It’s simply a fact that anyone occupying a sufficiently powerful office will occasionally be targeted with death threats. And, as I’m sure you know, that’s especially the case for the presidency. Indeed, it’s doubly the case for a controversial president, and orders of magnitude the case for a black president. And with Barack Obama’s inauguration only two days away, law enforcement officials are paying special attention to white supremacist groups around the country (CNN.com):
The inauguration of the nation’s first minority president increases any potential threat, “particularly stemming from individuals on the extremist fringe of the white supremacist movement,” said a recent intelligence assessment by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.
But law enforcement has the appropriate resources to respond if needed, Persichini said.
“We have seen a lot of chatter,” Persichini said. “We have seen a lot of discussions. We have seen some information via the Internet. But those are discussions. We look at the vulnerabilities and whether or not the groups are taking action.
Anger, violence and interest in racist ideology did increase in the hours and days after Obama was elected president in November, hate groups experts said.
Three New York men were indicted on charges of conspiracy to interfere with voting rights — accused of targeting and attacking African-Americans in a brutal crime spree soon after Obama was declared the winner on November 4.
And interest in racist ideology was so high right after the election that computer servers for two White supremacist Web sites crashed, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.
Predictably, spittle-flecked Confederate apologist conservative Robert Stacy McCain has a problem with monitoring unreconstructed racists and assorted other cranks:
Notice, however, that CNN and the “experts” they consult seem completely oblivious to the scenario of an al-Qaeda terrorist attack on the president of the Great Satan. That’s because al-Qaeda is Muslim, and fostering fearfulness of Muslims is “hate.” The media want you to worry about a relative handful of tinfoil hat kooks, rather than about the bloodthirsty terrorist enemies who want to kill us all.
The simple fact of course, is that “the media” wants you to worry about “a relative handful of tinfoil hat kooks” because that handful was – prior to the 9/11 attacks – responsible for the most deadly terrorist attack in American history. What’s more, those kooks (who only five decades ago were a solid majority of the American public) were responsible for killing another remarkable young black man, and prior to that, routinely terrorized and murdered – in gruesome, terrible ways – black citizens around the country. You wouldn’t know it from reading McCain, but white supremacists have killed more Americans than our “bloodthirsty terrorist enemies” could ever dream of. In short, our history suggests that when it comes to domestic terrorism and prominent black people, we have a lot more to fear from our own homegrown “tinfoil hat kooks” than we do from anyone abroad.
I guess though that I shouldn’t be too surprised by McCain’s complaints, after all, this is someone who once argued that Emmett Till (a 14-year old boy killed by a bloodthirsty racist mob in 1955) had it coming.