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Welcome to the Military Community Members of DailyKos Openthread!
Comments, tips, and recommends welcome from our Civilian Kossacks as well!

Do I date myself with the title?

It's been a long week for the Military Community Members of DailyKos. Many of our numbers joined the boycott last week. For those that left, the boycott was about one thing, racism. The military community has been dealing with racism and its consequences for decades. It should be no surprise that many of our numbers were willing to boycott to stand along side friends.

Many of us didn't participate in the boycott and have continued to contribute in our own ways to the community. Some of us stayed for Testvet - he has pulled through his surgery just fine and I am hoping for another update in this diary... llbear, are you out there? And some of us stayed for other Kossacks that you and I may not even know. They stayed because this feels like home.

Many of us stayed because we just didn't know what the right answer really was and the path of least resistance was the one we chose. The arguments presented by both sides made it very hard to see black and white; instead we saw multiple shades of gray.

And maybe some of us stayed from a long held belief that our leaders are right - though we all know that questioning our leaders can be a very good thing. I have a feeling that many believe that Markos did what he had to do just as many who left feel like he did exactly what he shouldn't have done.

My point is, like in all things, the Military Community is DIVERSE. We don't all agree. We don't all have the same opinions. But I hope that we can all come together and search for solutions so that this GREAT PURGE never has to happen again.

I would love to use this open thread as a way for boycotters and non-boycotters to have a conversation about the past week. What have we learned, what have we accomplished, where are we going?

How non-military, right? I mean, maybe I should offer a training of some kind first, to be followed by a survey, to be followed by the officers in charge having a meeting and coming to some decision, and then the OIC would talk to the first sergeant and tell the Shirt what to do. Then the Shirt would tell the OIC why the officers' plan won't work and how we should just do what s/he suggested in the first place. That's when the OIC calls his/her spouse to complain and is told, "I told you so."

Well, we don't have officers or first sergeants at the MCM so I guess a conversation will just have to do! That's what happens when you put a spouse in charge.

Have at it folks - remember, this is our home at DailyKos. Let's not piss each other off to the point that people don't want to come back but lets have an honest conversation that might begin to heal some wounds.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Here's to honest conversation (15+ / 0-)

    and to making our best attempts to understand each other.

    Remember, a big clue to the answer has to do with listening. You may not want to respond to a comment until  you spend a few minutes thinking about it.

    Re-read your response once to make sure it says what you really want it to say.

    Then hit that post button! It's one of the reasons we can preview our comments. It's not just to catch the typo's, but to allow us to see our words through the other person's eyes.

  •  Susan from 29 was in last night's top comments (8+ / 0-)

    with this:

    Thanks, I think I have finally learned that when the words come straight from the heart, with only a brief stop in the brain for a spellcheck, they are much clearer and far more effective.
  •  I think it's pretty obvious that I am one of (7+ / 0-)

    those that stayed.

    I didn't find out about the boycott until Monday Morning, after I had posted last week's open thread. After I read a half dozen diaries or so, I found myself torn in two directions.

    I am one of those that took the path of least resistance. I can claim TestVet as a reason for staying but I could have boycotted after I posted the open thread requesting jokes for him and Dorrie. I didn't.

    As a military brat, I have always left my problems behind me. We would always move or the other people would always leave and the problems could be ignored long enough that they would often really just go away.

    I wonder if that was what I was hoping - that the problem would just go away? Or if I was staying because I don't want to leave another community behind? I have done that too often in my life.

    I'm not sure I even know the real answer to that one.

    •  I respect the feelings of those who boycotted (6+ / 0-)

      but problems are never solved when one side refuses to discuss its' problems with the other side. I've never been involved with racist or bigoted pie fights on Daily Kos. So when the contratemps occured, I had no idea what caused the problems, who was involved, nor why Kos purged people.

      The tone and temper of the site has gotten pretty caustic, but I ascribe that to the way liberals are being treated generally.

