to his post was really interesting. Some of the commentators were upset that he would inject race into such a "color blind" forum as the Internet. Yeah right, when was the Internet ever color blind? Give me a fu****g break! The Internet is no more color blind than any other aspect of society. (Like when I post as the field-negro folks don't know that I am black.) So that's a bogus argument, and it's the type of hypocritical argument on racial matters which absolutely drives me crazy. I saw where my man from My DD was defending Markos over at Daily Kos and declaring that "he is not a racist".  First, how the f**k does he know this? Because they are kindred spirits on matters of politics? I don't think so!

Now I thought  that Jill Tubman had the best answers and most thoughtful response to Mr. Holland's concerns, because she put the entire debate in its proper context: "White progressives address politics more directly whereas black bloggers are addressing it indirectly, as it affects us more as a community." I co-sign with her on that. If you read most black blogs we address political and social issues as they affect us as a community and not society as a whole. So maybe we can never really become truly as one with our white ideological soul-mates on the webs because our interests when it comes to day to day issues are so diverse.

Mr. Holland seems to be screaming for more black inclusion in the Whitosphere, and more black links to sites like Daily Kos and My DD, etc. This is where my man and I tend to part company. I personally could give a f**k whether My DD or Daily Kos-- or any of the other so called white progressive blogs-- link me or even include me in their discussion. Honestly, their issues aren't my issues. I know they have very strong political beliefs and are tied to the democratic party and its leaders; but not me, and this is going to surprise some people. But I would just as soon vote for a republican over a democrat if I thought that he/she had my people's best interest at heart. So I really don't give a f**k which party a particular politician belongs to. The reason I happen to despise most republicans is that they just happen to be the most f****d up when it comes to matters of race. But don't get it twisted;  a lot of democrats are just as f****d up when it comes to this issue. And I will never walk lock step with any one party. NEVER! This is what separates me from the Daily Kos and My DD crowd, and what I think ultimately might separate me from people who are crying for inclusion.

Call me a separatist, but I am more proud to be linked to sites like Skeptical Brotha, Freeslave, and Mirror On America than to the more popular progressive white sites like Kos, My DD, and their ilk. And, for the record, I have links to white sites on my blog as well. -My man konagod and the aforementioned My DD comes to mind- so maybe I am not such a separatist after all.
I am glad Mr. Holland raised this subject, as it needed to be addressed. But my position on this is pretty clear, although I understand the opposite school of thought: We should try to learn about each other and from a political standpoint, it benefits the democratic party to get  feed- back from its most reliable constituents.

But you can't force inclusion on people, I don't care how progressive they claim to be. We have given up on the republicans because we realize that they have given up on us. Maybe we should take that position with the democrats as well.


Friðvin said...

you can't force inclusion on people

That line basically sums up a lot. The last thing I'd want to see is a bunch of liberal white bloggers embracing black bloggers just because it's politically correct or because they want racial balance on their blogrolls.

I consider myself fortunate (even blessed) that my first exposure to the blogosphere was Pam's House Blend and Shakespeare's Sister where issues frequently come up which impact all of us.

I like blogs which open me to new ideas and cause me to examine an issue from a perspective I might not previously have considered. I've certainly found that here on a number of occasions.

Pam frequently bring up race issues and it's amazing how few people actually are willing to get into a racial dialogue. It's sad that many people are simply reluctant to get involved for whatever reason.

Blogs such as yours provide a rare and refreshing insight into issues and I thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks konagod, I am sure people will be able to tell from your post why I link you here, and why I visit your site on occasions as well.

Anonymous said...

i think in this globalised world, everything is about inclusivity and people want to shun exclusivity. i applaud people who stick to their guns and continue to write about what is important to them.

C-dell said...

I am so tired of racism, whether it is blacks against whites, whites agaist blacks. I doubt that before I post pics of my family that anyone knew that I am black. I just want to talk about the issues with out race getting in the way. I am pretty certain of the races of most of the Rouge gallery. Some I don't they could be any race. The truth is I don't care. I am just glad to have their opinions on my blog. I welcome people to comment on my blog no matter what.

Scrappled said...

Whitey alert -- I think the problem with DKos and some other sites is that a lot of the front page authors feel that they speak for everybody all the time. So when a racial issue comes up, the person is ridiculously unqualified to discuss the subject. Sure, New Orleans is a fucking mess, but the entire discussion focuses on "OMG BUSH IS EVIL" instead of what is really going on.

I used to love, love, love DKos, but it's really starting to grate on me lately. As for MyDD, those guys mean well, but damn, they can get really pompous on occasion.

Christopher Chambers said...

I have white commenters/visitors on my blog only b/c I have the literary hook. As for links, however, very few are white. Indeed one is to a right wing blogger I went to school with, just for fun (or to make fun of his and his tribe's crazy asses). I like being a curmudgeon--a progressive one--and I like tilting it toward items of interest to me. I happen to be black so the tilt with have some chocolate flava. On the other hand, I don't think we shouldforclose a dialog whereupon we at leats make a good faith attempt to join with progressive white blogs. I see separation in too many things in our society now and I do not thing it's a good thing.

