NOTE: My apologies for breaking my boycott pledge to all the participants of the boycott. However, it would have been impossible for me to write this article without doing so since providing links of evidence is important when making a lot of factual statements so that the content won't be just a hearsay. Further, I want this to be clear that my view here is not a sweep at all the community of Dailykos but only those who know who and what they are based on past encounters.
In the last few days, there has been a lot of talk about racism and/or silencing of the voices of black people, brown people and white people standing for racial justice at at the Dailykos. The "progressive" blog site that was ones popular and praised by the NY Times magazine writer Matt Bai who said about Dailykos - "the single most successful entrepreneur of the progressive movement", will be disappoint today if he knew what came out of Dailykos. Personally, I would call Dailykos, “the single most successful entrepreneur for giving sanctuary to some vicious racist puritans” while silencing the voices of many persons of color.
Case in point, a long time respected member of the Dailykos community who is white and vocal in denouncing all of the -isms writes about the discriminatory practices of what is currently taking place at Dailykos questioning the action of the owner, Markos Moulitsas' "purge" operation. The narrative was whether the so called "purge" practice taking place currently is truly an effort to ban trolls who have infested the blog or it's an effort to silence the most powerful voices of the Black Kos community. Specifically the 30% African American voices that have just been silenced from the 3% of the African American Dailykos population. Blogger blue jersey mom writes about a community that is dear to her heart and how devastated she has become about the latest injustice in moderation:
I am also a long-time member of the Black Kos community. The BK diaries are part of what I came to Daily Kos for in the first place. I am looking for stories and information that I cannot find in the traditional corporate media. When I went into Black Kos this afternoon, I was stunned to find out that some of the most powerful voices in the BK community had had their ratings privileges removed. Both editors of the Criminal Injustice Kos series have lost their ratings privileges, along with a number of other powerful African-American posters. I was particularly saddened to see the number of women who had lost ratings privileges. snip The Democratic coalition tends to be younger, more female, and includes many more people of color. DK does not look like the Democratic party It worries me greatly when powerful African-American voices are silenced on this blog. African-Americans are the most loyal members of the Democratic coalition. I want to take back the house in 2012. I do not want to be saying hello to President Perry. I would ask you, Kos, to rethink the withdrawal of rating privileges and silencing of so many members of the Black Kos community.Robinswing, another powerful voice, an African American woman, in one of her diaries some six months ago said,
Here it seems white male privilege insists on the right to tell us to shut up and sit down. Shut up about racism. Sit down in the presence of bullies.
It ain't that kind of party.
It wasn't that kind of party back in the sixties when so called revolutionary brothers tried to relegate black female revolutionaries to the kitchen and the bedroom.
It ain't that kind of party now when some so called progressives try to shout us down and tell us what we can say or think or talk about. There is no gentle way of saying this. White folk do not get to tell me what is or isn't racist. Racism is not a benefit of the doubt situation. Not for me. Not for any black folk I know.
As far as this black woman is concerned, white male privilege does not extend itself here. Some of them were on big wheels while I was having cans and bottles thrown at me. You may not be familiar with the face of racism. I am. And I see it here at this site. Often. And I will not pretend otherwise. I am going to call it out. In the spirit of Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hammer and thousands of other black women who could not be silenced except by death and who never quit fighting.
The revolution will be blogged.
I don't suppose Markos Moulitsas paid attention to this then. Personally, I don't think he has paid attention much about what goes on on his site except the bottom line of his business enterprise and the number of "clicks" it get just like some front pagers. If he had, until the "Great Daily Kos Purge", he has been no where to be seen moderating what has been going on.
I wrote an article, Racism Be It At Fox, MSNBC or DailyKos Is Still Racism. Unite Against Racism., pointing out the hypocrisy of the owner of Dailykos, Markos Moulitsas, who was an ex- Republican precinct captain during the election of President Reagan. To Markos, criticizing the President of MSNBC, Phil Griffin, for giving Pat Buchanan, a medium to parade his racism was very offensive while articles like this one that is an insensitive illustration of President Obama in a degrading and racist imagery used to score political point by a Dailykos front pager is nothing of significance. And then, we have thousands and thousands of comments that are so disrespectful and racists calling the First Black President "a piece of shit", "feckless", "sellout", "Uncle Tom", "Barry", Pussy", "a murderer", projecting death on him with foul language that is disrespectful such as "Obama Can blow me".
Those who claim they are the real "base" even use this viscous racist video to demonize President Obama so that he can be primaried. I called them out on it, they got a slap on the wrest with a one month suspension. Some even had gone further to claim that the two black men (President Obama and AG Holder) are running a Jim Crow society and still have refuge at Dailykos. Other zombies pretending to be a person of color who criticized the President with vitriol after vitriol were an immediate superstar being welcomed by the same upraters and enablers only to learn they have been had after I posted this article. Thank God, the zombi was banned. If you look deep at the history of what some of these people uprate, who they choose to challenge, the signs were written like white on rice all over the Dailykos community but those kind of people are given a sanctuary under Markos's protection.
