November 17, 2008



It shouldn't come as a surprise to many Americans that, according to the Associated Press, Barack Obama has garnered more death threats than any previous president-elect. The article relates three minor situations, the most repugnant being the "The Osama Obama Shotgun Pool" put forth at a convenience store in Maine to guess the date on which he will first be attacked. "Let's hope we have a winner," was the charming sales pitch on the sign-up sheet. My personal favorite is the guy from Georgia (hohum) who wants to see Rev. Jeremiah Wright and all the "traitors" of Trinity United Church of Christ be deported. Aside from the obvious ridiculousness of the suggestion, I pondered about where U.S. citizens might get deported.

Sure, I worry a bit that some skinhead pukes will find a way to breach the rigorous security measures of the U.S. Secret Service and cause Obama and his family harm. But I follow BHO's lead, which as chief cool cucumber is a measured "not likely, let's go on about our business." The AP article prompted a response from the editors of the right-leaning Family Security Matters website. I tend to agree with their basic point:
...Signs of deranged reactions against politicians are part of the danger zone that we live with in this country. But the AP wants us to believe that a "new emerging threat" is on the rise. Their underlying message is that President-elect Obama is inspiring a political change which is nourishing counter-change violence. And here lies the danger in the AP story: it is predicting violence and pervasive race hatred which doesn't exist sociologically. In short, it is trying to create a new "menace."

They contend that the AP is "using extra energy to 'build' a case for a lethal threat against Obama, so that an imaginary enemy is created – other than the standard nut cases whom we have among us anyway."

So noted. But since they are a righty entity, I can't let this post, and their article, pass without doling out the GeeDub prize for ideological ironicness. Get a load of this (emphasis mine):
In the Third World and within populist ideologies, the manufacture of a mythical danger is a part of the consolidation of a regime. It creates sympathy for the sitting leader and grants him moral power to increase the security apparatus. While we don’t have evidence that the news agency is promoting such activity, we can clearly see a pattern, and perhaps even a strategy, in the way the report presented the threat... And such an imaginary enemy can be used politically for many purposes: national security rearrangements, foreign policy decisions, war on terror reshaping, and all other wilder fantasies.

You don't need 20/20 hindsight when the past you're looking at is close enough to express a zit on your ass, you betcha.

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Not surprised at all. When people said they hated Bush and were gonna move to Canada, the RWZs laughed and pointed and called them whiners. Now some RWZs are doing the same thing, except with death threats. Wotever happened to being patriotic and supporting the CIC, whoever s/he is?
I like ass zits. They are fun to pop.
Anyone who is making threats Obama is probably safe from. The ones to worry about are those who act without threats. In a country where people are still fighting for the right to threaten blacks with nooses, I wonder how many of those there might be.
I think Sarah Palin should take a portion of the blame for this. Her whole modus operandi was to INCITE hatred, distrust and, potentially, violence.
Miz - it's different now because, well, um, because he's a Negro.

D - you're worse than my wife.

Joe - Yes, the squeaky wheels pose little threat. In fact they just pose.

Anita - Palin wouldn't cop to the first millimeter of culpability simply because of the way she and those like her "see America." What they don't see is anything aberrant about their exclusionary, xenophobic, culturally myopic way of thinking.
O'T: I touted your cinephile blog on the show but I see no one's posted there in a while and I have a strong opinion about an actress I have to unburden myself of: I think I'd pay $10 plus the cost of a large popcorn, large soda, sour patch kids, and nachos for the privilege of NOT seeing SCARLETT JOHANSON acting. I do not believe I have seen a worse actress who continually is taken seriously than SCARLETT JOHANSON. She is beyond devoid of talent. She was MADE for the silents. Take someone really bad like Sharon Stone (OK, she was awesome in CASINO, I'll give her that), but Sharon Stone's worst efforts seem like CHARLOTTE RAMPLING in UNDER THE SAND or CHARLIZE THEORON in MONSTER compared to SCARLETT JOHANSON's best effort which I can't even think of because they're all so exceptionally bad.

It really was marvelous work in rightwing agitprop you have here: Two birds with one stone with the piece you emphasize in purple in this very good post: Obama and the upcoming Venezuelan elections.

