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View Diary: Can We Talk About Solidarity? (124 comments)

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  •  "The single most distressing aspect (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orestes1963, Urizen

    of this whole situation to me, is that Netroots Nation has not stood in solidarity with one of its prominent members."

    Or its single most prominent, and powerful, member didn't stand in solidarity with the board--which does, I think, include other members of historically-oppressed groups, if that is the key to solidarity. Hell, half those people are on Markos's payroll. Ingrates.

    I think both sides make good points on the merits. I don't particularly 'stand in solidarity' with either--good thing I'm not important enough that it matters.

    But I think it's an excellent thing for NN to not be too beholden to Markos. This entire site is his personal property. That's already problematic in terms of a progressive movement.  We're hardly walking the talk by building 'communities' that are wholly-owned a single guy, no matter how lovely that guy is. And if Markos can veto the decisions of a board of fellow progressives, via a fairly dick move like this (there were other ways to handle thing without maximizing the split), that's even worse. I love a Great Man, myself, no mistake--the concentration of power makes everything much easier. Still, I'm not sure this isn't a positive thing, in the long run. (If NN doesn't reverse itself, which I expect they might.)

    "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

    by GussieFN on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 12:34:41 PM PDT

    •  there may be members of other oppressed (6+ / 0-)

      groups, but the issue in AZ is directly related to Latinos, so that is who we ought to listen to in terms of solidarity.

      I don't think that NN needs to be beholden to anyone. It's not a matter of that. It's a matter of looking at an issue that has to do with oppression of Latinos and standing with the Latinos in your community on this ONE issue.

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 12:49:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe there is a Latina on the board, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UnaSpenser, jbsoul, orestes1963, DawnN

        but even if I'm wrong, there is certainly, as the diarist says, a range of opinions about this within the Latino community, and one can 'stand in solidarity' on either side of this issue.

        I honestly have no opinion on the merits. I see Markos's point. I see Cristina Jimenez's, too. I certainly see yours. You very well may be right.

        I just think that there are other issues at play here, and among them is one that people tend not to be comfortable raising on dkos: are we comfortable with how much influence the 'netroots' has invested in a single person, and is that a strong model, moving forward?

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 01:04:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Very thoughtful diary (9+ / 0-)

        There is clearly an internal split among Latinos. Adam B and others on the pro-NN-going-to-AZ side have repeatedly pointed out that Arizona Latinos want NN to come.

        I'm sympathetic to Markos and Armando's stance. But when it comes to an internal split, I'll show solidarity with the side that is more often/directly affected. Arizona Latinos are more often and directly affected by SB 1070, since it's an Arizona state law that they live under, so I give their opinion about what kinds of actions are needed more weight. But that's just for me - I don't think Markos or Armando or likeminded individuals should do anything they don't feel comfortable doing.

        I won't be going to NN because I never go to NN. But if NN were an option for me, I would go to Arizona, because Arizona Latinos want NN there. Again, that's just for me. We all have to make up our own minds, and I don't feel anybody is "right" or "wrong" here.

        GussieFN, Adam B has stated that it would be impossible for NN to reverse its decision, as it would be crippling financially. The decision was made in April 2013 and various contracts have already been signed.

        •  I didn't know that. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Urizen, DawnN

          Thanks. So this decision is over a year old?

          I don't know. Maybe I'm being irrationally anti-authoritarian, even though Markos has only ever added happy value to my life via this site. It just makes me edgy to see such intelligent, thoughtful, and wise diaries like this addressing what I worry is, at bottom, in some ways, not entirely an elevated disagreement.

          However, this is utterly baseless on my part, and not fair. Though I have long been uncomfortable with the fact that one of the--or the--centers of the online progressive left is one guy's personal property.

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 01:16:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I feel like you're missing my point. (I am the (12+ / 0-)

            diarist.)

            I am as anti-authoritarian as they come. I am in no way suggesting that NN owes any authoritarian allegiance to Markos over all their decision-making. He has gladly given up control of NN. Long ago. I don't think he's even on the board, any longer.

            Still, he is a member - and a prominent one - of the NN community. And when NN is considering a question which has to do with oppression of Latinos, specifically, solidarity would mean deferring to the Latino members within your ranks.

            As I said in the diary, I have no idea whether there were other Latino voices within the core community of Netroots Nation. Perhaps, within the NN decision-making group there was internal Latino dissension. That would be difficult to navigate and I would make no judgement about that.

            But, if the internal Latino voice was predominantly of the view that Markos is and they made their decision based on what Latinos elsewhere wanted, they walked away from a core principle of solidarity. Again, I have no idea if this is what happened. So, I'm not making an assessment. I'm offering this up as a way of thinking about solidarity, in general.

            It's hard to be an ally, sometimes. If you're a white member of NN and you have a split amongst the Latino members in your decision-making team and inner community, where do you stand? I have no idea. But, if you have a consensus opinion amongst the Latinos within your inner circle and non-Latinos override that consensus in the name of solidarity with Latinos who are not inside their ranks, that's not real solidarity.