These people patronize and vilify anyone that supported the President (adept2u and I who are now banned from the site and many others have their privileges withheld) for writing positive and motivational articles about why we need to continue to support our Democratic President and how we need to work intersectionally to achieve our common interests. Some even get disgusted to see a picture diary of the black President but giggle and smile all day in potty diaries. Go figure! This constant pestering made it impossible for many people of color and those who stand for racial justice to stay but leave Dailykos in disgust while Markos Moulitsas looks the other way.
When confronting the racism and bigotry that comes from some white privileged disruptor, they try to talk you down by throwing the usual this is an attempt to shield criticism against President Obama by using the race card and of course they get a lot of mojo's from the same enabling offenders. Some will have names for those of us who are outspoken about the racist behavior seen at dailykos and spread their filth calling us the "brave, black ambassadors" not to mention we are the most disgusting bigots.
As I have said in the past, progressives/liberals in white dominant blogosphere like Dailykos that caters to 93% of its white elitist population, it is often the case that the majority is very quick to catch the outrage when racism is in your face from the Right but often gives it every kind of excuse either consciously or unconsciously when racism comes from the Left. The infestation of racists at Dailykos has been nothing but a know fact for a long time. In fact, for some long timers this may not be a shocker but comments like this at another blogshpere (Docudharma) talking about Black Kos (a community that addresses African American issues with white majority membership) was not something new when the same people as is the case today come to disrupt and vilify many black people at blackkos or in diaries written by strong black voices. Here is a preview of what was said at one point to demonstrate the clear undeniable disgust some has shown to the blackkos community.
As far as racism, many of these folks have insinuated themselves into BlackKos and then congratulate themselves at how fabulous they are and hip to the Negro groove, they flatter the black women who write the diaries and in return they are officially not racists. I saw it happen and stopped posting in those diaries. I warned the women there at the beginning of their taking over the series (dopper had originally done BlackKos) that they were in danger of turning into a clique, but I can also understand why they disregarded me, as that kind of popularity is a heady brew.
So we have the privileged white people with their newly minted Black cred using that to attack others as racists, using that valuable education in a way it was never intended.
No surprise there as the same upraters/enablers are still hanging out at dailykos doing what they do best while the above comment for example have been granted "a forbidden/no mention status" at Dailykos by the Dkos administration. If you mention it, you are warned and banned by the Dailykos administration which contributed to protecting the same racist upraters who still lounge at Dailykos to victimize and undermine a view point using a rating system that is broken to invalidate minority voices especially voice that are of the member of BlackKos and those who carry big stick like Denise Oliver Velez who has just become a front pager at Dailykos but who also has not once publish one pro-President Obama article but who is to blame her. I personally don't blame her considering the fact that she will be greeted with vicious attacks for supporting political positions of the President from the same folks who continue to try to demonize her for speaking the truth about some folks at Dailykos. Her comment in response to another frustrated members' comment expressing her frustration, she said, "When it gets overly tiresome[speaking of the bigotry at dailykos], I spend time elsewhere. Bigots have been around my whole life. Like cockroaches". This has caused the cockroaches to come out of their hole to make her a punching bag for far too long.
Well, I will tell you the facts, there are a lot of cockroaches at Dailykos. For these cockroaches, the voice of African Americans are targets for gang style intimidation and ridicule because they show affinity to President Obama, push back on the disrespect he has been shown but only a few can fight back against massive assaults on behave of the victims' because it is too fucking tiring and too fucking draining and the truth is we (freedom fighters - black, brown and white folks who stand for equality and racial justice) are just too small in number in the Dailykos community to counter the kind of attacks displayed day in and day out.
I am still saying "Can We Get Just ONE [Forceful Black Voice] Front Pager Who Supports the President?" that can speak about the many good things this President has achieved because from where I sit there is no black voices on the front page of Dailykos that highlights this President's achievements, defend against the lies and the manufactured outrage that have become the status quo at Dailykos.
I don't know about you but I am sick and tired of the relentless effort by the same people doing absolutely nothing but lie about President Obama using rumors and manufactured sources to undermine him and the Democratic party. Well like my friend said, as a Democrat, "we have been trolled and ratf*cked, BIGTIME" by cockroaches, haters, Right wing operatives and Naderites.
