Netroots Nation: 'Largest' Progressive Conference Features Empty Seats, Racialism, Molotov Cocktail T-Shirts
Netroots Nation bills itself as “the largest annual conference for progressives.” This year’s conference was plagued with nearly empty events, racial incitement and wild radicalism far outside of the American mainstream, including items for sale with threats of violence.
This year's conference just wrapped in New Orleans. Keynote addresses were delivered at Netroots Nation by Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Cynthia Nixon, and self-described democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. These speakers, and the conference’s legion of panelists, pushed an unrelenting new era of racially-focused activism and organizing.
The problem was, much of the time there was nobody there to hear it.
The conference was plagued by nearly empty events. "This is What Democracy Should Look Like" was a panel featuring Atima Omara, A’shanti Gholar, and Carol McDonald. With seating for more than 200 at the event, barely 20 Netroots attendees came to hear.
Perhaps they were playing slot cars or skee ball. Netroots organizers provided the progressive attendees with a variety of amusements, some harkening back to childhood toys like electric slot cars and Ms. Pac Man. Organizers neglected to cover up the offending gender identifying "Ms." in the video game.
Participants were entertained in the concourse by a Mexican Mariachi. Naturally, the band didn't bring their culturally offensive sombreros. It was a musical safe space at Netroots 2018.
Bathrooms at the convention lost all gender branding. Both males and females used the convention hall bathrooms without regard to gender.
Among the topics at Netroots Nation were race, mobilization, race, voting rights, race, and cultural oppression by the dominant patriarchy. On voting rights, much attention was devoted to the "myth" of voter fraud and the need to retool the language associated with talking about voter fraud. Voter suppression — a term that never appears in any federal law and is used by the Left to group legal activity with illegal activity — was the hot topic at a voting rights seminar (that was again attended by very few people).
The panelists talked about a long-term strategy to rebrand their agenda as promoting "free and fair elections" by states adopting vote by mail, a month of early voting, felon voting, and mandatory voter registration of anyone on a government list. "Go talk to the kids" was another message, describing tactics to get into grade schools and turn children into activists who promote get-out-the-vote programs for Democrats. Also high on the agenda was early voting registration posing as high school civics programs that push 16- and 17-year-olds into the voter registration pipeline as early as possible so they may be contacted by progressive organizing efforts.
Kat Calvin of "Spread the Vote" encouraged activists to resist the urge to leave blue states to organize in red states, explaining that the goal in blue states should be 100 percent voter turnout. Abandon red states was Calvin's message. Other activists were highly focused on turning Florida blue through approval of a felon voting referendum, Amendment 4, on November's ballot. Progressives view giving the right of felons to vote as the key to flipping several purple states blue and red states to purple. They openly said, probably correctly, that Amendment 4 is the way to turn Florida blue. To them, it was all about creating angry racial bloc voters. Some Republicans have joined with their efforts.