Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Black President - White Power

Presidents-elect typically get hate-mail after they win an election. And disgruntled members of a losing political party are known for making inappropriate comments about their new, unwanted Commander-in-Chief. But Barack Obama is facing something that no other president has had to deal with: racial backlash.
The Secret Service would not comment or provide the number of cases they are investigating. But since the Nov. 4 election, law enforcement officials have seen more potentially threatening writings, Internet postings and other activity directed at Obama than has been seen with any past president-elect, said officials aware of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the issue of a president's security is so sensitive.
Incidents of racist graffiti have been cropping up around the country; nooses have been found in several locations; and internet threats have all increased in numbers which have caused concern (and significantly increased workload) among Secret Service agents.
One of the most popular white supremacist Web sites got more than 2,000 new members the day after the election, compared with 91 new members on Election Day, according to an AP count. The site, stormfront.org, was temporarily off-line Nov. 5 because of the overwhelming amount of activity it received after Election Day. On Saturday, one Stormfront poster, identified as Dalderian Germanicus, of North Las Vegas, said, "I want the SOB laid out in a box to see how 'messiahs' come to rest. God has abandoned us, this country is doomed."
More than merely strong upticks traffic on white supremacist sites, the Southern Poverty Law Center and police departments across the country have documented hundreds of race-related incidents since election day, from both individuals and groups like the Ku Klux Klan and other supremacist organizations. Two different assassination plots against Barack Obama have been foiled so far; admittedly, in both cases, these were low-end, inbred mouthbreathers without a chance of success (the second pair thought that they could kill 144 blacks before they got killed in a suicide attack on Obama: this isn't a plan; it's the plot of a direct-to-cable movie), but these are just the ones they've broken up so far.

All of the various racist organizations are hoping that Obama's election will increase their membership more than any other single incident in recent years. And they're certainly trying to take advantage of it by stepping up their recruiting drives. Flyers have been found in several places around the country, and they're even moving into digital recruiting.

There has been some judicial pushback, though. One teen who was beaten by Klan members just got a $2.5 million judgment, and the state appeals court has agreed to review an overturned conviction of a Klansman for the 1964 abduction of two murdered black teens.

And just because I find irony in it: aside from admitting that Obama's election will be an outstanding recruiting tool, Thomas Robb, the Klan's national director, was struggling to put a brave face on the election of a black man.
"I know that you have been hearing that Obama would be the first black president," Mr. Robb writes. "However, you and I both know this is not true. Obama is only half black. Not only is he only half black — he was not raised in a black environment. He was raised by his single mother," who was white, and abandoned by his African father, something "so common with black men that there are jokes about it."
Of course, that logic doesn't explain why Obama has been married to his wife Michelle for sixteen years, but we'll move past that.

My favorite Klan story recently would have to be this one: a lady takes a bus from Oklahoma to Louisiana to join the Klan, and after they shave her head and make her run around in the woods for several hours with a torch, she decides she wants to go home. So the "Grand Lordship" shot and killed her. (I'm not sure if that qualifies as Darwin at work, or justifiable homicide. Of course, since it was another racist who shot her, the "justifiable" excuse kind of goes away, doesn't it?)

Yes, by the way, he called himself "the Grand Lordship" - apparently, he didn't think Wizards or Dragons were serious enough for an important title like his.

Then his Lordship pulled out a knife and tried to dig out the bullet, figuring that he'd be able to cover up his dastardly deed. (I guess that they don't know much about forensics in the backwoods of Louisiana.) Then he has two other guys hide the body under some brush.
Sheriff's investigators said they received the initial tip from a convenience store clerk. Two of the group members went into the store and asked the clerk whether he knew how to get bloodstains out of their clothes, Strain said. The clerk told them no and called the sheriff after they left.
Now, if you're going to run around the woods in white robes, shouldn't you already be pretty good at stain removal? It seems to me like you'd be getting a lot of practice at it already. But this is the high quality of racist we have to deal with for the next eight years.

We can only hope that having a visible black man as President of the United States will provide the children of racists with a role model - a better role model than the toothless hatemonger in charge of their family. I actually don't have much hope that this will happen, but it's always possible.

But it means that we have one more reason that Barack Obama needs to succeed.

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