The 2016 Presidential Election will go down in history as one of the most divisive elections of all time. No matter who won the election, a major portion of the United States population was not going to be happy with the outcome. Like him or not, Donald Trump is the new President of the United States of America. Now, where do we go from here? What does this mean for our country? What does this mean for immigrants and children of immigrants? There’s a multitude of questions and uncertainty that is worrying students, faculty, and the general public. This is addressed in my newest keynote, where I will help assuage concern and redirect focus on unity and encouraging our youth to work together to repair this fractured country.
A major bone of contention throughout the Presidential Election was the controversial Black Lives Matter movement. The Black Lives Matter movement started off in a positive manner, aimed at reducing the epidemic of homicidal police violence against African-American men. As the movement grew, it became perverted by extremists and now has come to stand for something it is not. This is another important part of my keynote. I will discuss the origins of the Black Lives Matter movement, what it was intended to be and what it was not intended to be and what it has become. The keynote will help the audience understand both sides and how to work together to achieve the desired result.
The future of the country has many LGBTQ+ individuals nervous about their rights and the country regressing in their acceptance. History repeats itself, in different forms. In the 1960s, interracial marriage was heavily opposed in the United States and today same-sex marriages face the same opposition. My parents are an interracial couple that married in 1966, during the height of the interracial marriage opposition. I openly discuss the difficulty my parents went through to be together, considering my mother is the granddaughter of a Ku Klux Klan leader from Ohio and my father was an immigrant from Nairobi, Kenya in East Africa. The principles used to gain acceptance of interracial marriage are very similar to those being used now to help LGBTQ+ people gain acceptance and marriage equality.
Whether intentional or unintentional, there is undoubtedly an underlying tone of racial and ethnic discrimination that is being perpetuated. Being a biracial man, I have encountered racial discrimination my whole life; from subtle discrimination to bold and overt discrimination. I have been discriminated from both sides: Caucasian-Americans, as well as African-Americans. I have even been discriminated against for having an athletic physique.
Discrimination comes in all forms and many people don’t intend to discriminate but do so subconsciously. In my keynote, I foster an environment for people of all races to feel comfortable in discussing difficult issues and teaching effective and appropriate methods for use in the classroom and on campus.
The very fact that I am the product of a Ku Klux Klansmen’s granddaughter and an African immigrant, who went on to become a Harvard Law School graduate, attorney, professional wrestler, actor and television personality shows the power of change from one generation to the next. I am currently raising my young son, and imparting on him the importance of acceptance, inclusion, and equality among all people of all backgrounds. I am very optimistic about the future of our country because I have faith in our generation and especially in the generations to follow.
David Otunga’s keynote is the perfect addition to your Black History Month event, to start an open dialogue about the Black Lives Matter movement or another diversity-focused programming. Learn more about speaker David Otunga’s keynote by visiting his speaker page: campuspeak.com/otunga.