Why There is Danger in Ignoring Racism in America
On a cold, winter morning in February 2007, in Springfield, Illinois, in the land of Abraham Lincoln, then Senator Barack Hussein Obama Jr. announced his intent to run for the office of President of the United States. Three months later, in the spring of 2007, upon urging from his staff, he requested and received Secret Service protection.
It was the earliest a Secret Service detail had ever been assigned since the Service began protecting candidates. Those assignments began after the assassination of presidential hopeful Senator Robert F. Kennedy in June of 1968 in California.
As a matter of policy, the frequency, day to day, month to month, with which Secret Service agents may be called upon to investigate threats to those they protect is not revealed. However, although no specific plots were revealed, it has been reported that the Secret Service Internet Threat Desk first noted “ .... vaguely threatening and nasty comments ....” , commenting on the fact Senator Obama was African American.
This information can be found in best selling author Ronald Kessler's book, In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect.
Mr. Kessler also reveals that on the night of November 4, 2008, as President Elect Obama gave his acceptance speech, former Republican Louisiana Representative and Ku Klux Klansman David Duke, in an audio broadcast on the internet, called the night a “night of tragedy and sadness”, casting dispersions on the President Elect, stressing the importance of the survival of “European Americans”.
The nationalist/supremacist movement, in which David Duke is a leading voice, has been estimated to number just shy of a quarter million. These numbers are derived from among those claiming membership in the various hate groups across the United States, their supporters and those subscribing to and receiving literature from the groups.
In this nation's not so distant past, almost fifty years ago, America had reached another era of change. It was the era of the so called Cold War with the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), also known as the Soviet Union.
The United States was involved in the Vietnam War abroad and a number of actions in Latin America. It was also embroiled in societal upheaval at home due to growing discontent with the country's involvement in the Vietnam War and during what has come to be known as the struggle for Civil Rights Movement, as the descendants of enslaved Africans sought humane and fair treatment, social justice, within the United States' borders.
During that era, while many people, Black and White, sought social justice for those denied it in the U.S., many people, Black and White, lost their lives, as some within the nation, including elected government officials, objected violently to any form of change.
Among those who lost their lives during that era was a United States president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, on November 22, 1963, said to have been felled by a lone gunman with ties to the Soviet Union. The president's younger brother, Robert F. Kennedy, who was also believed to be a man destined to change America, was killed less than five years later.
When Barack Obama took office, he faced possibly the worst configuration of conditions that could be imaged would befall a country. The United States was embroiled in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economy had been looted, unemployment was steadily rising, the health care system was severely broken and the list could go on and on.
All of these severe crises bring with them consternation and dread, dread being synonymous with fear and fear being an emotion that often prevents one's normal capacity for reasoning to function at one's fullest potential.
The majority of citizens of the United States have moved on since the historic election of Barack Obama, the nation's first acknowledged bi-racial president. All Americans from within all demographics and all races helped to elect him. But, there are others who are dissatisfied with the election of this president due to reasons stemming from his race.
The inability for people to accept and comprehend that racists in this country do not disagree with specific policies of President Barack Hussein Obama Jr. but that they disagree with the man because of his race lies at the heart of the incredulity of those who attempt to dismiss race as a factor that causes some to oppose the President.
There is a visceral, ugly element of hate that is stoked everyday, 24 hours a day, with hundreds of thousands embracing the message over the airwaves and the internet, with many kicking around ideas and plans involving evil deeds with President Obama at the center of the discourse.
The day after the presidential election in November 2008, the most popular nationalist/supremacist site on the internet gained two thousand new adherents, with the site posting a message stating that the country was doomed.
Today, in September 2009, representatives from both major parties, wary of possible political fallout from addressing the racial tone of some of the current rhetoric, both the Democratic Party but ESPECIALLY the Republican Party, do a great disservice to the nation, with Republican Party members having posted inappropriate rhetoric on official party sites during the 2008 presidential campaign and now continuing, for the most part, to turn a blind eye as various fringe elements, attracted to and within their party, escalate the rhetoric into dangerous territory.
For almost two years, the incorrect belief that the President is not an American has been promoted. During the McCain-Palin presidential campaign of 2008, it was constantly intoned, 'he doesn't see America the way 'we' do', with overemphasis of his middle name, Hussein, at rallies of thousands of cheering crowds.
The lie that he is Muslim, he's a socialist and other ominous tidbits, have been allowed to grow and fester, resulting in the current President of the United States to be added, by some elements in the United States, to the 'He's not one of us' column, making him vulnerable to those racists who would be riled and who would embrace any of those beliefs.
It is dangerously naive and ridiculous to entertain the belief that President Obama is receiving threats, at an increase of 400% since President George W. Bush left office, with the threats being reported to be the highest ever since protection has been provided for U.S. presidents, based solely on his efforts to implement changes in policy and the direction he has chosen to guide the country.
The F.B.I. has warned of the "lone wolf" , who may be stoked and catapulted into violent action if the rhetoric continues unabated and unchallenged.
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States