Junior Ted Otengo speaks on insurrection, President Biden, and his experiences in the U.S. as a Black man


Photo courtesy Ted Otengo

Junior Ted Otengo with a “Biden Harris” yard sign days before the presidential election in November.

Donald Trump has left office, but the great political, racial and moral divide in the (not-so united) United States remains.
Junior Ted Otengo was born in Kenya, raised in Ireland and moved to the U.S. in 2018. Although when in Ireland he was surrounded by primarily white people, the U.S. has proven different in regards to racial acceptance. He said that this “would’ve been different during the Obama administration.”

Q: What are your thoughts on Trump’s differing responses to Black Lives Matter protesters versus insurrectionists?

A: Trump responded with anger and violence to Black Lives Matter protesters compared to the insurrectionists in the US Capitol. He views Black people as a bigger threat to America than domestic terrorists who attacked the Capitol building. He was more accepting of the people who attacked the Capitol because they’re his supporters, which blinded him from the fact they were attacking a government building, and were more of a threat than the so called “criminals” protesting. Donald J. Trump should be prosecuted for inciting the violence that caused trauma for Americans, particularly the politicians in the building whose lives were put at risk. He doesn’t want to take responsibility for his “peaceful rally,” he knows very well his supporters will go to extreme lengths to get what they want.

Q: What are some of the primary reasons you are excited for Biden’s presidency?

A: I’m excited for the change that is going to happen in America, including decisions on policies for minorities and other new policies that will be conducted in America. I’m also excited about diversity in government and happy that we have a president who is more realistic, and will acknowledge problems that we have in America such as institutional racism and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Q: As a Black person, how did it feel watching the confederate flag enter the U.S. Capital on Jan. 6?

A: It felt very disrespectful. The confederate flag has clearly been a symbol of hate and racism for years, but a lot of southerners won’t accept that. It’s weird that that flag is still accepted in some states, it should be banned all over the U.S..

Q: How safe and secure do you feel as a Black person in America today in regards to police brutality and white supremacy?

A: There is a target on the backs of Black people, they’re viewed as a threat to America, and others are not treated the same simply because of their skin color. On Jan. 6, most people left there unharmed, that would be different if the people there were Black.
Every day, Black people have to live with the thought of being killed by the police. They could be killed at any time, even if they are cooperating with police and are law abiding citizens. Black people are the prime targets of the police and it’s always “shoot first, then act later.” White supremacy is put under the rug and not considered a problem in America because a lot of the people who are making the rules in America are racist, even though they don’t acknowledge it.