The cancer of American racism is out of remission

The late Fred Phelps, the angry Kansas minister who promoted hate, bigotry, racism and homophobia. (AP)

At the football game at Floyd County High School Friday night the anti-Obama jokes were flying hot and heavy.

Did you hear Obama is ordering the Rose Garden dug up at the White House?

He’s going to replace it with a watermelon patch.

Obama’s told the Secret Service to scrap all the current SUVs they have.

He wants them replaced by (Cadillac) Escalades.

Another man blamed Obama for Virginia Tech’s loss in Miami the night before.

It’s (VT Coach Frank) Beamer’s love of black quarterbacks. He’ll keep a black in even when he’s screwing up. Now that we’re getting a black President Beamer will never play a white quarterback again.

Emails flood the Internet with racist jokes. Elementary school children around the nation hurl racial epithets. Predictions that Obama will not survive to take the oath of office on January 20, 2009, dominate disucssions over breakfast at the Blue Ridge Restaurant.

Obama’s election has picked at the scab of America’s racism and the blood is starting to flow.

Writes Jesse Washington of The Associated Press:

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.

The cancer that is racism in America is out of remission.  Readers tell me new Klan literature is sufacing in Franklin, Carroll and Wythe Counties. Spray-painted racial slurs appeared in Roanoke and Christiansburg recently.

Will Obama’s election trigger a new race war in America? God, let’s hope not but recent events suggest America still has a long, long way to go before it is truly the home of the brave and the land of the free.

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