Given how much I’ve written about the role of Heather Chase in the release of StopRush internal communications to Jason Wade Taylor, it’s now time to ask what responsibility Imani Gandy aka @AngryBlackLady bears in the “Randy Hahn” fiasco.
Below is the full text of an email chain from May 23 that offers an enormous amount of context for everything that came before and after. Until now, I was only able to refer to it and unable to publish it because the source did not wish to be identified. However, Chase’s cozy friendship with Lee Stranahan has convinced the source that it is safe to release this document.
Note that, after first accepting her board’s decision not to pursue a relationship with the sketchy Mr. Hahn, Imani changes her mind and overrules everyone — because she won’t be persuaded by a “conspiracy theory.” Start reading at the bottom:
Before anyone tries to make this email exculpatory for Ms. Chase, bear in mind that she had already been trying to push both of those redacted names out the door since the moment they joined TeamU. During our conversations last week, Chase admitted that she never got along with them. Clearly, both women did their best to persuade Chase and Gandy that “Randy Hahn” was untrustworthy — and they were absolutely right.
Chase, on the other hand, mainly dwells on the supposed damage that Matt Edelstein aka @Shoq did to poor Mr. Hahn’s trust level with progressive netroots organizations. (In fact, members of the StopRush group were responsible for @Shoq’s “conspiracy theory” about Randy Hahn’s plagiarized blog, his fake references, broken promises, and so forth.) And whereas both Chase and Gandy have made much of their desire to limit the input of men in their feminist activism, especially in regards to @Shoq, they clearly pursued a closer relationship between their organization and “Randy Hahn,” a male. Why? I’ll let Heather Chase answer that:
The role greed played in this was in keeping me from being willing to accept the fact that “Randy” was misrepresenting himself even when it ought to have been obvious to me that his stories were ludicrously inconsistent with a legitimate funder. I am not proud of this at all, but I believe I am being judged rather harshly for a human weakness Edelstein seems to have shared with me. (Emphasis mine)
In other words, she thought he was rich, so she ignored @Shoq’s warnings that he wasn’t. Because strangers with candy never ever have bad intentions, and so many philanthropists use Twitter to find and fund progressive organizations. The dollar signs blinded her, and the evidence says that they blinded Imani Gandy too. Both were deaf to @Shoq, who had removed the scales from his own eyes weeks before — but was already taking their blame for every bad decision they made. He still is.
ADDING: Contrary to Chase’s assertion that money was not a factor, this evidence removes any doubt that it was. The email thread took place only two days after she had turned over StopRush communications to Taylor under the assumption that her board expected a contribution from a “philanthropist” to whom she had now given solid service.
It was weeks prior to Gandy’s infamous Twitlonger statement in which she pretended not to know much about the recording of “Randy Hahn” and distanced herself from the story.
Chase and Gandy should both apologize to StopRush and everyone connected to it now, because their cover-up has been worse than the crime. It’s the least they can do, it is overdue, and it will probably go a long way towards ending this blogwar. No one, especially me but certainly not Matt Edelstein or anyone else, has any interest in seeing this unfortunate controversy continue.
ALSO ADDING: It is apparent that Gandy intends to continue her denials, no matter how incredible each of them becomes. Of course, to explain this new information she will have to spin things she previously maintained were completely untrue. Rather than deny that her webmaster gave internal StopRush communications to “Randy Hahn” in pursuit of financial contributions, she will have to explain why.