Hi all, I'm pleased and happy to announce the newest member of our editorial team: Shaun King
Without knowing who he is, you already placed his first diary at the top of the rec list, and for a good reason: police-state excesses are issues that we as a community have embraced. Shaun will allow us to better focus on them.
Shaun provided some of the most extensive coverage of Ferguson, on on Twitter of all places (here's a good example of his work), and holds a passion for the subject matter based in large part on his own life's experiences.
High school in rural Versailles, Kentucky was brutal for me. In middle school I had starred in the school play, was Vice President of the Student Council, had a ton of friends, kept a girlfriend, and was pretty much the happiest 13 year old on earth. High school was a rude awakening for me. I quickly found myself in the middle of decades old racial tensions and became the focus of constant abuse of the resident rednecks of my school. I had half a dozen fights my freshman year, had a jar of tobacco spit thrown on me in the middle of the school day, and came a few feet away from being run over by a pickup truck full of guys who chased me down and nearly mauled me as I walked home from a school dance. I reported it to the school, having saw each guy in the car, but they did nothing about it.
A few months later, a group of guys in the school beat me within a few inches of my life. I missed the next 18 months of school recovering from three spinal surgeries and fractures to my face and ribs. I won’t even try here to explain the depths and extent of my physical and emotional pain, but it was brutal. I got some counseling for PTSD, learned the hard way that spinal surgeries leave a lasting impact, and finally found myself back on my feet.
I encourage you to follow that link and read his entire piece, tracing his story arc into activism. It will give you a clear look into who Shaun is, and how his experiences drive his activism efforts. In many ways, it reminds me of my own arc -- overcoming early traumas growing up in war-torn El Salvador, surviving in hostile lily-white suburban territory, and then using those experiences to fuel positive change. But my scars were mostly psychological. I didn't spend 18 months having my spine rebuilt.
Shaun's story inspires me, and I'm thrilled to have him aboard. Please join me in welcoming him!