Predictably, this has caused quite a stir in the AfroSpear, and the mainstream media is starting to take notice. From today's Dallas Morning News:
Last week, the national Democratic Party announced that 55 online writers had been chosen for the “State Blogger Corps,” to cover the convention in Denver in September.
But some members of the self-titled “afrosphere” — blogs written or published by African Americans — are angry that the “State Blogger Corps” appears to be mostly white, particularly since the party appears poise to nominate a black candidate, Barack Obama, for president.
“OK, folks, black bloggers to the back of the bus,” read the headline on the African American Political Pundit blog.
Party leaders said the factors in determining state bloggers were readership, Internet ratings and focus on local and state politics, not race. The Texas representative, the Burnt Orange Report, has several writers, including at least one Hispanic contributor.The issue is one of diversity, but there are so many angles to consider here its mind boggling. Here are just a few for your reading pleasure.
There are plenty more as the topic is rapidly approaching firestorm level.
So what's my opinion? Well, I think the DNC screwed up by not thinking this process through and not really considering its Black base. Especially during such a race sensitive campaign. I'm a member of the AfroSpear and support whatever action is necessary to ensure that Black folks are represented on the convention floor. However I hope the issue can be resolved through the general blogger selection process, maybe by upgrading their level of access to include floor credentials. I also hope that other groups will be included on the floor as well, including Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans.
If it's not resolved, then I feel sorry for the DNC, because they will have to deal with a lot of pissed off members of the AfroSpear. In an election year like this, you really don't want to alienate such an important part of your base because every vote will definitely count in the general election.
At some point the Democratic Party really needs to stop taking the Black vote for granted and court the constituency as they do with every one else. Hindsight is of course 20/20, but this should not have even happened.
Just my thoughts on the matter.