Ari Melber has a great piece over at the Nation about Donna’s big win: The Blackroots’s Edwards Victory. CBC members who are more interested in themselves than their constituents — take note. The next step for the Blackroots, IMO, is to begin to demonstrate our fundraising potential even more dramatically in a way that cannot be dismissed or explained away. Look, if some of us can tithe 10% to the church (and you know who you are), even more of us have the power together to pool our contributions into $$$ that changes the game and flips the script in favor of candidates like Donna Edwards.

From the piece:

Across the country, over 7,000 netroots activists donated $400,000 to Edwards via ActBlue, spurred by a diverse range of blogs, while labor, environmental and women’s groups spent nearly $1 million backing her candidacy. Wynn tried to make the national support a campaign issue, blasting a “vast left wing conspiracy,” a complaint that Edwards and bloggers’ used to raise even more money and interest in her campaign. As an incumbent, Wynn was backed by the CBC and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who held a late fundraiser to boost his campaign.

Professor and blogger Spencer Overton analyzed the rise of the Blackroots in a prescient post last May:

While the “grassroots” are romanticized, in the past couple of decades Black politics has been hierarchical and limited by orthodoxy that constrains debate. An MLK/Malcolm model has defined the leadership styles and political philosophy of Black elected officials, non-elected figures like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, organizations like the NAACP, and neo-Black Nationalist commentators and figures. Those not with the program essentially had the option of becoming Black Republicans. Older Black folks often complain about complacent black youth who don’t vote, march, or otherwise live up to their model. Black blogs offer not only an opportunity to break from old orthodoxy, but to do so in a way that is flatter, and allows for more engagement through comments from readers (which are often more provocative than the posts)….

He cited the successful Fox News campaign as a “significant development” that fit into a larger effort to advance wired collaboration and force “transparency [to] hold Black elected officials more accountable.” During the Fox fight in April, Afro-Netizen blogger Chris Rabb questioned how the CBC could cut deals and take contributions from Fox while neglecting its own constituency:

Do these [CBC] folks know what the “netroots” is? Do they think it’s just made up of by young, white college-educated geeks far removed from their own congressional districts? Do they know that the vast majority of Black voters who elected them are accounted for in the much larger population of African Americans who regularly access the Internet, approximately 20 million strong? Will they come to understand that the Black netroots community is presently a slumbering giant who, it seems, only the likes of a Fox News Channel can begin to awaken?

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