Dee Oliver-Velez...activist, educator, defender of the marginalized and oppressed, woman of great intellect, heart, grace, and beauty.
She has walked her talk her whole life. And now, her voice is more important than ever for we are living in interesting times (to put it mildly). If ever our country is to heal its awful, soul-sickening problems with race, voices like Dee's are critical. Indispensable.
She works so hard. If you've ever visited her wonderful front page Sunday diaries or the porch of Black Kos, you know the effort that has gone into the thoughtful, well-researched, elegantly written pieces that Dee posts regularly. She not only writes them, she remains in the comment threads with warm welcome and helpful, considerate replies to any questions. She is there for any and all of us, always.
I don't have to tell you that America's ugly racist undercurrent has been very active and very much in the news. It is a deadly serious situation, with violence against black people in churches, in public and private places, and in jails -- and all too often perpetrated by the very ones who are sworn to protect all the people, the police. As is so often the case when needed change is coming, rhetoric gets really heated. Dee is in the front lines getting the brunt of that heat, all while educating people and advocating for what is right and just. She deserves a medal.
Not having any medals on hand, we are going to give her something even better -- a quilt, full of words of love and admiration from her friends here on Daily Kos. It was her birthday recently and this effort is a present from all of us, something that will be a keepsake to let her know, each and every day, just how beloved and valued she is. Well, maybe such a quilt is a sort of medal, after all!