Monday, May 2, 2011
Afrosphere Bloggers Compel White-News Media to Focus on Black Thought and Action
When Black bloggers of the afrosphere got together in January to March of 2007 and formed the AfroSpear, a black self-determination membership group, it was never our desire to compel white-news media outlets to increase their coverage of Blacks' news. In fact, we got together precisely because we assumed there was nothing we could do about the white-news media's willful ignorance of Blacks' news and important events.
Now, in addition to building the number of Black blogs more than tenfold, we have proved that Black people do read and write blogs, even though it was initially believed or disingenuously asserted by whites that Blacks didn't blog and wouldn't read blogs. We have proved that concept to have been no more than arrogant white supremacist color-aroused nonsense.
Equally importantly, by reporting on Blacks' news and opinions and building a giant international audience we have taken Black market share from white-news outlets and thereby compelled white-news corporations to introduce corporate competition for Blacks' news eyes and keystrokes. They now have to compete with Black bloggers or cede the power of a force that elects the president, senators and congresspeople, in addition to other lower offices nationwide.
When we decide at our blogs whom we will support, we move with a unity that changes election results, just as we do by not voting at all. (I hope President Obama's staff will hear this warning louder than Hillary heard my warning not to ridicule Senator Obama on the basis of his skin color.)
The Jena Six March proved that Blacks online, across America and internationally, can aggregate tens of thousands of Blacks to act on a particular day, for a particularly galling reason. We proved that we had political pull to actually DO things that exceeded the pull of the whitosphere blogs that had rejected our opinions and participation.
Now, it seems, the white-news media is as likely to write about Black bloggers' opinions as they are to white about white bloggers opinions, if not more so. (Of course my perspective may be skewed since I don't read white-news blogs.) But, I do read white-news newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post daily.
As the African American Pundit has pointed out, the Washington Post has been compelled by Black bloggers to start The Root (with Dr. Henry Louis Gates) , and NBC has been compelled to start The Grio, to avoid losing Black market share to Black blog writers. These two corporate blogs represent the hiring or contracting with dozens or hundreds of Black bloggers, when the white-news media was previously firing Black voices as part of an effort to cut expenses.
The Black national reporters group (whose name escapes me at the moment) was under siege, with its members losing jobs, but now Black bloggers' strength has put Black bloggers at the front of the movement to inform the public through blogs, in order to avoid losing market share of Blacks, and losing control of our political focus, they are hiring and publishing Black bloggers' for a unique opinion that has finally been recognized as essential to the American conversation.
What we have proven is that the best way to change all-white news organizations is not to complain about them, as African American Pundit is doing today, but rather to compete with them and force them to improve their game, just as Venus and Serena Williams forced white women tennis players to increase their serve velocity by as much as twenty percent. Likewise, if the white-news organizations let up for one moment in their competition with afrosphere blog, Black voters and readers will increase their consumption of afrosphere Black self-determination blogs.
We have guaranteed the participation of Blacks within white-news papers. Now, we should do the same thing with white-news television news, and African American Political Pundit has started doing that through his radio program at Blog Talk Radio and the BBC on Election Day.
In summary, Black bloggers have forced the white-news outlets to cover Black issues from a Black perspective or lose Black readers completely to independent Black blogs and bloggers. Competition from corporate "black" blogs is the natural result of the success of the legitimate independent afrosphere. The Black bloggers working for the white-news media outlets will never replace the afrosphere, because their goal is to define and report or purposefully ignore Black political movements. Meanwhile, the afrosphere is the author of Black political action with Black self-determination and liberation strategies.
Working for the Washington Post with brown skin is not a Black self-determination strategy. It's a job, but not a Black self-determination political strategy.
Independent afrosphere blogs will remain relevant to the extent that we continue to define the world in terms that reflect our experience, and to the extent that we offer political strategies that the Root and the Grio cannot and will not offer, because they ultimately work for white corporate interests rather than Black self-determination motives.
The real risk is the ongoing infiltration and intentional disorientation of the afrosphere by outside-directed agents working within our afrosphere community. Some agents have come to join our group and been sent directly by the US Government and other entities.
But the corporate bloggers pose a danger as well. In essence, by blogging for corporate interests within the four corners of corporate permission, brown-skinned bloggers become part of the blackosphere, but NOT part of Black self-determination afrosphere bloggers. This will become more evident as Blacks assess the contribution of President Obama to Blacks as a group, and we assess whether the President has done anything at all to help Blacks, aside from giving one Black man (Obama) face-time on the nightly news.
Agents of the Government and corporate American media must not be allowed to prevent us from achieving genuine Black consensus and unified political campaigns, defining and confronting Blacks' political, economic, cultural, educational and even spiritual challenges by, for and about the Black People. -- Francis Lloyd Holland, Esq.