By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. officially threw his hat into the ring for the 2024 U.S. presidential race, switching affiliations from Democrat to Independent. “I’m here to declare myself an independent candidate for president of the United States,” Kennedy proclaimed, eliciting resounding applause and chants of support during his announcement.
Kennedy thanked his wife, children, campaign team, and other family members for their unwavering support. The 69-year-old, who initially vied for the Democratic presidential nomination, making him the sole contender against President Joe Biden, recently teased a highly anticipated revelation regarding his campaign.
The scion of the illustrious Kennedy political dynasty has faced criticism for propagating unfounded conspiracy theories linking COVID-19 to anti-Semitic sentiments, positing that the virus was engineered to favor specific demographics, notably Chinese and Ashkenazi Jews.
During an exclusive interview with the Black Press of America earlier this year, Kennedy emphasized his steadfast dedication to combating environmental inequities, dismantling qualified immunity for law enforcement, and rectifying the stark racial disparities ingrained within the American healthcare system.
Born in the District of Columbia, Kennedy had underscored his commitment to rectifying longstanding issues afflicting marginalized communities. Kennedy emphasized that his agenda extends beyond mere rhetoric, as he said he envisioned breaking down systemic barriers and forging a more inclusive and equitable future, particularly for African Americans who have borne the brunt of injustices, including the dire issue of maternal mortality.
Surrounded by political history, his uncle John F. Kennedy was a highly respected president, and his father, whose Democratic nomination abruptly ended with an assassin’s bullet in 1968, Kennedy is engaging in a daring attempt to challenge the current political status quo and potentially ignite a nationwide movement for change.
“Empowering Black Americans will be a central focus for me, especially in eradicating the pervasive fear of perilous encounters with law enforcement,” Kennedy asserted in his interview with the Black Press.
He vowed to end qualified immunity, a legal safeguard shielding police officers from personal liability in the event of legal action.
“Incentives for reform are lacking under the current system,” he asserted. “We must eliminate qualified immunity, compelling individuals to weigh their accountability in every interaction. A robust economic system should incentivize virtuous conduct and penalize transgressions. That’s what we need,” Kennedy emphasized.
Kennedy stressed the imperative of reshaping law enforcement’s perspective to one centered on safeguarding and serving communities rather than adopting a combative stance upon entering Black neighborhoods. “We need systemic changes,” Kennedy insisted.