Wednesday, October 26, 2005

On Cedric's entry . . .

It's the evening. We're dealing with the community.

First up, yes, Shirley had a typo. I won't deny I didn't grin about that. (From day one, Shirley has been the one to note every typo.) However, it should be noted that the entries would not go up repeatedly and Shirley was taking dictation over the phone plus rushing to get something up due to the long delay all the problems caused. So although I've already teased Shirley about the typo, it needs to be noted that there would be nothing up without her help. (And unlike me, her mispelling was with a name -- and an appropriate spelling of the name -- where as my typos are more likely to be a letter jumble -- they are puzzles, honest!)

I'd love to address Danny Schechter's important call tonight but that (and a thing in The Financial Times) will be put on hold because there's another issue. This went into the entry that was repeatedly lost (and I wasn't going to make Shirley try to take down my rambles -- when she was kind enough to help out).

Cedric did an entry last night, a really strong one. The community enjoys the entry (as do I). But for some reason, people who will not e-mail Cedric about it (non members of this community) feel that they can come whining to me (two bloggers in particular).

I checked with Cedric and he never heard from them. I also made sure he was fine with me noting this here.

I've never heard from any of the whiners e-mailing. (I've certainly never e-mailed them.) But for some reason, they think that if Cedric offends them, they can e-mail this site and I'll be inclined to be sympathetic to them.

I'm not sympathetic to them. The point Cedric makes is that messages are sent. So if, for instance, you have time on Tuesday to dig back three years to note a death that's three years old, but you don't have time to note Rosa Parks' death (the three year old death involves a white male), it does send a message.

If someone ignored Rosa Parks' passing at their site, that's their own problem. One of the e-mails was flat out racist and if the person ever e-mails this site again it will be posted here. (The person was advised of that by Jess who wrote the reply to that nonsense today.)

But if you're offended that Cedric noted that choices send messages, don't be mad at Cedric, be upset with yourself.

Rosa Parks was a legend, is a legend. She remains an inspiration and a historically significant figure. Your decision not to note her was your decision. You're not happy that the decision makes you look racist? Well it usually has to do with more than just one entry; however, my opinion, ignoring Rosa Parks' passing borders on the extreme stupid and you've more than earned any criticism that you've received.

Cedric specifically mentioned John H. Johnson. When Johnson passed, the internet was ablaze with "Peter Jennings has passed!" And those who knew of Johnson wondered why it was that his passing wasn't noted? KeShawn has long noted that Shirley Tubbs Jones got nowhere near the attention that Barbara Boxer did.

So when anyone makes a choice, their choice sends a message. If you feel your site is inclusive, then anything Cedric writes really shouldn't bother you.

I don't read the obit pages. I avoid them. (Only more so due to a health scare.) We certainly don't note every death here. But there are figures who are historically significant and whose actions have meant something to a large number of people. That Rosa Parks wasn't judged significant by you says something and people will interpret it.

But in terms of what Cedric was writing about, Rosa Parks was the only the tip of the iceberg.

There's something really insulting about the fact that people who have a problem with Cedric can't address it with him. It's not as though the people e-mailing this site were people I knew or had corresponded with. I'm as much a stranger to them as Cedric is. But they came running to tattle.

I agree with what Cedric wrote, you'll find no sympathy here.

A valid point was raised (in the non-racist e-mail) that no one can cover everything. That's certainly true. But it's also true that some events do deserve noting. If you can't grasp why Rosa Parks matters (she still matters even in death) then that's your problem, not what Cedric wrote or what you think he wrote.

This wasn't offered, but if it had been, I would understand it: Everyone's going to cover it. If everyone's going to note something than certainly another topic is valued. But again, with Rosa Parks, we're not talking about a TV personality, we're talking about a historically significant figure. And there's no excuse of "I'd never heard of her."

If Cedric's comments came as a surprise you to you then (in the words of Demi in The Butcher's Wife), "You need to get out more."

This is an issue and it's been one for some time (long before this site ever existed). That, at this late date, you're shocked that you've offended.

If this were another death, you might have a point but Rosa Parks is historically significant and helped to transform the nation.

Cedric has a valid criticism. Instead of blaming him for critiquing, people would probably benefit more from self-examination with regard to why Rosa Parks death wasn't worth noting.

I get undeserved credit for noting John H. Johnson's passing. That was member driven. (As is almost everything up here including this entry -- Cedric's critique is very popular within the community.) Instead of slamming Cedric are screaming "no!" (or worse), listening might help prevent future critiques on this topic.

I feel like I'm repeating myself which is a sure sign that I'm too tired to be doing an entry. Tomorrow's Indymedia roundup. Time permitting (ha!) we'll note the comments re: Danny's call for action. There are a number of ideas that came in on that (and, again, you can send those directly to Danny Schechter). One suggestion was that we pay more attention to voices like Brian Conley and on that (Joan's suggestion), he'll be added to the permalinks right after this posts. (And that and Cedric are the only links I'm doing in this post, I'm tired.)

But if you want to share on this topic (Schechter's call to action), members can use the private e-mail address. The public e-mail address is (And Cedric's e-mail address, posted at his site, is