In which I am (yet again) shamed by the behaviour of liberal bloggers

I’ve been busy lately, so I haven’t posted on this. Mostly because I didn’t have the time to do it justice. Not that I’m going to do it justice here, ’cause I’m just so pissed off about the whole thing. But I’ll include a link lineup at the bottom so you can read people who say it better than me.

I’m sure most people in the feminist blogsphere have heard about the Althouse incident (the roundup done on this blog can be found here). Well, what some of you may not know is that the lack of people of colour (POC) in the lineup also brought some criticism. How, pray tell, does the liberal blogsphere respond? By supporting the POC who, having seen this kind of thing countless times, have raised this issue? Of course not.

One blog, Firedoglake, put up a post that personally attacked one blogger, Liza, for daring to question her “betters” (yes they did go there).

As far as I can tell, the only basis for their “jealousy defense” (proof that we never truly leave elementary school behind, I suppose, that presumably respected bloggers could think that calling Liza jealous was appropriate for a blog post) is this quote:

I am just shocked at the glee with which Peter Daou has shown his disrespect for Pam Spaulding, Steve Gilliard, Louis Pagan, Chris Rabb, Earl Dunovant and me when he decided to not invite neither of us, or for that matter, any other black or latino bloggers.

Sure, one reading of that is that she’s miffed that she — and other POC weren’t invited — but that misses the point. The point, of course, being that there weren’t any POC on the panel because the effort to reach out to them was non-existent (and, no, sorry, but no cookie is given for “effort” because the person set up to be the “token minority” declined the invite). And, no, it’s not because there aren’t excellent political bloggers who aren’t white, either. Yet again, the privileged section of the blogsphere was given a chance to examine their privilege and go, “Huh. That is unfortunate. Next time we gotta do better,” and, yet again, they passed it up and instead went with the familiar comfort of racism.

According to Kai at Zuky the “good intentions” monster reared its ugly head (reminding me that I need to add that to the list of things I need to post about). I’ve gotten to the point where I just don’t buy the “good intentions” line anymore because it’s so often used to silence dissent from the minority group or person in question. Hey, dissenters, if your intentions are so good, put your money where your mouth is and actually listen to what the POC bloggers are saying! Seriously, how hard it is it to translate good intentions into good actions? And I’ll give you a tip: personally attacking a POC blogger for speaking out isn’t the way to prove to the world the purity of your intentions. Neither is de-linking them, as seems to have happened over at Kos’ blog.

Not to mention that Liza also gets the “women are just attention whores” attack in the comments section:

Then Jane Hamsher (another Firedoglake blogger) said in comments: “[Liza’s] exploitation of a very real problem for personal gain is quite shameless.”

Apparently these “very real problems” only exist in theory, because every time an actual person brings up actual incidents like these they are just “exploiting” the issue for “personal gain.” Right. Not to mention that this is a pretty common theme in minority discussions — especially when women are involved; I hear this all the time from people trying to discredit women who bring up sexual harassment suits and I’ve seen it around sometimes when people are talking about rape.

If people want to know why racism won’t die, it’s because of crap like this. Seriously. Too many white people seem to live in some fantasy where “good intentions” are more important than the results of actions, and where it’s okay to use ad homs on POC who dissent.

Dear liberal blogsphere: Check your fucking privilege already. This is just embarassing.


(This is only a small representation of what is out there — most of the links have links to other great posts on this matter, and I urge people to read them, too.)

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9 thoughts on “In which I am (yet again) shamed by the behaviour of liberal bloggers

  1. Thanks for the links, Tekanji! Looks like I’m keeping on this issue. I can’t abide liberal hypocrisy any more than I can conservative hypocrisy. In fact, I’m probably harder on liberals because we’re supposed to be the good guys, we’re supposed to be better than them! And there have been some good self-examination blog posts about this issue, but they’re far outnumbered by the supposed “support Jessica” posts that are by and large “pile on Althouse because it’s fun to mock wingnuts” posts. (Most of these blogs are the same ones who completely gloss over the “where the women bloggers are” question, so I’m hard-pressed to believe in their newfound feminism.) What are these liberal bloggers afraid of? That they’ll lose credibility in mocking George “Macaca” Allen because there are racist skeletons in their own closets? Au contraire, the only time they lose cred there is when they refuse to own up to those skeletons, and wave away the people who point out their presence.

  2. As a libertarian who is not in any way a racial liberal, I find this amusing then tragic. I care not a fig for racial feelings or hurt feelings in any direction but excluding som ones opinion or presence based on race alone is stupid. I follow these blogs for the gender threads not the race ones but even with my little sensitivity to this issue what you say is obvious.

  3. The “blahblah had good intentions” thing is so annoying because, as you say (pretty much), it’s irrelevant. It might be if the subject at hand were, you know, “is blahblah a GOOD PERSON;” but in fact, it’s–not. In FACT it’s not about blahblah at all, which is, you know, kind of the point?

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