After stepping off the stage of the Presidential Debate, I was approached by Kenjus Watson, where he decided to confront me about a comment I made on facebook directed not only at him but also the Ryan Bowen for President Campaign group. Kenjus Watson as an officer on facebook had named himself “the Black vote,” without explaining himself to what he meant by being called the black vote. I felt troubled considering the fact that I was also running for President and was of African-American decent. When confronted by Kenjus, he went on in a abrasive behavior taking every word out my mouth and twisting it. He continued to follow me sometimes circling me from the Quad down to Wylie Hall where I lived. I asked him if he could follow me considering I needed to be at the Dean of Students to work. He yelling out loud all of his problems with me as though it was meant to embarrass me. I called him out on this asking him to not yell at me. He said no. I asked him to explain himself and intentions behind calling himself “the BLACK vote” and he said he did not need to explain himself. I apologized to him right there for making the comment on facebook when I should have e-mailed him and it was not accepted. I knew then that he was only upset that I called him out on something.
Yes, I am mixed with Spanish/Irish/French/Taiwanese/North African-American, so it was only one of the many parts of me to consider. However, I am and was raised to be black, so I cannot help but be a little more cognicant of things like a prominent figure in the black community calling themself “the black vote” on another candidate’s website, who happens to be of African-American decent and also biracial. Kenjus is the President of Black Student Alliance, Harambee, ICC PA, and has worked in many leadership roles in the black community at Oxy and the Oxy community, so, his claim to being the Black vote made me feel like I wasn’t black enough to even recieve such support from a leader in the community and friend like Kenjus. I was not only stabbed in the back by Kenjus, but several members of this community last week. Rozell Hodges, a senator and friend of mine choose to not tell me why he felt I shouldn’t run for President or why he wasn’t really supportive. It took me hearing a conversation between him and Patrick McCreddie in, which Rozell was endorsing Ryan Bowen. This is literally minutes after our conversation. I have a huge issue with current student government officals supporting candidates but this was my friend. He could have said who he knew was running.
I further looked like a fool Tuesday night when I went to hallspreads across the campus promoting myself and decided to make a trip to my former home, Pauley Hall. Pauley was my home from my first year up until last semester when I was humiliated and attacked emotionally, in terms of my character. I decided to leave and have been happy ever since I left Pauley Hall. When I stood up to speak in that hallspread, I started recieving dirty looks from people across the room. My campaign manager even told me people started snickering and making negative comments while I spoke. The interesting thing is that I went to every hall with a piece of paper speaking from it in every hall and all the other halls on campus I went to such as, Newcomb, Braun, and Haines did not disrespect me in that manner. I felt like I was judged and never given a chance to speak in a community that is supposed to be open to listening. It was interesting that the same people who did this in Pauley where the ones out in the Quad during the Presidential Debate, making me feel like I didn’t existed once again and were surrounding Kenjus, who decided to seek me out immediately after the debate.
There have been many events in my life in which I have been deeply emotionally scared but not as much as this past week.
Many people did not see the under the belt punches thrown during this election but I did. I felt like I did not existed by the general affect of some leadership in our community and with that stabbed in the back repeatedly. I feel their should have been a respectful way to handle politics in this past election. To even reach out to me now will feel like a call for pity and or just show how fake some people can be.
I decided to write this after a friend told me it needed to be known publicly. Some people can be really nasty and politics really brings it out. For me, it was just stupid for me to not listen to my gut about them. Instead, I gave them a chance and this is where I end up.
-Donald Johnson, junior, Chemistry
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