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Archive for Sunday, November 16, 2008

Election prompts ‘hundreds’ of race threats, crimes

November 16, 2008

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Cross burnings. Schoolchildren chanting "Assassinate Obama." Black figures hung from nooses. Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.

Incidents around the country referring to President-elect Barack Obama are dampening the postelection glow of racial progress and harmony, highlighting the stubborn racism that remains in America.

From California to Maine, police have documented a range of alleged crimes, from vandalism and vague threats to at least one physical attack. Insults and taunts have been delivered by adults, college students and second-graders.

There have been "hundreds" of incidents since the election, many more than usual, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes.

One was in Snellville, Ga., where Denene Millner said a boy on the school bus told her 9-year-old daughter the day after the election: "I hope Obama gets assassinated." That night, someone trashed her sister-in-law's front lawn, mangled the Obama lawn signs, and left two pizza boxes filled with human feces outside the front door, Millner said.

She described her emotions as a combination of anger and fear.

"I can't say that every white person in Snellville is evil and anti-Obama and willing to desecrate my property because one or two idiots did it," said Millner, who is black. "But it definitely makes you look a little different at the people who you live with, and makes you wonder what they're capable of and what they're really thinking."

Potok, who is white, said he believes there is "a large subset of white people in this country who feel that they are losing everything they know, that the country their forefathers built has somehow been stolen from them."

Grant Griffin, a 46-year-old white Georgia native, expressed similar sentiments: "I believe our nation is ruined and has been for several decades and the election of Obama is merely the culmination of the change.

"If you had real change it would involve all the members of (Obama's) church being deported," he said.

Change in whatever form does not come easy, and a black president is "the most profound change in the field of race this country has experienced since the Civil War," said William Ferris, senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina. "It's shaking the foundations on which the country has existed for centuries.

"Someone once said racism is like cancer," Ferris said. "It's never totally wiped out, it's in remission."

If so, America's remission lasted until the morning of Nov. 5.

The day after the vote that was hailed as a sign of a nation changed, black high school student Barbara Tyler of Marietta, Ga., said she heard hateful Obama comments from white students, and that teachers cut off discussion about Obama's victory.

Tyler spoke at a press conference by the Georgia chapter of the NAACP calling for a town hall meeting to address complaints from across the state about hostility and resentment. Another student, from a Covington middle school, said he was suspended for wearing an Obama shirt to school Nov. 5 after the principal told students not to wear political paraphernalia.

The student's mother, Eshe Riviears, said the principal told her: "Whether you like it or not, we're in the South, and there are a lot of people who are not happy with this decision."

Other incidents include:

¢ Four North Carolina State University students admitted writing anti-Obama comments in a tunnel designated for free speech expression, including one that said: "Let's shoot that (N-word) in the head." Obama has received more threats than any other president-elect, authorities say.

¢ At Standish, Maine, a sign inside the Oak Hill General Store read: "Osama Obama Shotgun Pool." Customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed. "Stabbing, shooting, roadside bombs, they all count," the sign said. At the bottom of the marker board was written "Let's hope someone wins."

¢ Second- and third-grade students on a school bus in Rexburg, Idaho, chanted "assassinate Obama," a district official said.

¢ University of Alabama professor Marsha L. Houston said a poster of the Obama family was ripped off her office door. A replacement poster was defaced with a death threat and a racial slur. "It seems the election brought the racist rats out of the woodwork," Houston said.

¢ Black figures were hanged by nooses from trees on Mount Desert Island, Maine, the Bangor Daily News reported. The president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas said a rope found hanging from a campus tree was apparently an abandoned swing and not a noose.

¢ Crosses were burned in yards of Obama supporters in Hardwick, N.J., and Apolacan Township, Pa.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

They could have also included a lot of racist postings and barely veiled death wishes/threats on this forum and many others like it.

compmd 6 years, 1 month ago

If any organized hate group does try something against our president-elect, I would hope that the retaliation would be swift and vicious. We talk about being "tough on terrorism," so we should show it. I'm all about the 2nd Amendment, but sometimes, you just have to crush some mentally unbalanced civilians. Which means that although klansmen might have AR-15s, they really won't be much of a match when an AC-130 gets sent to obliterate one of their camps.

jaywalker 6 years, 1 month ago

Cliff: "Racists"? You mean the republican base?"Well, of course, Cliff. Everyone knows there's no such thing as a racist Democrat. How silly.

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 1 month ago

Hmm... Bush and his buddies have been saying for eight years, "Look out for dem Islamic extremists." Be afraid of any Arab. Now that the conservatives in this country have lost the presidential election to an Democrat with an African father, we are supposed to be afraid of Obama (he might be a closet-Muslim!). This is just my own perception, but it sure does seem like the Republican party likes its voters to be anxious and fearful of certain boogey men. No surprise that these boogey men end up being the objects of racism from conservatives.

verity 6 years, 1 month ago

Tom, snap, what is the point you are trying to make? Are you saying that the behavior described in this article is acceptable?

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 1 month ago

I can hear the beat of that tom-tom, to this day....

geekin_topekan 6 years, 1 month ago

Much fewer than I would have predicted.But just as ineffective.The fear party will be around for years.School children in Idaho?Shocking(not).The homestate of Det. Mark Fuhrman and headquarters of the Aryan nation.Whodda thunk?

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 1 month ago

I don't think there is necessarily any hypocrisy in California Democrats. I don't remember where I saw/read it, but I heard that there is a very large Latino and black population in California who voted Democratic in the presidential election, but whose Catholic and evangelical faiths told them to vote 'yes' on Prop 8. And before anyone comes after me for this comment comment, it was information that I found somewhere else. I haven't investigated to see hot true or false the claim is.

