Everyone who knows me, know I do not play the race card. If I tell you an event that occurred to me is racial, then it is. In fact, many of my friends, white, black, and other, sometimes get frustrated with me because I try to go through many permutations before I call it out and make a stink about it.
Governor Inslee and his handler’s disregard was palpable
In this case, I think this call out is a must. After all, this man is running for president and both his action and those of his staff tells much about his character. The funny thing is that the disrespecting, dismissing, and worse, the treatment, with invisibility, of many people of color, especially in these spaces is so rampant, it is the norm and not given a second thought.
Here is the subtle but well-orchestrated snub. Remember, this was not just me calling out the governor like you would see politicians ignoring shouting journalists. I was one who was scheduled to talk with the guy several times.
The disrespect started with his tonality of Governor Inslee’s handler. As many of us approached him, he was decidedly dismissive towards me, treating the others both from small networks and independents who were white, respectfully. Many of us allow those to roll off as we keep our eyes on the ball. But I could not let the degree of the disregard go unchallenged.
No politician is obligated to speak to any reporter. But lying and disregard for what one was promised is a lack of character. When I came back to the booth complaining, the other journalist of color said he had just spoken to Inslee’s people who promised him that the governor was going to be back at four for the interview, the same crap I got. He was willing to accept that. I pulled down my gear as it was the end of the conference and Governor Inslee and his crew had already lost all respect I had for him and his campaign.
I packed up my computers, cameras, and banners, took them to the hotel, showered, and then went back to the convention center after four. As you might have guessed, they never returned. They lied.
Ironically, a fellow publisher from a much larger news site approached Inslee’s guy who he had worked with before, and he acted oblivious to the situation. He is likely surprised that the publisher knew me so pleading ignorance may be a way to assuage his prejudice.
Whenever you hear a person of color talking about having to work twice or more as hard as their white counterpart and sometimes even that is not enough, believe it.
This setup could not get an interview with Governor Inslee.
But several like this one with interviewers of the appropriate hue could and did several times over.
Whenever I go to Netroots Nation or any other event I make sure to work hard, give everyone a voice. As Politics Done Right grows, I make sure to improve on the quality not only for my listeners but also for those I interview by creating a speedy highly technological environment that allows them to drop in\, go on-air/online, and leave in just a few minutes. Additionally, I provide an environment that the interviewee wants to visit. While most media on Radio Row at Netroots Nation and in many other venues sit tight most of the times until someone they deem worthy of an interview stops by, I respect all attendees, the popular and the unknown, who are busting their butts on the ground attempting to make a better life for us all. If I am in a lull period and I hear someone doing something positive for society, I invite them to interview to get their message out.
Like last year, I had the most interviews, by far, with almost fifty. In fact, many of my fellow Kossacks have said every time they stopped by they left because I was interviewing someone. If one ie given the honor of having that limited space, I believe your responsibility is to give ALL those who are doing something positive, coverage whether they are working on something glamorous or sexy or not.