Bill Clinton, the Black Mecca and a Room Full of White Bloggers

My man P6 hipped me to a raging conversation about a meeting that former United States president Bill Clinton had in his Harlem offices with a group of bloggers. It seems the controversy stems from several issues…and that this has grown into a controversy is interesting for several reasons:

1) Would Bill Clinton meeting with white liberal bloggers be newsworthy beyond the implications for Hillary Clinton (following the primary defeat of Joe Lieberman by Ned Lamont)? Since Hil and Joe and Bill have all supported the nation’s illegal war in Iraq, this outreach effort may be what P6 rightly sees as an effort to reach a core constituency.

2) Location, location, location. The meeting was held in Harlem and there were no Black bloggers in attendance. There were no brown, yellow, red, tanned or otherwise coloured bloggers in attendance. What does that mean? P6 says Slick Willie was the only Black person in the room.

3) What is present state of cyber-segregation? Is this something that is real? When it comes to politics – do you have to be white to be an influential blogger? Who reads black bloggers and aren’t these selections simply a matter of taste and personal identification?

4) What does Bill Clinton want from white bloggers that cannot be delivered by black, brown, yellow, red and tanned bloggers? Do these groups have different constituencies and different cyber-impacts?

I don’t have answers to all of these questions. Some I answered over at P6. Others I will leave who care about such matters. I am no fan of the Clintons. It may have been the saxophone gig with Arsenio or withholding soldiers from intervening in Rwanda or any of a host of other things, but whatever it was, it wasn’t the dress, the sexual relations or the marijuana.


  1. P6 says Slick Willie was the only Black person in the room.

    Man, you gotta give them the sneer quotes around ‘black’. Note he don’t get the capital ‘B’ either.

    That ‘first black president’ shit annoys me…

  2. It seems to me like this entire thing can really be reduced to the location…I can’t ascribe any meaning to this beyond the fact that the meeting was in Harlem – that’s about it for me. It has no significance beyond that from where I sit – however some of the responses have revealed some deep fissures which I’ve always known to be there.

  3. The meeting was held in Harlem most likely because that’s where Clinton’s office is. As far as no non-white bloggers in attendance (assuming to be represented by the picture) I offer a few scenarios:

    1. No black bloggers wanted to attend.
    2. No black bloggers were selected based on the pool available.
    3. No black bloggers accepted invitations.

    There are many more, but the idea is simply that there aren’t any and there are many possible reasons for this. Jumping right into the black v white controversy probably isn’t a great start though.

    As far as Clinton being black I don’t understand this – someone told me this the other day too. He appears to be white to me and in my opinion being a certain color is simply about race and nothing more. It has nothing to do with where his offices are, who is constituents are, etc.

    Well said temple3 – im with you in this one. This really has no significance at all.

  4. The reference to slick willie being a black president goes back to Toni Morrison…she said it years ago. I don’t recall when – but you can certainly Google it and get the low down. Aside from his cabinet appointments and his office location, there isn’t anything “black” about him. It’s really an odious reference that has lost all context.

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