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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Is Reverend Jackson Throwing Shade Towards the Black Blogosphere?

I must give a much deserved hat tip to our resident commenter Sergio of the Bloodsport blog, for informing me about a recent Chicago Tribune article that appears to denote tensions between Rev. Jackson and the Black blogging community. Those who are familiar with our site, undoubtedly know that since Afronerd’s inception, we have been very critical of Reverends Sharpton and Jackson for their apparent adherence to dated civil protest tactics and their failings in addressing a segment of the Black underclass that exhibit pathological/self-defeatist behavior-this latest blogger conflict essentially proves our point. But you don’t have to take my word for it, check out this excerpt from the Chicago Tribune article in question:

"Our struggle today is that we are free, but not equal," said Jackson, one of America's most recognizable civil rights leaders. "You will not close that gap with a YouTube mobilization."

Jackson and other civil rights veterans contend that lasting structural change, such as pressuring corporations to give minority-owned businesses more contracts or persuading Congress to pass new hate-crimes laws, requires the kind of sustained lobbying that only established groups like the NAACP or the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition can provide.

"Internet bloggers can serve the meal better than they can farm," Jackson said. "Farming requires tilling the soil, removing the debris, planting, being patient, letting it germinate. That's the strength of labor unions and churches and civil rights organizations."

Yet Jackson acknowledges that bloggers "can get issues to the marketplace faster"—a fact he said he used to his advantage after a recent trip to Haiti to draw attention to a hunger crisis there. He gave the first accounts of what he saw to the Huffington Post, a widely read political blog.

The NAACP, meanwhile, has responded to the challenge posed by black bloggers by starting a blog of its own and appointing as its president Benjamin Jealous, a 35-year-old activist who promises to reinvigorate the 300,000-member organization.

"I don't see any tension with the black bloggers," said Dennis Hayes, the group's chief executive officer. "The NAACP applauds the bloggers. But there is also the need in civil rights to produce warm bodies to bring to a cause, and traditional civil rights organizations like the NAACP are still able to do that most effectively."

Click on the link below for the article in its entirety:

Black activists go blogging in challenging status quo

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