            When I see people here on DailyKos criticizing Markos' decision, I want us all to think about the value of solidarity over the value of thinking you have a better, more "right" opinion on the subject of how to address racism against Latinos. The principle of solidarity informs us to stand with our community members, as allies, without judging other Latino groups who may see things differently. That division amongst Latinos is for them to work out without our intervention.

            I do agree with you that it can be difficult to work with the idea of this online community being hosted by one person who owns the property and, therefore has an elevated role in the community. If we were talking about a union issue, I'd argue with Markos til the cows come home if I saw something differently than he. If we were talking about a women's issue, I'd take great pains to tell him to he has no place telling women how to address women's issues. I don't care if he owns the site or not. We all live in a capitalist construct and this is what we have to live with, to a point, but I won't compromise principles for an "owner." However, this is a question of dealing with oppression of Latinos. It just so happens that the "owner" of this site and, therefore, very prominent member of the community is Latino. Therefore, on this subject, I will defer to him, as solidarity is a principle I wholeheartedly believe in.

            Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

            by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 01:32:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you make a good point, and (5+ / 0-)

              make it very well, and I kinda went off on my own tangent, for which I apologize.

              In terms of solidarity, I'm mixed. I'm a Jew. Yet I would never ask non-Jews to show solidarity to me in re. Jewish issues by not thinking that they might have a better, more 'right' opinion on how to address anti-semitism, say. Not only because maybe they do. And not only because whenever I've seen Jews try this, lo on this very site, it backfires spectacularly.

              But more (perhaps because I am a Jew!), I find people refusing to give honest opinions, refusing to take a stand, to shout and argue and complain, out of fear for my feelings, more insulting than anything. It presumes my weakness. Your opinion on all sorts of matters really does have relevance, because you're obviously smart as hell, and because fortunately we're able to communicate across 'specific oppressed demographics.'

              In terms of this particular issue, you're deferring to Markos even though you--and I--don't know if, within the NN decision-making group, there was internal Latino dissension?

              Isn't that, within the guidelines above, premature?

              (Excellent diary, btw. Didn't mean to come on too strong, if I did.)

              "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

              by GussieFN on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 03:13:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was going to make the same point (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                GussieFN

                Deferring to someone because of their group ID is patronizing and therefore offensive.  Ensuring that members of the affected group are given ample time and opportunity to state their case and giving weight to those opinions for the same reason is the right thing to do.  But no one should relinquish their right to draw their own conclusions on an issue.  I don't understand how this is not an obvious truth.  

                •  again, one might draw their own conclusions (5+ / 0-)

                  but one would not insist that members of the oppressed group abide by any conclusion other than their own.

                  There is a difference between reaching your own conclusion and imposing your conclusion on the person who is subject to the particular oppression.

                  As a woman, if I ask for a man's opinion on a women's issue, I would hope they would give me their deepest truthful insights. However, even if they gave them to me and felt that their insights were far superior to mine, I would expect them to honor my choice of how I fight my own oppression and not impose their analysis onto me or publicly berate me for my choice. I would never trust that man, again.

                  In this case, Markos owns DailyKos. As a Latino, he has long stated his boycott of the state of AZ. Whether I agree with his reasoning or not, I would never insult him, mock him, insist that he "fall in line" with NN or go to NN15 as a representative of the DailyKos community. I certainly wouldn't walk into the venue he hosts and debate him on the subject of his own conscience. Any of those actions is patronizing and disrespectful.

                  Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

                  by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 07:17:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You've inverted my point (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Urizen, AoT, GussieFN

                    The proper example would be if you as a woman were arguing in favor of a position that affects women.  I would entertain your arguments, have a discussion about them, respect your perspective, but I would never yield to them unless I agree with them.  To do otherwise is juvenile IMO (mommy and daddy know best!).  To explain by example- Andrea Dworkin in the 70's/80's argued that pornography was a crime against women.  I happened to find her arguments compelling and often took her position in debates (it was a very unpopular opinion at the time).  By your standard, Dworkin deserved deferential agreement because it was an issue that affected her as a woman.  That is simply anti-intellectual.  Relinquishing one's intellectual agency to the wishes/demands of another is acquiescence, not enlightenment.  There is no opportunity for growth or understanding under these circumstances.  

                    The issue here is not respect for the decisions of others (per your example and reference to Markos).  One should always respect the agency of others.  The issue is the role deference to others should play in one's decision-making (or expression of one's own agency).  I would argue that it is incompatible to respect the decisions of others, while also relinquish one's agency to another.  It's internally inconsistent.      

                    •  you misunderstand agreement with (5+ / 0-)

                      action taking.

                      You don't have to agree with me on women's issue.

                      It would be patronizing if you felt you could direct me on how to fight my own oppression.

