March 07, 2005

Once You Go Black...

Apparently, in addition to being a recent topic here at allied, the blogging race/ethnicity issue has also risen to the top within more prominant blogs, like Rebecca's and Halley's.

I'm glad.

I'm also disclaiming my niche. While I happen to think, especially for Americans, it's important to be reading global voices--voices outside of the prattle we hear in our own heads and workplaces every day--it's AS important, or dare I say more important, to be paying attention to those too easily dismissed in our own country. I'm here to say this specifically: you white men should put some black men on your blogrolls. They're writing circles around you and you don't even know it.

If you're not American, it's hard to relate the long-standing and still emerging issues of race (both the said and the unsaid) in this country. Far be it from me to even attempt to educate global readers on the subtleties--I am ignorant of so much and will admit it. But I can write based on my own experience as partner and wife for nearly 20 years of an American Black Man, and the mother of a daughter of color in the making.

In America today, thanks to mainstream media, entertainment, conservatism, politics, psychology, religion, homegrown phobias, happenstance, and lots of other things, especially our shared culture as an economy built on the backs of slaves, and YES I said the "s" word, the black man is still marginalized, and he's marginalized in the blogworld too.

Over at Rebecca's, Brad Lena says this: "Here is my two cents worth regarding blog diversity. (First a disclaimer, I’m a white male.) This is a non-issue. As of now, there is damn little preventing anybody from starting a blog. The barriers, however that is defined, regarding cost, access to technology, gender,race, intellect, sexual orientation, physical impairments have plummeted."

Brad. Brad. Brad. How do I break it to you: not all black people are poor. Black does not equal ghetto or poverty. Too little green flows to our cities, where, especially in the segregated Northeast, there are lots of non-white folks. But, dig it, Brad, some black folks are ACTUALLY ONLINE, and as a start, say, you might think of, well, reading some of them. And if you like their writing, well, you might actually think about linking to them.

This is not affirmative action come blogging. But if you want to call it that, I say fine. Just do something about it. Because this is about human conversation and what it might help to accomplish that we've been so bad at accomplishing offline.

And also, it's just the right thing to do. So check your assumptions, check your blogroll, and then check your assumptions again.

And if the spirit moves you, dare to go black.

[[ED NOTE: So I read this to George. And he says you know what? It's not necessarily about color. It's about eliminating the competition. Whether it's age, color, ability: It's an instinct to eliminate any competition or threat of competition: He's not like me, so what he says doesn't apply. (He's too young. He's not white. He's not a liberal/conservative/whatever...) I can't deal with these people anymore. You go around the world, you'll find a LOT OF BROWN PEOPLE, African and non-African. Mexican, Spanish, South African, Turkish, Morraccan, Middle Eastern. And America does not listen to what it doesn't know. What America means to me is something LOUD: WE're Right and We're Mighty and We'll Step All Over You if You Disagree. And the Net is becoming just the same. If you say it loud enough, it must be true. Well, it's not. Not always.]]

Gee, I wish he'd blog more.