We don’t often think of the hard-working team of writers at Daily Kos, who work every day to showcase complex stories, humanize them and help us understand why those stories are important.
Some of the problems we face seem beyond us. They reflect events in America that we may not personally relate to, or seem too distant. If you live in a deep blue state, can you be concerned about the damage and inequalities in the flyover land? If you are a straight, white male coming out of privilege, can you empathize with the discrimination faced by a teenage non-binary minority person? Can you identify with the casual or overt racism that occurs within the legal system? Perhaps your family has roots that can be traced back to Confucius, while others discover that their family history can be traced no further than an Atlantic slave ship. How can we find the common bonds that allow us to share these stories in a supportive way?
I want to talk about some of the writers here at Daily Kos, what they bring to the community, and how I know that connecting our community with our writers is the unifying action we need every day.
If you ever wondered about immigration issues
While the laws and practices of immigration to the US are intentionally complex and difficult to navigate, the discussion about immigration is not as complex as some Republicans would like it to be. The answer is simple: embrace humanity. Treat people the way they want and deserve to be treated. Faiths that take the Old Testament in their view know this immediately:
“The stranger who dwells with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; thou shalt love the stranger as thyself, for thou wast a stranger in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord thy God.” – Leviticus 19:34.
Islam has a very similar view and long discussions on the subject.
However, the idea goes beyond belief. It is about our modern understanding of humanity and acceptance. If you ever want to learn more about this, take a moment to read some of the work Gabe Ortiz does every day. Gabe tells thoughtful, meaningful stories about the lives of so many who need to make their voices heard. While we will always be drawn to the “story of the day,” some stories are about the life of a single person, the life of a family and what it says about the activism and efforts of the staff here. If you want to learn something and arm yourself with information that will make you a better ally and advocate, read on.
Marissa Higgins has become one of the favorite writers on trans issues, and her work here on Daily Kos should be featured more often. Many Daily Kos readers want to learn more about how to interact with and be better partners for the LGBTQ community. Some of Marissa’s diaries not only provide essential information to be a better ally, but they also provide an opportunity to interact with each other in comments and improve understanding. We can work towards a more accepting community and before commentators throw away negative comments because they don’t want to understand, our community can unite behind a writer like Marissa who shows up every day, with a heart on her sleeve, to lay out the story of so many who are harmed.
Lauren Floyd has been a joy to read since she joined Daily Kos in 2019. Her activism lends needed perspective to our coverage of racial inequality and the path to equality, but best of all, her work showcases her unique voice and writing style. Her use of humor puts a velvet glove on communication to tackle these issues and shows us the folly of the opposition in such a deft way that all I can say is this is how you share a story on so many levels, with depth and breadth and illustrate the future impact of current events.
Aysha Qamar has handled the court hearings for Daily Kos so effectively that you would feel like you were physically sitting there in a pew. Not only does she give the community that lens, but she also provides background information and analysis of the arguments in an effective way. The effect is one that gives readers an insight into the system itself and how it handles processes that affect the prosecution of crimes that devastate black communities.
I could have written pages here about so many great writers, and I’m sorry the ones I couldn’t reach without writing a book, but I wanted to emphasize that every day so many staff writers roll up their sleeves and write about topics that are very difficult to to be treated. Last week there was a story about a disability campaigner who died from the loss of a wheelchair. The story was so devastating to me because of a personal experience with a family member that I was on the verge of getting sick. I couldn’t think about it. Every day writers like the ones above go knowing they have to write about issues to spread understanding, but those issues can be incredibly mentally taxing and place an incredible emotional burden on their shoulders.
We can help each other, our community and our employees. We can do this by supporting the writing of people tackling difficult topics and by being positive in our feedback. If all you have to say to a writer is attack him, think about it for a moment. Why are you doing it? So you feel better? So you can feel acquitted of something you played no part in? You may not agree. Even if you don’t agree, what’s wrong with reading, learning more, and moving on. We have the opportunity to connect with each other and make our actions matter. For members of the community who are upset about an issue and concerned about why there isn’t enough on a single item and what might happen in the real world, I have a challenge: ask yourself what did you do today? What did you do this week? What have you done this year? What work has been done not only online, but in the real world? The challenge we all need is to get better and do more to support each other. This is how we unite. And for the seventeen years I’ve been here, that’s always been my goal and the one thing that kept me coming back.