The Root (WAPO) and The Grio (NBC) Working To Control Black American Politics?

Yes, I said it. And yes, I am wondering out loud, if Corporate black blogs like The Root and The Grio are working to control black political thought in America?

AAP says: "Move over grassroots black political bloggers, NBC and The Washington Post have hatched a scheme to take over black political thought over the internet. They are like ATT taking over the smaller telephone companies. They are buying co-opting as many black bloggers as possible, and unfortunately it just may be working."  

Now the question is, on the immediate political front, whether both of these corporate media giants (WaPo and NBC) are doing nothing more than being under-cover operatives for getting President Barack Obama elected in 2012?

As I said in my earlier post, It get's under my black skin, that so-called black bloggers at (white controlled) corporate black blogs like The Root, owned by the Washington Post, and the The Grio, owned by NBC, are nothing more than a group of organized Obama loyalist who seem to never report on how blacks will lose $194 billion in wealth through 2012, or how the housing crisis continues to hits blacks the hardest and how President Obama (as Russell Simmons recently pointed out in his Open Letter To President Barack Obama) has all but ignored the plight of black America.  

I remember when I learned that NBC would launch a African American news site

and The Washington Post was planning to launch 'The Root', my gut reaction was, "there they go, white corporate America moving to "takeover" black political and social opinion over the internet."

I knew that folks at the Washington Post and NBC were getting concerned that black bloggers groups like the afrospear/afrosphere were getting too organized. I also felt in my gut that white media outlets, may have even sent its own operatives into the afrospear/afrosphere group to spread discontent. 

As I noted previously on this blog, there was a time when a group of black bloggers called the afrospear/afrosphere began to organize and became a force in the black America.

Unfortunately, the Afrospear/Afrosphere has seemed to 'step aside' as a group, and allow corporate black blogs like the Washington Post's The Root (owned by the Washington Post Company through its online subsidiary, Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive) and NBC's The Grio, to jump in feet first, and act as though they are the voice of on-line Black America

I guess the with big bucks from The Washngton Post and NBC, (The Root and The Grio) have just about become campaign organizations for President Obama's 2012 Campaign. Candidly, Both of these black corporate blogs or so-called black news outlets should be required to file with the Federal Election authorities as part of the Obama organization.

Will The Root and The Grio become the electronic voice of Black America?  I don't think so... the voice of the black blogging community continues to grow. It will take more than NBC and The Washington Post to control black political thought in this country... But they sure are trying...

 

Cross Posted on Black News Junkie.com, African American Pundit, MyDD, and African American Opinion and other blogs throughout the internet. Please feel free to link to, and report on this issue.

Scott Sisters, NAACP, Black Bloggers and Lessons Learned

The Scott Sisters where released and no one should have a doubt that the victory was inspired by black bloggers, black internet activist and blogtalk radio host.  But more importantly it was inspired by the Scott sisters mother, Evelyn Roscoe, who fought for 16 years for their freedom.

Let's not forget Nancy Lockart, a black woman who many are calling a mordern day Harriett Tubman, who lead the Internet grass root effort for the past 5 years, day and night working to educate the public about the Scott Sisters while the NAACP ignored their plight for over15 years.

OK, there is a lot of conversation across the black side of the internet about the Scott Sisters being freed and how the African American Internet helped in getting the story of the Scott sisters known. There is a learning curve for people from the right, left, and the middle of black political thought

The fact of the matter is there is a changing of the black gate keeper guard. There was a time when the NAACP gate keepers were old house negroes, now it's young house negros. A new face with the same old game. Supress black activism, and when black activism works, claim it as thier own. No matter what pictures you may see with NAACP President Ben Jealous standing behind the Scott sisters, in a photo op, remember this...

The NAACP can afford to jump on a plane to Mississppi, because of it's white benificators, and say they were ALWAYS behind the Scott Sisters. Yet the fact is, they were Johnny-Come-Lately, to Free the Scott sisters movement.  They can also "style and profile" with the Scott Sisters and probably set up a fundraising effort like they set up with the Jena 6, and steal as much as they can, saying it is administrative cost. Be warned my good friends... The NAACP speaks with fork Tongue. As Yobachi from the blog Black Perspective.net noted the NAACP is looking  to cash in on the Scott Sisters Plight. Check out what Yobachi had to say:

"The NAACP is ratcheting up their personal publicity machine. Actually they’re providing more publicity to the fact that they showed up on the scene at the last minute after more than a decade of local grassroots organizing, and 2 years of blog based advocacy, then they ever did in favor of bring the Scott Sisters plight to the American consciousness in an effort to free them. 

