Monday, October 27, 2008

Racial Hatred Impacts Elections

*Warning: offensive language below

Man. It's remarkable the type of stuff this election has managed to pull "out" of people. Friends fighting among friends, families disrupted, crimes being committed, and unabashed racial hatred...come on folks, it's a political election! It's disheartening, the racial hatred spewing out of some people's mouths! Let me warn you, there is very VERY UGLY language below in this article. Racism and evil hatred is alive and well in this country. I remember just recently watching a report about the Klan activity described on a local station here just last week. Below, an article off a South Africa website about racist activity in Oklahoma.

Wake up, N_ggers!

In a small town in Oklahoma, not even loyal Democrats will vote for a black man.

Kristi Balden woke up at 4.30am to the sound of screeching tyres and yells of “nigger lover!” As she looked out of the window, a vehicle sped away with spinning wheels, peppering her parked car with gravel. She saw her Barack Obama yard sign in shreds on the lawn.

It was the fifth time in three weeks her signs backing Obama had been vandalised.

Elsewhere in the small town of Enid, in northwestern Oklahoma, more than 50 other residents have had their Obama signs smashed to pieces, and cars with bumper stickers that bear the black presidential candidate’s name have been splattered with eggs.

Late one night three weeks ago, four white youths went to a town museum that celebrates minority achievements and took down an exhibit of five Native American teepees. They dragged two of the tents around the streets of an African American neighbourhood, yelling: “Wake up, niggers!

Sustained by a massive air force base and farming, and tucked into the eastern edge of America’s Great Plains “dust bowl”, Enid is far from the election front line.

It seems a quiet, charming place as you drive past church after church, grain silo after grain silo, and flag after flag hung outside neat clapboard houses.

In the local, Republican- leaning newspaper, discontent about post office staff hogging the public parking spaces in the main square is presented as the biggest issue in this town of 40000 souls.

But — like the rest of the state and huge swathes of the US — bitter division and outright racism is suddenly welling up in this town with its immaculate front lawns.

In another Oklahoma town, Ada, racist Ku Klux Klan newsletters were found wrapped with the local newspaper this week.

Ominously, signs of racism have invaded the state’s Democratic areas as well.

Last week, swastikas were painted on Obama signs in Oklahoma’s liberal commercial centre of Tulsa.

And this week, Todd Goodman, field director for Oklahoma’s Democrat campaign, told the Sunday Times that only one in five of the party’s voters were willing to vote for a black president.

“Virtually the entire east and southeast of Oklahoma is a Democratic stronghold, yet Obama is polling only 20% here. It’s beyond disappointing.

“It’s clear a significant number of people, including Democrats, just can’t bring themselves to vote for an African American man.”

The emerging racism in Oklahoma and elsewhere in Middle America is unlikely to affect the outcome of the election — a prize the Republican party, after eight years of economic and military stumbling, is unlikely to win.

But it will make it a harder contest, with one study showing that Obama would be at least 6% further in the lead if he was white.

This week, Democrat Congressman John Murtha admitted that the entire white, working-class west of Pennsylvania was “a racist area” resistant to voting for a black candidate.

Another poll found that one third of white Democrats in the US harboured some negative views towards black men.

On top of that, many experts believe a significant number of white Democrats who tell pollsters they’ll vote for the Democrat candidate on November 4 will use the anonymity of the polling booth to vote against him.

The signs of racism have sparked worries about a potential fracture in American society after November 4 — and serious concerns about Obama’s safety.

Dolly Jones, a 60-year-old retired banker, said: “Everyone’s talking about how someone might take a shot at (Obama). I heard the son of a person I know saying he and his friends would ‘take care of it’ if Obama won. It’s scary stuff.”

Locals say the “inciting ” language used by the McCain campaign in the past month has emboldened racists to act and speak more openly, leading to outbursts such as “traitor”, “terrorist” and “kill him” at campaign events.

Obama’s personal security was stepped up in February after a series of threats.

Former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson said black candidates faced a much greater threat of assassination. He told reporters: “Every place we went, the Secret Service was always on edge.”

On Balden’s lawn, campaign signs were placed in such a way that the vandals had to virtually step over a sign for a white Democratic candidate for the senate, Andrew Rice, to get to the Obama poster.

But the Rice sign was untouched, and no white candidate’s signs have been vandalised in town.

Pupils at Enid High School told the Sunday Times they had been sent text messages with a sinister play on Obama’s “change” campaign theme.

The messages read: “CHANGE stands for Can’t Help A Nigger Get Elected.”

When the conservative town leaders took no action, high- school children held a televised discussion to tackle the sudden upsurge in racism.

Enid is divided neatly between overwhelmingly Methodist Democrats and a much bigger block of Republicans who attend evangelical Baptist churches.

At the heart of Republican Enid is the Oklahoma Bible Academy, an evangelical Christian private school that is bristling with trophy cases, plush sports grounds and unnervingly disciplined students.

Cara Jackson, a science teacher, instructs the academy’s elite students that the universe — which has been dated at 13.8 billion years old — was either created just 6000 years ago, or developed over a longer period under the direct guidance of God.

“Traditional Christian values guide Middle America on every issue,” she said.

On emerging race concerns, Jackson said: “I think there are concerns over whether (Obama), as a minority member, would make minority issues his ... you know, focus in office and leave everyone else out.”

Virtually no one is willing to speak publicly about their skin colour reservations.

Skip Kyle, a sign-shop owner in Portsmouth, Ohio, is one of the few who have done so. He told Britain’s Telegraph: “I think Obama is an angry man. I just do not agree with black culture in this country ... the violence and the drug use.”

But Oklahomans do joke openly about a possible Obama assassination.

At the rodeo bar in downtown Enid, Bent Hermanski, 21, owner of a small livestock company, said: “A friend of mine says she’ll vote for Obama because it’ll mean another public holiday for her after he gets shot. Ha! Ha! Ha!

“My own opinion is that we should look more closely at the two running mates, because McCain will keel over from old age and Obama, well, he won’t last, will he?”

Meanwhile, the race confessions are starting to pour forth on various Internet blogsites.

One man from West Virginia writes: “Yep, if the blacks vote their race (then) by gully this (white) Democrat will vote his. I still haven’t met anyone in rural West Virginia that will admit to voting for Obama bin Laden.”

This week, at an election debate party in the posh Enid neighbourhood of Willow Lake, an Obama fan who is a Teamsters union trucker said Democrats should “think very carefully” about how they celebrate an Obama election win “if they want to avoid a beating”.

“Sure I’ll celebrate, but I’ll do it indoors and do it quietly.”

*See also here.
*See also "Election Poll: Racial Views"
*See also "Some Of Them Go To My Church"