My Last Netroots?
Next week, TWIB will be broadcasting live from Netroots Nation in San Jose, CA.
I can honestly say that I am excited but I am trying to mentally prepare at the same time. To me, Netroots is like a homecoming at a high school where you were labeled an outcast. I mean, you really love being a ‘netty’
or whatever the hell we call ourselves but you kind of wish that you fit in a bit more–like a member of the football team or the cheerleading squad. I’ll play my role but this might be the last time.
I found out about Netroots after listening to progressive radio for a few years. At that time I was hooked on reading Daily Kos down to the very last comment per post. I was chosen to attend my first Netroots on a scholarship with Democracy for America. I “won” because I promised those who voted for me that I was a pragmatic progressive, a registered independent, willing to listen to all sides as we work toward common goals for our future. I saw myself in progressivism because I believed that progress was on my side.
The following year, I pitched a communications training and was accepted. The year after, I proposed and hosted my first panel–Ask a Sista–with the likes of our editor-at-large Cheryl Contee, Zerlina Maxwell, and Dr. Goddess. We
blew the roof of the mother really made a name for ourselves that year and that is why Ask a Sista is back for a third go round.
But now, I have to keep it 100 percent with ya’ll. I am looking forward to it . . . but then again, I am not.
I still struggle with the lack of diversity in the Democratic party; even with an African-American president. Some Dems are holding up Cory Booker while secretly supporting Chris Christie. At times, the Party serves two masters and seems to side to the right of the continuum because of the media’s framing of the message. This is problematic to me (and Susan Rice).
I also am miffed that the party spends a lot of its time responding to Republican issues instead of advancing our own. The Left engages with them in their disruptive and obstructionist behavior and quells new movements of populism simply because it doesn’t fit into the liberal agenda–whatever that is.
And I say whatever that is because I don’t know what the hell it is anymore! Do we want single-payer healthcare? Do we really want immigration reform? Do we want all of our brothers and sisters to get married? I can’t tell. We’re bringing knives to a (literal) gun fight and we wonder why we keep going home with our tail between our legs.
The desired outcome of Ask a Sista was to give progressives a peek into our world; to show them the things that we hold near and dear. It’s the progressives’ very own little focus group about the complexities of African-American women and we can’t even pack the house. At times, I feel like Netroots puts me on display (as evidenced in the actual registration page) but doesn’t see me a partner in the conversation. I want to change that.
Maybe you all can talk me down off the ledge, but unless things get a little brighter for us (or just me), this year might be my last.