One of BlackPerspective.net’s sister blogs, The Jena 6 Blog, got mentioned in a couple of different places in the past few days regarding a post I did in 2008 about NAACP swooping in to collect money on behalf of the Jena 6 when it started to become a popular story, then spending half of the money on themselves. This was after the NAACP demanded that the rural town with a population of a couple hundred black people, including children, first start a dues paying NAACP chapter before the NAACP would even begin to help." More HERE

But, there are some people who have a different few.

Take for instance Internet Blog Talk Radio host Black Achievement USA who talks about The Scott Sisters Are Freed: Now What Are The Lessons. He writes: I wish the Scott sisters all the best as they fight to re-acculmated themselves to "free" society. The homecoming is a major adjustment for the Scott family as well as the Scott Sisters. Basically, the Scott sisters have fierce battle for a good life. I would like to say that some of the people around the Scott Sisters did them no good and we on blog talk must not create an atmosphere that is not helpful. The Honorable Governor Haley Barbour and the good people of Mississippi must be respected and thanked for their decision to grant the Scott sisters "an early parole."

AAP says: The NAACP is under a microscope regarding their bogus last minute attention to the Scott sisters freedom movement. Take for example black bloggers, including Jill, over at the blog, Jack and Jill Politics, who has experessed concern at the way the NAACP has dissed black Bloggers over Scott Sisters and Haley Barbour ... 


Candidly I have questioned the motives of the Johnny-come-lately national office of the NAACP. It's interesting that the national office of the NAACP knew about the Scott Sisters for over 15 years, and did nothing until after the mother of the Scott Sisters, along with Nancy Lockhart, built a national and internatioal movement to free the Scott Sisters, then about 6 Months ago, the national office of the NAACP found a way to try to be the national spokes people for the Scott Sisters. Claiming all sorts of victories, although they were not actually "pardoned" and they will be on probation for life.

It's candidly amazing how the NAACP and others have bought into the new form of  Jim Crow Justice. You know what I'm talking about, The  type of  "Debt to Society" and the New Jim Crow justice that James Ridgeway wrote about in his article in the Mother Jones. He writes: "The Scott sisters will have to pay out money to maintain their freedom. Rather than pardoning Jamie and Gladys, Barbour suspended their sentences. According to Nancy Lockhart, a legal advocate who played an instrumental role in the sisters’ release, each will have to pay $52 a month for the administration of their parole in Florida, where their mother lives and where they plan to reside. Since they were serving life sentences, that means $624 a year for the rest of their lives. Both women are now in their thirties; if they live 40 more years, each will have paid the state $24,960."  Read More HERE

The fact is a number of black folks, like Verite Parlant is Nordette Adams, a reader of the blog Electronic Village made some interesting thoughts about the NAACP when he wrote:

"I think the NAACP suffers from the curse of many older heralded institutions, old blood and lack of vision. They have a tendency to see themselves as the big star and others as the little twinkles, and so they cripple themselves by an unwillingness to embrace new ideas and people and form the alliances that will be critical for power in the coming age. They persist in functioning like gatekeepers more than community collaborators."

He went on to say, "Nevertheless, I believe there was some grandstanding and opportunism involved. I suspect that after the Shirley Sherrod incident, they began to listen to some of the criticisms thrown at them which are that they let women do much of the grunt work but tend to make men their causes celebres. That whole incident caught them with their pants around their ankles."

AAP says: Yes, I agree with those comments by the reader at Electonic Village, the involvement of the NAACP in the Scott Sisters effort was to bolster there own image.

Lessons Learned

The NAACP is no longer the big star while black bloggers the little twinkles. The Internet has provided an equalizing of the playing field. Yes, the NAACP can run from city to city like Jesse Jackson, 10 years ago, but this that leadership or stylin' and profiling? 

The new big stars, black bloggers, blogtalkradio host, and black internet activist are working for positive progressive change.  They have taken activism to the next level, with the help of two strong black women, Evelyn  Roscoe and Nancy Lockhart. Two women who could see the possibility in spite of the NAACP. Nancy Lockhart and Evelyn Roscoe knew that they didnot want to cripple themselves by an unwillingness to embrace new ideas and people and form the alliances that were to obtain the Scott Sisters Freedom. They persisted, even when the old school gatekeepers called the national office of the NAACP wanted to be less than community collaborators. I'm Done!