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

02 10 07

But I would just as soon vote for a republican over a democrat if I thought he had my people's best interest at heart. So I really don't give a f**k which party a particular politician belongs to.

You know Field:
This is why I love you so:) I totally agree with the above sentiment! Although I probably am more to the right with fiscal concerns, these points of view are rooted in a BTWashingtonesque 'do for self' mentality!

For the most part, I am an independent with affilation to NO party at all. Because, just as you have pointed out-we are for what is best for our folks. And to be honest, I grew up listening to the elders around the kitchen table.

My Great Grandmother, Amy E. Smith was from a sharecropping family in Mississippi. She always told me that we had to get in with both parties because neither party cared about us. So she figured that insinuation into both parties would change our power dynamic.

Although this sounds somewhat idealistic, I figure that we SHOULD know what is happening and HOW policies are drafted and we should include ourselves in policy making decisions...

Oh I am rambling, but you are so right!!!

Liz Dwyer said...

With a name like field negro...oh my goodness, you're black??? All this time I thought you were Irish or something! I've been commenting on a black blog...OMG!!!

In all seriousness, you're right. There's definitely a racial divide among bloggers. I notice on my own blog that certain folks clam up in the comments section when I talk about the things I see. White bloggers are hindering their own growth and development by not connecting to us, and vice versa, same as in the real world.

Chris said...

Wait, you're black?! Color me disappointed. :)

Brian said...

Amen Field!

And thanks for the mention...

I agree with your statement on Republicans and Democrats.... looks like you are becoming (or have become) an Independent like myself. I recently posted about African Americans and their Independent politics.

Anonymous said...

AI, I have always been pretty much an independent in my politics. (If only because I really don't trust politricksters) But honestly, I find that republicans tend to be more insensitive and clueless to matters of race and social issues, so I tend to clash with them more.

Cynthia said...

White progressives address politics more directly whereas black bloggers are addressing it indirectly as it affects us more as a community.

White progressives are addressing politics as it relates to the White community, excludes Blacks. If they were addressing politics as a whole, for the good of everybody, then it would be just politics and the divisions between Blacks and White wouldn't exist. I think this is the source of the contention. I don’t care about your Black issues, so don’t bring them on my lily white site.

Cynthia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David J said...

You might enjoy reading the Angry Black Bitch from St Louis, Missouri.

Francis Holland said...

Francis L Holland says, "Thanks!"

I screamed out loud when I followed the link from my blog to your and realized that you posted my "Whitosphere/Blackosphere" graphic! It' so important to me to see that there are others who see what I see. Frankly, I often feel so furious with racism that I wonder if it hasn't driven me completely me insane.

My first blog post was at DailyKos. I was drawn there by a desire to challenge Markos over a negative article that he submitted to the Washington Post about about Hillary Clinton. I was furious that he took to the national press to denounce the candidacy of the only non white male candidate in the race at the time. I was furious that he and other "progressives" apparently had no regard for diversity, since they were constantly demanding that the only woman in the race not run at all.

I don't have a "hard-on" for DailyKos. I went there to criticize Kos to his face, and I continued to do so until I was banned, just as I would have been banned in South Africa had I criticized P.W. Botha during the Apartheid era.

If you want to read some articles deconstructing "progressive" attitudes toward female and Black leadership, then read the articles that I posted at DK, most of which were "high impact diaries" that generated discussions with 100-500 comments, even on sleepy nights. These diaries were high impact because I was unstinting in my criticism and I said what was on my mind, with no regard for the exhalted position and aesthetic sensibilities of white men unused to being criticized.

I demanded an end to the 43-term exclusively white male monopoly of the US presidency. I said that after Al Gore smoked pot for years and therefor flunked both Vanderbilt law school AND divinity school, there was no way that Al Gore was as qualified to be President as Hillary Clinton, who graduated at the top of her class at Yale Law, or Barack Obama, who was the magna cum laude Editor of the Law Review at Harvard Law. I gored the sacred Gore cow, pointing out that he dissembles on his resume, noting only that he "attended" Vanderbilt without ever admitting that he flunked and failed, and because he was a white man, he immediately became a US Congressman anyway. Read "Al Gore, Whatever Happened in Graduate School?"

I am tired of holding my tongue about white American and I refuse to do it any longer.

When a commenter called me a "monkey" at DailyKos, I immediately published a diary there entitled, "Is You're a Monkey" OK at DK?",which got 487 comments on a sleepy DK night.

They were furious over my essay, "The 10 Unwritten Rules of Speech at DailyKos", which deconstructed the racism and sexism of their "progressive" white apartheid blog.

I have lived in the United States, France, and now in a majority Black state in Brazil. I have NEVER felt so free in my life as I do now among people who look like me, in a Brazilian state (Bahia) wherein Afro-Brazilian culture is the offical culture, and where the computer technicians, police officers, ice cream vendors, bus drivers, bank tellers, and Carnaval Fest acts are BLACK!

