Monday, February 26, 2007

Growing the Base of Online Activists

Written for BlueNC, but wanted to bring the blog links here

BlueNC has grown tremendously over the past year. Each month brings more new registered users and unique visitors than the month before. Yesterday's polls show that we are missing out on important voices from minorities and women. It's time to actively do something to change this.

A couple of times I've mentioned that I don't think simply inviting people here is the entire solution. Obviously, it's polite to invite folks to join in the conversation, but why don't we visit their communities too? I have to admit, I've found some excellent blogs. Not all are in North Carolina, but I haven't finished looking yet.

We're all busy and some of us barely find time to keep up with BlueNC. I make the rounds of the standards - DKos, MyDD, Firedoglake, Scrutiny Hooligans, TalkingPointsMemo and that's about all I usually find time for. That's going to end today. There are some seriously excellent bloggers out there.

I will start with a gentleman who has added his blog to the NC Blog Index and has linked to my blog. The name of the blog is Where is the Outrage? The name of the man is Errington Thompson and he's pretty amazing. He's a trauma surgeon, author, blogger and hosts a weekly radio show. Dr. Thompson (look at me being all formal) lives in the Asheville area with his wife. The Asheville-Citizen Times did a piece on him just this month if you'd like to know more about him. I like his writing and I share his opinion on just about all things political.

A blog I found today and enjoyed in particular is African American Opinion. I don't know anything about the author, because he/she signs pieces on the site "editor/publisher." Apparently, community building is something others are thinking about as well, because the first post I saw was a list of American Indian blogs that a reader had sent in. The blog's author discusses more than politics. I enjoyed the writing style. Comments are moderated, however go up fairly quickly. Not only are there a couple different lists of American Indian blogs given in pieces on the front page, the blogroll is extensive and probably holds quite a few treasures.

African American Political is also a great read. At least I enjoyed it. Once again, there is an extensive blogroll. This is what she/he has to say about Obama:
He has less than 600 days to prove he is not just another man, with no program to address poverty in America. Senator Obama is not Black peoples’ savior. He does not walk on water, although his head seems to be getting pretty big lately. I guess he believes his own press. Candidly, I could care less if Obama is Black, White, Red or Yellow; it’s about the future of America. All America. We are not electing the President of Black America we are electing the President of the United States. If we were electing a President for Black America I would vote for Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Don't get your hopes up if you're a Clinton or Edwards fan. She/He seems to be equally skeptical of their abilities to truly address the concerns of this country.

Jill Tubman from Jack and Jill Politics has been writing at MyDD for several months providing a weekly roundup of black political news. Jill has a great post up right now about Phyllis Schlafly's new Conservapedia. Here's a snippet:
4) The Conservapedia's entry on Slavery focuses on the encouragement of the slave trade from 1455 to the 1800s by Africans themselves for profit. The style of the passage is best described as 4th grade book report. The Wikipedia entry on Slavery is lengthy and covers slavery throughout the ancient world, the same period as the Conservapedia and slavery as it exists today. The entry also describes the abolition movement, apologies and reparations, and links to other forms of human rights abuses.
Follow the link to the site and read the entire post. Talk about your revisionist history. Schlafly has obviously lost her marbles.

Here is what Jill says about African Americans as the Democratic Party's value voters:
This really isn't that hard. The way you speak to African-American voters will also work with many other voters who are informed by big ideas, by a desire for a better future and by faith.

Bill Clinton got it and won. Gore kinda sorta did and kinda sorta lost. Kerry didn't get and lost. Which candidate will get it this time finally and decide to win?

I disagree with Willis on whether black churches are at risk of dying out as a political force. They remain as strong as ever -- the Bush campaign figured that out and used them as a wedge to increase their share of the Black vote in 2004. We're still out there but our priorities have changed. Democrats mis-read those shifts in what we are talking about -- education, the war, healthcare, Africa, building greater prosperity in our communities -- at their peril.
I have to agree with Jill on much of this. In Charlotte, the African American churches remain a political force. The ministers are all careful to toe the line and do not endorse specific candidates. If one candidate is recognized or allowed to speak, they all are.

Most of the African American blogs/bloggers were fun reads. Some challenged me more than others. AAPP and JJPolitics both were a little more politically oriented than AAO. I plan to check in frequently. For the most part I found myself inspired and lost in my reading.

I have spent hours going through web sites and blogs. I know this is only four, but I figure if I keep the list small, we'll all find time to head over for visits. On most days I'm so busy that if I see a long list and I don't know where to start. I figure others feel pretty much the same way.

I plan to do this more than once a week. Check out the sites and check out their blogrolls. Please post links to other blogs in the comments. There are so many to check out it's impossible for one person to do it all. Let me know what you find.


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