      My view on racism were formed by my father - not my mother [by far her worst fault] - and are best explained by these two comments:

      He explained his view of racism, Then he made us contrast that with the way Mom acted. They had close to a perfect marriage for over 60 years. But racism was something Mom grew up with in Chicago. My father let us know in very certain terms that any act or expression of a racist nature was grounds for extreme discipline [that was always the worst job that had to be done around the house].

      Mom tried to check her comments. She knew she was wrong. Then one weekend her parents came out for a visit. Grandma & Grandpa got a briefing from Mom: Racist comments were no longer allowed in the house and Dad had put his foot down.

      Grandma got it. She thought the sun rose and set on my father. Grandpa - ah, no. Following dinner Grandpa was in the living room with my brother and me, watching the Bears play. The other team had a player intercept a pass and ran the ball don the field. Grandpa went nuts yelling every racial epithet he could think of.

      Dad walked into the house, turned bright red, sent us to the basement to play, and verbally laid in to Grandpa. No one was going to infect his sons with racism. Mom ran into the living room and tried to calm Dad down. Grandma was crying, "Oh, Fred, how could you?" My Dad was having none of it. He told Mom that if she wanted to support that crap, she could go right back to Chicago with Grandma and Grandpa.

      Those murders deeply affected a lot of people. I believe I'm one them.

      My dad said this to me not long before he died:

      Your great-grandmother helped black folk hide from some pretty awful people. Your grandmother got into trouble with the school board for helping some little black kids after school with their homework and she got fired for it. Your mother and I almost divorsed because she couldn't understand how wrong she was about black people.

      This is my last President. He's going to be as great as Lincoln. I want you to never, ever let him down.

      Bring them all home NOW. There is no longer any excuse.

      by llbear on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:09:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  angela and susan, thank you. there's healing in (4+ / 0-)

    your words.

    I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: "No good in a bed, but fine up against a wall." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Ramdove on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 05:13:19 AM PDT

  •  Welcome back 'Kotters indeed! (6+ / 0-)

    You all were missed!

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 06:32:33 AM PDT

    •  Isn't that the truth! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebel ga, DaNang65, JTinDC, bubbanomics

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Curious... do you think  you learned anything this week? Did the boycott make you think?

      I've been thinking about my own upbringing and my own white privilege an awful lot. Too much for a comment. I'll have to see if I am brave enough to write a diary about it all.

      •  Oh my, yes, the boycott showed me some things. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angelajean, DaNang65, bubbanomics

        I saw some pretty vile comments over the last week, comments that showed there is a frightening number of Kossacks who are unaware of their own racism, for starters.

        I was deeply disturbed to see Kossacks who value their freedom to say whatever the hell they want to say over everything. And if it offends anyone then the offended are the ones with the problem.

        I saw people who celebrated the absence of the boycotters.

        I saw flat out rejection of political correctness.

        I saw someone comment that politically correct language was "the kind of coddling black peple don't need." (My jaw is still hurting from having hit the floor so hard from that one.)

        I saw someone comment that the boycott was "basically a co-dependent professional victim circle jerk." (also one of the most shcoking comments of the week)

        And there weren't more than a handful of us who, based on recs and comments, chose to call these people out.  It felt pretty lonely and pretty sickening.

        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

        by JTinDC on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 09:39:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JTinDC, angelajean, bubbanomics, DaNang65

      In truth, the boycott coincided with my periodic need to take a TTFN/vacation from DKos.  Every so often the vitriol gets bad enough that I have to walk away for a little while.  This time it coincided with what I saw as overly-broad but understandable reaction to some very real problems with trolls.

      Hopefully this painful episode has given everyone an opportunity to reflect, reconsider, and imagine themselves walking in other people's shoes.  We need to remember, going forward, that what unites us needs to be stronger than what divides us, or we are sunk.  The TP/GOP wins when they utilize the tactics of the British Raj -- divide and rule.  We cannot afford to play their game over the next 14 months.  Let us keep solidarity foremost in our minds going forward.

