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Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Black Blogosphere's Open Secret, "Violence" Against Female Bloggers - My name is Gina not "Anna Mae" - The Internet's Ike Turners

Many of you have commented or e-mailed me to let me know that as a result of reading this blog, you have decided to either A) start you own blogs or B) start some other form of activism in your own community. I'm honored that you give this blog any credit for that. So in a way, I guess I am like a Blogging Godmother (BG). I try to link to other blogs whenever we have high traffic days or on my What Black Bloggers are Saying posts. That is why I don't mind if people put the addresses of their blogs in the comments section of this blog. I used to do the same thing on my Blogging Godmother's site back when she allowed comments. You see if it wasn't for my Blogging Godmother's blog, What About Our Daughters? would not exist.

How many of you enjoy the Black Womens' Roundtable, the WAOD podcast? Well, the podcasts would not exist if it wasn't for my Blogging Godmother because I learned about Blog Talk Radio on her blog. Quite frankly, from a technical and organizational sense, she showed me what was possible. She had a cause she believed in and she was able to build a community of women who had similar interests. I think it is a shining example of how the internet can be used to connect folks who may have otherwise have felt isolated. I thank them for welcoming me in to their community even though I admitted that I wasn't particularly interested one way or another with interracial marriage. I identified, for whatever reason, with the idea of living an amazing life regardless of what other people thought about it. At the time I was personally and professionally miserable and I was stuck and was content to stay stuck because getting unstuck would mean I would have to break all kinds of rules and expectations I placed on myself. Providence ordained that I would stumble unto a blog with a community of women who were unapologetic about saying "to hell with what other folks think!"

For those who are curious about how in the heck I ended up on my BG's blog, you can read New Loyalty Oath for the Black Blogosphere, but in short, I was being nosy after watching Melody Hobson sitting next to George Lucas in a ton of camera shots this year at the Academy Awards. After like two hours of seeing them side by side, I said " Are they dating?" So being the Googgle Goddess that I am, I typed in "Melody Hobson" and "George Lucas" and my BG's blog popped up. It was destiny because this happened not too long before Don Imus. If I hadn't been bored and nosy that night. What About Our Daughters? would not exist because I would have continued on in my seven year carbohydrate coma ( mmm I haven't had some Blue Bell ice cream in a minute). But I couldn't turn away. It was like my BG was speaking directly to me. Not about marriage or dating, but about dying old and miserable, not living an amazing life because I was too scared to live outside of the comfortable pastry-strewn box ( mmm Krispy Kreme) I had crafted for myself. Quite frankly, she convicted me. Here I was with a designer label law degree and two law licenses and my life consisted of going to work, going home, stuffing my face, going to sleep, repeat. Years of my life lost doing absolutely nothing with my life. So I started chiming in because they were talking about stuff anyone can relate to, not just marriage or dating. I know I wasn't necessarily her target audience, but she was talking to ME!

A few weeks after reading her blog, she hurt my feelings when I read some of her statements about over weight Black women, I'm a member of the CGU. I was like "Hold UP! Wait a minute!," but she was right, how the heck are you going to live an amazing life letting your body go straight to hell, not from a vanity stand point, but from a physical fitness standpoint. I wasn't just inactive, I was outright lazy. I would drive around for five minutes trying to get the closest parking spot, take the elevator to go up or down a single flight of steps and generally avoided breaking a sweat at all costs and was eating whatever the heck I wanted to. I've been on diets since I was 6, but for whatever reason something she said, again, convicted me, I think it was her "well of course you engage in regular physical activity, that is what folks pursuing excellence do and if you aren't doing it, you don't want to be excellent" There was no hand holding, empathy, or scare tactics, just... yall are fully grown women, physical activity is the responsible thing to do. About a month or so later I did something I have never done, joined a gym. Those of you who think I am a witch will be happy to know I'M MELTING! I'M MELTING! and I have guns too! You can't tell me NUTHIN! So I don't know why, but this woman was able to do what 25 years of dieting couldn't. If she wrote a weight loss book, she would make a killing on that alone. Suffice it to say, reading my BG's blog changed my life. And it changed yours too because if I hadn't read her blog, you wouldn't be reading this one.

