WASHINGTON, D.C. (Accredited Times) – In a shocking development, progressive website the Daily Kos threatened to silence a community activist for saying “Black Lives Matter” in an incident occurring late Thursday evening.
The racially charged controversy exploded when a community activist posted an Accredited Times story, “Death By Cop“, to the progressive website. Users responded favorably to the article. The problem? Daily Kos higher-ups didn’t like the fact that the community activist had posted the story under the name “Black Lives Matter”.
As readers of the Accredited Times know, the commentator “Black Lives Matter” (“BLM”) has long posted articles and other submissions under the “BLM” name on the Accredited Times website. After writing the article “Death By Cop” for the Accredited Times, BLM sought to share the article with other progressive activists at the Daily Kos. BLM posted an excerpt of the article and a brief introduction, writing, “The Accredited Times has an important piece on the Philando Castile murder. It’s really a great article. Highly recommended that you read the whole thing.”
Other Daily Kos users responded favorably to the article. The article — which calls the police “a terrorist military unit, much like the Ku Klux Klan” — blames “Republicans” and “Donald Trump” for creating a “nightmare” for African-Americans. The article focuses on the tragic police shooting of African-American Philando Castile in St. Anthony, Minnesota, noting, “Every day I wake up, I ask myself the same question: “How do I avoid getting shot by the police today?”
Daily Kos poster “Stormynurse”, a self-identified “white” person, wrote approvingly of the article: “I am, and have been appalled for a very long time. Tears overwhelmed me when I saw that dashcam, just like the other murder videos. I am afraid of the police. I have seen abuse by police. I am white. I have no way of feeling the terror it would be to have black skin. I am ashamed of this country and the blatant rascism [sic] and class warfare that is happening.”
BLM responded: “Stormynurse, thank you for your kind words. Many whites just don’t understand the terror that we go through every time we see a police [car] in our rear-view mirror or just walking down the street. There is a war today on African-Americans. Donald Trump is making the situation much worse.”
Another Daily Kos poster, “LaPinturaBella” (also a self-identified “white” person), likewise wrote glowingly of the article: “I concur with stormynurse. Every single time I hear about another killing of an innocent black person my blood boils. I too am white and I no longer trust the police at all. I can’t even begin to imagine the absolute dread and terror POC experience on a daily basis now. Just seeing a police car now makes my stomach clench. How did we become so hateful as a country??? This is not the America I grew up in and I am finding it very difficult to have any respect for our country at this point.”
BLM chastised “LaPinturaBella” for failing to recognize the longtime problems America has had with racism: “I’m sorry, but I think it is the America you grew up in – we were just being lied to by the White Establishment. People of Color have been terrorized by police for decades. The police attack on Rodney King happened 26 years ago. Before that, we had lynchings, dogs, and police officers openly supporting the Ku Klux Klan. But you’re absolutely right that the hate has become more open now with Donald Trump. Police brutality must end NOW.”
Another Daily Kos poster, “kj in missouri” (who likewise self-identified as “white”), then chimed in, stating that the police had engaged in an organized campaign of “state-sanctioned terror”: “I am white, I think the time is coming when white America is going to face its original sin. These murders are everyday, on film, streamed via mass media. And still, the denial, the whatever-it-is that allows rational human beings to say, ‘Well, it wasn’t murder…’ Yes, yes it is. It is also state-sanctioned terror.”
BLM responded: “Sadly, I think you’re right. Electing Trump as the so-called ‘President’ was like setting off a powder keg. Trump needs to be impeached now.” BLM further stated:
The problem is that the White Establishment remains deeply entrenched. Anyone who refuses to say “Black Lives Matter” and say it proudly is the problem.
But that was when things got interesting. Daily Kos moderator “elfling”, writing on behalf of other moderators at the Daily Kos, agreed that the post was “thoughtful” but said that the Daily Kos would not allow the phrase “Black Lives Matter” to be used. Seeking to silence BLM, “elfling” claimed that BLM could not use the phrase unless the activist could show an affiliation with the commercial website “blacklivesmatter.com”: “Thank you for your thoughtful diary. This case just tears me up and I cannot understand why the entire nation is not outraged. My heart hearts for that little girl and her mom and for all the kids and other people who loved Philando Castile. Can you verify for the Daily Kos staff team your affiliation to blacklivesmatter.com? If not, we’d like to assist you in choosing a different username. Please contact us at the helpdesk using the link in the upper right corner of the site and open a private ticket so we can sort this out. We look forward to your future contributions here either way. Thanks!”
BLM responded with outrage at the attempt to silence the community activist for saying “Black Lives Matter”:
“blacklivesmatter.com” is a COMMERCIAL WEBSITE — “.com” means “COMMERCE.” Where did I ever say I was affiliated with a commercial, capitalist website? They did not invent Black Lives Matter.
Seriously, though, are you saying that I can’t say BLACK LIVES MATTER? No one else had that name, and I am [AN] African-American who has marched in and organized dozens of Black Lives Matter protests. I will keep saying BLACK LIVES MATTER over and over again until the day I die. I don’t care if you attempt to censor us or stop us from saying it.
“kj in missouri” agreed that the Daily Kos had engaged in a effort to silence the African-American community, noting that a Native-American activist on the website had not received the same negative treatment as African-Americans:
Why should they use another user name, elfling?
