This post originally appeared at JoeConnector.com under the title “Why JC Li Killed Kennedy“. As I fill out the paperwork to legally file for my name change, I thought I would share it again here. Your thoughts and comments are welcomed and appreciated.
It is true. I am changing my name. I have thought about it long and hard and it has not been an easy decision – albeit one that has and will, definitely raise some eyebrows.
I was born with the name Joseph Coe Kennedy – no, not Joe “Connector” Kennedy. I’ve lived with it for better or for worse for almost 51 years. It’s time to ditch it.
My birth father’s name is Joseph Morgan Kennedy – also Joe Kennedy – although he did me the solid of not giving me a “Jr.” tag. Growing up, he was a hard worker, who made a lot of sacrifices to help support and bring up four children. He was not always fun to be around, as he was in a profession that he hated and he came home stressed out nearly every night. At the same time, his heart seemed to be in the right spot and he worked his ass off to support his family.
Pretty much the last thing he ever did for me was to cut off the money he promised to pay for my college after he convinced me to go back to school full-time at San Diego State. This was shortly after his divorce from my mom, and my one and only ever 4,0 and making the President’s List at Cuyamaca College (I called it Guacamole High). After this, I didn’t have a lot of contact with him – saw him briefly during holidays and other visits, but no longer had the daily phone calls, or extended visits. We didn’t really have anything in common and no desire to spend time with each other.
While living in California, I heard curious stories about this man that were hard to comprehend. He cut off college funds for by younger brothers too – despite a court order, and would not let his grandkids call him “grandpa” – because it would make him “sound old”. Grandchildren were not allowed to use the bathroom or touch anything at his house. Needless to say, visits with him from my siblings became less and less frequent. When back in town, I would feel sorry for him and go and visit – but very rarely was this very positive. I usually ended up listening to him rant and rave how “Asians were taking over the town”, “putting up gambling halls on every corner” and “ruining the country. Looking back, he was always quite a prejudice and discriminatory asshole – and that ain’t cool.
What’s even worse, as he pushed his family away and we became even more estranged, his behavior became even more curious. In recent years he began stalking me on social media and sending me really nasty emails – writing things that could not be meant to do anything but hurt and harm. Eventually, I had to threaten him with a restraining order and actually told him to “Fuck Off and Die” – in front of my daughter who was about 7 years old at the time. I did not regret it – and fully believe that she understands exactly why I did it.
Since that time, this man has taken numerous actions to attempt to take money out of my pocket and food off my daughter’s plate – as well as clothes from her closet. He seems very far from sane and just won’t leave us alone – but what is worse, is that since I will have no contact with him and no longer even acknowledge his nasty emails, his has taken to sending threatening emails and letters to my very awesome mom and very supportive new father. They are basically base-less rants and raves, with ridiculous ‘legal’ statements and lies, but still the same – his anger towards me should not be taken out on anyone else. Not my daughter. Not my mom. Not her husband. And definitely not Asians or any other race of people. None of these people – none of them, has ever done anything to hurt this man, but he continues to waste his last days trying to torture everyone he can. God only knows why – and so far he or she’s not talking.
To deal with this abuse, I have done everything I know how to do – but most importantly refusing contact and ignoring any correspondence that I receive. But this man continues to attempt to hurt the people closest to me – and that is not acceptable. I have decided that I need to “Kill Kennedy” and remove it from my life. Obviously I would never do something to physically hurt anyone, but I do want to get myself as far from this madness as possible. In this effort, I have decided to give up the Kennedy name and will no longer be answering to “Joe”, “Joseph” or “Kennedy”. I was going to take my fiancee’s last name (although it is still not official), but she’s not quite comfortable with that …. So I decided to adopt the name of Li – the 2nd most common Chinese surname, and to go by “JC” as I was known in my first days of being a newspaper publisher in California.
Before the end of the year, it will be legal and my legal name will officially be JC Li. Until that time, you can just call me JC, Li or JC Li – just call me anything but Kennedy. It turns out that you absolutely can choose your own name – and if it helps to stop a mad man from harassing people, it is totally worth it.
JC Li is the managing broker of A New Day Real Estate in Bellevue, Washington, Publisher of Bellevue Business Journal news site, a free-lance writer, blogger and internet marketer in thehealth and fitness industries. He can be found on LinkedIn and Facebook and would love to connect with YOU.