But I cannot forget that my brothers and sisters are still struggling in the United States, in jail, working without access to medical care, being stopped on the highway as I was for driving while Black, and trying to make a way among whites who are desperately afraid that we'll prove to be more capable than they are.

Thank you for importing my graphic and please keep up the good work, deconstructing the lies that would make us feel bad about ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Yo David J, I am familiar with ABB somewhat. I think she is from St Louis, and I have heard some positive things about her. I will try to read her blog more often. Thanks for the link.

francis, thanks for your expose on DK. I, like you, have been banned from sites in the past. (Which is why I decided to start my own) I love your independents, and the fact that you were not afraid to take on the so called God Father of liberal blogs.

Too often people are blinded by political ideology and not their personal convictions. I love how you stayed on their asses over there, and forced them to look at themselves.

Good for you that you are living in another country and experiencing an afro-centric culture. I think that every Af American should try to have that experience at least once in our lives. It would truly enhance our cultural awareness, and make us better people.

Understanding that we are a part of a greater community could do wonders for your confidence and our quest for self of empowerment.


Brian said...

Yeah... ABB is from my hometown- St. Louis.

I would also suggest Rachels Tavern (A white blogger who posts heavily on African American issues.... she's awesome). In fact, her blog is more African American centered than a lot of blogs run by African American bloggers. When I first clicked on her profile, I was damn near confused.... because I had been reading the blog for the longest time without realizing the author was Caucasion.

The Moderate Voice- A Centrist/Independent oriented blog is also a decent spot as well. They will occasionally tackle African American issues.
If you have a good quality story... they may even cross post from time to time.... (as long as you don't bombard them with stuff constantly). They also link blogs from the right, left and center.

There are a few non-Black bloggers around who are open-minded and receptive to covering all sorts of issues, including issues important to African Americans.

My link list is pretty broad.

I also link to a couple of White security experts who sometimes write about racial profiling issues for example.

You just have to snoop around the net to find these sites... I found half of the links on my list by accident.

I occasionally will go to Daily Kos to do my own posts in the form of a diary. Some fade, others stir a lot of interest... it all depends on what the readers there are interested in on that particularly day.

I'm a Black Blogger...but I cover a lot of different topics. I can't be put in a box.... My interests are pretty diverse (like most other Black folks). In fact, African American issues are not my primary focus.... one of my top focuses, but not the main focus.

Anonymous said...

I am the webmaster of a new blog from the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence Kansas.
Located on the Campus of Kansas University.

Tuesday night we had a program on the impact of blogging on the 2008 presidential race and had bloggers from the Daily Kos, My DD, Powerline, Red State and Ankle Biting Pundits. video at

During the Q & A an audience member basically brought up the fact that the blogsphere is dominated by “rich” white males.
Now I am black and a long time blogger and I read lots of blogs.
Yes the blogsphere is dominated by white people in general but there are black bloggers and good ones out there.
At some point here at the institute I want to address this issue.

Would you be willing to write a guest post on this issue and spread the word to others to comment on this topic?

A little bit on the institute, named after former Senator Bob Dole, it is a bi-partisan facility that focuses on educating young folks on politics and introducing them to all kinds of political practitioners.
We opened in 2003, I have been here since 2005.
It is not a Republican institute or a right wing think tank as some people think.
Our goal is to provide balance in the discussions of politics.
Check out the video archives at the site to see the different type of individuals we have had here.

My goal is to hopefully have a program or a series of programs here at the institute on minority voices in politics in particular educating people that there are black bloggers out there on both sides of the political fence.
Professor David Perlmutter is writing a book on blogging and new media and he is the “editor and moderator” of the blog.

Oh Keep in mind you have to be cool on the language thing.

If you are interested please send me an e-mail


Anonymous said...

Field, thanks for the shout!

The apartheid on the Net is only a reflection of the apartheid that exists. 9 times out of 10, we are the ones who verbalize what's happening - and then they get mad at us for calling them out.

And ask Native Americans whether they prefer the democrats over the republicans; that's like asking a slave whether they prefer the house of the field. We're still slaves.

The next movement is going to be US - no white liberals, democrats, republicans, progressives - just us saving us. These other folks don't care anything about us AT ALL. No wonder they don't link us or talk about our issues.

Those of us who are brainwashed into thinking we can get freedom drivin' Ms. Daisy are deluded.

And those blogs that do talk about our issues are hella suspect. These Rachel Tavern types use us, use our strugle as a resume builder, as a stepping stone. And they certainly don't listen cuz they too busy flapping their gums. I don't truss 'em.

Francis Holland said...


Check out my latest post on this at MyDD where I quoted you. (I seriously hope you won't be too angry with me for what I've quoted, and I hope I haven't caused you an inordinate amount of trouble. But, like you said, "Silence is never golden.")

field negro said...

It's all good Francis. I don't mind being quoted as long as it is right. Besides, I read your post, and you did quote exactly what I said.

BTW, nice post. Keep fighting the good fight.


Francis Holland said...

Thanks, Field!

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