BFP has a great post up about the blogger lunch with Clinton in Harlem. Does anything strike you when you look at the picture?
Where were all the people of color? The fact that the crowd was lily-white was explained by the fact that the people of color who were invited couldn’t attend. Well, I guess that was easy to check off on the to-do list: “Inivite some nonwhite people. They can’t make it. I’m done. After all, there are only a few bloggers of color.”
Unfortunately, this is a typical response from a white person who is challenged to think about race and racism. In fact, there’s even a typical response pattern:
1. Immediately invalidate the charge of racism:
“See, Liza’s pissed because nobody invited her to lunch with Big Dog. But, instead of coming right out and saying that, she’s seizing on this opportunity to try and generate herself some publicity by insinuating that there’s some kind of racist agenda at work.”
2. Accuse the person of color of a selfish motive:
“Sure, lack of minority bloggers is a problem, but that’s not really Liza’s real agenda here. She’s using this as an opportunity to call attention to herself and climb up on the cross. (That last nail’s a bitch, innit?)”
3. Attack the person who dared to point out white privilege. Attempt to drive said person into the ground. Repeat.
A separate issue blew up over one hateful woman’s attack on one of the women in the photo. The feminist blogosphere mobilized and rightly tore the woman’s comments apart. That’s fantastic. But the comparison is painful: a white woman is attacked based on her appearance, and there’s an outpouring of outrage and support from white bloggers. A woman of color is attacked for daring to question why Clinton was only meeting with white people, and there’s very little outrage and support from white bloggers. The attacks on both women were vile, hateful, and extremely personal. Both attacks should have been condemned by a large number of bloggers.
But where is the outrage from white bloggers over the fact that Clinton didn’t meet with a diverse group of bloggers? Where is the outrage that this meeting was swimming in white privilege? Why is the vast majority of outrage coming from people of color?
Hey, white bloggers, I’m talking to YOU!