                      Solidarity means letting me have my own agency even if you think it is a mistake. It doesn't mean agreeing with me, or foregoing your own principles. It means not getting in the way of me pursuing my own conscience and principles.

                      So, in the case here, no one has to agree with Markos. Don't come into his living room and berate him about his position, though. And don't - particularly if you're not Latino - try to tell him what he should and shouldn't be doing when it comes to fighting the oppressions Latinos face.

                      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

                      by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 10:18:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You raised the issue of deference (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        GussieFN

                        That has been the subject of my responses in this string.  You stated:

                        solidarity would mean deferring to the Latino members within your ranks
                        Giving deference would necessitate my deciding that your position is right even if I disagree with it.  It is asking me to subjugate my position to that of another.  That is my bone of contention.  

                        I agree with the revised definition of solidarity that you offer in your comment above.  Yes, we don't have to agree (which would include not having to defer to you in the royal sense).  Yes, it is patronizing to dictate how another should fight their own oppression (although offering options or another perspective is fine).  Yes, each person's agency should be respected.  And yes, one should not stand in the way of another fighting their battle.  Everyone chooses the best means for fighting their battles and I fully respect that.  But no one's opinion, IMO, is entitled to any over-arching deference based upon group membership, ownership, power, reputation, or any other factor.  One may choose to defer, but it is not an entitlement.      

                        •  Defering someone does not necessitate (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          4Freedom

                          deciding their position is right. That's agreement. Deferring to others is when you go along with their position even if you think it isn't right.

                          But no one's opinion, IMO, is entitled to any over-arching deference based upon group membership, ownership, power, reputation, or any other factor.  One may choose to defer, but it is not an entitlement.  
                          It's clearly a choice. If you are forced to defer then it's something entirely different.

                          No War but Class War

                          by AoT on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:36:10 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't get it (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT

                            Una's comments and diary imply that deference should be given because the affected group member's opinion holds more value than a nonmember's.  You now differentiate deference from agreement, arguing that deference is given when you think another's position is wrong (ie, when agreement is not reached).   I don't see how this could ever be advocated morally.  It is an abdication of one's own moral obligation to do the right thing.    

                            Yes, deferring is a choice. in the sense that one has free will.  Everything is.  However, Una advocated that deference should be given (that's a directive) as an expression of solidarity.  How is choosing to defer when not in agreement not an expression of entitlement to agreement?  I don't understand the distinction you are trying to make.  

                          •  It isn't a moral abdication (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ndaWilderness, 4Freedom

                            In fact, it's the opposite. It is recognizing that when people are oppressed you shouldn't be the paternalistic interloper that shows up to teach all the oppressed people how they're wrong about resisting their oppression.

                            This isn't to say that you shouldn't question anything, nor that you should blindly go along with everything some group says.

                            And the more I think about it, oppressed groups are entitled to deference when it comes to most actions. I think I want to argue against it being entitlement because of the negative connotations, but yes, oppressed groups are entitled to having the main say on how to deal with their oppression and how you can work with them to do so.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:04:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's not an either/or proposition (0+ / 0-)

                            The opposite of deference is not paternalism.  More importantly, they are not the only choices.  

                            I vehemently disagree with the notion that oppressed groups are owed any special deference.  And I say this as a member of a minority group.  In practice, one is likely to defer to the methods of the oppressed group because they have the most fulsome understanding of the issue, but it is a far leap from this to a knee-jerk entitlement.  

                            Furthermore, the notion of entitled deference is itself problematic because one rarely achieves consensus among any group.  This is certainly true of the history of the feminist and gay rights movements.  So, how does one choose deserves deference in this instance?  I would argue it would be the group that is most aligned with one's own thinking.  

                            Oppressed groups, of course, are entitled to chart their own course and to reject anyone who chooses not to follow along.  (That's what I have always done.)  But that's an expression of the agency of the group, not an entitlement to quiet obedience.  

                            I wonder if this discussion reflects different attitudes based upon membership or not in an oppressed group.  As a gay man, I have never even contemplated that others owe me some sort of deference because of my status.  Perhaps that stems from the fact that I have never seen full agreement within the community on any issue and would be troubled by someone with whom I disagree obtaining deference for her/his views from non-members.  Indeed, this happens with many rights organizations- and the LGBT ones are notoriously bourgeois.  

                            Finally, this entitlement to deference rests upon the false notion that an oppressed group speaks with one voice.  I cannot think of any instance where this has been true.  Accordingly, any deference by entitlement necessarily denies the agency of members of the group.  It further renders invisible the many opinions, experiences, and needs of various members of a group.  I don't understand how this can be seen as a good thing.  

                          •  Many points to clear up: (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ndaWilderness, 4Freedom

                            1) Yes, if a group is working together and an issue that relates to the oppression of women comes up, then the decisions about what the group does in the name of the group should be much more highly weighted to what women want to do rather than men. That is, showing solidarity would mean deferring to women on that issue at that moment.

