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August 6, 2007
YKos Attendees Lacked Diversity
As someone who attended the YearlyKos conference here in Chicago last weekend, I made the observation this morning that the event seemed a little "white" to me:
There were definitely more people of color than there would be at a conservative or Republican event. But as I scanned the faces of attendees to the Presidential Leadership Forum where almost all YKos was gathered, my rough estimate was 75% white – perhaps larger. I read nothing untoward into this figure. Even the conference director Gina Cooper thought as much:
The conference had no control over the color of those signing up (unlike the Democratic convention that mandates racial diversity in precise amounts to the decimal point). And it can hardly be called hypocritical when attendance was voluntary. I’m also sure they didn’t turn anyone away because of race.
"It's mostly white. More male than female," says the former high school math and science teacher turned activist. "It's not very diverse." There goes the open secret of the netroots, or those who make up the community of the Internet grass-roots movement. For all the talk about the increasing influence of this growing group -- While there's no doubt some of this "diversity problem" is because readers of blogs and bloggers in general are white, male, and better off than the average American, the fact is that the left has been skewering conservatives for years about the lack of diversity at their political gatherings. Will liberals now be a little more understanding with regards to conservative shindigs and the kinds of people who attend them?
"We are a community . . . a movement . . . an institution," Cooper said in a speech Saturday night -- what gets scant attention is its demography. While the Huffington Post and Fire Dog Lake, both founded by women, are two of the most widely read blogs, the rock stars are mostly men, and many women bloggers complain of sexism and harassment in the blogosphere.
Don't hold your breath.