Moreover, the claim that these people are Democrats, harping on President Obama day in and day out playing cop on many minority authored articles to silence voices is an acceptable practice. Some go to the level of dissecting the President's anatomy mocking and disrespecting him about his utterly beautiful specimen not to mention the utter stupidity of 111 people who claim to be Democrats but support a Republican and/or Green Party candidate for President in 2012. I wonder about the motto of Dailykos - "electing more and better Democrat" - if it is a front for accumulating wealth using real Democrats who think the site is representing them while it's intentions and vision is to undermine and disrupting Democrats.
Add to that the double standard and racist behavior allowed at Dailykos, which would make one to question indeed if the blog is a progressive site. The funny thing is, so many users don't know about it and those who know about it feel that it should not be acceptable but are biting their tongue to avoid the ridicule of being labeled "white people with their newly minted Black cred" that has followed some white people today as is the case with people of color being labeled as "angry black man", "angry black woman", "disgusting" or "cowards" while some white folks enjoy the luxury of being defended for their racial outburst making fun of black folks.
It is vicious out there at DailyFox even for many white people who stand for racial equality with so many clots of caricatures ridiculing some of the most solid minority white voices who stand for equality and racial justice who embrace working with all kinds of people intersectionally. These minority white voices have called themselves "race treators" like Caitlin Breedlove, Suzanne Pharr, Mab Segrest, Constance (Connie) Curry, Lillian Smith, Viola Liuzzo, Nancy Heitzeg(aka soothsayer99), and Kay Whitlock (aka RadioGirl). RadioGirl, one of the most gracious and eloquent minds in all of Dailykos, Co-founder of the Criminal Injustice Kos, the co-author of Queer (In)justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States, who is also one of the victims of "the purge" at dailykos, conveys a valuable lesson that should be told to all about her experience in listening to the experiences of other minorities in her article, Reflections of a White, Female Race Traitor: Heavy Heart Edition:
Learning to listen – really listen – to people of color and believe what they say when they are describing their experiences in a white supremacist society didn’t come naturally to (virtuous, white) me.What has been established at Dailykos at least for me since I have been a member is "THE PATTERN" of enabling. The pattern to suppress any dissenting voices that speaks about the infestation of racism at Dailykos. These patterns have been noticed clearly for far too long by not only members of the BlackKos community but also by the most respected Administrator/moderator of the Dailykos site who not so long ago resigned his post as moderator and contributor for personal reasons but expressing his view, he noted:
It came painfully, and the lessons demanded an intensity of self-reflection and self-examination that was usually embarrassing, often excruciating because it contradicted my saintly self-image, and it was always shocking. And, these painful lessons ultimately also proved to be liberating, because by embracing them rather than fleeing in defensive, angry flurries, flaps, and frenzies of denial, I began to aspire to be a white, female race traitor. It wasn't a planned career ladder, but hey.
I’m not completely there yet; while I am not a foaming-at-the-mouth racial bigot, there undoubtedly are still ways in which I am complicit – often unwittingly, certainly unintentionally – in perpetuating systemic and institutionalized racism. But it’s a journey filled with astonishing goodness, inspiration, relationship, and possibility.
There is deep-rooted hatred of Obama because he is black. ...And, yes, some people on the left hate him because he is black, and others who don't hate him are not aware that some of their criticisms of him are based in white privilege and racist attitudes.There comes a time when ignorance is given some leeway hoping people would listen and learn to understand the frustration of those of us who feel race and politics is being exploited by vicious trolls. However, what we have witnessed are patterns of intentional ignorance to suppress rather the voices of people of color . I would call it patterns of irresponsibility that are allowed by Markos and Dailykos Administration today. But, diversity ain't as important for Dailykos as catering for the same ole same ole self proclaimed "we are the base" white privileged progressives. There is no interest nor is there a willingness to listen and understand diverse opinion because some of these so called "progressives" are only used to telling what black folks should and shouldn't say. You might think race relations had gotten better and we are a post racial society now but to be honest, we still have a long way to go. In fact, at dailykos, we still live like the segregated south as soothsayer in her terrific article, Daily Kos Demographics: Still White. Over 50. Well Off. Male., nailed it about the cause of the racial injustice at dailykos:
Last August, this diary -- Daily Kos Demographics: White. Over 50. Well Off. Male. -- was intended as both a reality check and a challenge to this site to better represent the reality of both US population demographics and the base of the Democratic Party.Yes, NOTHING has changed. In fact the representation of African Americans has gone south to 3% today from a 4% participation about six months ago. Oh, be my guest and read the 1,700 comments in the article above and you get the gist of the matter and how many will be greeting you with the usual how dare you insult white "progressives" bullshit. All of the racial injustice at Dailykos, the banning of African American voices, the silencing of strong women of color and "race traitors" have caused a lot of question about what the site stands for and as a result many have spoken in support of Robinswings call for a one week boycott that started Monday at midnight. She notes:
At that time, according to data collected by Quantcast, the Daily Kos audience was overwhemlingly white (93%), well-educated (80% college grads and more) and affluent (37% make >$100k) and disproportionately older (53% >50) and male (64%) when compared the demographics of Internet Users.