                            2) Deferring isn't always a bad thing. If a choice one makes as a statement of solidarity, it's a very healing thing. One isn't giving up one's autonomy or personal opinions. One is choosing to act in support of someone else.

                            3)Agreeing to accept a group decision is not the same as agreeing that the decision is what you think is best. In consensus decision-making we often work on the concept of how to think of one's vote on a decision. Your vote doesn't have to mean "I like it" or "I agree with it." A vote for the decision means "I can live with it." A vote against a decision means "I can't live with it."

                            I'm not so sure why it's so difficult to understand this concept of cooperation and mutual support. If you support someone when it's about giving them agency in a fight against their oppression, then they will do the same for you.

                            It's rather like if you have a sibling who tells you that they are going to marry someone you don't think is good for them. You can't control their life. So, you support them throughout. You may believe that someday they'll be crying on your shoulder through a breakup, but you still go to the wedding and give a supportive toast. It's their life and their choice and they have to live with the consequences. As a family member, you are an ally in their life and you defer to them on decisions they make for themselves. It's not about agreeing or giving up personal power. It doesn't diminish you in any way.

                            Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

                            by UnaSpenser on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:38:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think I have made clear (0+ / 0-)

                            that I agree with your three numbered points.  However, you have, at least in language, gone beyond these unobjectionable positions.  You have argued here that solidarity requires deference; on this point I disagree.  To use your own example, I certainly would respect my sister's decision and wish the best for her, but I would not feign solidarity with her re marriage if I believed it was bad for her (eg, if her spouse were abusive).  If it were merely a matter of personal dislike of her spouse, I would offer solidarity because my opinion of her spouse is irrelevant to her life decisions.  In fact, I generally refrain from forming those kinds of opinions in the first place for the same reason.  This is the distinction that your blanket call for solidarity does not recognize.  And as I stated above, I think it would be immoral of me to feign approval (in the abuse example) if I thought harm would come to my loved one.  It would be an abdication of my responsibility to her as a loved one.    

                            What you have argued here, however, is something very different.  You have argued that Markos deserves (is entitled to) our solidarity because he owns the place.  I find this problematic for a number of reasons.   I view it as analogous to my abusive spouse hypothetical above.  It appears, from what I read here, you would raise your glass to toast such a marriage, whereas I would not.  Perhaps this is where our disagreement is understood.  

                      •  Addendum (0+ / 0-)

                        If no disagreement with Markos is to be brokered because it is his living room, then I would appreciate a formal pronouncement of such demand.  It has always been my understanding that this is not expected.  

                      •  I would be more willing (0+ / 0-)

                        to give Markos his due as someone who might be at risk in a reactionary state such as Arizona if he had not belittled those who make a point of only using union facilities. No matter what your race or religion, the unions have saved what little human dignity is left in the workplace.
                        Making light of other people's concerns will not convince them to take yours seriously. That being said, had I been voting, I would never have voted to go there.

                        "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

                        by northsylvania on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 01:42:56 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Dangerous (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      karma5230, ndaWilderness, 4Freedom
                      I would entertain your arguments, have a discussion about them, respect your perspective, but I would never yield to them unless I agree with them.  To do otherwise is juvenile IMO (mommy and daddy know best!).
                      This is the attitude of many people. IMO it's dangerous. If a man and a woman are arguing about the oppression that women face, then the woman should receive more deference than the man. And if you come to an impasse in an argument about male privilege with a woman, and you are a man, then that should absolutely be a sign that you need to disengage and do some heavy thinking about what you're talking about, because in my experience the vast majority of times it's the man who is flat-out incontrovertibly wrong.

                      Repeat as necessary for all other less-empowered groups in our society.

                      •  sadly, there is an inability to see the difference (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ndaWilderness, 4Freedom

                        between offering one's deference in a particular context, as a healing agent for fighting oppression and giving up one's autonomy to an authoritarian.

                        I think it can be easier to understand when we talk about people with certain expertise. If I go to a doctor and he has proven to be competent and trustworthy, I will defer to him in certain matters. If I walk in and say, "I've had this headache that won't go away and I think it's because I went to this concert" and he says "well, I think it may just be that you're dehydrated", I'm going to defer to his opinion and try drinking some water.

                        That's because I respect him and I know that he has more insight into medical things than I do. With people from oppressed groups, we could think of them as being the ones with the expertise on their oppression. As a white person, I don't have expertise on what it's like to walk around in dark skin. I may intellectually understand and I may intellectually think I have great ideas for what needs to be done to make walking around dark skin no different from walking around in white skin. But I don't have the visceral, lived experience and all the ways in which shapes your brain and your character and your emotional makeup and your perspective on the world, etc. So, if I'm to ally with people of color, I will defer to them on how to fight racism. I willingly choose to do that as an act of solidarity. I can always leave the group if I feel that they are choosing actions I can't live with. That's my autonomy remaining in tact.