But Johnathan Farley has more to say about the NAACP. He says:

"Thank you, NAACP!" Demophilos says from across the table at Starbucks, smiling. "The governor of Mississippi pardoned the Scott sisters." When he sees your expression, his eyebrows arch questioningly. "I'm uncomfortable with black groups campaigning for common thugs," you begin slowly, "when there are so many completely innocent people rotting in prison, to say nothing of political prisoners. But people like Kemba Smith, who carried drugs and guns for her boyfriend – they paid or are paying for real crimes, not for stealing bread." "Are they paying, or are we?" Demophilos says, with fire. "In urban America, besides the burned-out husks of buildings that were never rebuilt after the riots of the sixties, stand only taxpayer-built sports stadiums – and jails. More and more of them private. Corporations profit; we pay." Demophilos sits back in his seat, now seemingly exhausted. "You don't have to convince me," you say, defensively. "Listen, I still remember where I was when Geronimo Pratt was freed. I was on College Avenue in Berkeley outside my local bank. I looked at the headlines of the newspaper in a kiosk and started to dance.
"The bank's security guard, an African-American woman in her 40s, asked me what I was excited about.

"'Geronimo Pratt is free,' I said, out of breath. As you know, Pratt's conviction had been overturned after he spent 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, more time than Nelson Mandela.

"'How much time did he spend in jail?' the woman asked me. 'A year?' "My rush ended. I realised that, though we were only miles away from where the Black Panther party had burst into life, this black woman had no idea who Geronimo Pratt was. "But she knew who OJ Simpson was, and probably cheered, later, when Kobe Bryant was found not guilty."  Your small coffees arrive. "That'll be $10.95," says the barista.

When she leaves, you say, "The NAACP has finite resources, and the public has a finite amount of empathy. So, why is this being wasted? In 2005, when Crips founder and multiple-murderer Tookie Williams was facing a death sentence, the NAACP staged 'die ins' to protest the execution." "Stop," Demophilos pleads. "The NAACP is not 'celebrating criminality' by calling for the release of blacks who received harsh sentences. It's fighting injustice."

"And an injustice anywhere, blah blah blah." Read MORE


                          ***
Cross posted on African American Pundit

African American Pundit is publisher of the blog African American Pundit, he is a nationally recognized moderate independent African American blogger who addresses black American politics and social issues. He served as a credentialed blogger at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He can be reached at AfricanAmericanPundit@gmail.com 

(Video link) Obama and Black Bloggers at White House

Well it looks like black bloggers are gaining opportunities for conversations at the highest levels of government in Washington, D.C. 

OK, let me re-state it differently: "Black bloggers who conditionally or unconditionally support the Obama administration are gaining DNC and White House conversation."

First there was the meeting of black bloggers with DNC Chairman Kaine (which I attended), then there was there was a  "black online summit" at the White House Monday as part of an outreach to African American journalists and bloggers before the midterm elections. 

According to reports from the Maynard Institute, even President Obama stopped by a "black online summit" at the White House Monday as part of an outreach to African American journalists and bloggers before the midterm elections, an effort that includes the Democratic National Committee spending what it calls an unprecedented $3 million to reach the most loyal part of Obama's base, African American voters.

"I thought the meeting was great in that it showed that President Obama and his administration are taking black new media and our growing influence seriously," David A. Wilson, managing editor of theGrio.com, told Journal-isms via e-mail.

 "They outlined how the administration's policies have had a positive effect on the African-American community and they invited us to make suggestions on how they could work better with us and provide us with more access to the White House.

However, Leutisha Stills, who blogs at Jack & Jill Politics, cautioned, "The summit was a good one and very comprehensive, but we made it known that if we really have 'influence,' we are going to test drive it and see how many more invites we get from the White House."

The Columbus Day session lasted from 9:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett present along with specialists from various parts of the administration, including the first lady's office. Among the 20 African Americans working on the Web were representatives of theRoot.com, Black Entertainment Television, Essence, Jack & Jill Politics, City Limits, Concrete Loop, AOL Black Voices, Black America Web and even the gossipy MediaTakeOut.

