While working on my blog last week, I noticed a curious little detail in my traffic referral stats. Three visitors had been forwarded to my blog from a website called the White Alliance Nationalists.
As a Black Caribbean woman who writes extensively on issues related to race and social equality, you can imagine the confusion I experienced in that instant.
“Oh great,” I thought jokingly. “The KKK finally has me on their hit-list.”
Curious to know the truth, I followed the referral link, which took me to my own ‘author’ page on a KKK website. There, I found that two of my articles about my trip to Vans Warped Tour had been copied word for word and republished. They had even given me full credit for my work.
KKK Loves Punk Bands?
On further investigation, I realised that my articles just happened to cover particular topics they needed content on at the time, and apparently they had seen fit to use my work without my permission.
The articles were just two of many other articles about popular punk rock bands like Blink 182 and Sum 41. There were also other posts about Vans Warped Tour – possibly also stolen.
But what amused me more than anything was how readers must have reacted to seeing my Black face plastered on their screen, while reading about their favourite bands. They had re-used all my original pictures from the article, including the following:
But seeing my pictures included in the post also confused me. Someone had taken deliberate pains to ensure they appeared exactly where they had in my original articles.
What confused me even more is that as an interracial couple, nothing should have infuriated the ‘White Alliance’ even more. Why? Because interracial couples ‘dirty’ the bloodline of the Aryan race. They much prefer when us Blacks are dirty all by ourselves.
And if I was doubting their racist message, I only needed to check other articles and the merchandise they sold to tell me otherwise. There were sales on confederate flags, and a strong endorsement of Donald Trump so he would keep out the immigrants that were “threatening” the advancement of the Aryan race.
To Report or not to Report
As this was a fellow WordPress site, I considered taking action, not because of their overt racism, but because they had republished my articles without my permission.
Reblogging an article is one thing. Countless WordPress users have re-published my articles over the past year, and I’m flattered every single time they do. In fact, feel free to reblog this one, as well!
But just copying and pasting it is a whole other thing entirely, even if they were ‘kind’ enough to give me credit for my work.
Thus, my greatest concern was how copied content would affect my SEO ranking with Google. Google despises plagiarism and usually penalises both parties for the act, not just the plagiariser – or so I’ve read.
I’m so paranoid about that that I don’t even share my own articles between my three websites. Ever.
A Lesson in Tolerance?
But the more I thought about it, the more I decided there was perhaps some benefit to leaving my Black face plastered on their website. After all, I’m not the one who put it there.
It would force many a racist to confront the fact that they did, after all, have something in common with me, and that immigrants and minorities are just something they’ll have to live with.
In addition to that, I didn’t think any good could come from tackling a racist organisation over the rights of my own articles.
The Conspiracy Theories
After sharing the incident and my decision with family and friends, they agreed it was best to leave well enough alone, and we laughed together that someone must have messed up, and can expect to be fired (or worse) real soon.
There’s just no way in hell it’s okay in their organisation to post the articles and pictures of a Black person in a celebratory, rather than derogatory light.
Maybe they got hacked, and maybe they used an automated program and didn’t even realise their mistake. But whether from negligence or some odd attempt at tolerance, a KKK website was definitely the last place I expected to see my articles pop up.
What do YOU think caused my articles to show up on their website? Share your ‘conspiracy theories’ in the comments below. Kudos if you got the tongue-in-cheek significance of the featured image!
*I did not add a hyperlink back to their website because I’d rather not [a] further their agenda with website traffic [b] let them boost their SEO-ranking by linking them to my blog, or [c] lead them back to this specific article.