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People of Color in the Progressive Blogosphere: Native American blogger Neeta Lind and American Indian blogs

June 28, 2011

In the always changing world of social media and blogs, there is a big need for more “people of color” or non-White communities as bloggers and online activists.

Non Whites are widely underrepresented by the corporate media in the U.S. Therefore, our stories are not told and our voices are not included. It’s our very own responsibility to change that, starting with blogs and social media.

This is a brief conversation with Neeta Lind, a Navajo (Dine) blogger who I met years ago at the Netroots Nation conference. This time we decided to do an interview -watch the video in this post- and talk about the importance of online exchange and support for Native American blogs by commenting and linking our websites. “We need to act online by spreading our messages, our blogs” says Neeta.

Photo by Netroots Nation

We as people of color need then to express our opinions and tell our realities to others, because we are underrepresented in the corporate media. That is why social media is really important, at least for that purpose. Without communication, we don’t exist, we are invisible. This is especially crucial in the progressive movements.

There are few Native American blogs, says Neeta but “we are starting, it’s a movement” said Neeta.

I asked Lind about the lack of coverage of American Indian content in the U.S. corporate media, and the racist name Redskin of a football team in DC, “we are small numbers, we are the invisible Indians, but we must let people know we are still here, that we face 80% poverty, lack of jobs, we are last people to be considered for anything, people need to spread this message, let other people know that we exist.”

About the enormous poverty among Native peoples, Lind said that “if we had been giving something like the Marshall plan for Europe, it would help dig us out” while asking “How can we help the Germans but why can’t we help the Lakota?”.

Native American and Latino bloggers

We bloggers of color need to work together, especially Latinos and Natives since we share a common heritage. “It’s about education, blogging about Indigenous peoples not about countries only, I see myself and my Latino friends [in Southwest] we have the same features and tribes,” say Neeta Lind “We need to talk about it and explain people who don’t understand it, we need to support each other.”

In regards of immigration, Neeta says that some American Indians are very conservative, especially those who have served in the military, and they are very defensive with those who they call illegals, which “is an offensive term we need to stop using”.

I asked about Leonard Peltier, and she said that “is a long and difficult case, if he is freed there would be a terrible blowback from the FBI, they are protecting each other, bloggers can bring attention to this case because [Peltier]is extremely ill, I wish him the best”.

Finally we talked about the Census 2010, which showed a growing movement among Latinos identifying ourselves as Native Americans, and Native Americans not filling up the Census, “we have to look at indigenous peoples around the world, they all are treated the same, we have the UN Declaration of Indigenous Peoples Rights and the U.S. Senate Affairs Committee is beginning to look at its future implementation, it’s a progress,” added Neeta.

Promoting People of Color in the Progressive Blogosphere

Neeta Lind was a panelist a Netroots Nation 2011 along with Elsa Cade, Denise Oliver-Velez, Renee Chantler, and David Reid, in a discussion about bringing more people of color into writing blogs and online activism. Here is the 89 minutes conversation:

Follow Neeta Lind on Twitter, read her blog in DailyKos and Native Netroots.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2011 8:37 am

    Neeta is doing needed work in bringing Native Americans and other people of color into the political debate. Encouraging involvement and leadership by this important and growing segment of our society is necessary to build a more engaged, activist electorate. Neeta’s work with the billboard project to make more Americans aware of our country’s failure to honor treaty after treaty with Native Americans has sparked interest wherever the art has been posted.

    This is the kind of leadership and engagement that will help to include more people of color in mainstream American politics.

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