December 05, 2005

Too many white males on the 'net

Heather MacDonald is one of my favorite writers. Her book The Burden of Bad Ideas is a must read, especially for big government liberals (although it'll just tick them off). An article of hers from earlier this year would have fit well in Burden -- she rips Newsweek's Steven Levy for complaining about the dearth of minority bloggers:

Rebecca MacKinnon, writing about the conference as it happened, got a response on the "comments" space of her blog from someone concerned that if the voices of bloggers overwhelm those of traditional media, "we will throw out some of the best ... journalism of the 21st century." The comment was from Keith Jenkins, an African-American blogger who is also an editor at The Washington Post Magazine [a sister publication of NEWSWEEK]. "It has taken 'mainstream media' a very long time to get to [the] point of inclusion," Jenkins wrote. "My fear is that the overwhelmingly white and male American blogosphere ... will return us to a day where the dialogue about issues was a predominantly white-only one."

MacDonald says in retort: "For Levy to have mentioned the web at this moment is about as smart as inviting Stephen Hawking to an astrologers' convention: The web demolishes the assumptions behind any possible quota crusade."

Indeed! What real barriers are there on the web for minorities? The answer is "none" other than one's own lack of technical knowledge about computers and/or a tad of HTML. As Heather says,

For allegedly discriminated-against minority and female writers, the web is just [that] heaven. They can get their product directly out to readers with no bigoted editors to turn them away. As Steven Levy himself conceded in a column last December, there are virtually no start-up costs to launching a weblog: "All you need," he explained, "is some cheap software tools and something to say."

"Cheap" indeed. So cheap as to be free. Take Blogger, for instance. It's totally gratis. The interface (much like the Movable Type we use here at Colossus) is akin to that of a standard word processor (like Microsoft Word). Kids -- minorities included -- get taught word processing in grade school these days.

But, diversity gurus don't care about rational and logical explanations, though. They just care about "aggregate" numbers. It's the 'ol proportionate representation argument, which, when it comes down to it, isn't really an "argument" at all. And, of course, guys like Levy would never willingly give up their own position to a minority to make any proportion "right" now, would he? At any rate, here's Levy's initial "solution" to the blogger diversity "problem": "... as an initial matter, [that] the power-bloggers voluntarily link to some as yet unspecified number of non-male, non-white writers." But why should they, especially if the minority sites' views are not shared by the "power-bloggers"? Besides the fact that two (off the top of my head) of the "power-bloggers" (top 20) in the conservative blog realm are minority women (Michelle Malkin and La Shawn Barber), consider this: according to these same "diversity gurus," minorities aren't supposed to hold conservative views anyway -- they aren't "authentic" minorities. We've been told that time and time again. Just look at minority leftist vitriol directed at conservative minorities such as Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice and most recently Maryland senate candidate Michael Steele.

So, Malkin and Barber wouldn't "count" as legitimate "voluntary" links by conservative bloggers. (Malkin, being Asian, especially wouldn't count as Asians never seem to count as "legitimate" minorities to the diversity bean counters -- they do too well in academics and business, hence don't fit the model of a group who's "oppressed.") Thus, Levy's proposal would entail power-bloggers linking to "legitimate" minority blogs, i.e. minority blogs which represent "authentic" minority (in other words, left/liberal) voices. So, when MacDonald states that

The history of 'voluntary' affirmative action efforts need not be rehearsed here; suffice it to say, once 'voluntary' race- and gender-conscious policies are proposed, mandates are not far behind.

But even Levy's "voluntary" regime calls out for regulation. How will the diversity-minded linker know the "identity" of a potential linkee? To be workable, a diversity-linkage program needs some sort of gatekeeper — precisely what the web has heretofore lacked. One can imagine something like a federal Digital Diversity Agency that would assign a diversity tattoo to each blog: a lavender pig, for example, signifying a white male blogger with an alternative sexual orientation. A mismatch between the diversity tattoo on a site and its content could trigger a federal audit to track down identity fraud. Let's say an allegedly black female site (tattooed with a black halo) canvassed technologies for sending humans to Mars. Regulators might find such content highly suspicious, since everyone knows that black females are supposed to write about black females

she's right on the money.

And don't count on the First Amendment to protect you, bloggers. Keep in mind that many diversity bean counters ascribe to the doctrine of "critical race theory," which deems free speech as just a "white male device" to keep on "oppressing" minorities.

More: see how silly it all can get.

Posted by Felix at December 5, 2005 08:20 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Silly indeed. You know there aren't enough white rappers, or enough black metalheads or hockey players, but there are plenty of Asians playing classical music. Do these diversity folks ever stop to think that maybe blacks simply aren't interested in the blogosphere as a medium? I don't hear Spike Lee calling for forty acres and some major bandwidth.

Posted by: G Rex at December 5, 2005 03:00 PM

Oh for goodness sakes! One of the great thing about blogging is that you can do so anonymously, known only by your chosen handle. You don't have to reveal a thing about yourself if you don't want to! The last thing I'd want on my site is a "tattoo" - I won't have one placed on my body, either. And think about it - where's the last place that involuntarily tattoo'ed people? Hmmm?

Anyone that walks into a public library can book computer time for FREE. Anyone with computer time can get a blogger account. Anyone can be represented on the web.

All the rest is bollocks.

Posted by: Bronwen at December 6, 2005 08:09 AM

Levy's "solution" is so PC it would be hilarious if he was being facetious. But he is serious cause he thinks there are ways to level every frigging playing field.

Is there anybody out there that could secretly videotape the meeetings in editorial boardrooms where these idiotic stories are framed out?? I'd love to see them sitting around and wringing their hands about the dismal and unfair life in America.

And yes, great idea G Rex- let''s throw a few mandatory white rappers up on every stage!

Posted by: AJ Lynch at December 7, 2005 10:28 AM

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