Sunday, March 25, 2007

Blogsphere in America: Separate and Unequal - America's Blogsphere Apartheid

Like most bloggers The Angry Independent (AI) at Mirror on American finds time to Blog. As an African American Blogger AI finds many interesting topics to blog about.

He says, “Some weeks I have time to write a lot (like this week), while other weeks I really don’t have much time to even sleep (I get about 4 hours a night). I sometimes have a hard time keeping up with what’s going on, let alone finding the time to write anything about it.” Well this week he has found another important story to post. This one is a Story on Race and Blogging. The Segregated Blogsphere is an issue recently covered by many African and a few non African American Bloggers alike, including, Francis L. Holland, Jack and Jill Politics, Field Negro Exodus Mentality Vivian J. Paige, The Angry Indian, Blogs for Democracy, The Reid Report, Liberal Journal Oliver Willis, Black Bloggin, Anderson@Large Skeptical Brotha, Matt Stoller, Afro-Netizen Black Agenda Report African American Political Pundit and others.

Now Celina De León of Color Lines has written another great article on the issue. Both Francis Holland and Jill Tubman and others have been Stirring the Progressive Pot for some time on the racial segregation issues within the blogsphere.

I would like to give a shout out to The Angry Independent for his work with the Blog Mirror on America and his link to Celina De León’s

The Segregated Blogsphere

by Celina De León

Chris Rabb’s life as a blogger started with an e-mail. For four years, he sent out an e-newsletter to thousands of names in his address book. The newsletter eventually became his blog, Afro-Netizen, which provided Rabb’s commentaries on politics and news, with a focus on Black communities. Since then, Rabb has become one of the most outspoken voices on the racial divide in the blogosphere.

“As bloggers of color, we are such a smaller number of people than our white counterparts. That makes reaching the volume of traffic much harder, and the lack of social and financial capital also makes this harder,” Rabb said.

People of color make up 40 percent of bloggers, but only 26 percent of Internet users. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s “Blogger” report, which was based on findings from their February through April 2006 tracking surveys, 11 percent of bloggers are Black, 19 percent are English-speaking Hispanic and 10 percent are some other race or ethnicity.

There are no bloggers of color with the kind of exposure and influence of superstars Matt Stoller of or Duncan Black of atrios.blogspot. The result, according to Rabb, has been a typical white liberal/left dialogue in the political blogosphere.

“They won’t talk about the racial element of anything that’s been deracialized by mainstream media. They’re not going to talk about affirmative action, about the racial element of the immigration issue,” Rabb said. “Whenever issues of race come up, it’s seen as a distraction.”
Meanwhile, people of color face more barriers to accessing web-based technologies and are less likely to have the type of jobs with the flexibility and support to, for instance, blog as part of their work. As Rabb puts it, a bus driver is probably not going to blog as much as a professor.
The Internet’s element of anonymity has allowed both relief from racism (people of color who shop and do business online don’t experience the racism they do offline) and, at the same time, emboldened racists hiding behind the mask of virtual reality. More>


This entry is crossposted on African American Political Pundit and the Independent Blogger Alliance