If there's one piece you read about what went on in Minneapolis this weekend, this is it.
Overall, I can say without hesitation that it’s pretty intense being a black conservative. You certainly stick out like a sore thumb and the alternating suspicion and desire one feels directed towards you is something you have to process constantly. One 30-something black NN speaker who will go unnamed told me that a much older white Right Online attendee actually propositioned her in the Hilton elevator despite the difference in their ages and her obviously differing political views.
I can see how older conservatives deal with it having grown up in a world where maybe that was more normal. But as a post-segregation baby, it was more than I would want to deal with regularly. At Netroots Nation, the white people are a little more accustomed to people from varying backgrounds of varying colors and are thus more relaxed in our presence.
Both Elon and I were glad to return to Netroots Nation — a warmer environment where there was real diversity that increases each year with hard work from the Netroots team and the board. It’s clear that Right Online and the right in general is still very much in token mode. It was easy therefore for two black progressives to become wolves in sheep’s clothing to see behind the curtain.
What we saw there is a movement desperate to re-invigorate itself and willing to throw just a ton of money at the increasing problem of a shrinking base. I’ll tell you what — if I was the GOP, I’d be supporting Obamacare. Because they’ll want those seniors and boomers to live as long as possible because once they stop voting and a new generation takes its place, conservatives will either need to update its tune or risk dying. It’s going to take more than just teaching 60 year olds “blogging 101″ and “twitter 101″ to remain relevant in a rapidly changing society with new challenges that our founders just didn’t anticipate and for which we will need to generate new solutions.
I believe in a two party and even a multi-party democracy. So I’d like to see Republicans try harder and more successfully to moderate and adjust to welcome people from other backgrounds into their party.
We were not there to start trouble but to listen. I hope this post and my experience gives the right some insights on how to start doing just that.
That's a fair assessment by Cheryl, after all as much as Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck, or Andrew Breitbart piss me off with their views (and skews) they're all human, they're all Americans, and they all have equal right to be part of our political process. I don't agree with the methods and means they use to constantly exclude others who disagree with them from that same political process, and that's where I have the majority of my issues with shock conservatives like this.
Do yourself a huge favor and read the whole account. Having been "the only black face in the room" countless number of times, I can absolutely relate to Cheryl's moments of fear, but she also provides moments of hope as well.