                        Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

                        by UnaSpenser on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:46:34 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Your doctor example makes my point (0+ / 0-)

                          Your deference is predicated upon your own judgment regarding his competency and trustworthiness.  You have decided, through the use of your own reason, that you will defer to his diagnosis.  

                          In your race example, you do not exercise any judgment.  You defer simply because s/he is a member of a particular group.  This is the problem I have been addressing.  IMO, one must always exercise their own judgment in assessing the views of others.  Refusing to do so out of some sense of being exclusionary or not entitled to your own thought-out opinion is an abdication of your own responsibility to be a thinking moral person IMO.  

                          For some reason, my position is being read as a rejection of the value of the information (experiences, history, etc.) an injured group member can offer regarding the plight of the group.  That is not my position at all.  Of course, there is value in one's lived experience.  And in many instances, deference is the right response.  It is the presumption of (or entitlement to) deference that I have been arguing against.

                      •  My point is premised upon (0+ / 0-)

                        having an open mind, honestly entertaining the other's position, including giving weight to their personal experience, and drawing a conclusion from the discussion.  You seem to infer that I would presume I am right.  That is antithetical to having an open dialogue.  

                        The point I have been trying to make is that either acquiescing to another's position against one's own position because they are a member of a minority group is juvenile.  Similarly, I do not believe that one is owed some special, unquestioned deference because they are a member of a minority group.  It is merely another form of privileging.  One cannot eradicate privilege by bestowing privilege.  I say this as a gay man.

                        To illustrate by example: let's say a prominent gay kossack argues that the methods of Act Up were deleterious to the gay rights movement (a position with which I disagree).  If straight kossacks give that opinion deference simply because of the speaker's status, they necessarily disregard the opinions of others within the group who disagree (perhaps out of lack of awareness that there are divergent opinions on the issue).  Let's say this kossac's opponent is a straight man with whose opinion I agree.  Under Una's reasoning, the gay speaker's position should be given deference over the straight person's position because he is gay, regardless whether he is right.  Yet, I, as gay man, would actually agree with the straight speaker.  Presumably then I would have to jump to the straight speaker's defense in order to bestow bona fides upon his position.  This is simply wrong IMO.  

                        As I queried upthread, perhaps the confusion derives from the experiential differences between minority members and non-.  There has never been full agreement on any issue affecting the gay and lesbian community.  The issue of deference never comes into play (unless done insidiously to stifle debate) when hashing out our differences.  I think it's cool for outsiders to say, well, I'm just going to stay on the sidelines and let them duke it out.  But I think it's also cool for outsiders to say, you know, I agree with X's position on this matter and reject Y's position (where both X and Y are gay).  There is nothing offensive or oppressive in an outsider choosing a side (eg, not deferring to the gay speaker out of an informed disagreement).  

                  •  sadly, some live to berate (6+ / 0-)

                    I completely agree with your point, Una, that solidarity is important and people need to think carefully about how wise it is to berate people who are generally our allies but differ with us on occasion.

                    Unfortunately, we're humans and humans like to play "us vs. them"--even within their own groups. Given an opportunity to throw a verbal or real rock at someone, too many of us can't pass that up--even if it means dinging and possibly alienating someone who is a natural ally on many other issues.

                    This kind of mindless "who can I tear into today?" spirit seems to possess a lot of people here and everywhere else on the Internet.

                    It's counterproductive to approach allies in that spirit when we disagree. It is important to disagree respectfully with people we need beside us.

                    But these days, the pro wrestling model of discourse prevails, whereby he who hurls the best insult wins. Too many folks reflexively drop into that posture the minute they see any disagreement.

                    Respectful disagreement is rarely modeled publicly, certainly not in media, so some folks seem unaware that such behavior is possible.

                    Good points. Thanks for this diary. It's a good blueprint for managing disagreement among allies.

                    "All all of the women — Democratic women I should say — of the Senate urged Hillary Clinton to run, and I hope she does. Hillary is terrific." Elizabeth Warren on ABC's "This Week."

                    by cassandraX on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 04:49:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  asking for my opinion is fine. If that is what you (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                True North, AoT, GussieFN, DawnN

                asked from me, I would give it to you, as an act of solidarity.

                Overriding your own decision about how you want to stand up to anti-semitism is a whole different matter and would be very disrespectful.

                In terms of deferring to Markos, I meant deferring to him on what the DailyKos community should do, not what NN should do.

                If Markos has determined that he does not want a DailyKos presence at NN15 due to his concerns as a person who is targeted by their "prove you're really a citizen" laws, I will honor that, regardless of NN's decision-making process.

                How I feel about NN is, as you've said, an open question. Whether I would attend NN15 might hinge on what I learn from them about their process. (The fact that they are not being transparent about it suggest to me that the process was problematic, I must admit.) But, if I decided that it felt like they did the best form of solidarity they could, I might be ok going to NN. I simply would not go as a member of DailyKos. When I've gone in the past, I've used my DKos handle of my badge, for instance. I would not do that at NN15.

