In just three days -- Monday, May 1 -- something very big is going to happen across the country. Building on the massive immigrant rights protests of the past two months, hundreds of thousands of workers (maybe more) are going to join the Great American Boycott. Or as one of the group websites says:
We are calling for No Work, No School, No Sales, and No Buying, and also to have rallies around symbols of economic trade in your areas (stock exchanges, anti-immigrant corporations, etc.) on May 1st to protest the anti-immigrant bill.
As the media has reported, the boycott announcement caused some rifts in the immigrant rights community -- as one leader told me, unauthorized workers "have more risks than rights" and many fear for the inevitable backlash.
But it's clear that, in one of the most significant movements to sweep this country in decades, Monday will be a flashpoint. Corporate America knows it -- businesses that normally would have just fired workers threatening to boycott work are now expressing sympathy. Political leaders know it -- the California legislature endorsed the boycott. Most of the country -- especially power brokers who know how critical the immigration debate is to the country -- are standing up and taking notice.
But where is the progressive blogosphere? A quick Technorati search shows that lots of blogs are commenting on May 1 -- but by my quick estimate, over 90% of them are conservatives in a frenzy of anger over the looming activities (some even declaring May 1 is Conservative Shopping Day).
In sharp contrast to the right-wing websites, a glance at today's front pages of DKos, Huffington Post, Eschaton, Talking Points Memo and Think Progress -- to pick some progressive heavyweights -- reveals they have nothing to say about May 1 (Huff Post has a couple dry posts on the "immigration debate," but nothing substantive about this major event.)
A search for the word prostitution brings up a multitude of posts from progressive bloggers big and small.
What's going on? Why is the progressive blogosphere so completely out of touch? Is it because most of them closely identify with partisan politics, and the Democratic Party doesn't have a very clear position on the immigration issue? Is it due to a racial blindspot in the blogosphere, connected to its demographic make-up (and yes, I know Markos at DKos hails from El Salvador; I'm talking about the larger reality)? Do they not understand the historic nature of this movement?
With or without progressive bloggers, May 1 and the immigrant rights movement are shaking up our country in a big way. Just read this clearly nervous dispatch in today's Atlanta Journal- Constitution:
Anybody with business in the state Capitol area on Monday might want to stay away - unless your business is protesting immigration laws.
State authorities are preparing for as many as 100,000 protesters at the state Capitol for a rally scheduled from noon to 4 p.m.
The rally coincides with other May 1 activities, including a boycott, aimed at protesting proposed crackdowns by Congress on illegal immigration.
Who knows how big the May 1 events will be, but it's clear everyone has them on their radar -- except progressive bloggers.
For those interested in what's happening in your area, check out this listing here.