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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Stop Censoring and Attacking the Lucy Parsons of the World: My response to: "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?"
A Photo about Colonialism.

Dear friends,

Due to my desire for this response to reach as many people as possible, for those who don't want to read my entire blog post, I have also posted a summary of it on my personal blog, podcast and online radio show found by clicking here: MP3 File. I ask that the link to the Mp3 is included because I find that many blogs that prohibit the addition of an Mp3 are indeed discriminating against technologies that would further welcome people who are physically challenged and seek inclusion into these conversations...which regard 'how to include more people into our conversation.'

I can summarize my feelings into one sentence: My summarized one-sentence response to the article titled "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism" that I would love to see action take place, that was suggested by a woman, taken very soon so that the digital colonialism and digital apartheid supporters within the feminist blogosphere can Stop Censoring and Attacking the Lucy Parsons of the World. Period.

My full response is below:


So I went over to Shark Fu's blog today at

Always good stuff over there, I recommend it, as always. While there today I read her response to a blog post that she was told about that was published called:
"What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?"

I realize that there are those who may have read Shark Fu's response and felt very offended. But what you fail to understand is that people like Shark Fu have been fighting racism and colonization for over three decades, which is longer than many of you reading this have been alive, and the idea of even accidentally lumping women of color like Shark Fu into the group of feminists who are indeed remaining silent for the sake of integration with larger feminist about the digital colonialism and digital apartheid in the feminist blogosphere should indeed be seen as insulting. Your blog post was made on Feb 16, 2009, and yet even as recently as Feb 9th, 2009 Shark Fu went to Feministing, a major group blog and stated: "I've felt the backlash that comes from daring to question and discuss race beyond the accepted areas of driving while black, shopping while black or working while black. And I have received the warning that thou shalt not turn that critical lens on feminism." She posted that in a guest blog post on Feministing titled Notes from a bitch - backlash....

So, as you can see, it is without question, that women of color like Shark Fu are an inspiration to the many of us (I was one of the people who left comments on the prior conversation) who are indeed tired of the digital colonialism and the digital apartheid in the feminist blogosphere and even if you do not agree with all of her opinions about your particular article it is still worth taking time to give detailed thanks to at least a few of the feminist women of color who spoke about this issue before you before opening up such detailed criticism. In many indigenous cultures, when people come together to talk about extremely sensitive issues, they often have been known to take a day or two just giving thanks to all those who struggled before them as a method respect so for you to offer a couple sentences of respect isn't asking too much.

Now, in regards to my personal opinions about the article....

I can honestly tell you that, with the exeption of how it hurt the feelings of my fellow feminists, I feel overwhelmed with happiness about that blog post....and yet I acknowledge and respect those who are infuriatingly upset about that post for any number of reasons that they may feel justified in their anger. Some of the reasons for their anger were without doubt because of the race and social position of the authors so I have compassion and solidarity for the pain behind their anger, and yet my overall feeling about the the article... "What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?" Yeahhhhh!

....happiness and a sense of relief.

Let me point out, for those who have not read the history of this particular Feminist blog, the Peace Communities Solidarity Blog, which we keep at a tab at the top of this blog marked 'The History' so that no one will ever forget, you will know that one of the reasons I created this group blog was because of some serious racially oppressive behavior, including racial slurs, from one of the major group feminist blogs and their owner that took place within the last three weeks. The very name of this blog, was created after modifying the racial slurs used to attack me and insult me.

So the first thanks I have to give is 'Thanks to bloggers...Renee, Harrietsdaughter, Black Amazon, Tanglad, Shark Fu, Monica of Transgriot, Elle, Ojibway Migisi Bineshii and all the other women of color bloggers, people of color of any gender and other marginlized people for keeping this issue alive. if I did not mention your name it is not an intentional is due to lack of space and perhaps lack of awareness of your blog or your writings.

Second I want to say that the phrase: What if the feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism?" is far too soft.

The phrase that accurately describes the problem, in my opinion, could be titled:

'The feminist blogosphere is a form of digital colonialism and digital apartheid.'

There are those who may think that is extreme, but please first read the article titled, Seattle's Apartheid Schooling, and then read the article titled The Shame of the Nation : The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (written by someone who went around the country doing research on the issue) perhaps you will understand that Apartheid in this country is indeed, getting worse among the financially disadvantaged and particularly Black people and people of color. I am a Black person who lives in the Pacific Northwest so I see it everyday.

Yes, I agree, that the feminist blogosphere is a a form of digital colonialism and a digital apartheid without question. No doubt and without question.

Much like I said in my below post titled Women of Color Need To Be Recognized, I have already spoken about this issue once in vivid detail on this blog, and I have spoken about the need for a boycott in even more vivid detail and spoke about it on other feminist blogs in the comment section.

