Progressives congregating at the annual Netroots Nation conference for grassroots activists and bloggers found themselves in an ironic race-based quandary Thursday morning. At one of the first panels of the three-day summit, a speaker pointed out that the majority of the event’s attendees were Caucasian.
During a panel on how to “block the right-wing agenda,”Carmen Berkley – the Executive Director of the Generational Alliance – noted that while the progressive movement does a good job talking about the issues that affect minorities, it needs to try harder to reach out to minorities.
“I mean, and I don’t mean any disrespect, but as, you know, even as I look into the…as I look into this crowd, right, there needs to be more people of color that are actually sitting in this room as those are going to be a lot of the folks that are affected by some of the issues, and we don’t actually have them in this room,” she aptly pointed out.
In fact, there were only five recognizable minorities, including herself, in the room of approximately 50 people. For a movement that has repeatedly suggested that conservatives are racist and has used the lack of persons of color at conservatives’ annual conferences as proof that the Republican Party doesn’t appeal to minorities, Berkley’s observation and the lack of minority participants at their own conference is well, embarrassing.
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