Gina who is your BG? Well the folks who were with us from the beginning already know who she is because I openly gave her credit for beginning this blog back in the day when only 62 people would visit the blog and 80% of them would stumble in from bloggger.com and the other 20% came from a link on my Blogging Godmother's site. You see my BG does not crave attention, she doesn't need any, her blog is one of the most notorious in the Black Blogosphere. She also doesn't like drama, and hates when her name comes up in other people's drama. So I respect her wishes to keep her name out of it and I won't put up a link to her blog, but if you want to find her it is really easy.

I can understand that because a portion of the subject matter for her blog is controversial to many members in the African American community in fact many people hate her because of what she thinks. Because. Of. What. She. Thinks! These folks who I am going to refer to as Internet Ike Turners ( IITs) have launched a relentless campaign of threats and intimidation directed at my BG and anyone who dares to read, comment or link to her blog. The acronym (IITs) is a homage to my BG because if you ever read her blog, her acronyms are notorious as well. I like using the word "foolishness". She likes creating acronyms. In fact she is literally changing the Black lexicon online. Her acronyms are popping up EVERYWHERE. Somebody ought to go back through her archives and compile a list of all of the acronyms.

In fact, early during the stages of this blog, she asked me to remove all references to her blog from WAOD because she was concerned that by associating myself with her blog in any way, the mission of WAOD would be attacked by these IITs and she didn't want to take attention away from what I was trying to do. In fact, she says she reads my blog, but does not comment because she doesn't want to draw the attention of the IITs to this blog. She was absolutely right.

You see shortly after I started the podcast and had some early success dragging a statement out of Rev. Al Sharpton condemning DL Hughley, I got an e-mail from a male blogger telling me that at the beginning of my next podcast, I should say, "I do not hate Black men." That came out of left field since I was all sunshine and roses back then. I was like Heck No! First, I don't hate Black men and no reasonable person reading anything I have ever written on this blog or anywhere else could be construed as hating Black men. Second, folks who run around demanding loyalty oaths OR ELSE are dangerous and once you make their loyalty they'll keep demanding more and more. The reason that this loyalty oath was "suggested' was because the Internet Ike Turners had started attacking WAOD because I provided a link to my BG's blog in my blogroll.

You see my BG catches HELL. Pure unadulterated HELL. She gets threatened, flamed, trolled, libeled and is under a relentless assault by the IITs Because. Of. What. She Thinks! And guess what? She just keeps blogging. In spite of the IITs' organized campaign, she continues to express her views unapologetically. Although I don't agree with everything she says, I respect and will defend her right to say it. Don't be confused, her attackers aren't responding by attacking the substance of her arguments, that is too hard for them, so they threaten or incite others to threaten and they commit libel and mis characterize what she is saying and anyone who dares to associate with her in any way is also subject to the same treatment. I guess their goal is to isolate her, something Ike Turner probably did to Tina.

Like all abusive personalities, what these Internet Ike Turners cannot control, they attempt to destroy? So what do you think happened when these IITs rolled over to WAOD? Has any glimpse you have gotten of my personality indicated that I would be cowed by an IIT? Yes, well the IITs ain't the brightest bulbs, but God bless their little hearts and tiny brains, they tried. So here's some background.

After I was asked to say "I do not have Black men." I refused and then I wrote New Loyalty Oath for the Black Blogosphere. The IITs stayed away from WAOD until we started to get more play in the Blogosphere.

Pharaoh's Army Arrives at WAOD

I have to say it was probably a few weeks after the Al Sharpton statement that their "primary enforcer" showed up on WAOD. I had actually been anticipating his arrival because once he pops up in a Black blogger's comments section, that means you have truly arrived. I won't put a link to his blog mainly because what he craves most is page clicks as he states repeatedly in his e-mails to my BG. But anyway, if you are a Black blogger and you haven't been attacked or called a "white supremacist house n#$*&er" by the "primary enforcer", they you truly haven't been properly initiated into the Black Blogoshpere. You've been robbed of a very important experience! You know you are being a successful blogger when the "primary enforcer" arrives.