      Peace and love to all......

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

      by Noor B on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:39:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  don't have much to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    say about this. It didn't read the pie fights & I happy with how Marcos handled it.
    My position could piss people off, I don't mean to do that, but this site is Marcos's. He is the boss.

    •  Do you think if we had joined the pie fights (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaNang65, eeff, bubbanomics

      they might not have been pie fights? Earlier in the game?

      I wondered that myself. I stay out of pie fights. I hate them. But I wonder if too many of us do that and made matters worse?

      •  Categorizing Black folks calling out racist (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angelajean, bubbanomics

        comments as "pie fights" begins to get to the heart of the problem. Think that one all the way through and you'll begin to get to White Privilege in action.

        But to answer your direct question, No, what was going on wasn't rational from the one side and from at least a couple of posters on the other.

        Veteran? Concerned family member of a veteran? Come join us in building a community at United Veterans of America.

        by DaNang65 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:30:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hadn't realize that using the words "pie fight" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          was a part of the problem. I thought "pie fight" referred to those times on DailyKos when people started arguing with each other in a way that there could be no winner; when the argument became the point of the diary rather than the diary itself being the point. Pie fights often start when someone writes an inflammatory diary intended to attract defenders of the opposite point of view.

          The question still stands. Should folks like eeff and myself have engaged more often in those conversations where the community of color obviously felt like they were being attacked?

          •  Wasn't around here when the original "pie fights" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            EclecticCrafter, bubbanomics

            took place, so my knowledge of the subject is far from from perfect. But I have read several accounts.

            If recollection serves, the term "pie fight" refers to an episode of Gilligan's Island (maybe you saw the reruns as a kid) when Ginger and Mary Ann got in a pie in the face dispute over essentially nothing.

            For its day it was about as soft core porn as you could get on network television, to the great delight of the onlookers (Gilligan and the Captain).

            In other words it's foolishness about nothing but that excites the prurient interests of the spectators.

            Perhaps to some calling the first African American President an "Uncle Tom", to use one example, is about nothing. It's certainly not nothing to AAs and their allies. That dozens, even hundreds of Daily Kos users read those and worse comments in silence nearly every day puts them in the bushes with Gilligan and the Captain, secure in the privilege.


            Veteran? Concerned family member of a veteran? Come join us in building a community at United Veterans of America.

            by DaNang65 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:31:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Calling anyone an Uncle Tom is wrong in my (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DaNang65, bubbanomics

              book. At any time and at any place.

              I will stop using pie fight in reference to the boycott. Could you give me an idea on what language I could use to refer to them instead? Discussion seems to tame. Argument doesn't even seem right. Maybe altercations?

              Should more of us who consider ourselves part of this community enter those diaries that look like huge altercations (tons of comments are a good clue) and try to intervene?

              Obviously, ignoring them didn't work. And I know that is what a lot of us did.

        •  That is the first (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          time I've heard that statement also.
          so the idea here is to take words away ??

          How many words are out of bounds here?

          in Markos next diary I will ask that question, I don't want to get into it with anyone over a word/phrase.

          •  Perhaps you'd be so kind as to share which part of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            my comment suggested "tak(ing) words away."

            The point of the comment, and to the extent I failed to convey it the fault is all mine, was that a "pie fight" is a frivolous, harmless exercise in an inanity for the amusement of spectators.

            Referring to the President of the United States as "Uncle Tom" and "Stepin Fetchit", to use two of the more printable racial slurs that have been appearing at Daily Kos with increased frequency in the absence of meaningful moderation, is hardly frivolous or harmless.

            To describe an African American's objection to those terms as a "pie fight" trivializes their implicit and explicit racism. And isn't that what this whole discussion has been about, detrivializing the intentional and unintentional racism that the shrinking AA community feels pervades the place?

