The Longest Now

Zionists, Women, AA for Dean?
Monday September 22nd 2003, 3:52 am
Filed under: indescribable

Funny thing about the Dean campaign — everyone loves them; the Roswell aliens, young neoconservatives, Bush family members, hardcore Zionists, African-Americans… Visit blogforamerica right now, and you’d find seven Featured Sites in the sidebar, comprising

  • 1 official Dean-community tool site [chatforamerica]
  • 2 unofficial blogs by hyper-active Dean support groups [generation dean, deancore]
  • 3 unofficial, well-cared-for niche support sites [latinos, seniors, republicans]
  • 1 painfully official, stale brochureware support site [african americans]

Which of these sites is not like the others? Hmmm. is bizarre in a few ways:

  • it has almost no content related to, or of special interest to, african americans; just a generic 500-word note position statement on affirmative action, among a raft of 20 Dean position statements.
  • it has no activity; no blog, news log, or other regularly updated page.  just a link to a yahoo! group which gets 150 messages a month — nontrivial, but still very low traffic (these are chatty posts, not usually content-rich announcements)
  • it has no voice, only flat passionless language; I doubt any african american has ever touched the site, despite the original blogforamerica post announcing its genesis [rumour has it, it was set up / is maintained by an african american southerner, but if so she hasn’t gotten around to adding any personal touches to an out-of-the-box site].  When I first saw it, my immediate reaction was to look for its clone sites; LatinosforDean, ZionistsforDean, etc; happily it does seem to be one of a kind.  
  •  it’s not as if there is no alternative site by and for african americans who support dean! blacksfordean, for instance, has a number of interesting points to make, and a well-done FAQ that gets right down to why the Black community should pay any attention to Dean.

    Here are some quotes from the truly wonderful followup comments to the initial announcement of this site (which apparently hasn’t change an iota since August 7):

    I kicked myself in the leg ( 🙂 )once I saw that website. I had just grabbed to start building a similar site. But it’s great…It’s just even more sign of the energy behind Dean winning in 2004!
    [note that blacksfordean, now an elegant and functional site, isn’t even in the list of ‘unofficial sites’, two months later]
    I am excited to be an African-American female Dean supported and glad to see more outreach for African-Americans. I’ve been clipping Dean info interesting to under represented Dean constituencies like African Americans and sending it to friends and family because there was no central place to get info. Thus I have a file of info to share and would like to receive info from others. To date have info on Dean statements on Liberian aid, speeches to NAACP, Urban League and Latino groups (love the fact that he did them in spanish, statements on social justice for all, Dean on talkin about racism to whites as well as minorities etc. There is good info and his potitions are strong you just have to do a bit of extra work to compile them. – patrice nelson
    This is a comment any minority-supporting candidate would die for. Did it get further coverage, say a direct quote in the main blog? I must have missed it. Did any of the materials Ms. Nelson mentions get collected on or any other official site? If so, they’re remaining very well hidden.
    To win over any “community” — preferably the American community — the candidate will have to speak in a way that cuts like a knife through all groups and sectors and factions in a way that resonates with human beings and citizens. That is what draws me to Dean – and I have begun to worry over the last few weeks about the new campaign style (over substance). Dean with his sleeves rolled up with machinists, Dean embracing African american, etc. Dean needs to do what Dean does best: remain direct, rough around the edges, and offer a dose of fresh air to the American “community”… – brownie

    I couldn’t say it better. I feel the campaign is evolving this way month by month. Being beholden to a set of political advisors who think it’s too dangerous to be direct and rough around the edges, is little better than being driven by polls or special-interest groups…

    What was the campaign thinking? Why don’t they have at least one full-time staffer who oversees translating content into spanish, keeping minority-support links and materials up to date, etc?

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