INCOGNEGRO: Undercover as a Black Conservative at Right Online During Netroots Nation (Part 1)
By Cheryl Contee
This is the story of how Elon James White of This Week in Blackness and Blacking It Up and I infiltrated the Right Online conference masquerading as black conservatives. Right Online was held at the same time and in the same place asNetroots Nation in Minneapolis this year. The right wing has struggled to mount a conference as popular, as successful and as important as Netroots Nation. BTW, this was the largest NN ever with over 2500+ people from all over the nation and the world, showing that despite a difficult economy — progressives online remain as committed as ever to coming together to design & promote creative solutions to turn this country around. Faced with the growing popularity of NN, a couple of years ago Right Online lit on the strategy of riding Netroots Nation’s coattails, hosting their conference in the same city around the same time as ours. While their conference remained small, it attracted media attention — which emboldened them further.
This year, not only was Right Online held at the same time in the same city as NN — it was in the same hotel! NN mostly took place in the convention center but the Hilton was the official conference hotel where many of the 2500+ attendees stayed. It was an aggressive move and beyond provocative. As a board member of Netroots Nation, I felt provoked. I wanted to know why they were dry-humping my conference with such determination and stamina. What did they want? What was their conference like? Why were they here and what did they hope to accomplish? And — what might we expect next year?
Yes, some of you may feel I’m playing into their hands and giving them attention they don’t deserve. Yet, I’d like to offer the notion that Elon and I were just giving them a little taste of their bitter James O’Keefe/Andrew Breitbart medicine. Why not take a page from their book and expose the true status of the right-wing internet movement — and how black conservatives are treated in that movement? After all, the day prior to Elon’s and my little adventure, Breitbart and his team had personally caused a ruckus invading Netroots Nation in the registration area. A bit of tit for tat and quid pro quo had been earned.
Read the rest at Jack and Jill Politics