For example, Navajo is a user name and she is open about not speaking for an entire people, wouldn’t this fall under the same umbrella?
“kj in missouri” also told a story about her own experience with the Black Lives Matter movement at an “overwhelmingly white upscale grocery store”:
My story: I’m white, living Kansas, recently lived in Missouri. After Michael Brown’s horrific death in Ferguson, Missouri, I was in my local overwhelmingly white upscale grocery store wondering where I could buy a Black Lives Matter tee shirt. It was a random thought, I didn’t act on it. Last weekend, after the travesty of Philandro Castile’s murder case, I told my spouse that I sorely regretted not acting on that impulse. I want to buy a Black Lives Matter tee shirt and wear it at the grocery store until I became known as that old white, white-haired lady who wears that Black Lives Matter tee shirt every weekend.
Because damned if my consciousness shouldn’t be worn loud.
kj, I wish more white womyn were like you. But there is an underlying question of what made you not act on your original thought, which was the correct one. Sadly, the right-wing establishment bullies even good people into conformity and submission. What is controversial about saying “Black Lives Matter”? NOTHING. But the White Establishment doesn’t want you to say it.
Little did BLM know that the Daily Kos, apparently, belongs to that very same White Establishment. Notably, “elfling” not only attempted to silence BLM, but the moderator also has used an anime picture of a redheaded white character in her own profile — this despite an avalanche of controversy amongst progressives in the news media after BLM wrote another article for the Accredited Times three days ago questioning anime for its prodigious use of white characters and the absence of “African-American, Hispanic-American, or Muslim American characters”. The Accredited Times article, entitled “Is Anime Racist?“, describes Japan’s “deeply racist and xenophobic” history, noting that important African-American role models and African-American families are completely absent from anime.
Daily Kos moderators continued in their efforts to silence Black Lives Matter early on Friday. Another moderator, “elenacarlena”, whose profile sports the picture of an anime cat, tried to assert a false “copyright” claim as a pretext for silencing Black Lives Matter:
As I understand it, the name of the organization is copyrighted. Only the three founding women can use the name. But do continue to say black lives matter. A lot of people on this site support that. You won’t be censored for making the point repeatedly.
I’d love to know more about you and the protests you’ve organized. This might be easier if you have another name. Maybe you can still have blacklivesmatter in the name, but add to it. Or maybe you’ll realize there are other descriptions of your work that are as good a name as BLM.
Elfling’s on your side. There’s no foul for doing something while unaware that it’s not allowed. Drop her a line to work it out.
BLM responded with outrage over the obvious pretext and the failure to recognize the loss of African-American Philando Castile at the hands of police:
Philando was murdered in COLD BLOOD by the police, and I don’t see anyone giving a DAMN about him. He was SHOT by the police for sitting in a CAR!!! I want EVERYONE to use the name BLACK LIVES MATTER. I want EVERYONE to say BLACK LIVES MATTER in EVERY POST. I want EVERYONE to show the world that we are in SOLIDARITY with Philando AND WITH Diamond Reynolds AND WITH Philando’s mother Valerie AND WITH that beautiful baby girl who had to witness the TERROR of police brutality.
BLACK LIVES MATTER has intentionally NOT been copyrighted or trademarked FOR THIS VERY REASON and because the current system of institutionalized private property is one of the major drivers of WHITE PRIVILEGE:
“BLACK LIVES MATTER activists have not only renounced business incorporation, but also intellectual property protection, including trademark protection for the phrase.”
There is absolutely no basis to try to use a legal pretext here. Moreover, when some have sought to trademark the phrase Black Lives Matter, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has REJECTED every effort to do so, citing the term’s common use “in rallies dedicated to raising awareness of civil rights, protesting violence and conveying the message of support for the same”:
BLM refused to back down:
BLACK LIVES MATTER is a COLLECTIVE MOVEMENT of PEOPLE OF COLOR. ALL OF OUR VOICES MATTER. We are all BLACK LIVES MATTER because we are all targeted by the police on a regular basis. No one is going to confuse me as some kind of official national spokesperson because (1) I have NEVER claimed to be such, and (2) Black Lives Matter has no national spokesperson, having renounced systems of institutional hierarchy.
I was at the inauguration in Washington, D.C. protesting against DONALD TRUMP. I was at the Women’s March where HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS marched against TRUMP. I will keep saying BLACK LIVES MATTER whether the White Establishment wants us to say it or not.
The controversy remains ongoing. It is unclear whether the Daily Kos will apologize for its racism or whether the progressive website (formerly progressive website?) will press forward with its efforts to silence Black Lives Matter. The Accredited Times encourages users to log into the Daily Kos and stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
In any event, the Daily Kos has badly damaged its reputation amongst political activists, particularly African-Americans. The controversy could not come at a worse time in the wake of Democrat Jon Ossoff’s defeat by Republican Karen Handel in the race for Georgia’s 6th congressional district — yet another defeat of a Daily Kos-endorsed candidate.
Progressives remain heartbroken in the midst of the scandals plaguing Democrat-leaning organizations. During the recent presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised: “If I’m president, we’ll win so much you’ll get bored with winning.” Little did progressives know that Trump’s victories would arise from racism at the highest levels of the progressive establishment.