Tag: Blog Voices

What they’re saying

I originally got a “gig” on the front page here at DD because I made an attempt to write a weekly roundup of some of the discussions going on in the diversosphere called Blog Voices. Over the months, I’ve veered off that course, but I thought that the day after the United States elected the first Black President, it might be time to check in and see what folks are saying. This is definitely not an exhaustive look, but I checked in with some of the folks whose writing has had an impact on me and would like to share some of what I found with you.

First of all, Kai over at Zuky wrote an amazing piece before the election that he titled The Palin’ Identity that captures the message of this campaign in a very powerful way. I’ll give you a taste, but mostly encourage you to go take in the whole thing.  

Blog Voices 8/16/08

Please join me for a quick tour of some interesting things going on in the diversosphere.

From Black Canseco at Racialicious, an essay titled Why We Want Our Kids Back Too.

I grew up in the inner cities of Chicago-places where buses hate to stop, and cabs hate to come. My parents worked hard. Most of our neighbors worked hard. Some people tried. Some people just gave up. Others gave up while they tried and vice versa.

When there was violence, we cried and tried to stop it. When there was death we cried, wondered why and tried to deal with it. But we had to do these things alone.

There were no crush of grief counselors when our 11 year olds got shot by strays or on purpose. There were no pundits filling column space and air time when our girls got raped or became pregnant too soon. And when our children came up missing… when our children came up missing…

When our children came up missing there was silence. Silence and indifference. There still is….

We Want Our Kids Back, Too is a viral web campaign that combines picks of missing and endangered children of color (Black, Hispanic, Asian, mixed race/multicultural, etc.) with commentary challenging all to consider disparities in coverage, outrage and concern.

Check out this Photobucket page where you can find posters like this.

Blog Voices

I thought I’d revive my tour around the diversosphere this week because I’ve run across some pretty interesting stuff lately. Lets jump right in and I’ll tell you what I’ve found.

The first one is more about a process than a particular story. A few months ago, I wrote about the coming together of bloggers to form The Sanctuary. Other than being a one-stop-shop on the issue of immigration reform, these bloggers have organized in some pretty effective ways.

Recently they put together a questionnaire that was sent to all the candidates running for President. Obama responded and McCain did not. They have not yet released Obama’s answers, but this kind of organizing has gotten a good bit of media attention. For example, Kety Esquivel, one of The Sanctuary founders, has been on CNN twice to discuss their efforts. Here’s video of her second appearance.

This is a wonderful example of what bloggers can do when they are focused and organized!!! Check out kyledeb’s recent essay for a summary of what they’ve been able to accomplish in a few short months and keep an eye on The Sanctuary to watch how it all unfolds.

Progressives and Racism

Back when I was first invited to take this spot on Sunday mornings it was because I had started a weekly series titled Blog Voices This Week wherein I tried to summarize interesting information I had found in the diversosphere. I eventually wandered into other territory on Sunday mornings, but this week I’m going to go back to those roots and pull some long quotes from a couple of the people who have alot to say about progressives and racism.

The two people I’ll be quoting are Donna from The Silence of our Friends (that blog title is powerful and tells you alot about what Donna has to say) and Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican.

First, a little background. The diaries I’m going to quote were posted in February/March 2007. They were sparked initially by some things Glenn Greenwald said in Awkward Discussions of Race and Obama.

It is always preferable to have views and sentiments — even ugly ones — aired out in the open rather than forcing them into hiding through suppression. And part of the reason people intently run away from discussions of race…is because it is too easy to unwittingly run afoul of various unwritten speech rules, thereby triggering accusations of bigotry. That practice has the effect of keeping people silent, which in turn has the effect of reinforcing the appearance that nobody thinks about race (which is why nobody discusses it), which in turn prevents a constructive discussion of hidden and unwarranted premises.

Blog Voices This Week 1/13/08

Anyone who has been closely watching the primaries over the last two weeks probably feels like you’ve been riding a roller-coaster. This time last week everyone was ready to anoint Obama as the next president and the media was full of misogynist platitudes about Clinton. Then came her emotional moment and win in the New Hampshire primary. And now the intersection of race and gender is causing no end of turmoil.