                And, thank you, for continuing the dialogue. I appreciate it.

                Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

                by UnaSpenser on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 07:10:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I appreciate all the dialogue (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, GussieFN

                  about NN15, and I completely respect Markos' decision. As for using my DKos handle on my badge at NN15, though, I respectfully disagree with the idea that using it demonstrates a lack of solidarity.

                  I came to NN through DKos, and using my handle, to me, honors that. Some DKos members that I have met at previous NNs probably know me better by my handle than by my given name. Additionally, many people may be using their DKos handles elsewhere on the Internet. If I wanted to identify myself on my badge by using the DKos logo, that might be construed as a lack of solidarity, but my handle is mine.

                  It may seem pedantic, but using my DKos handle at NN15 in no way makes me a representative of DKos any more than going to ComicCon and putting Wonder Woman on my badge would make me a representative of DC Comics.

                  "The American people are so used to being told they have freedom and democracy that they've forgotten to check to see if it's still true.." -Commenter on Facebook

                  by Arenosa on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 11:24:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I guess what I'm missing (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  orestes1963

                  is the 'override' part. I might agree with you there: not entirely sure. But 'argue with' isn't 'override.' 'Have a strong opinion about' isn't override, either. I guess what I'm saying is that being an 'ally' (and I dislike the term) doesn't obviate my responsibility to wrestle with, even loudly, these issues. It means that, at the end of the day, I fight on the same side.

                  And I'm not sure that one's solidarity is necessarily determined by proximity. There is a woman in my life who is an anti-feminist (she'd say 'anti women's lib'), anti-choicer. I wouldn't stand in solidarity with her against women who I barely knew on women's issues, because I can judge for myself what I believe, and I'm righter than she is about those issues. Even though she is a woman and I'm not. I'm not going to preference her opinion about this stuff over mine, and I wouldn't if she was the only woman I knew. Now, the ugly side of that is that my sense of my own rightness doesn't end with her; I also think I know better than you about women's issues, even though I'm almost certain that I just don't.  (I'm presuming here that you're female.) So I'd try to 'stand in solidarity' with you. But I'd do that only because I imagine that I largely agree with you. On matters in which I disagreed, I'd find some other women to stand in solidarity with … which in the isn't standing in solidarity with anything but what I already think!

                  Have you ever stood in solidarity with someone on an issue about which you strongly disagreed?

                  And thank you for the dialogue, and for not getting too fed up when I lurched a bit off topic.

                  "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

                  by GussieFN on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 07:07:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  first, you bring up some interesting points, (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    4Freedom, GussieFN

                    thank you.

                    ON the question of solidarity with women when you have a woman in your life with whom you disagree:

                    You clearly aren't choosing solidarity with her. And, she's not a group. I'm talking about joining a group and then maintaining cohesion via solidarity.

                    The first thing I note about her, as an individual, is that she is not choosing solidarity with other women. To be anti-choice is take autonomy away from women - that's a blatant breach of solidarity. So, how could she expect solidarity. Pro-choice supporters are not denying her her personal right to make the choice she feels right about. That's solidarity.

                    When one joins a group, or starts to call oneself a member of a defined community, there is a big question one needs to ask oneself before signing on: "am I committed to the same mission and principles as this group?" That step is so often missing.

                    Once one has determined that the answers to those questions are, "yes", then it becomes important to embrace solidarity for the sake of group cohesion. Without cohesion, the mission is not likely to be achieved. So, why bother if you're not going to opt for solidarity.

                    In terms of you thinking you know what women need better than women know what they need, well, as soon as you say that you are admitting that you don't believe women are fully-formed adults deserving of autonomy. You think you know better and should push them to do as you say. That's patronizing. You might want to take a look at that.

                    Deference, in solidarity, is not an act of powerless bowing to authority. It is a gift one gives to support the autonomy of another. Part of that is letting them make their own mistakes. Sometimes that is respectfully keeping your mouth shut in a particular moment because solidarity is more important than being right or getting your way.

                    In my experience, this is a particularly difficult thing for men acculturated in our male dominant society to get. It's akin to that common dynamic you hear about where a woman shares her feelings with a man and he starts to tell her what she should do to fix it. He thinks that is an act of caring. She is offended. What she seeks is empathy and support for her figuring it out herself. So, she finds his response to be one of treating her like a child.

