Last night as I looked at the results from my statistical gathering software program, I was disgusted to learn that an individual had posted and linked to some content from my blog. Most writers and bloggers work hard to get their work linked to, but when I saw the content of this individual's blog, I literally became sick to my stomach.
A white supremacist, with a screen id and blog called Kalki666, found a post I had written critical of Israel and decided to repurpose it for his anti-Semitic agenda. He also used me as his research assistant for the main part of that same post when he found this post on my blog from May 21 and just re-posted it yesterday. And then there are the swiped images, too.
Not only had he posted my content and linked to me on his blog, he further linked on white supremacist discussion boards. Here is one such "discussion" [UPDATE: looks like they moved the argument elsewhere] that seems to actually be causing some infighting among the white supremacists.
In no way, shape or form will I allow him to attribute his agenda to my reporting and blogging. I fully condemn Kalki666's actions and everything that he, his blog and his community stand for.
Yes, I am critical of Israeli policies. I am also critical of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. But beyond that, it needs to be clear that being critical of Israel does not make one anti-Semitic (look for a longer post on this soon).
Now, upon further research, I learned that Kalki666 was surfing and posting from an IP address registered to Wheaton College (IL)--a conservative, Evangelical Christian college. I should say that while I am not a fan of Wheaton College, as a native Chicagoan I am well aware of their rigorous academic environment and am certain that while I disagree with many of their conservative views they do not condone this type of behavior exhibited by Kalki666.
Aside from the highly offensive content on Kalki666's blog, it's cowardly. Kalki666 is a coward. He has completely concealed his identity, there is no bio on the blog and he has displayed no email address to contact him. I know nothing about him or his affiliation with Wheaton College; he may be a student, staff or faculty--I don't know yet.
The only item by which to potentially identify him is this ambiguous photo:
In fact, this photo is the only reason I think Kalki666 is male, but I don't even know if this picture is him. It may well not be.
What happens next?
Well, for starters, I'm writing to Dr. Duane Liftin, the President of Wheaton College. He should be made aware of the types of activities that are occurring on the Wheaton College IP address. If it's an employee, I'm sure this violates the usage policy of the College. If it's a student, well I suppose this opens a whole host of other issues.
I'm also going to bring it to the attention of WordPress, where the blog is hosted. While the post that I've described here probably does not violate their usage policy, I'm certain that I saw several others that do--ones that, in my mind anyway, provoke violence. To me, this is the difference between free speech and injuring speech that ought be censored. As a journalist, I take this issue very seriously and, again, I think this deserves its own post where I will elaborate in the next few days.
I will post both letters here as they are completed, as well as the responses I get from each. Also be on the lookout for some substantive posts on these critical issues, as well as other developments on this story.
UPDATE #1: Letter to Wheaton College President Litfin (July 15 3:40pm)
Dear Dr. Litfin,
I am writing to you about a serious matter that involves internet activity at Wheaton College. I am a journalist who writes on politics, predominantly Middle East politics for places like The Nation, In These Times and Mother Jones. Yesterday I wrote a post critical of Israel and a white supremacist blog picked up my content and repurposed it for their agenda. The blogger [http://kalki666.wordpress.
com/] is using an IP address that is registered to Wheaton College.
The activity I monitored came from the Wheaton College IP address [number omitted]. I am happy to provide further information related to this activity, but only if it comes with explicit acknowledgment that action is being taken.
For further details about these events, I have blogged about this today and here is the link:
governmentalityblog.com/my_ weblog/2009/07/my-fight-with- white-supremacists-.html
As I mention in the blog post, I do not view this as indicative of Wheaton College and am certain this is against Wheaton's policies (not to mention mission), but I do hope there will be a definitive statement made and shared with the Wheaton College community that this type of activity is not permissible under any circumstances and is punishable.
I look forward to your swift action.
With much appreciation,
UPDATE #2: Kalki666 now knows what's going on (July 16 10:09am)
Kalki is now aware of this post. It might have something to do with the fact that I posted the link in the comments section of his blog post with a little note that says "be prepared to be *very* uncomfortable."
UPDATE #3: Kalki666 responds (on his blog) and I respond to him (July 16 10:32am)
But there is still nothing from Wheaton College. There sure have been a number of visits, including from their PR firm--but no response.
UPDATE #4: Wheaton College President Duane Litfin responds (July 16 11:17am)
Thanks for the heads-up. Am looking into the details. Can't imagine this information is accurate but I intend to find out. Will let you know what I discover.
UPDATE #5: Kalki666 responds to me again (July 16 10:50am)
Still a coward, but maybe poor Kalki666 is just understood. You see, the Jews "have been trying to get rid of me one way or another since the day I was born - yet, here I am, 38 years old, and still going strong! And I won't stop until I fulfill my mission and cleanse this planet of ALL demonic cacophony!"Here's his exact exact response to me calling him a coward for his anonymity:
My insistent anonymity? Kalki is my real name, my pic is posted with every comment, and you (and all the other spooks) know my exact geographical location at this very moment!
And yes, technically criticism of Israel is antisemitism, since Israel is a Jewish state…But your fear of being called a ‘racist’ won’t allow you to acknowledge that.I say what I say because I have balls and a strong belief that the truth needs to be spoken – regardless of how ’socially unacceptable (’politically incorrect’) the powers-that-be portray such truth.
And, believe me, there ARE repercussions! I don’t have the time to elaborate too much, but I’ll just say this – The PTB (i.e. the Jew-controlled system) has been trying to get rid of me one way or another since the day I was born – yet, here I am, 38 years old, and still going strong! And I won’t stop until I fulfill my mission and cleanse this planet of ALL demonic cacophony!
UPDATE #6: Kalki666 has already been kicked off of Blogger for violating terms, will WordPress do the same? (July 16 12:02pm)
UPDATE #7: Wheaton College President Duane Litfin writes again (July 16 4:43pm)
President Litfin emails me to express a stronger intention to work on this problem and to say "This sort of material is utterly out of step with Wheaton College and I want to get to the bottom of who is responsible for it."
UPDATE #8: My response to Kalki666 comments located in UPDATE #6 (July 17 11:46am)
I would hardly consider your identity to be transparent. A part of your face with sunglasses on doesn’t exactly make it clear. And “Kalki” doesn’t offer much either. The non-existent bio and email address also cloak your identity. If you have so much pride and the need to tell the truth, why do you keep all of this so opaque?
I would try to explain to you how criticism of Israel is not antisemitism, but since your starting point is hate and to make everyone hate as much as you do, you are too blind (and perhaps stupid) to see any other argument.
But I bet I have this all wrong. You’re probably just misunderstood, Kalki. After all, the Jews, blacks, Latinos, women, self-hating whites, etc., have “been trying to get rid of [you] one way or another since the day [you] were born.” Right?
Well, others are on the way too. Just wait.
UPDATE #9: Wheaton College President Duane Litfin emails me (July 17 1:44pm)
The culprit has been found and escorted off campus. More details to follow shortly.
UPDATE 10: See my new post on Kalki getting arrested by the Wheaton Police here.