In the middle of all this, I thought it would be interesting to listen to those in our midst who live at that intersection of race and gender every day – women of color. When I visited some of their blogs, I found that a common theme was their reaction to an op-ed in the New York Times last Tuesday by Gloria Steinem titled Women Are Never Front-Runners. In order to set the stage, its probably best to click through and read the whole editorial. But I’ll provide a few of Steinem’s statements that were most commented on by the blogs that I visited. And then we’ll explore some of the reactions.

Blog Voices This Week 1/6/08

I remember back in 1984 when rumors started flying that Walter Mondale might pick a woman to run with him on the democratic ticket. My reaction was to be completely dismissive; a sort of “what’s so new about a woman in the back-up role?” kind of thing.

And then I sat and watched as he nominated Geraldine Ferraro…and I cried.


What got released in me that day was something that for 30 years told me that I didn’t belong, didn’t have a place at the table. I saw myself in Geraldine Ferraro. And all of the sudden I felt included in the scheme of things in a way I never had before.

I saw that same feeling on the faces of African American delegates to the ’88 Democratic Convention when Jesse Jackson spoke. And since it had happened to me only 4 years previously, I recognized the look.

I don’t want to be alienating to anyone, but the reality is that white heterosexual men in this country don’t have a point of reference for this kind of experience. You have grown up seeing yourselves represented in every position of power that can be imagined. But perhaps with some empathy, you can understand a bit of what it feels like to have that sense of marginalization being communicated every day in ways that sometimes are overt, but most often covert, to the point that the feeling sinks deep into your bones and you don’t even notice all the time that its there.

And then one day POW!!! Someone like Ferraro or Jackson breaks through…and the world of possibilities opens up again.

For the past day or so I’ve been reading blogs written by African Americans to see what they are saying about the Obama victory in the Iowa caucuses this week. Some didn’t even mention it. Some don’t support or trust him. But for many, they shared that feeling of anticipation that perhaps the door is breaking open, the one that says you belong. Lets take a look.

Blog Voices go MTV – 12/23/07

Will young people in this country engage in the political change process? They will if Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican and Kyle at Citizen Orange have anything to say about it.

These two powerhouse voices of the diversosphere have been chosen by MTV to be part of the Street Team ’08 that inlcudes 51 young vloggers who will cover the presidential election through next November.

The presidential candidates can run, but it will be hard for them to hide from the horde of citizen journalists tapped by MTV’s Choose or Lose ’08 to cover the race for the White House. A group of 51 youth reporters – one from each state and Washington, D.C. – will follow the 2008 elections and deliver weekly multimedia reports tailored for mobile devices.

Using short-form videos, blogs, animation, photos and podcasts, the reports will be distributed through MTV Mobile, Think.MTV.com, more than 1,800 sites in The Associated Press’ Online Video Network and a soon-to-launch Wireless Application Protocol site. The Street Team ’08 reporters were carefully selected after an extensive nationwide search, and they represent every aspect of today’s youth audience – from seasoned student-newspaper journalists to documentary filmmakers, the children of once-illegal immigrants and community organizers.

They are conservative and liberal, from big cities and small towns, but all are tied together through a passion for politics and a yearning to make the youth voice heard during this pivotal election. The correspondents will begin reporting early next month after an intensive MTV News orientation in New York, during which they’ll be armed with laptops, video cameras and cell phones and challenged to uncover the untold political stories that matter most to young people in their respective states.

Blog Voices This Week 12/2/07

When I started writing this weekly essay, the idea was to travel around the “diversosphere” and catch interesting items so that we could bring those voices here. I’ve focused mainly on blogs written by people of color and hoped that we could highlight some of the excellent stuff that’s going on, whether it was a news story about people of color that the msm had missed, or a challenge to the dynamics of racism in our culture.

But we’ve had an interesting week on that issue right here in our little corner of the world. I know there’s been a lot of heat related to the topic and the personalities involved. But in the midst of it all, there was some amazing wisdom shared and … change happened.

