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And then this happened:

Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.
by Denise Oliver Velez

The idea of having a forum where the news and viewpoints are from a black point of view is extremely profound to me… and refreshing! So many times I have found that the views, pains, and struggles of people of color have been marginalized to the point that we as a people have become reluctant to wade in the waters of our emotions. Thanks to Daily Kos and the Black Kos Community (and other groups like Barriers and Bridges, RaceGender Discrimination, and Community Spotlight), I have a voice. And that’s very important to me.

I want to take a moment to thank all the Kossacks who participate in the readings and discussions, regardless of the pros and cons, because there are always various points to be raised from both sides of any argument. That’s how the healing begins.

Educationally, I have immersed myself with pertinent issues on the topic of race, while becoming certified in the fields of ethnicity and race relations.  I won’t say that I have a unique perspective on race and racial issues, but I do have a vested interest. To explain, I will share my posted comment from tmservo433’s diary KKK begins recruitment drive in Missouri:

In 1989, while serving in the United States Marine Corps, I was stationed at the Naval Air Station in Meridian, Mississippi. One weekend, we were told that we must be returned to the base by no later than 0600 hours (6 am) that Sunday morning, as the base was going to be shut down due to a Ku Klux Klan seminar being held in the town that day. I was shocked at that time, being that I was a young kid from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who had only heard about the KKK from what I saw on television. I had never experienced them directly. At the time, I was naive enough to believe that this was an isolated incident.

However, 2 years later while on the base at Camp Pendleton in California, injured and unable to walk without crutches, I was assaulted by a group of men – who were Marines like myself, I'm sad to say. They attacked me from behind, so I never saw them, or got a chance to ask why. I wouldn't need to ask why, as the assailant who had snatched me up by my neck spoke into my ear, "We can't stand Niggers..." They proceeded to beat me until I found myself sprawling, faced own on the ground, reaching for my glasses. While doing so, I heard an onslaught of profanity being hurled at me, as a black cowboy boot with gold plated tips slammed down on my hand. When I tried to look up, I was kicked so hard in the face that I was rendered unconscious. I sustained injuries that included crossed double vision, which resulted in my having to have reconstructive surgery on my left eye when it was discovered that I had a fracture of my orbital floor. The muscle that allows one to look up, down and side to side was trapped in that fracture, which was pulling my eye off track.

The one assailant they caught (and later let go because of insufficient evidence) later deserted and was dropped from the USMC under an Other-Than-Honorable discharge. He was from Mississippi.

This incident is not the only racism I have experienced in my life before of after. However, where I was once naïve to the nuances of racism before I was assaulted and left for dead, this experience awakened my consciousness. Now I feel that I can pick up on those nuances; real, though intangible feelings that can’t always be explained rationally. As I stated in a previous post:
It is my presumption that the individuals or groups of minorities not being taken seriously when expressing the anguish felt when racism and prejudice rear their ugly heads, those who are mocked, admonished, and lambasted with indignities as a result of their honest address, tend to suffer from a certain measure of psychological trauma…it is reasonably feasible to believe that the black community at large may indeed by suffering from a form of cultural post-traumatic stress.
Maybe I suffer from such psychological and emotional trauma. I don’t know. Such a concession would be hard to admit. However, as I stated earlier, you all are part of the process of healing – for myself and for yourselves – and to you I give my Kudos, my appreciation and my support. Again, thank you.

Originally posted to Will Smith on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 12:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges, Black Kos community, and RaceGender DiscrimiNATION.

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