                    As a parent, I grapple all the time with the question of letting someone else make their own mistakes. I give my daughter as much leeway to define every aspect of her life, as I can. By letting her make her own choices and live through the results, she is growing into her own. More than that, I can love her and know as well as anyone, but I can still never know what it is like to be in her skin, feeling her feelings, seeing things the way she does and knowing what her inner calling is in any given situation. I wouldn't presume, so I tend to listen and ask a lot of questions. Often, I think I know the solution to a problem right away and would love to just "get this taken care of", but that's taking away her agency and her sense that her life is hers to live. And denying her the chance to come up with solutions I may not have considered. Sometimes I realize that because she is different from me, a solution I think would be best isn't right for her. And the thing she decides may seem way off base to me, but then I see her walk that pathway and end up just fine, because she navigates every moment differently than me. All this is to say, I am her parent. Until she is "of age" I have legal authority over her. Yet, I most often defer to her. It is my gift to her to let her build her own autonomy and not be turning to other people to figure things out for herself. I don't feel demeaned or disempowered by this. That's solidarity. An utter faith that the other person is fully capable to navigate that which they need to navigate for their own liberation.

                    Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

                    by UnaSpenser on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:04:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I agree that there seems (0+ / 0-)

                      to be strong strands of gendered thinking going on here! I was going to say something, but didn't want to derail. Still, I'm aware how male it is to think that nobody else should be deprived of the valuable opportunity to hear my opinion.

                      I'll say two things: one, I think I missed your point about joining a group. I guess I don't feel I joined Daily Kos in quite that way. I don't look to Markos for leadership or wisdom. I cannot, off the top of my head, think of any insight I've gained from him personally. (There are bloggers I do feel have given me insight--say, Digby--but I don't feel that I've joined any group of theirs, either.)

                      But two, I'm a parent as well. And I do the same thing you do. Or, at least, I try to. I try to let my son make his own mistakes, so he can learn. I try not to 'solve' his life for him; I want him to learn his own lessons.

                      But I do that from a position of superiority (and with a bone-deep willingness to step in front of a bus for him, if his 'mistake' puts him into traffic.) But if I did it to you, as a woman, it'd be unutterably patronizing. Literally infantilizing. I'd be thinking, 'well, I know best, but why don't you see how that works out, with your pretty little head?' That's bullshit.

                      Instead, if I disagreed with you as a woman--not a child--I'd tell you, as honestly and strongly as I wanted, what I thought, because I trust that you are my equal. I trust--and this thread proves--that you can push at least as hard and smart as me. You don't need my deference. Instead, you demand my respect.

                      And you have it! So I'm gonna think about all this a little deeper. I suspect that the step I'm missing is

                      When one joins a group, or starts to call oneself a member of a defined community, there is a big question one needs to ask oneself before signing on: "am I committed to the same mission and principles as this group?" That step is so often missing.

                      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

                      by GussieFN on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 05:01:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  and, yes, I have gone along with things that (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    4Freedom, GussieFN

                    I don't agree with.

                    At NN a few years ago, I was involved in an action wherein I was requested to don a hijab. I have very strong feelings about the centuries old oppression that is the hijab. But, I had witnessed the racist abuse of some Muslim women on the sidewalk a couple of days earlier and we learned that the person abusing them was attending the conservative conference next door to ours. I got a text from a group of Muslim women who wanted support. And, so I put on a burqa as an act of solidarity.

                    I never once said anything to them about my feelings regarding hijabs. It wasn't the time or place. I don't regret for one moment, deferring to their idea for their action and putting my own ideas aside.

                    You can read about it here.

                    Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

                    by UnaSpenser on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:14:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Practical question about that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          If the decision was made in April 2013, when was it first made public?

          When I started reading all these various diaries and comments, I was under the impression that the decision was just made recently, like around the time of this NN.

          •  The decision was made in April, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            True North

            but next year's NN is never announced publicly until the current year's NN gathering. Until last year, it was kept secret until the final evening. Last year they started announcing it on the first evening.

            "The American people are so used to being told they have freedom and democracy that they've forgotten to check to see if it's still true.." -Commenter on Facebook

            by Arenosa on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 11:26:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So the board doesn't tell anybody? (0+ / 0-)

              There are more than 70 sponsors, of which 22 are "premier sponsors." Does the board keep anybody in the loop, outside members of the board and staff?

              It appears that the NN board respects the unions that are sponsors. I just wondered whether there are some allies that are informed of the decisions because--for example--the plan is to hold the event at a venue linked to one of the union sponsors. (It seems that they respect the unions because no consideration is given, ever, to holding the event in a non-unionized venue, no matter what.)

              It just seems kind of weird to me that the board decided three months before NN 13, but withheld the information on where NN 15 would be held. Maybe they were afraid that some people would skip NN 14 because they liked the NN 15 venue better.

              •  I don't know when the board (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                True North

                communicates with the sponsors about upcoming venues, nor when kos would have been aware. AdamB has posted that the decision was made in April 2013, and the NN14 first evening reveal that I refer to is only the public announcement. That's when the rest of us find out.  

                "The American people are so used to being told they have freedom and democracy that they've forgotten to check to see if it's still true.." -Commenter on Facebook

                by Arenosa on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:10:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Additionally, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                True North

                My understanding is that the Austin NN (which I missed) was held in non-union facilities, and that the board was roundly criticized for that. They decided then to never hold NN at non-union venues ever again.