Monday's session is to be followed Friday by a presidential meeting with 10 members of the Trotter Group of African American columnists. Moreover, six or seven African American bloggers were credentialed for Obama's rally in Philadelphia last Sunday, although invitations were extended to about 20.

AAP says:  I was one of the 20 African American bloggers who was extended an invitation to be  credentialed for Obama's rally in Philadelphia last Sunday, unfortunately because of schedule conflicts, I was not able to attend the President's rally. 

The DNC and White House outreach effort with African American bloggers are noteworthy. The folks at Jack and Jill Politics and their partnership with Kevin S. Lewis , director, African American media for the White House is awesome. The work of senior DNC staffers, including Clyde E. Williams, Political Director for the DNC, along with Derrick L. Plummer, Regional Press Secretary,  and Jamiah Adams, New Media Constituency Manager at the DNC is equally as noteworthy. I can only wonder out loud if this effort is just to gain black blogger support for the mid-terms - only? I understand this is a political town.

Is the White House and the DNC reading the content of black blogger concerns regarding our economy and the need for the Obama administration to aggressively enforce of Federal contracting requirements, while establishing new programs in the Department of Commerce, and labor to address the need for job training and small business/micro business "grants" (not loans), for low-income urban dwellers?

I hope the DNC and The White House will continue to expand the working group to other progressive African American bloggers, such as  Afro-Netizen, Black CommentatorBlack Agenda Report, Field Negro, Faye Anderson, Oliver WillisPrometheus 6Republic of TSkeptical Brotha, and so many others, who may have other observations and thoughts regarding what the administration can do to "really" address issues like jobs, the economy, health care, education, community capacity-building, and investment in our communities. I'm hopeful that the DNC and the White House is not, what some may consider the pimping the growing influence of black bloggers Only smart work and full engagement on the part of all parties, and time will tell... 

As a black Independent voter and blogger, I remain cautiously hopeful.

UPDATE: Check out the news article in the NY Times about the black bloggers meeting with President Barack Obama. It includes video link of White House meeting with President Obama, Valarie Jarrett and Black bloggers, including corporate so-called afro-centric news groups,The Root (owned by (the Washington Post) and the Grio (owned by NBC)

 

                      Cross posted on African American Pundit Blog

 

The afrosphere is NOT the "black blogosphere"

Update [2008-12-18 20:23:17 by Manic Lawyer]: I've reread paragraph (4) and I have no idea what readers are complaining about there. But, as I suspected, no support has been expressed in comments for Black self-determination, the afrosphere, the AfroSpear or Black bloggers, except support for self-expression in general. I didn't expect any support, but the response makes it clear to Black people why the afrosphere is NOT the Black part of the blogosphere.

I hadn't intended to write anything more at my blog, but something I heard urged me to write again.

I personally hate the term "black blogosphere". "Blogosphere" is a word invented by white people, and "black blogosphere" implies that we Blacks are merely a (minute) part of their white world.

In reality, we have our own world with our own definition of our political reality, and out of that self-definition comes our political action. In the afrosphere, we are not the "black table" in a room full of white people. We are an autonomous black conference, independent of white people, which assures our self-determination (until we are infiltrated by the FBI or the Defense Department).

If we were the "black blogosphere", then every time a decision was to be made about the nature of the blogosphere overall, we Blacks would be out-voted, out-gunned, and therefore could safely be ignored.

That's what was happening until the AfroSpear and the afrosphere came along.  Now, we are independent, with our own unique voices and self-definitions. We are not now marginalized as we were and often continue to be at white blogs, where we usually constitute no more than 3% of participants. Instead, we are at the very center of the afrosphere, aspiring to be the vanguard of the Black online world.  In the afrosphere instead of being numerically marginalized and politically ignored, we Blacks are at the CENTER.  We ARE the afrosphere.

There's more...

Black Bloggers Debate Obama's Victory

Cross-posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.

What does the election of President Barack Obama mean to Black bloggers? Rickyrah of Jack and Jill Politics expressed it today through "The Imagery of Tuesday", because sometimes words are not enough to capture what we feel and what we feel has happened.

Would White people ACTUALLY vote for a Black man for President?
I said I didn't know the answer to the question, but I just wanted to know the answer. That this country was facing a moment of truth about itself. It was fast approaching the instance where the mythology of America was going to meet reality, and it was going to have to decide.
And, it did. Jack and Jill Politics


African American Political Pundit surveyed over half a dozen afrosphere bloggers, quoting their most salient points.

There's more...

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