Rivalhost Owner Accused of Racism Over Chimpmania.com
Last year, CBS 11 brought the world the awful but ultimately hopeful narrative of Whitney Mitchell. The Dallas woman, 21 at that time, had been an aspiring dancer until sepsis got all four limbs when she was 18. The aspiring dancer was learning to walk with prosthetics and dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. Rivalhost
Not everyone found the aspiring dancer’s story heartwarming, as Mitchell shortly learned from your net.
“Every now and then she will Google her name,” Mitchell’s mother, Patricia Kirven, clarifies. Not out of conceit but because paraphiliacs, aka “devotees,” will “steal her graphics, and they will put them on these types of amputee-porn sites.”
Finding those was disturbing, but more upsetting to Mitchell and her mom was a post she discovered on Chimpmania.com.
In case you’re not familiar with Chimpmania, or when the name isn’t adequately self-explanatory, its an internet newsgroup dedicated to mocking African Americans in the most vile way conceivable. It is described here as a “hate site consisting of permabanned rejects from Niggermania and Chimpout.”
The post that Mitchell stumbled upon, name “amputee desires legs to dance wiff,” featured various screenshots from the CBS 11 report, crudely doctored to add watermelon, fried chicken, malt liquor and commentary that is mostly too vile to repeat.
Mitchell was distraught for a few days and stays troubled, but she’s generally accepted it as an unavoidable byproduct of the web.
Her mother, however, is pissed.
“I merely made it my mission to get that site taken down,” Kirven says.
She scored a minor success early on when she notified Warner Brothers that her daughter’s images had been placed into copyrighted images, one featuring Larry the Cable Guy, another a screenshot in the movie Dolphin Tale. The original post was removed but was quickly replaced by one that was clean of copyright violations.
Kirven doesn’t have a lot of options for getting that second post, much less the entire website, taken down. Chimpmania
The First Amendment offers comprehensive protections to language, even the kind of invective spewed on Chimpmania. Supreme Court precedent holds that hate speech is permissible, so long as it does not directly incite lawless activities. Hurling racist insults at a quadruple amputee, while disturbing, doesn’t seem to rise to that threshold. The attorneys Kirven has talked with have told her as much.
Instead, Kirven is trying to rally enough of a public outcry the business that hosts Chimpmania, boots the site. So far, her Change.org petition has collected close to 22,000 signatures.