                You would have to ask AdamB when the sponsors are notified. I don't think that choosing union facilities necessarily indicates that any specific union sponsors would be made aware of the decision at a high level; the large unions likely have one department handling sponsorship decisions and another department helping organizers find and book union facilities.

                "The American people are so used to being told they have freedom and democracy that they've forgotten to check to see if it's still true.." -Commenter on Facebook

                by Arenosa on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 10:19:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  thanks for this--I'm just curious (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kevskos

                  I understand that a board might decide to hold back the public announcement for a year.

                  However, it does seem to me that it makes sense to talk to key people within the organization, even if they're not on the board, to avoid problems like choosing a non-union venue when many of their funders are unions.

                  It's just a non-profit board--they're not the CIA.

                  I'm involved with one group that does it differently. At the 2014 conference, they announce the 2016 venue. That works better for me. I can't attend every year, but if I know where in the country the next couple conferences will be, I can figure out which is better for me. I might go for the 2015 event if I realize that 2016 won't work, for example. The group doesn't necessarily lose attendees by announcing venues as early as possible.

                  •  As far as I know, the public announcement (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    True North, raines

                    of next year's NN at the current year's NN is pretty much the way they've always done it. I'm not sure how complete the 2013 decision was, incidentally; perhaps the venue was set but they hadn't yet determined which of several date options would work best. I'm just speculating, of course. I'm sure Adam could provide info about the selection process, at least as far as what the law allows him to reveal.

                    A point of clarification, though: Although NN was born out of YearlyKos, which was born out of DKos, it is now a separate organization. Kos is a key person, certainly, but he is not, technically, within the organization of NN (as I understand it). I just mention that because there's been so much hand-wringing about Kos' role with regard to NN.

                    "The American people are so used to being told they have freedom and democracy that they've forgotten to check to see if it's still true.." -Commenter on Facebook

                    by Arenosa on Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 02:14:32 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Good points (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      raines, Arenosa

                      Yep, maybe their process is to nail down everything--like the hotel contracts--to be 100% sure, between selecting the venue in the spring and announcing it a year later.

                      I understand the DailyKos, YearlyKos, NN sequence.

                      Daily Kos is a premier sponsor of Netroots Nation. When I worked in the non-profit sector, we actually did talk with funders about things that might relate to the support they gave us. We valued the grants we got, and we were upfront with the funders who provided them. And we didn't take their support for granted.

                      •  It probably depends a lot on (0+ / 0-)

                        the non-profit--and I don't know whether the NN board did or didn't talk with kos. DKos is one of 22 premier sponsors, based on the list for NN14. I don't know what proportion of the sponsorship funds come from DKos.

                        I also worked for a non-profit, and relationships with sponsors, while important, have to be considered in the context of the non-profit's mission. It could be very risky--and I'm speaking generally here, not particularly about DKos and NN--for a non-profit to allow a sponsor to drive or unduly influence decision-making.

                        As for the NN decision in particular, I just saw that Adam has posted a diary addressing it: http://www.dailykos.com/....

                        "The American people are so used to being told they have freedom and democracy that they've forgotten to check to see if it's still true.." -Commenter on Facebook

                        by Arenosa on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 04:38:13 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  My thoughts exactly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            True North

            And how is the community input organized?

            No War but Class War

            by AoT on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 11:29:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Personally (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raines, karma5230, 4Freedom

      I think there are many reasons other then solidarity with kos to not hold NN in AZ. I realize many good people  live there but that does not override the fact that it has become in the majority a racist nasty right wing state. Considering what is going on with immigration right now I would not set foot in many states these days because I do not want them to benefit from my money. If I had to got to AZ I would but this is a choice not a necessity. It's a progressive choice.  

      I don't buy Eden foods anymore as their CEO will not provide the women who work there with contraception coverage. They have great products that I've purchased for years. They have always produced organic healthy and sustainable grown products. I stand in solidarity against this company as they have stepped over the line.I am using my purchasing power to express solidarity. I also in solidarity took all our money out of Chase back in the OWS days and refinanced our mortgage, with the state teachers credit union.  

      When we as progressives start splitting hairs regarding 'issues' when it becomes mine has more validity it weakens the whole and it plays into the divide and conquer that is prevalent in our present politics. Kos seems very reasonable about how individually people are free to go to AZ but I stand behind him on not putting dkos 's resources into AZ at this time. In fact I applaud him for his humanity on this 'issue'.

      There are times when symbolism is important also. Solidarity with other people's plight is catching it makes people aware that they are not powerless. Sometimes you cannot just ignore what is going on be it a region or a corporation or an ugly out of hand segment of people in our culture. Putting your money where your mouth is one of the few effective ways left to vote. Solidarity is important.              

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