While looking through articles on my favorite punk and emo bands, I happened upon a post by Liza Sabater at The Daily Gotham that commented on the fact that apparently, "there are no black bloggers in Harlem or New York City". Oh yeah, just in case you're wondering, there aren't any Latinos there either. That being the case, I guess when Bill Clinton decided to meet with some bloggers down there at his office in the middle of a historic black neighborhood that is famous for spawning an era of music, art, and literature created by people of color living in this area from which the period derived its name, Peter Daou just wasn't able to find many Blacks or Latinos to include in this event.
By the way, I love the way Sabater points out how all of the bloggers who were invited managed to get all the way to the heart of Harlem to attend an event where not even one of the guests were Black or Latino and remain oblivious to what this shows about their mind-set.
In her post about the event, Maha (one of the invited bloggers) tells her readers that they "had some local Harlem cuisine (fried chicken, cornbread, sweet potato fries, salad, spinach, corn, and sweet tea)". Well, maybe that means the organizers at least invited some "local" Harlem folks cook the food for them. We should be grateful for that, right? When someone suggests that the meeting, which was set up by one of Senator Clinton's employees, may have had something to do with the 2008 presidential race that most people believe the senator will enter, that commenter was promptly banned from the site. Frankly, I don't see why Maha was so offended by the idea that these politicians might be engaging in a political strategy. I mean, isn't that what makes them politicians? I also noticed how she referred to the commenter in diminutive form. It's really quite sad to see someone let one event bring out such ugliness.
Another one of the bloggers (Chris Bowers) has a lovely recap of the visit on his blog. He waxes positive when he proudly wrote about how the event evoked his nationalistic streak. He goes on to mention the afternoon's backdrop (the New York City skyline) as
"quite possibly the greatest architectural achievement in the history of humanity. And we were doing it in a neighborhood, Harlem, which has never been particularly wealthy but whose residents produced some of the greatest works of art worldwide in the 20th century"
Now when it comes to the world's greatest architectural achievements, I tend to think that the Great Wall of China, the temples at Machu Picchu, the pyramids of Teotihuacan, the Nasca lines, will always beat the New York City skyline hands down and I'll wager that the Treasury in Jordan is more beautiful than any building found in the entire city of New York. But really, what made Bower's comment notable to me was that it pretty well reflected the same gushing that all of the invited bloggers have engaged in so far. What happened to critical analysis? I see no difference between the behavior of these bloggers and the same indiscriminate praise for Bush that they criticize his supporters for giving. When one commenter pointed out the irony of an all-white group of (supposedly) progressive people meeting in Harlem sans black people, Bowers and the others who responded to his post have nothing to say.
Of course, I decided to forgo making regular visits to Feministing back when they decided to allow their readers to verbally assault Nubian with racist comments and blatant lies and allow those insults to remain on the site even after they read them. Then there also was that little incident where they allowed their decidedly-less-than-enlightened readers to attack Samhita (a woman of color blogger) who happens to be one of their very own writers, in a similar manner. Nevertheless, I did go and take a look at what Jessica had to say about her trip. Sadly, it consisted of nothing more than what I've learned to expect from them.
If you haven't eaten in the last hour or so and you don't have a tendency to vomit at the sight of disgusting tripe, you could be adventurous and take a gander at FireDogLake and see those bloggers' reaction to Sabater's feelings about this all-white meeting in Harlem. If Sabater's blog is really as inconsequential as the poster claims, why did it warrant so much attention from them? The rant about Sabater's grammatical errors doesn't help their claims at all. I'll never understand why people who aren't new to the internet still resort to being grammar police whenever they run out of logical arguments to make. Can they really not know how transparent this tactic is by now? I wonder how many more comments it will take before it all shifts to reductio ad Hitlerum. I know the grammar gods must have a sense of humor because I have yet to see even one attack like this that did not also contain grammatical errors. I mean that literally. Not ever.
No assessment of the FireDogLake entry would be complete without pointing out the "some of my best friends are black" statements that were simply embarrassing to read.* I guess some folks are just trying keeping that one alive for posterity's sake. It seems that this and that annoying "Hammertime" song are doomed to crop back up for as long as Caucasian-Americans continue to exist as a distinct entity.
Even though I no longer identify myself as a conservative, it's this sort of behavior that I always considered when people tried to convince me that I should feel like the Democrats and other (mostly white) self-described liberals are more concerned about people of color issues than those in the right-wing circles. I've changed a lot of my views over the years but one thing hasn't changed. These people are just mirror images of the folks they complain about. The best thing that people of color can do is to start addressing their own problems because we'll extinct like the Dodo birds before either party decides that we have any intrinsic value worth defending.
*To any and all people who do not identify themselves as people of color:
I beg of you, please, if you have any sense of decency, do not shame those black people that you call friends by making these sort of statements. There are few things worse than being with one of your melanin-inhibited buddies and having them do this to some random person of color. The person will likely view you as just another clueless white person but they'll look at us, your friends, as the idiots since we evidently thought you were savvy enough to know why these statements and behaviors are so problematic.