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How Common Is the Hatred?

I recently wrote a column about the rage that seems to be directed toward Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. The source of the rage, I concluded, was a dwindling band of racial and religious diehards who have seen their best days.

Two events within the past week suggest that I may have been wrong.

First there is Ashley Todd, the woman in Pittsburgh who said she was robbed, groped and mutilated by a supporter of Barack Obama. Todd, who is white, said her knife-wielding attacker was an African American male who cut her because she was a John McCain supporter.

Ashley Todd is 20 years old.

Then we have Daniel Cowert and Paul Schlesselman, the two white supremacist skinheads who were arrested in Tennessee and charged over a plot to assassinate Obama and kill 88 African Americans, including the beheading of 14. The two men admitted to having already shot out a window in a black church.

Cowert is 20 years old. Schlesselman is 18.

Hardly diehards who have seen their best days. The three are in the flower of their youth.

But Todd, who is said to have psychological issues, resorted to one of the oldest and vilest caricature's in the book: portraying a black man as a brute, a predator who targets innocent, helpless white women.

She is old enough to know that the stereotype of black men as sociopathic fiends still works in some quarters in America. She admitted her allegation was a hoax.

The two men, too young to have been a part of the lynch mobs and the violence that plagued black Americans, still bear the kind of hate that spurred their forebearers into action.

What's to make of this?

Only three out of many Americans. But the problem is so old. And they are so young.

By Colbert King  | October 29, 2008; 7:49 AM ET
Categories:  King  | Tags:  Colbert King  
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Comments

I have been watching the Freepers page
- and the amount of hate they express there is unfathomable...

As the primary and the general campaigns have evolved, and it has become clear that Barack Obama has a good chance to become POTUS, their frenzied quest to find something, anything to use against him has only increased.

They are ardent followers of Rush Limbaugh. Their hatred for this country and the citizens that live here is not always limited to the left, but mostly. For example, the things they said about John McCain before he became their candidate would have curled his hair.

Posted by: dutchess2 | October 29, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

mccain enables these characters...his and plain's divisive rants and her juvenile sarcasm have reinforced fears and rage that will persist long after the election passes making the united effort we'll need to recover from domestic and foreign policy collapses all the more difficult...country first!?

Posted by: nurrevir | October 29, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Skinheads are skinheads. I don't know that there's any lesson to be learned from them, any insight into the trajectory of our nation.

Ashley Todd's case is more problematic. Given our polarized political arena and the ability to live almost entirely within an echo chamber of your own choosing, it shouldn't be surprising that many people carry within them an entirely one-sided world view which provides fertile ground for hatred. Then add a political campaign that has legitimized xenophobic attack politics and thus removed the checks on many peoples' worser selves. Is Todd a horrible racist? I don't know, but I doubt it, not to the extent the skinheads are. I just think she got caught up in the moment in an environment that brought her worst self to the surface. We all carry contradictions, and we all need help staying true to our better selves. Right now, McCain/Palin are pushing their supporters in the opposite direction.

If you asked me a few months ago, I would have said you'd never see a sign like this one in front of a place of business:
http://clarkbeast.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/postcard-from-the-real-america/

Not that this guy has a better side. But at least he would have kept a lid on this drivel.

Posted by: clarkmeyer | October 29, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm old enough to remember the 'whites only' signs in southern states when we went on family vacations in the 50's and 60's.
The good news is that the hatred is not as common today. I see an easy interaction among the people in that age group that didn't exist for my generation.
The bad news is that the malignancy of prejudice can still be passed on from generation to generation.
In the case of Ashley Todd I think it was simply a disturbed person fired up by the poison that so often passes for political discourse today. Reprehensible to be sure, but not very common.
Cowert and Schlesselman are a different story. They seem to be members of the uneducated underclass, and were looking to blame someone for the sorry state of their lives.
They are the people that Hitler and his ilk have used to rise to power. Pathetic in their own right, but capable of doing great harm. They have always been with us, and education seems to be the only antidote. Not necessarily formal education, but the kind you get from meeting with and talking to people of different races and cultures.

