A local blogger who recently promised to shut his website down in the face of a public protest over his alleged racism dropped that pledge and returned to posting on the site just days after he called it quits.
Prospect-Lefferts Gardens writer Tim Thomas abruptly announced the end of his “Q at Parkside” blog in an Oct. 5 post, in order to stop local anti-gentrification activist Alicia Boyd, a frequent target of the author’s criticism, from proclaiming him a racist at an event hosted by his employer two days later.
But the blogger in an Oct. 14 post claimed his vow to never again cover the neighborhood — along with Crown Heights, Ditmas Park, and Flatbush — was simply a ruse to distract his rival while he devised an iron-clad legal strategy to defend himself against Boyd’s smear campaign, and told this newspaper he has no problem filing a blackmail suit against her if she continues to intimidate him.
“I will absolutely press charges if she continues to harass me,” Thomas said. “Hopefully I’ve made it clear that I’m not going to just back down.”
Thomas claimed his attorney will meet with prosecutors in the District Attorney’s office to discuss a possible case against Boyd, after she publicly accused him of using the blog to publish racially motivated attacks against her and other black leaders, and threatened to disrupt the bash hosted by his workplace, performing-arts organization Bang on a Can, unless he acquiesced to a long list of demands that included shuttering the website.
Naturally, Boyd’s terms forbade Thomas from sharing the e-mail laying out the conditions he agreed to — and that document, which the blogger subsequently posted online in full, will now serve as Exhibit A in his possible blackmail suit against her, he said.
Other demands in Boyd’s e-mail included that Thomas apologize to black leaders, herself “especially,” and that he rescind previously published accusations that the activist performed illegal activities while campaigning on behalf of Crown Heights State Sen. Jesse Hamilton ahead of September’s primary election.
Boyd, who runs the anti-gentrification group Movement to Protect the People and a community-service organization New Directions in Healing, claimed Thomas used terms including “assoholics, frauds, lunatics, fools, and embarrassments” to criticize black officials in 2014–15 posts on his blog, but could not provide more recent accounts of his alleged racism.
And Thomas copped to using that language in his Oct. 14 story, along with one published on Sept. 21, but also insisted he is not a racist, claiming in both posts that Boyd confused words he used to criticize her specifically as an attack on black people in general.
“I have criticized specific people for specific actions, and those people come in every hue and flavor,” the blogger wrote on Oct. 14. “But I have never, ever made statements attacking the black community.”
Boyd did not return a request for comment about Thomas’s revival of Q at Parkside.