Doug Fisher 6 years, 1 month ago

This kind of crap will only solidfy the Democrats come 2012. So if anything happens to Obama expect more hardship for the GOP, the party of hate and racism.

Cooky_the_Cook 6 years, 1 month ago

All you racists had better watch what you type. The SS reads everything you post and hears everything you say...... you racists.

hornhunter 6 years, 1 month ago

I would just like to know why it is a 'CRIME' when it is done to black person, but when a manikin that looks like S. Palin is hanging from noose in California in is called art ?

craigers 6 years, 1 month ago

I'll openly admit I didn't vote for Obama because I didn't like his policies but holy crap people why are you attacking him and blacks? This is stupid for them to act that way but very serious considering that they are acting that way and Obama isn't even president yet. This type of thing makes me sick to my stomach. Burning crosses and pizza boxes of feces?? Are you serious? Grow up and learn that all races are equal. Tom, why even question the credibility of the story being reported? It should outrage you first and foremost if this type of thing happens at all.

RobertMarble 6 years, 1 month ago

wow, where was all this indignant outrage when obama supporters were rioting and vandalizing outside of the rnc just a short time ago? once again the left seems to only see a problem when it's directed at them, but are happy to condone it when the target is a group they disdain. very convenient this selective morality seems to be for them.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

8 years of BDS has set the stage for ODS."For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind..."

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

"...a team of knowledgeable and competent people to lead this country..."Like the nose-in-the-public-trough lobbyists he's chosen so far?http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/14/AR2008111403922_pf.htmlHopenchange.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, snap, but your bad judgement and overwhelming state of denial in blindly supporting the eight years of BushCo Disasters is not a legitimate basis for your racist rantings against Obama.

AjiDeGallina 6 years, 1 month ago

Actually, hornhunter, while an effigy of a white person does NOT have the same context as an effigy of a black person, the DNC and several other organizations demanded that the effigy be removed as well as the local democratic Mayor.However, I realize facts contrary to your point are inconvenient, so please, continue to ignore them or make up your own, it's cute when people are so desperate to make a point that they have to lie.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

There were a handful of anarchists who broke some windows in St. Paul during the RNC, but they are hardly Obama supporters, and most of what can be characterized as rioting was done by so-called law enforcement personnel against peaceful protesters.

verity 6 years, 1 month ago

Obama is a very intelligent, well-educated, self-disciplined person who is trying to put together a team of knowledgeable and competent people to lead this country and to heal the ugly divisiveness we have had recently. It's very sad that so many people can't see past the fact that his skin is not white or that he is a Democrat.If he doesn't succeed, we are in a world of hurt. Isn't it better to work for success rather than drown in negativity?

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

I go now to punish myself for the sins of the white devils.

verity 6 years, 1 month ago

I misspoke---it is not acceptable behavior from any adult, thinking or not.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

How do you explain the fact that a majority of CA blacks voted for Prop 8? Are they all homophobes?

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

devil, get ready for four years of that song.

verity 6 years, 1 month ago

Red_devil, you are correct that there is a lot of discrimination and bigotry directed towards all kinds of people who are different from ourselves and it is not acceptable.However, this article is about the threats and crimes directed at African-Americans in general and threats against Obama in particular.Anyone wishing for his assassination is certainly not patriotic and apparently does not realize the consequences of such an action. What is happening is not acceptable behavior from any thinking adults.

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 1 month ago

Max, it looks like you were doing some research. Anyway, in addition to Muslims (including Obama, of course), we can add Mexicans (illegal or probably illegal) to the list of boogey men from which the Republican party, and only the Republican party, will protect us if we vote for them.If African Americans and Latinos overwhelmingly voted for Obama, then would it be a stretch to say that racists and members of hate groups are probably voting conservative? Why do I hear Republicans observing that if their party does not become more inclusive, then they will be an extinct species?

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

Hi-diddly-dee-dee, re-education camp for meOh, I'll give up my evil waysAnd I will sing the O'dude's praiseAnd I'll be out in 90 days.Hi-diddly-dee-dee,re-education camp for me.

persevering_gal 6 years, 1 month ago

Wow! I'm not even for Obama, and I think this is terrible what's going on in our country. I think everyone needs to grow up and see that the only difference is color. It's actually very sad to see this happening.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

It's not acceptable behaviour from children, either, verity, but at least they have immaturity as a legitmate excuse.

somebodynew 6 years, 1 month ago

Uh, RobertM - was I asleep for a couple of weeks or something??? I don't seem to recall any news organizations publishing articles about riots and vandalizing of the RNC. I do recall a couple of stories about somebody throwing bricks through a Democrats campaign office in KC though. Maybe I am more out of touch than I thought?? Could you provide links???

TheOriginalCA 6 years, 1 month ago

Clint Gentry (Clint Gentry) says: "Racists"? You mean the republican base?==========================After working two years in Washington, DC and living the reverse racism that exists in the federal government, black racism against non-blacks is far more rampant than this alleged white supremacy. These would be the blacks who overwhelmingly voted for Obama JUST because he is BLACK. These are the same blacks who go around with raised fists shouting out against judging people by the color of their skin.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

Do you think the thugs that almost killed Reginald Denny would have balked at lynching him if they had had a rope?

BuffyloGal 6 years, 1 month ago

Hey - why didn't this make the news last week in our fine paper? Jesus of Nazareth Has Departed Earth Forever on November 8th, 2008 ...http://www.laurabushwhitehouse.com/And all because Laura Bush wouldn't visit these prophets in North Dakota. Verily we are doomed!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

I voted for the ticket that was only 25% whiter than Obama/Biden. Was that the reason I voted for them? Nope.

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