Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Memphis council member played race card in tussle over blogger nomination

There has been a buzz today online regarding the liberal Memphis blogger, Steve Ross, whose name was nominated and then withdrawn from consideration for an opening on Memphis's Charter Commission. Usually affable blogging journalist, Trace Sharp, is livid about the disparaging way CM Joe Brown referred to Steve:
His nomination to the Charter Commission in Memphis was a great thing. A progressive blogger who doesn't go after people with pitchforks, who backs up his arguments with hard stats that he is diligent to make sure are accurate. And he can remember everything politically after many of us have gone on to something else. This is not a defeat, quite frankly, because someone with sense is going to see his value and he’s going to get a bigger and better gig in the future.

What completely infuriates me is that Joe Brown, and others, just don’t get that Steve Ross is not just a “blogger.” He’s a businessman who is participating in the state of his city. His traffic, according to him, is basically comprised a great deal of community leaders reading his research (stuff they could have done themselves quite frankly).

So when Brown decides to say the word blogger as a slur, it pisses me off.

And the progressive blogger was apparently replaced with somewhat a bit more conservative, so there is that but that’s another story for another day.

However, the story doesn't end there. CM Brown (a Tennessee State University alumnus) was spoiling for a pissing contest with a fellow CM who nominated Steve, and he brought his manhood into the debate. And the story doesn't end with the pissing challenge. CM Brown also drew attention to his own blackness and the nominating CM's whiteness on top of the gender challenge. Go to the tape via Michael Silence:

In case you missed it, CM Brown blurted out:
"I’m a real man. "I’m a real black man. I hope you are a real white man."
It's obvious to me that CM Brown started a cock fight with overtones of racism because he sees the appointment to the Commission as his own gendered and racial turf to defend. This had nothing to do with democratic process or progressive ideals. It's the twisted idea that one guy needed to defend a possession he thinks he's entitled to against another and would do so along racial lines despite the fact that race was not the issue here. Steve's nomination should rise or fall on its own merits without degenerating into such a race-baiting cock fight.

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