HE is drawn to THOUGHTS and increased web traffic. Now he had already launched a campaign against me and WAOD when we were a baby blog, I mean like 40 readers a day, but like Pharaoh, he wanted to kill baby Moses in the crib because he knew what this blog could grow up and become. So I thank him for his role in the prophesy. We all have a role to play, even Pharaoh's army ( I got two words for him.... RED SEA!). So in a way, when Pharaoh's Army showed up at WAOD, I knew I was having an impact because only people capable of doing something draw their attention.

So I was extremely disappointed that the "primary enforcer" did not bless us with one of his legendary comments. I would have loved to have published it. He is very good for your comments section folks. A single comment from the "primary enforcer" guarantees that your comments reach double digits and many times triple digits. So imagine my disappointment ( I really was:( ) that instead of commenting on the subject matter in my post, he instead demanded that I come to his blog and answer some questions he had for me, of course he conveniently included a link to his blog, I told y'all he is obsessed with his web traffic. That was it? "I HAVE QUESTIONS YOU MUST ANSWER AT MY BLOG." I was like WTH? What? No comment on what I posted about to drive my comment thread up into the double digits. All I get is you demanding that I go to your blog and a link promoting your blog, but I don't get one of your infamous,flame throwing incendiary comments? Well that's not fair! I was robbed! So I rejected that comment, but I did go to his blog. Foolishness as usual. So of course being the IIT that he is, he comes BACK to WAOD and again, no comment, just the same DEMAND that I go to his blog. Again I REJECTED HIM! Now those of you who have been victims of DV or Stalking, some off this ought to start sending off alarms...Really, is this an online Lifetime Sunday Movie or what?

Well then shortly thereafter one of his henchmen, actually I actually think the "primary enforcer" is the pawn in all of this and the henchmen uses the primary enforcer to carry out his dirty work so the henchman can keep his hands clean. But anyway, the henchman showed up in a post I did about TMZ calling Beyonce "RoBoho" at the BET Awards. I actually alerted folks to the TMZ comment, but I asked why, at the time I couldn't muster up my normal amount of outrage and encouraged others to weigh in and help me figure it out. Well that post and my response to his henchman is what set off a chain of events that many of you have flooded my inbox with and that I have failed to address directly up until the IITs showed up on the NPR News and Notes Blog this week.

IKE TURNER ASKS WAOD "Why do you make me angry? Do you want me to hit you?"

Now I thought I was having a normal spirited exchange with a poster that I disagreed with. I didn't think anything of it, until this popped up.

Are you trying to alienate me? Do you want me to go off like some keyboard commandos do? "The henchman" in the WAOD comments June 28, 2007

Well you can predict my response to that. Oh it was some of my classic knee jerk response stream of consciousness commenting. Since we have started to receive more attention, I have begun to temper my comments and try to be more diplomatic. Mama compliments me all the time on my improvement. But man just going back and reading my response made me nostalgic for the days when this place was my own personal wild wild west. But to whom much is given...blah blah blah. So I try to be more judicious these days.

After that confrontation, the Internet Ike Turners decided that it was time for Gina to get a beating for her insolence. Now they couldn't get to me an pull a Bishop Weeks so they decided to wound me by libeling me. Now folks, I give y'all a football stadium worth of material to attack me with EVERY DAY. It is a point of personal pride actually, but do these folks attack the substance of what I say on WAOD? Nah, that requires thought, we know Ike Turner is all about inflicting as many wounds as possible to try to get Tina/Gina to submit ( parallels people. parallels). So nah, they don't attack me for what I DO say. They make up stuff that I NEVER said and present it as some kind of "investigative report" on WAOD. Back then I actually took criticism to heart, but I get called a Black-man-hating-race-traitor so often these days that I'm relatively immune now. Their main weapon, was the fact that I link, read, and comment on the blogs of my BG. Although I was expecting SOME response from the IITs, I was actually shocked and quite frankly disappointed that nothing I'd actually written was used in their cyber beat down, instead they focussed on the fact that I selected the handle "Synamon" when I started posting on my BG's blog LONG before WAOD was even thought of.