            There are more than enough genuine pie fights on this site for the term to enjoy a long, well deserved life.

            And as to whether or not certain words are, in fact, forbidden here, allow me to simply suggest the numerous derogatory terms for women, you know the ones, that are a guaranteed trip to the far side of Hidden Comments.

            Veteran? Concerned family member of a veteran? Come join us in building a community at United Veterans of America.

            by DaNang65 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 07:35:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Here Today . . . (3+ / 0-)

    I cannot speak for other boycotters, of course, but only for myself.

    After strictly observing 168 hours without the GOS on my screen I visited last evening, not signing in, but reading well past midnight. Which in part explains why I'm a little late to this party.

    Were it not for MCM I wouldn't be here this morning. Or perhaps ever again. Many (most?) of the posters I liked and respected most here are no longer with Daily Kos. A few were banned, a few left in a huff over having their ratings priviliges suspended over bullshit, a few more, like myself, left in Solidarity with our brothers and sisters. They're at other websites now, where I've spent the last week.

    It was like leaving a smog filled city for the heights of the mountains. The air was clean and free, good to breathe. Among the dozens and dozens of posts I read this week by the recently departed kossacks I never once saw a single instance of abuse, or even disrespect.

    Among the themes I noticed in last night's DK reading was a recurring meme that behavior around here has been improved simply by the now meaningful threat of the banhammer.

    An arbitrary and capricious banhammer at that.

    I harbor no illusions about my place in the scheme of things around here. A few may miss me; most, were I to fall off the face of the Earth, would regret only the pollution of space.

    In both cases the feelings are mutual.

    Veteran? Concerned family member of a veteran? Come join us in building a community at United Veterans of America.

    by DaNang65 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 09:23:39 AM PDT

    •  You seem to think the others won't come back. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaNang65, bubbanomics

      I am glad you are here. I know we have no guarantees that you will stay, but I can only say that this community is built by people like us and that I am willing to fight to make it a better one, a more inclusive one.

      I have noticed Twigg has been very proactive in pointing out negative behavior this week. He seems to feel empowered by the new 'treat diaries like someone's home' rule. Hopefully, more Kossacks will start doing the same. I think it helps.

      Do you think anything that has been done in the past week will help?

      •  I don't really know what has been done (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AZ Independent, bubbanomics

        around here in the past week. I don't know what happened at Redstate either. At the moment I care about them pretty nearly equally.

        The racial issue was the tip of an iceberg. The gangs that have formed here have been swarming diaries and abusing diarists pretty much since the introduction of DK4. Anyone who reads broadly on the site knows who they are.

        In sports, especially football and basketball (I wouldn't at all be surprised to learn it's common in futbol as well, it's a commonplace that it's the second guy who gets the penalty. The first guy gets away with a cheap shot, his victim retaliates. The official only sees the retaliation and penalizes the victim for standing up for himself. There's a lot of that in the recent massacre.

        The analogy breaks down, of course, in that cheap shots in the threads are visible to the proprietor. He has no excuse that he didn't see it.

        This is a proprietary site, and the proprietor has every right to be as arbitrary and capricious as he wants to. The Walton family is free to operate Walmart any way they want to. I can't remember the last time I set foot in a Walmart store, but it certainly wasn't in the 21st Century.

        The proprietor seems to have decided/accepted that controversy/outrage sells. Whatever it takes to keep those page hits coming. A fraction of a cent here, a fraction of a cent there, several hundred thousand times a day and pretty soon you're talking about real money.

        Bill O'Reilly's done quite well with that formula.

        Many of the "sympathetic" boycotters will return, perhaps until they're further reminded of why they left in the first place.

        Many others are enjoying that clean mountain air.

        Veteran? Concerned family member of a veteran? Come join us in building a community at United Veterans of America.

        by DaNang65 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 10:19:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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