Dr. Jean Kennedy

Don’t Count Him Out

Dr. Jean Kennedy

Dr. Jean Kennedy

Despite how many people felt about President Barack Obama, he is back to serve us for another four years. What does this mean for minorities?

Why did America vote Obama back in for another four years? Was it because he made a better argument? Did people vote again for Obama because he is a Black man? Did President Obama look “presidential” during his visit to the storm victims? Does the Obama family look good on stage? The answer to the original question is “all of the above” and more.

The heart of the matter is that America is going to have to accept the fact that Obama is destined to leave a legacy for the White House. The same White House that was built by Black slaves gets to have the Obamas again with the spirits of their ancestors celebrating their son’s victory no doubt.

Let us not be fooled, however, for those who were in opposition to his presidency still have not changed their position and feelings toward Obama’s personhood. These folks remain strong in their anti-Obama Semitism. We know that he is not a Black Jew, but many still believe that he is a Muslim; even if he were Jewish, he still would experience strong opposition for obvious reasons. These four years will usher in even stronger hostility toward this Black man known to the world as the President of the United States of America.

His ethnicity seems to have really bothered many oppositionists, so we must prepare to sanitize ourselves to their prejudicial commentaries for these next four years, which often sound more like “hate speech.” Class war is alive and well, and we will see that demonstrated in the next four years. It’s called cultural conditioning. So much time was spent asking for Obama’s birth certificate, I was actually waiting for them to ask for his marriage certificate.

Get over ourselves America. The rest of the world knows how racist this country is, but yet it still makes people take painful strides to come here by hook or by crook. America is truly going to have to deal with our covert and overt racism; only then will we be able to deal with our other “ism.” For the next four years, learn the coded words so you don’t find yourself “slipping” into language that becomes offensive to minorities and people of color.

It is time for America to focus on reality. Moving forward, no longer will women have to deal with men trying to explain the functions of her body as to whether she has the right to make her own decisions. That is sexism, and if male politicians keep going down that road, it’s going to cost them their electoral seats.

America, get over Mitt Romney. Romney is condescending (that does not surprise me, considering where he claims to get his values from).

The demographics in our society are changing—wake up. That is why gay members of our society will continue the fight to be heard and receive their rights. The conversation for civil unions will not be going away anytime soon, so get over yourself America.

Look, I am reminded of my clients who were on their death bed dying from complications of AIDS. Their family members, who had abandoned them years earlier after finding out about their relationship status, sexual orientation or illness, would show up to claim my clients’ worldly goods, and there was nothing their partners could do about that.

Obama understands about inequalities around social issues: immigration reform, health reform, energy reform, equal pay, educational reform to focus more on the sciences for job creation, to name a few. That’s why I voted for him. President Obama will leave a legacy this next four years; the empowerment of minorities is a legacy that will be chalked up to Obama.

The White privilege groups see the writing on the wall, and they are not happy campers. George Bernard Shaw stated: “It is difficult if not impossible, for most people to think otherwise than in the fashion of their own period.” However, it is not too late, I think, to rid ourselves of this disease called “privilege-itis.” We just have to work on it.

This means that we must challenge ourselves to change our “stinking thinking.” You cannot marginalize minorities. Minority groups are not monolithic. I challenge us to work on our racial dichotomy of Black and White issues; it will be the road to getting rid of the other “isms.”

Sure, we have real issues in this country such as Wall Street, market manipulation, Guantanamo Bay, drones and corporate bailouts, but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. We (minorities) must join with others to have a greater voice to speak out on issues.

We are not giving Obama a hall pass. He still will be held accountable moving forward. But don’t count Obama out; he’s here another four years, like it or not. Oh, by the way, I can now go get my healthcare.

*****

Dr. Jean Kennedy is a program host on KFCF. Contact her at KFCF/News Article, 1449 N. Wishon Ave., Fresno, CA 93744, Attn.: Dr. Jean Kennedy.

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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