"Synamon"/Gina/Gem - I claim them ALL. Always Have. Always Will

How do they know that I am Synamon? BECAUSE I TOLD THEM SO. In almost every comment on my BG' blog right after I started this blog, I said "I GOT A BLOG CALLED WHAT ABOUT OUR DAUGHTERS?" Now come on y'all I may be many things, but I ain't slow. Some folks think I am an evil mastermind, so why on earth would I claim this blog under "Synamon" if I was trying to disassociate WAOD with my comments on my BG's blogs? I'll claim any comment I made. I chose to select Gem as my posting name over here because "Synamon" didn't seem to have the gravitas to match the original mission of this blog. No attempt to deceive. But from here on out, I will just post everywhere as gem because quite frankly most folks on the blogs I go to know who I am anyway. So lets get to the substance of their attack. this is a condensed version of their attack which popped up on the NPR blog for the show News and Notes. Y'all know I hit it OUT OF THE BALL PARK when I was on the show in order to invite the attention of the IITs

Gina MCcauley is a virulent anti-Black eugenicist who views Black men as being damaged beyond repair and the vast majority of Black women to be genetically inferior to her. To the latter, she has gone so far as to describe herself as being melineated instead of Black to express her superiority.

To top this off she advocates that melineated woman need to breed with everyone beside Black men to keep the gene pool pure.

At the end of the day I find it remarkable and rather pathetic that any self-respecting Black woman would rally around McCaulley as an advocate for them and their daughters. Comment From Jefferson Seargeant at the NPR Blog

Now many of you have flooded my inbox asking me about this foolishness, especially when Jameela Donaldson, the creator of the website and show "Hot Ghetto Mess" posted the IITs dossier on WAOD verbatim on her website and myspace page after I cleaned her clock and critics savaged her show. Now y'all have to remember that in the heat of battle, folks from all over the world were flooding my inbox with personal dirt on Jameela Donaldson, Debra Lee and Reginald Hudlin. I mean past, present, future BET employees and cast members, scorned lovers, classmates, you name it, but I NEVER posted that information because I wanted the debate to be about the show and BET's programing decisions, not who folks are sleeping with and whose marriages they are responsible for breaking up.

I didn't respond on this blog to Jameela for several reasons. First, I'd won. Second, I'd dished out my fare share of hyperbole directed at Debra Lee. I'd even superimposed Debra Lee's face on Marie Antoinette's body so I kind of took it as Karmic payback. I mean, when you dish it out, you ought to know how it feels to be the recipient of your own medicine. being called a Black-man-hating-feminazi-lesbian-eugenist was my my karmic retribution for calling Debra Lee the Devil and Jameela and Reginald Hudlin sociopaths. I don't actually think Debra Lee is the Devil..... just carrying out his work. ( come on now y'all). I also knew at the time that Jameela would regret associating herself with the IITs. This was definitely not one of those cases where the "enemy of my enemy is my friend." I knew that one day they will turn their ire on her as well because she is a Black woman with an opinion, IITs don't like that. But she chose to reprint these lies in the wake of her defeat, I'd be upset too if some chick outta nowhere caused havoc on something I had worked very hard on for years. I just wouldn't stoop to outright lying on someone else. Unlike Ms. Donaldson, I am a good enough advocate to go after you with the dirt you've actually done as opposed to making stuff up, but then again, it was her credibility, not mine.

Once they'd gotten their unwitting pawn, Ms. Donaldson to do their dirty work, their recitation of the lies pops up anytime this blog gets attention anywhere on the internet. Reginald Hudlin also hosts the IITs on his Hudlin Entertainment message board. Yes, WAOD has internet stalkers and yes, BET executives and producers disseminate their message. Doesn't matter what the substance of what I have said on a show or in an article, their sole purpose is to libel me and this blog in hopes of damaging the mission of the blog. So once and for all, I am going to address the lies. If you see them crop up again, do not engage them, just put up a link to this post. That is what I plan to do.