I could go into a full critical analysis of my feelings... and then no one would hardly even read it because it was so long and because I have spoken about this issue since the very first post on this blog! *happy laughter*

So I will instead say that I am in agreement with many of the comments (over 125 at last count) in one way or another... though I am not in agreement with the comments that say things like 'you should stop talking about this issue.' Wrong. We should keep talking about it we can take action and until it is no longer a problem.

Some of the major feminist blogs have gotten away with routine censorship and power trips for so long that they can use over-the-top racial slurs and most of their users are OK with it, as was the case with me when I made my first post onto one of the major group feminist blogs. Even worse, I have seen how some of the smaller group blogs have started that same kind of censorship and they have done it against so many people that lots of people are speaking up about it.

So in the name of moving forward...

I want to talk about... The Next Step

RavenM left a comment on that article and here is an excerpt:

"I’m an activist. So I’m wondering why you, Mandy and Brittany, didn’t take the obvious next step: propose a way to make the feminist blogosphere better."

"For instance, you call for more openness in how blogs make money, spend money, make decisions, etc. A great way to accomplish this is to suggest a standard code of behavior for Feminist Blogs. Write a draft, ask for input, revise and edit until you get the best possible Code you can create. Post it on a website. Ask people to support your call. Once enough people support your call, feminist blogs will be forced to either adopt the standards or explain why they do not."

"You have an opinion about how guest bloggers should be treated: propose another code for guest bloggers."

"....Like many have said before, I gave up on the “big” blogs a long time ago. But if you haven’t and you want to make them better, stop writing about it and start acting. Do it soon. You never know what could happen."

-yes, I agree with those parts of her comments.

I would greatly like to see a 'standard code of behavior for Feminist Blogs.' Not a written in stone standard, but something that tells newcomers and people what is acceptable and what is not...particularly in regards to censorship...and moderated comments.

Tim O'Reilly is a supporter of the free software and open source movements. He is widely given credit with coining the term Web 2.0. He recently advocated creating such a code after the brutal and extremely vicious cyber-bullying that happened to his friend and colleague, Kathy Sierra. If you want to know what happened to her go here. It is not for the faint of heart. I only mention it because Kathy Sierra has made a public statement about it on her blog titled, Death threats against bloggers are NOT "protected speech" (why I cancelled my ETech presentations). There is also an account of it on her profile page at Wikipedia.

She had over 1,100 comments on that blog with thousands of other comments about those attacks elsewhere and shortly after the above post she made one last blog post and decided to give up blogging for a while.

I do believe that a standard code of behavior for Feminist Blogs would benefit many people of color and people of other marginalized groups.

I say that not only in terms of it applying to other feminists who randomly censor people... but more importantly in terms of having some kind of written 'standard' when the day comes when I, a free speech advocate, have to unfortunately delete someone's post because they have decided to be 'too hateful.' What exactly is a feminist blogger's purely subjective measuring stick for 'too hateful?'

There are some major feminist blogs that have written comment policies that literally aren't respected by the blog owners or their 'regular, very influential commenteers...' and it is very acceptable to curse people out as much as you want... as long as you come up with some kind of 'academic' and 'personally justifiable' excuse why you did it...this is especially so in the comment sections of many feminist group blogs and it has been stated time and time again.

That is fine. Some people enjoy being cursed out so that they can curse out others in the name of free speech and cultural and social class expression... all of which is understandable. Some people, like myself, grew up around a lot of profanity and can take it a lot better than others. However, for some people being cursed out is just as triggering as seeing a person's beaten body in a photograph and those people. Yes, I would greatly like someone to start work on a a 'standard code of behavior for Feminist Blogs.'

That is my request. Thanks.

At one point in the comment section Mandy said...

'I have to step back from this conversation at this point because I feel I need time and space to process all of these comments and response posts and comments on the response posts, etc. There is a whole lot going on here, and while I appreciate it, I also can’t deny my own hurt and confusion and need to sort it out before continuing down this road. This isn’t a recanting of this post. There are parts that were handled poorly (e.g., two things that start with a “t”), but that that doesn’t mean the other parts are not valid. This isn’t an abandonment. I’m just taking a time out to get it together so that I don’t continue to cause others, particularly people I have mad respect for, pain and hardship.'

Just as there will always be people who criticize Tim Wise for his perspectives on White Priviledge (no matter how correct and eloquent he often is).... there will also be people who criticize you, Mandy and Brittany. They will criticize for your mistakes, they will criticize you because we live in a society of 'Kill The Messenger' and they might even criticize you because of the sound of your names. I urge you to listen, and yet take heart and keep doing the best you can and to try to include WOC and POC as best you can. The WOC were very open with you in the comment section of your post and it looks like you listened and took action on some of the things that were said and repeated to you and the owner of the blog where you guest posted. Because even if you were text book perfect, there will always be those who, in the end, simply desire 'gradualism' rather than action.

