On December 17, anti-racism activists gathered outside the D Magazine office in Downtown Dallas, united in purpose: to confront Tim Rogers and demand an apology.
“Everyone here are artists and social activists. Tired of the white man’s mouth saying what we can and can’t speak about,” said Tawedah Jackson, a member of Dallas Justice Now, told The Dallas Express. “The audacity of this man to take Maya to court to stop her using her freedom of speech.”
Tim Rogers is currently the editor for D Magazine, which is owned by Allison Publications. The publisher sued a black journalist investigating alleged racial bias by the editors of D Magazine. The lawsuit alleged that the journalist had damaged business relationships by falsely portraying the magazine’s editors as racist.
“Tim Rogers tried to shut up a black woman who used her freedom of speech,” said a protestor who identified himself as Moodychango, another member of Dallas Justice Now.
The journalist, Maya Pembledon, told the court that D Magazine used their complaint to silence her, violating the Texas Citizens Participation Act.
“I am a black woman; I am a single mother. I am an independent writer. And I am now under attack through this lawsuit by Tim Rogers, Editor, and Allison Publications, the wealthy white-owned parent company of D Magazine and People Newspapers,” Pembledon wrote to the courts. “They filed this baseless, harassing lawsuit against me in an attempt to silence my voice because I am researching a piece about racial bias in local journalism, including D Magazine.”
The lawsuit was dismissed in October. District Court Judge James Johnson ruled in favor of Pembledon and sanctioned the plaintiffs, levying a $10,000 fine against Allison Publications. Rogers and Allison Publications are also liable for $10,650 in attorney’s fees incurred by Pembledon as she defended herself.
Judge Johnson also wrote that Rogers would be liable for $12,500 in attorney fees along with an additional $5,000 if oral arguments are taken in pursuit of an appeal if the court again finds in favor of Pembledon.
Ndure Cain, the co-president of Dallas Justice Now, told The Dallas Express, “This was a victory for us. So, we’re calling out D Magazine on why they’re trying to sanction a black woman’s voice.”
Dallas Justice Now is an anti-racism activist group. The group’s website states: “We are ambitious that by tackling the root causes of institutionalized racism in our city we can remedy the injustices we see on a day-to-day basis like police brutality and access to quality education. ”
“We will not back down, we will not be silent, and we will continue to stand for what we believe in,” said Tawedah Jackson. “Tim Rogers should be ashamed of himself.”
The Dallas Express reached out to Rogers, he declined to comment on the matter at the time of publishing.