Lynne d Johnson



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06.07.07 06:40 PM

Is It A Racist, Sexist World In Wikipedia?

Liza Sabater, Publisher of Culturekitchen thinks so.

She says:

"There is an astoundingly racist discussion going on in Wikipedia on the subject of whether Steve Gilliard should be included in Wikipedia. I have added my two cents to the discussion after I read this:

He was definitely widely cited by his peers, in the liberal blogsphere and therefore meets the notability requirement. If Atrios, Markos, Josh Marshall are all citing him, I think he should remain.

So as long as white, male bloggers like Markos Mooulitzas, Josh Marshall and Duncan Black quote you, you are opened the gates of notability. Anybody else, no matter how important they are to the blogosphere, is kept out.

Unless, of course, you publish a book --and that's only if the book is by a major publisher with wide distribution."

Tara Hunt of HorsePigCow added her two cents:

"I was deleted not once, but twice. I was cited in as many, if not more, articles than Chris, but one of the commenters actually made the insinuation that the journalist covering the work I was doing must have had 'a personal interest in Hunt'. In my case, it may have been less about gender and more about their hatred for 'marketing people', which has come up quite often."

I'm not officially in Wikipedia, but there tangentially listed in Notable Articles from

As to the racism charge, I decided to put a few African-American Web pioneers names to the test...

Omar Wasow (check)

Though a lot of stuff about dude is definitely missing. What happened to New York Online and Or the work he did with Vibe and Essence to help get them on the Web?

McLean Mashingaidze-Greaves (naught)

Though ZeD, a CBC series he produced is listed. For those who don't know, he founded Virtual Melanin (that produced Cafe Los Negros and The Digital DownLow) and was the original chief of content for HBO-backed

Darien Dash (naught)

He's there mentioned as the brother of actress Stacey Dash, but not on his own accord.

On Dash, from a May 2000 BusinessWeek article:

"In 1994 with $200 in pocket money. He started by offering Web services, from strategy and design to implementing e-commerce applications, to urban-oriented music and entertainment companies.

It didn't take Dash long to land heavy-hitting customers like HBO Home Video, and last year, VISA. The business has steadily grown and is expected to pull $5 million in revenues this year. That may still be small, but Dash's reputation looms large. He is technology chair of the Harlem School District, where he has helped wire the schools with more than 750 PCs and broadband Net connections. And he sits with the likes of AOL exec and Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis on the board of New York group HEAVEN (Helping Educate, Activate, Volunteer, & Empower via the Net)."

I know this list isn't long enough to prove any point, and I haven't gotten to mentioning any women yet. I was simply interested in engaging in this exercise for myself, after reading Liza's blog post about how progressive blogger Steve Gilliard was being discussed at Wikipedia. I found an in memoriam post here on Think Progress, where racism also rears its ugly head in the comments about the blogger's passing.

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