Monday, December 29, 2008
King Center's Isaac Newton Farris Admits To Trying To Bully And Bribe Stormfront's Don Black Into Taking Down The Martinlutherking.org Website
In an article devoid of even the least pretense of objectivity, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the director of the "non-profit" King Center of Atlanta, Isaac Newton Farris Jr. (himself a nephew of Dr. King) has openly admitted to attempting to bully and bribe Stormfront's Don Black into taking down the highly-popular Martinlutherking.org website.
According to the Journal-Constitution, Farris said he’d sent the site’s operator threatening letters and offers of money to shut it down since then, but that they were ignored. Farris said he consulted lawyers, but has not approved filing a lawsuit. “You never authorize a lawyer to do whatever it takes because that could be a black hole,” he said. “But we definitely asked them to look into it.”
In a different interview last week, Farris conceded there isn’t much the King family can do about the Martinlutherking.org website, in part because it’s an issue of free speech. “You can’t stop people from having opinions,” he said. “If people think my uncle was adulterous and didn’t have a Ph.D., we can’t do anything about that. The only thing we can do is stop them from using his name.”
But Farris doesn't rule out legal action in the future. Farris explained that, although people are free to make claims of philandering and drunkenness about his uncle, he distinguishes between opinion and slander. “Maybe we could sue, maybe we couldn’t. But there’s a thin line between opinion and slander,” he said.
Two Atlanta lawyers also weighed in on the discussion. Pete Wellborn believes a suit against Stormfront could succeed if the Kings could show that Stormfront is making any money off King’s name. Doug Isenberg, who served on the Board of Trustees for Temple Sinai in Atlanta from 2002-04 and who has served on the Board of Trustees for the Anti-Defamation League's Southeast Region since 2002, said a domain name complaint might be more fruitful than a lawsuit, but maintains that the King family would still have to prove a “bad faith” attempt to confuse the public.
Particularly irritating to Isaac Newton Farris Junior is the popularity of the Martinlutherking.org website. At present, not only does the site come up fourth in Google web searches for Martin Luther King, but it even ranks ahead of the King Center’s own website (www.thekingcenter.org). Google explains that page rank is influenced by an examination of a website’s links to other sites and by the popularity of those other sites, and it explains that rank involves an analysis of text content. A Google spokeswoman, Katie Watson, further explained in e-mailed responses that computer algorithms use “hundreds of factors” to conduct rankings, but that the factors “are the secret sauce” of Google and so the details are closely held. Watson also said that Google rarely removes sites except when laws are being violated, such as with child pornography. And, as expected, she reminded the public that the views expressed at martinlutherking.org “are not in any way endorsed by Google.”
But further examination reveals another important reason for Martinlutherking.org's popularity. All the other King sites on the first page are actually faith-promoting cheerleading sites which advocate "King-worship". In contrast, Martinlutherking.org is the only prominent related website which provides a true historical examination of Dr. King's life. The site does indeed describe Dr. King as a philanderer, a drunk, a liar, a plagiarist, and a cheater, but it backs up its claims with objective information and references. Indeed, the allegation that Dr. King plagiarized large portions of his PhD thesis is echoed by mainstream sources, to include Wikipedia, Snopes.com, and WorldAffairsBrief.com. In addition, Dr. David Duke cross-posts valuable corroboration from Alan Stang HERE.
But the Journal-Constitution continues to refer to the King site and Stormfront in the most deprecatory terms, describing it as "vile, reprehensible, ignorant and horrible", and "white supremacist". Naturally, they play the "KKK" card as well.
Don Black has not specifically responded to this story yet. In addition, much to my surprise, there's been no discussion thread of this story launched on Stormfront. Whether Black is embargoing public discussion to avoid legal exposure, or else no Stormfront members have yet considered it newsworthy is unknown at this time. But it's obvious the King family and their apologists want to sanitize and protect the memory of their icon at all costs.
Even at the cost of the truth.