So, this week, I’d like to congratulate everyone for hanging in there. To do so, I thought I’d stay right here this week and bring you a few of the kernels of wisdom that were shared by some of our own dharmaniacs.*

Lets start with da boss who, despite being sleep-deprived and weary from playing referee, was able to contribute more than a few nuggets of his own.


White people…IN GENERAL….are the undoubted oppressors and beneficiaries when it comes to issues of race. We never can experience racism (in this country) because we are ‘the majority’ and have lived in a racially blind culture all of our lives.

Due to that cultural fact…..We simply cannot judge ourselves objectively enough to determine whether we have engaged in racist behavior or not. We can try our absolute best, but imo, we must ALWAYS take that sort of observation of our behavior VERY seriously and never assume that we are in the right.

The culture conditions us to racism, and it is our individual responsibility to make sure we haven’t and don’t fall into the cultural traps. No matter how good our intentions and no matter how much we have done in the past to combat it within ourselves.

And besides…why is sitting down and taking a good hard look at yourself vis a vis racism such an odious task that it should be avoided?

Now, I’ll travel around to a few of the pertinent essays and give you some more gems.

Blog Voices This Week 11/25/07

I’m going to move away from my normal content this week. I know this means that I risk two things: first of all, buhdy might get mad that I’m not posting what I was originally asked to write about and secondly, I will make the title of this series meaningless to my content. I must admit that I’m much more nervous about the later.

But my motivation this week comes from a series that Nezua has done over at “The Unapologetic Mexican” titled Let’s Have Nexus. I think the content of this series fits very nicely with the goals of Docudharma in that he is stepping above the current fray and trying to find patterns that can help us change direction. He’s also trying to find common ground as a way to build coalition across different interest groups, which I think is the struggle of our times.

Blog Voices This Week 11/18/07

In the Boston Globe this week we find an article titled Blog is Beautiful: People of color challenge mainstream views online:

These intellectual challenges to mainstream and other viewpoints are some of the opinions Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander-American, and black bloggers are exposing on a growing number of sites focused on social, political, and cultural issues. The sometimes facetiously named blogs range from Angry Asian Man to The Angry Black Woman. Readers can find Latino viewpoints at Guanabee, The Unapologetic Mexican, or Latino Pundit. Those interested in information from an Asian angle head to Ultrabrown, Zuky, or Sepia Mutiny. Sites created by blacks include The Field Negro, Too Sense, and Resist Racism….

These sites – many of which launched in the past year, although a few are older – have become places where people of color gather to refine ideas or form thoughts about race relations, racial inequities, and the role pop culture has in exacerbating stereotypes. The writers often bring attention to subjects not yet covered by mainstream media.

(links added)

I thought this week we’d take a look at the blogs that were highlighted in The Globe to find out what’s on their minds lately. So lets start at the top and work our way down.

Blog Voices This Week 11/11/07

I don’t think that I’ll usually have a theme for this weekly essay. But I recently saw a video in my travels around the net that inspired one for this edition. The video was made by Sudy at A Womyn’s Ecdysis:

There is a movement underway on these blogs. And today, I’d like to give you just a small taste of some of its power.

Blog Voices This Week 11/4/07

When I first found blogs in 2003, they were a place I felt at home and not so alone as our country beat the war drums and went on to “re-elect” (??) this criminal administration. I needed a sense of community to shore up my sanity and found it in some of the larger Democratic and progressive blogs.

Then came flame wars and I found myself detached from any particular community. But I still felt like there was something here in this land of blogtopia that I wasn’t ready to give up. So I started to venture out to some of the smaller blogs – especially those written by people who looked and lived differently from me – and found a whole new world. I sometimes feel like the globe is at my fingertips and all I have to do is sit on my couch with this screen in front of me to explore it all. That works for me – given that I’ve always leaned more towards the couch-potato kind of challenge.

So in this weekly series I’m planning to do, I’ll take you along with me and try to just scatch the surface of the wealth of information, experience, and beauty that is the blogosphere.

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