I have never referred to Black men in general as DBR ( Damaged Beyond Repair), that is one of the many acronyms my BG has come up with. She has a lot of them, MEW, EVM, PAET. That is her thing, but I don't think I have ever heard her refer to all Black men as DBR, in fact I recall a post where she talks about the EVM vs the DBR - not true
I have never described myself as "melinated". I have never used the phrase I am pretty sure because I like Black or African American myself. Most if not all of my comments on Evolved Black Women, one of my BG's newest blogs, have been about my weight loss following my BG's scolding of inactive Black women. I was mad at the time, but I later thanked her for it. I haven't been this weight in seven years.
I have never said anything about anybody breeding with anyone. The closest thing to "breeding" that I have commented on is my question to my BG on Halima's blog, Date a White Guy, where my BG stated that people who are more intelligent are more likly to survive under the theory of survival of the fittest. I replied with a Socratic question challenging that conclusion in light of the fact that most highly educated black women will die unmarried and most educated black women will not rent out their wombs and become babies mamas so most of these women pursuing higher education will die childless and those who do have children will have fewer so actually in this case, the more educated you are, the more likely you are NOT to have your DNA move on to the next generation. I ain't ever said nothing about nobody breeding with anybody for racial purity. Um can somebody explain to me how you achieve racial purity through interracial marriage? Um wouldn't that be the opposite result? I am not an expert in racial purity like the IITs, so enlighten me. Again, complete fiction.
What are your thoughts on interracial marriage? I actually don't think about it a lot at all. That's the point of my BG's blog. No. Big deal to me. If you like it I love it. Marry whoever you want to. It is none of my business and as I get older, I realize that life if too short to try to force someone who longs for companionship to be alone so that they stay in the box my narrow mind constructed for them. Find love where love finds you. If someone doesn't want to read What About Our Daughters? because of my opinion on the subject, be gone already! Don't let the door hit you on the way out, and please don't post a comment saying "I'll never read your blog again!" on the way out.

PLUEEEZ, if I have an opinion, I ain't scared to share it.

So let me break it down. It is hypocritical for me to be sitting here advocating against abusing Black women in the real world while ignoring the cyber equivalent. This goes beyond offering a differing view point or criticism, which I welcome. Libel ain't protected by the First Amendment nor are threats of violence or inciting violence. This ain't about expression. This is about oppression. They know they can't cow me, so they try to undermine with work of the blog. it isn't just me and my BG, these IITs have launched a campaign against many other African American female bloggers. We all respond to them differently. My response was to ignore them up to this point, but as some of you begin to start your own blogs, they will come sniffing around. They'll send you e-mails, and when you don't do what they want you to do, they WILL launch an organized campaign against and incite others to try to threaten and intimidate. If that does not work, then they will try to harm you in whatever way they can. When they do, let somebody know. Don't suffer in silence and do not believe that you are alone. Actually, consider yourself an official part of the Black Blogging Sisterhood. They only try to destroy something with potential.

These folk are not CRAZY, they are perfectly sane and dangerous because people with their MENTALITY would gladly march people who think, act, look different from them into a gas chamber and they have. Again, they aren't happy with controlling YOU, they want to control everyone around you and what you read and THINK.

I know that this post is likely to increase the IITs' blog traffic and that is what they want, but I am putting all this out there because I am sure that at some point those of you who have started your blogs will come under assault by this crew. They'll post under different names, but just read carefully, they can't hide their "MENTALITY" or their writing style.

Remember that you are not alone. I'll stand with you if no one else will. Not because I agree with what you say, but I agree with your right to say it. I also think people should be able to criticize you and I will defend their right to do so as well, but this internet stalking foolishness needs to put on blast. Trust me, I have only mentioned what you see on sites. We won't even go into the e-mail campaigns these folk engage in or incite others to engage in. If you receive some of their threats, refer them to police because the online behavior of these IITs is probably consistent with their offline behavior.

Hello, my name is Gina. I also used to post under the name of Synamon on my BG's blog, and I'm a survivor of the Internet Ike Turners! In the words of Angela Bassett's Tina Turner in the movie" What's Love Got to Do With It"..... I present this YouTube response to the IITs.

The IITs have been talking a lot of noise and spreading lies and since the "primary enforcer" is good for issuing DEMANDS, I demand that he and his crew roll on over to WAOD and say it to my face! We can reenact the limo scene from "What's Love Got to Do With It" in the comments section and folks, when and if they arrive, leave them to me please. I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS! (pulls off a stiletto boot). Bring it Ike!

LET THAT MARINATE! Y'all have a great weekend. And now we return to our regularly scheduled programming....