So what has changed in terms of race class gender and representation at the new "improved" DK4??
I am tired onto sleep of those claims that any criticism of the President is racist. I don't know of a single person who made that claim. The claim I and others make is that some of the things said are not about policy. It is racist to call the President "Uncle Tom" and 'ball-less" and insensitive to refer to black people who support this President as "kool aid" drinkers. Pointing out that black people died in that flavor aid incident is pooh-poohed.How insensitive.Following the call for boycott, the Editor of the Criminal Injustice Kos, went further more and terminated participation of its weekly scholastic and insightful weekly edition, issuing a statement in the article, Criminal InJustice Boycott Edition: Last Words (a must read article):
If anyone had bothered to do just the modicum of checking they would know that the same folks who initially came into Black Kos to be disruptive,also appeared with regularity in SistahSpeak.
These same people go into posts of people they dislike and behave as though they are grade school bullies. If they find themselves alone for a minute or two they FB or tweet for help with hide rates or uprates. Whatever is needed at the minute. Most of them remain. As do all of the Presidents critics of color. I do not refer to either Denise or Dopper. Though both have voiced concerns about this President, they refuse to become a part of the drag someone black out to bad-mouth Obama. And bad-mouthed he is. Not his policies. Him.
Criminal InJustice Kos has always stood against demonizing and "Othering"; CIK has always stood against retribution and mob justice, and at the very heart, CIK has stood against in racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism. As Editor and one of the founders of CIK, I refuse to continue publishing this series in the current climate here. I refuse to allow our contributing editors, our followers and supporters to be tainted by association with Those of Us Who Now Proudly Wear the Scarlet Letters, to be further demonized as “gangsters” and “thugs” by hanging with the proverbial Bad Cousin Jamal up at that CIK barbecue. I refuse to allow our body of scholarly work, aimed at coalition, community and transformative justice to remain on a site that seems increasingly bent on discord and disrespect. Not on My Watch.Whatever Dailykos was at one point in time, its legacy of being a real progressive blog is a thing of the past as far as I am concerned. Today, what we see and the types of so called "progressive" advocates Dailykos is producing are nothing but a bunch of Obama hating enablers who lie about this President and his accomplishments no matter the facts. The fact is, the spirit and legacy of the people who once had strong voices to advancing "big tent" progressive values at Dailykos is DEAD. It's GONE and rather replaced with MyDD 2.0 version.
For this reason, Criminal InJustice “Kos” will no longer be published here. This series on Criminal InJustice will now be published at Critical Mass Progress: Educate, Agitate, Organize, founded by seeta08.
The boycott to not participate at Dailykos has been effective since Sunday and it will go for a week. I have broken my pledge in order to provide links in this article with regret. Some will return may be. Some might not. However, in the end, I have no doubt that there are people who will say the boycott was good for them while they are empowered and raising the "white only" sign. I guess that was what they had wanted all along. Would that surprise you? Go figure! The truth is they want DailyKos to be like the segregated south and Markos is giving them exactly that. So who is the enabler?
However, thank you to the many sane and interesectional voices of the community who have participated in this boycott while I don't have much of an option as a banned member but what this episode has shown us is that we are raising consciousness of a systemic and long-standing problem of bigotry at Dailykos and around the blogshpere. I have to agree with my friend's statement where she said, "I think a lot of people who chose to boycott showed their own consciousness had been raised because many surprised me." There is a lot of good people in this world. There are a lot of other places where this good people congregate and organize. There are a lot of places where if you self identify yourself as a person of color that will not abandon you but be treated like family unlike Dailykos who cater for the "Cornel West" types of people of color.
I have chosen thepeoplesview.net because it accepts me for who I am. With all of the good, the bad and the angry in me. Regardless of my skin color. Regardless of my ideology. Because indeed there are a lot of sympathetic gracious souls, good allies who listen to my struggle and really try to understand a perspective that is not heard out in the mainstream. Because I know most everyone here is indeed real principled Democrat and will not sell their votes to score political point because they hate a politician or did not get what they want. I can effect change with people like that who are focused in organizing and winning elections so that my children and the next generation of Americans will have it better.
May be Markos is getting it. At least he is listening if you look at the boycott version of the Black Kos edition of Tuesday's chile and who recommended the boycott diary. Yes, he has confirmed his errors without making public statement and reversing course. I am still waiting to hear the public apology. Not some half ass non-apology apology like Jane "Black Face" Hemsher gave.
Well, we will be watching!