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Sunday, January 21, 2007 

Repost: Take Five--Points Toward a Summation of the 1st Annual Blogging Against White Supremacy Day

My good friend Jimmy Higgins reminded us that simply doing is never enough without summation of what was done. So I have reposted his thoughtful summation of the first Blogging Against White-Supremacy Day (to borrow from comrade Lauren). So for your reading pleasure:

Take Five--Points Toward a Summation of the 1st Annual Blogging Against White Supremacy Day

[Take Five. Every Friday, Fire on the Mountain picks a category and lists five cool things in it. It's up to you, dear reader, to add your own in the Comments section. Just click on the word "comments" at the bottom of the piece and you're off to the races.]

Okay, so this is kind of low road. I didn’t have a topic (like political James Brown tunes a few weeks ago) conveniently thrust before me by the world, and I wasn't having much luck casting about for ideas—five kinds of dental floss? five cool episodes of My Mother The Car?

At the same time I have been feeling a little unsettled that the first annual Blogging Against White Supremacy Day came and went without any summation. This is, I know, in keeping with the short shelf life of stuff on the Internet but I get old school about this sort of thing. When a project of some political importance is undertaken, there should be some summation. What follows is not that summation, but one guy’s ideas about what happened and how to look at it. Others should please chip in. (The most complete set of links to participating blogs is at Pottawatomie Creek, the blog where the original call went up.)


1. Quantitatively, I count twelve or thirteen bloggers who put up something privilege–related between the 14 and the 17th. (A few who signed up to do it don’t seem to have actually posted at the time.) In addition there were a bunch of interesting comments, especially on the better-established blogs. While I knew most of those who participated, there were a couple of gratifying discoveries, and I trust others had that experience.

2. Most of the posts can be slotted (or forced) into a few broad groupings (leaving out Lauren’s inspired choice of an Audre Lorde poem and CelticFire’s graphic).

Historic documents: Haisanlu, LeftSpot and me

Reflections on Dr. King’s role and his holiday: Bolivariano Roja, the indefatigable LeftSpot, EightOneUnderRedStar

Aspects of white supremacy today: Yolanda (twice). Lefty Henry, John, Modern Pitung

Personal reflections: Jesse on hipness and white supremacy in Santa Cruz and Nelson H on having a White Citizens Council skeleton in the family closet.

[I personally found these last the most interesting and most thoughtful. They were also the most in the diary spirit which blogging still carries from its origins, a spirit which is more personal and less instrumental that most political blogging.]

3. Ya gotta organize. As Mao says, without a general call the broad masses cannot be mobilized. Nelson H issued such a call. But Mao goes on to call for going deeply into the work in a few places to make breakthroughs. As above, this isn’t how Teh Internets work in general, but we aren’t average netizens; we are, most of us, revolutionary socialists, and we know a few things about organizing which may be applicable in situations like this.

For example, uniting with the advanced to win over the intermediate. Two places where more effort, I would argue, would have been richly repaid occur to me immediately. One is Stan Goff’s interesting and well-trafficked Feral Scholar. Even more important, I would argue is the young feminist/womanist of color patch of the blogosphere. Folks like Yolanda and Zooey are steady blogging about white (and male) privilege and the intersectionality of oppressions, never mind a particular day, and coming up with some really interesting stuff.

4. Overall, I thought the first Day of Blogging Against White Supremacy went pretty good and I hope folks are primed to keep addressing these issues over the coming year. Keep your eyes open to develop links and ties with others you come across over the next 12 months who address these questions, so we can start the 2008 BAWS push with a cohort at least triple what we wound up with this time.

5. As I’ve been mentioning every chance I get, The Cost of Privilege: Taking on the System of White Supremacy and Racism, the fantastic new book by Chip Smith and a small research and writing team, will be out within weeks. Along with it will come a new website for the book, which promises to deliver some “value added” for folks who visit it. Right now, I’d like to ask each person who blogged on BAWS Day for permission to add a link to their contribution. If you say “yes,” it’ll spare me chasing you down one-on-one to solicit you.

(Okay, so 5 is not a point of summation. Sue me.)

Suggestion for next collective blog April 22nd, Lenin's birthday which also happens to be Earth Day. 

Posted by Haisanlu

Or how about Feb 21 - the date of Malcolm X's assassination, or March 20, the anniversary of the start of the US invasion/occupation of Iraq?


Posted by LS

Summation, damn! How could I forget? Lord knows the "left" blogosphere needs some kind of reflection.

And yes---I give full permission for you to link my work from the BAWS Day. :-) 

Posted by Yolanda Carrington

Well, I had something more planned, but keep in mind: I'm working full time (actually, 50+ hrs a week!), and I'm in school full time as well, and leave aside homework, and my other obligations and communist work...leaves me with precious little time to contribute something meaningful. Still, I united fully with the sentiment and, hopefully, next year will be able to actually contribute more and get more folks on board.

In unity,

Posted by celticfire

Hey, I know it's short notice (tomorrow, Monday, Jan 22) but I just came across this:


Blog for Choice Day
January 22, 2007

On January 22nd - the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade - we are asking pro-choice bloggers to join us in a day of activism for choice. Blog for Choice Day is a chance to raise the profile of reproductive rights issues in the blogosphere and the media, and to let everyone know that a woman's right to choose is nonnegotiable.

This year's topic is a simple one: tell us, and your readers, why you're pro-choice.

Sign up for Blog for Choice Day below to let us know that you're planning on devoting at least one post on January 22nd to sharing the story behind your pro-choice beliefs. You can download a Blog for Choice Day sidebar graphic to let your readers know that you're participating. We'll send you a reminder, and link to your post here. You can also tag your posts with "Blog for Choice" to show you're joining in.

If you're not a blog or a website, please encourage your favorite sites to take part in Blog for Choice Day!

Together we can ensure that the blogosphere is flooded on January 22nd with pro-choice voices.

Update: If you have a MySpace or Livejournal blog, make sure your posts are not friends-only, so we can link to you.

If you need help with the HTML code to add the graphic to your site, copy the contents of the box below.

You can link to mine too if you want to.
I only found out about this from Yolanda's blog (the day after the call was supposed to be in for). I also had a 'bit of a hard time' coming up with something. I don't know what you think - it's a fairly random sort of post.


Posted by AradhanaD

A week and a half later, here's my take --

I think that the main importance of this kind of group-blogging day is in helping to develop unity among the netrev blogs, which seem to be mostly individual and somewhat isolated efforts (as pointed out by Modern Pitung, who also coined "netrev" I believe.)

Ideally, that should include unity logistically (growing the network of netrev readers/writers), thematically, and politically. Probably thematic unity is the least important (in terms of the greater significance of these days), but it's the one that's necessary for the event to happen.

I think this first BAWS Day did very well by these standards, especially for logistical and thematic unity. And it definitely suggested the potential importance of these kind of events. I agree with Jimmy that some extra strategic organizing would help expand the reach and influence of these events a lot, and that seems worth doing.

I'm interested to find out what's the best method for online organizing of this kind. Is it through carefully targeted organizing? Or does it spread best through word-of-mouth, the way bad youtube videos do? And what's the relationship between those methods?

Jimmy's goal of tripling the number of contributions next year sounds like a good challenge. (And Jimmy, feel free to link to my post.) 

Posted by Jesse

You have been doing good work.

There has also been "Carnival of Socialism" blogging events. See: http://carnivalofsocialism.blogspot.com/ .

I hope to be involved in your next event. 

Posted by Renegade Eye

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