UPDATE: The cat’s out of the bag – DNC State Blog List not kind to Black Bloggers

For the last week or so, there has been a discussion going on in the Black Blogosphere regarding bloggers who have received credentials for the Democratic National Convention. This far, those who have been granted passes will sit on the convention floor with delegations from each state and U.S. Territory.

Since the list was published black bloggers have combed through the it trying to see if any African-American run sites are listed. There are none.

See a complete list of State Bloggers at the DNC convention here.

My brothers in blog African American Political Pundit and Francis Holland have been hitting this subject hard over the last week. I have been slow to jump in the fray because I’m still not sure just how many black bloggers applied for credentials in the state section. I applied, as did Mike D. from Dallas Progress and Eddie Griffin (Ft. Worth) for his blog. Fellow Afro
Spear blogger Yobachi Boswell also applied for a credential in Tennessee. Burnt Orange Report was the Texas selection.

Karen Brooks of the Dallas Morning News wrote an article that will appear in Wednesdays paper discussion the situation. Here are some highlights from her article.

  • 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.
  • But the blogs don’t appear to be self-identified as written or owned by African Americans, as opposed to blogs like the African American Political Pundit or attorney Francis L. Holland’s numerous blogs, which feature his picture.He called the list “tremendously embarrassing and harmful to the Democratic Party.” The delay in announcing the minority blogs, he said, is hurting their ability to raise money for travel expenses and get vacation time.
  • The issues prompted Shawn Williams, who writes the DallasSouth.com blog, to write to U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, to complain about the lack of diversity among the chosen bloggers. Pam Spaulding, an African-American blogger in North Carolina who has applied to the general pool, suggested on her blog — Pam’s House Blend — that minorities don’t blog about state and local politics as much as white people do, narrowing the pool.

See my letter to Congresswoman Johnson here.
I don’t think this was an intentional act on behalf of the DNC, but the consequences are real. Actually, word is there was at least one blog who was intentionally left off –Cotton Mouth out of Mississippi. I think it’s a black run blog but I’m not 100% sure about that. Anyway, here’s Cotton Mouth’s story:

  • We at Cotton Mouth must disagree with the selection of The Natchez Blog to represent Mississippi’s blogging community in Denver. We like and respect Casey Ann who in addition to writing there has posted on Cotton Mouth, but her blog should not have been selected over Cotton Mouth.
  • We’ve had 33 posts so far THIS WEEK. The Natchez blog has had 24 posts so far THIS YEAR.

Apparently state officials in Mississippi poo-pooed on Cotton Mouth’s chances and chose a lesser known, less active blog. Go figure.

Back to the consequences. We all live and die by the traffic to our website. Whoever provides the most compelling content gets the most traffic. So while I hope to get a general blogging credential for Denver, I still will not be able to provide the same type of access as those who are on the floor. What’s a brother to do?

Anyway, I don’t feel as slighted personally as I do from a wholistic standpoint. Despite the way black bloggers have covered this presidential race and all of the talk of building new coalitions, it seems like business as usual (that’s twice I’ve used that line this week,). I wish I had the luxury of just posting about politics, but there’s just to much more than needs to be done. If Mike D. blogged politics all day who would be working on getting those drug houses torn down.

I think my frustration comes from a different place than AAPP and Francis, but in the end it’s all the same. This list is unacceptable. Period.


The Atlanta Journal Constitution has picked up on this issue.  See there story by clicking here.  Make sure to read the comments section which shows a lot about what we are dealing with here.

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