Type the word gradualism into wikipedia and learn more.

Martin Luther King spent much of his life fighting not only racists of other races, but people of color (activists and non-activists) who desired gradualism... wanting us all to sit back and wait until everything gradually got better by itself.

Anyone who studied Martin Luther King knows what his position was in regards to the oppressive characteristic of capitalism.

There are more than one top feminist group websites whose owners were former employees of high profile democrats who support capitalism in every manner, way and form. rather than name names, as many people have requested many and Brittany to do, I would encourage people to look up the names of the owners of feminists blogs in wikipedia, and learn for yourself.

It is important that you know about the political affililiations of the femnist blogs that you support, because for many feminists of color who I know, feminism means working towards solutions to the Economic crisis that is capitalism (no matter what political party, democrat or republican, supports capitalism)... but for some feminists... feminism means capitalism as usual...and that is why you see:

1. A very obvious censorship of anything that criticizes the democratic party
2. Preference for Guest writers who do not ever question or even criticize capitalism
3. A lack of conversation about colonialism, immigration or globalization

In short, what a lot of feminist group websites seek out is a Hillary Clinton (served on the Board of Wal-Mart, one of the world's most infamous multinational corporate oppressors causing suffering to millions of women and children worldwide, from 1986-1992) who is financially well off... rather than a feminist, anarchist woman of color such as Lucy Parsons, who was never financially well of and died destitute... but she died with ethics and morals on behalf of the quest to create a better world.

So perhaps, what we need is a standard code of behavior for Feminist Blogs as well as a political viewpoints disclosure...and perhaps a disclosure of a blog's sponsor. Why do we need to know the sponsor?

Here is just one example:

In the last three weeks, the Fem2pt0 feminist web conference recently chose 30 Top feminist Blogs. One of those blogs is a Male Porn Profiteer, as I have written about more than once. If that male profited from porn in their private life that would be different, but that particular male made a profit as a direct result of their domain name traffic so that type of blog sponsor needs disclosure to the public on a prominent place on that feminist blog. Porn in general and especially Male Porn Profiteers within the Feminist Movement... is by far one of the most controversial issues within the Feminist movement. As you can imagine, it would greatly affect:
1. Whether people want to donate to that blog
2. Whether that blog continues to win feminist awards
3. Whether feminists want to continue to even link to that blog (thereby driving up the authority and search results rank of that blog)
4. the amount of criticism of other porn-profiteers on that particular feminist blog
5. censorship of all things related to porn (such as human trafficking. kidnapping etc)

I urge you to work on that standard code of behavior for Feminist Blogs and political viewpoints disclosure and a disclosure of a blog's sponsor... and to include people of color because I do believe it has the potential to a lot of good in the feminist movement and the feminist blogosphere and bring an end to the colonialism and digital apartheid that currently exists not only in the feminist blogosphere, but in the progressive movement in general.

Thank you to everyone,

If I offended anyone it was not intentional.

I love you all.

Solidarity for a world of peace, equality and an end to patriarchy,

Love for the people,

The blogs I work on are the Peace Communities Solidarity Blog at
black man f.l.u.f.f. Blog, Podcast and Online Radio Show at

To Learn more about Lucy Parsons... please visit... The Lucy Parson project at ...

or visit

Below are a few quotes from Lucy Parsons:

“Anarchism has but one infallible, unchangeable motto, 'Freedom.' Freedom to discover any truth, freedom to develop, to live naturally and fully.”

“Oh, Misery, I have drunk thy cup of sorrow to its dregs, but I am still a rebel.”

“Anarchists know that a long period of education must precede any great fundamental change in society, hence they do not believe in vote begging, nor political campaigns, but rather in the development of self-thinking individuals.”

"Can you not see that it is the INDUSTRIAL SYSTEM and not the "boss" which must be changed?"

“So many able writers have shown that the unjust institutions which work so much misery and suffering to the masses have their root in governments, and owe their whole existence to the power derived from government we cannot help but believe that were every law, every title deed, every court, and every police officer or soldier abolished tomorrow with one sweep, we would be better off than now.”

“If, in the present chaotic and shameful struggle for existence, when organized society offers a premium on greed, cruelty, and deceit, men can be found who stand aloof and almost alone in their determination to work for good rather than gold, who suffer want and persecution rather than desert principle, who can bravely walk to the scaffold for the good they can do humanity, what may we expect from men when freed from the grinding necessity of selling the better part of themselves for bread?”

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