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Welcome change in new administration

I’m not gonna lie this week’s column for the Kernel was difficult. I am so excited about this whole Barack Obama, black president, changy thing that I really didn’t have too much to say. Like really, it was hard to write something without saying in your face, take that or the inappropriate trash talking that goes beyond even the likes of Gary Payton (who made fun of another basketball (Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf ) for his Tourettes. After thinking long and hard I came up with this column, which post some good editing makes me sound not so stupid. Thank God for the editors. Again the comments are nice–one guy told me to stick to being a Spanish major LOL. Check it out on the Kernel webpage.

November 5, 2008 by Opinions

Column by Wes Robinson (LOL)

I realize that I live in a state where Barack Obama did not carry the majority of the popular vote. I realize that there are major ideological, moral and cultural differences between Obama and most people in Kentucky and other, more conservative parts of the nation. What I don’t realize is the resistance to what Obama has tailored his campaign’s message to … and that is change.

All over the nation there was initial resistance to Obama’s message of change. Early on, detractors attacked experience, failing to understand that his ability to get things done and inspire people to buy into something bigger than themselves has caused his astronomical rise on the political scene. It is hardly coincidental that this particular candidate was able to achieve so much in so little time where others have lacked.

Then, there were the attacks that said there was a lack of specificity and thorough, pragmatic planning. As an ardent supporter, I saw very little change in policy and proposed plans for the nation. What I did observe was a candidate focused on making sure all the Americans willing to listen heard his message. Whether it was e-mails, text messages or a half-hour infomercial, Obama made sure his message was disseminated until the masses had to admit that there was substance to what he desires to do.

America is still riddled with problems, and we need a new outlook into how we want our country to be run. Republicans have had power for six of the last eight years, and have turned the country in their direction. Karl Rove politics worked on simple majorities in Congress to enact the major decisions that have put us where we are right now. The Democrats have had control of the Senate for the last two years, but there are many problems to be addressed with the direction we have been steered in.

Our nation must undergo a change in politics and work in a bipartisan way to steer the nation to a more representative way. I believe the Democrats right now are the party of the people. Simple examination of the demographics of those who identify as Democrats quickly points this out. The way the Republican base has constituted itself over at a minimum of the last eight years, the Democratic Party has become the party of inclusion and acceptance. Don’t believe me? Look at the attacks lobbed at Obama over the course of the campaign.

Some of the personal attacks on Obama really speaks to the fact that we must see changes in the way of race and culture relations in this country. Throughout the election season, there have been the radical right-winged attacks that questioned Obama’s religion, heritage, race and even his middle name. A lot of those attacks stuck and have famously been repeated and parodied all over the media.

Locally, we have examples of where race and cultural relations need major improvements. Last Wednesday’s effigy is a reminder of the problems that we have, not only in this country, but also here in Kentucky. Interestingly, the problem isn’t with racists, rather with the people who fail to understand the outcry against the racial undertones of the effigy. The reaction has been criticized as a double standard delegitimizing, disrespecting, dismissing and denigrating the feelings of those offended.

Our university and student body president did not apologize for a double standard. A large group of people, many non-blacks, did not speak out against the display to play the race card. Yes, both effigies were extremely stupid, and neither effectively proves any point — that said, there is a history of lynching in America that when understood, starts to explain some of the racial and cultural problems we have today and how they are represented by the responses of the effigy.

All in all, I am poised to see what happens over the next four years and the nation’s adjustment to a changed America. I hope we start to realize that the difference between socialism and fixing the savage economic inequalities that allow for the top 1 percent to have more wealth that the bottom 90 percent combined. That we realize the percentage we and our families are taxed pales in comparison to those who are making the major financial decisions.

I hope we support our new president and act in a civil manner toward each other, regardless of if our candidate lost or not. Hopefully, after some time,­­ we can start to realize our importance in our own government and continue to demand representation as we did in the election. Most importantly, I hope we can start to truly accept that we are all Americans and in this together.

Interestingly enough, my name has become Wes Robinson to the public… or so says the Kernel. I’m OK with it, cause most everybody calls me Wes–except my dad, brother, sister, aunts, uncles, a few cousins and pre-Kentucky friends; they all call me Wes. My mom named me and told me to introduce/write my name as Wesley, but she doesn’t even call me Wesley, unless she’s using my full name. That’s strange. Anyways, the column is what you’re here for right?


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