And I totally agree with Anita on Palin. I don't know if it was the team or she was making shit up on the fly but she must have set the world record for "nigger" euphemisms during her short appearance on the world stage.
thanks for posting this. i have found it interesting that some people just won't admit that racism is alive and well, and far too many americans aren't even close to being color blind.

all of it breaks my heart. teach your children, dammit!!

An article linked to your post stated that the Secret Service refused to reveal the number of actionable threats made against Obama.

In other words, the article was more-or-less a fabrication that undoubtedly fit the moment. I have no doubt liberals believe that credible threats against Obama's life are popping up by the second. But other than the two clowns trying out for parts in the next Batman movie (the two planning to wear white top-hats and tuxedos while shooting and beheading), there's no evidence of anything.

Also, the writers are engaging in a little game. President-elects may inspire their own category of expression from the population. But if the issue is really the issue of credible threats to their lives, then president-elects are on safe ground.

I believe all four of our assassinated presidents had been in office for more than half their terms before they were killed. Meanwhile, lesser elected officials, like George Wallace, had been in office for a very long time.

Of course Wallace was known for his anti-black attitudes. He was shot in 1972. Thus, it appears to me that it is more dangerous to be a white anti-black elected official than a black president elect.

Gerald Ford was almost shot by some crazed females and Ronald Reagan was shot by a crazed male. In other words, it's obvious Republicans are the most recent targets.

Moreover, no black elected officials have been assassinated in this country, as far as I know.

There is also the Internet factor. Millions of people feel completely free to post their wildest thoughts on the Internet. People are known to post statements aimed at provoking responses.

Is a person expressing racist anti-Obama sentiments serious? Or just out to create a media firestorm?

Furthermore, when it comes to expressing hate, The Nation of Islam does a first-class job.

The various white supremacist groups have nothing of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. If you want to read chilling stuff, read basic texts of the NOI -- Message to the Black Man in America, by Elijah Muhammad, for one.

As far as other action at white supremacist websites, well, I'll bet one reason they were overloaded after Obama won was due to the likelihood that thousands of reporters were trying to access the sites.

Undoubtedly reporters fulfilled their own fantasy. It seems much of the press believes that involved large numbers of Americans are turning to these sites to satisfy their racist feelings.

However, it's more likely these small-time sites are easily overwhelmed if more than a handful of people attempt to access them at the same time. Thus, if reporters along attempted to access these sites, they would overwhelm their limited capacity.

Further, I have no doubt reporters would "join" or "register" to get an inside look at the sites.

Also, none of the reports about traffic at these sites mentioned the Nation of Islam site and any recent changes in its level of popularity.

There is a witch-hunt underway here.

Meanwhile, prior to the election I was receiving e-mails from people and groups deeply opposed to Obama.

Since the election, the same people and groups have continued to send e-mails my way. But now the e-mails are either corny jokes or aimed at other topics and almost completely devoid of political content.

Lastly, several years ago, when the Beltway Sniper was shooting people in the Washington DC area, it was assumed that the shooter was a loony white guy.

Fair enough. Virtually all people in the US who have committed similar crimes have been white. Thus, the profiling ruffled no feathers. However, as we now know, the shooter and his assistant were black.

Politics being what it is, Obama's image will evolve. At this early point, his supporters have only their expectations for his administration. A couple of years from now, things will be different. He'll win over some of his opponents and he'll lose some of his supporters. But the people most likely to feel shortchanged are the people whose expectations go unmet.

It will be some deranged supporter who becomes a danger to him. Not a white supremacist.
Astute observations and not incredulous theories, no_slappz. Like Joe the Troll said, it would likely be the quiet ones that present danger for Obama, and I think your disgruntled supporter theory is valid (visions of angry diaries tickle my authorial mind).

Though I voted for him, I've aimed low with my expectations of Obama because of the very simple truth that anyone who obtains the office of president has traveled a road so chok'full o' influence peddlers that an agenda from a campaign is laughable. That said, Obama is the first successful candidate that has struck me as smart enough to be at least worthy of the benefit of the doubt.
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