The politics of compassion vs. exclusion in the blogging community
Chris Bowers over at OpenLeft asked a question today before one of his Yearly Kos panels about inclusion and empowerment of minorities in the netroots community. I think its an interesting metaphor to talk about issues of compassion and care in terms of how inclusive or exclusive of people you or your organization happens to be.
So here is most of my post in response….
Should minorities be helped or empowered to move to the center? Yes. They’ve probably lived different lives and so would help shatter or at least enlarge the echo chamber. I guess the question is…what the best way to do it?
Is providing help to send 17 folks to Daily Kos?
Is it providing a couple daily columns from people of color?
Is it having a section of Open Left or similar websites that deal with minority and -ism issues? Or more property, all issues from a minority perspective?
Is it having teach-ins or conferences which adopt the BlogHer model?
Is it reaching out to be a mentor to minority bloggers?
Can we sit on our hands any longer while minorities–particuarly those of color are locked out of the system? Or forced to sit at the back of the blogging community bus?
Open left is a big step in the right direction, but a vivid chasm exists.
Answering and actively taking dramatic steps in this direction is, in my humble opinion, the only way to avoid claims of being the “new boss” or passively exclusionary. Can we claim to be be different otherwise? Can we claim to be big-tent progressives otherwise?
Actually, I’m kinda curious what minority bloggers have to think about this…whats their take…..
I’m impressed by an organization thats willing to be open and honest like this and is willing to make substantive changes to attempt to address the issue. I really think that the effort to start a conversation like this speaks alot about the very marrow of the organization. Open source communication seems the most ethical and effective way we have to deal with the problems we face as individuals and as communities. I hope other organizations take the lead in creating conversations which might seem initially risky, but stop infectious dust from being swept under the rug. Any thoughts? What do you think about a big tent mentality?