Posted by: blbixler | October 29, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Well, yes.... But the good news is that they have been caught or exposed. Far from exploiting that poor women's tale, the police quickly exposed it as a fraud.

What can you do... The world is full of nut-cases. I am relatively glad to see that the system sort of worked.

It is sad to see young people adopting such views but I am sure that in each and every case they get it from their elders and lack the intellectual resources to run their own analysis. The 'Moron Vote' will take several generations to reduce to insignificance.

Cheers,
dba

Posted by: dba123 | October 29, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Can Mr King talk about the mannequin in California with a noose around it that looked like Sarah Palin?

Or is that OK by his account?

Never have I seen such hatred, and I will even take the plunge by stating that Palin has recieved more hate than Obama has since she was unvieled as McCain's running mate.

So what can we learn from the use of the noose on the Palin mannequin? Who put it out? What is their message? Or is it just that as long as the object placed inside a noose isn't black, its OK?

Posted by: vmrg1974 | October 29, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Can Mr King talk about the mannequin in California with a noose around it that looked like Sarah Palin?

Or is that OK by his account?

Never have I seen such hatred, and I will even take the plunge by stating that Palin has recieved more hate than Obama has since she was unvieled as McCain's running mate.

So what can we learn from the use of the noose on the Palin mannequin? Who put it out? What is their message? Or is it just that as long as the object placed inside a noose isn't black, its OK?

Posted by: vmrg1974 | October 29, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

vmrg1974: No, the Palin effigy is NOT acceptable. Note that it was disparaged in the strongest terms by arguably the leftmost commentator on Television, Keith Olbermann. We ALL have to treat each other with respect. Respect and admiration aren't the same thing. I can respectfully say that Palin is so wrong she's used up her quota of mistakes for the rest of her life. That's free speech. To hang her in effigy or make sexist puns with her name may be free speech, too, but it's a form of speech we can all choose to refrain from without losing our freedom in any way.

Posted by: martimr1 | October 29, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I like the ReThugs who see some equivalence in the hatred, pointing out this one guy who hung Sarah Palin in effigy, for example, to offset the McCain CAMPAIGN'S "Obama is a terrorist" robo-calls.

When asked about things shouted out at Palin rallies, McCain answers "Have you heard what they shout at Obama rallies?"

Well, no, I haven't, and I sure wish some "journalist" or even some "late show host" (and I'm pointing to you, Dave) would call him on it and ask, "What are they shouting at Obama rallies?"

Really, I'm asking all the righties who post here, what ARE the egregious shouts at the Obama rallies?

Posted by: RealCalGal | October 29, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I too have seen alot of hatred and intolerance across the comment sections of the Washington Post.

Most I find directed against Sarah Palin but in the interests of fairness.. likely the Post is mostly read by liberals.

Sexism, ageism and racism of all kinds must be deplored in all media.

I wish people could just make a point, share a factoid, challenge a point, instead of name-calling and labeling.

Logic 101:

An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject.

Posted by: pvilso24 | October 29, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I remind myself reading blogs on WAPO, Politico and elsewhere that sometimes a boil needs to be lanced to speed the healing process. We have just begun that healing process and should expect some nasty stuff to come out of a long festering wound.
Having lived through the terrible treatment of the Mississippi Freedom Democrats in 1964, the assassinations of the Kennedy's, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X as well as the murders of little girls in a Birmingham Church, Sammy Yonge, James Reeb, Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman, I never expected a black candidate for president to make it this far and had almost given up hope.
I remind myself that even most of those spouting hate and falsehoods, will have a better life under an Obama presidency. Perhaps that experience will quell some of the death throw rage of the hate mongers.

Posted by: ljfamily | October 29, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Ha!

Eugene's Robinson hatred towards Hillary was a prime example of sexism at its best, funny Mr. King wouldn't mention that type of hate. Apparently the only type of hate that is intolerable is that against blacks.

martimr1, I agree with you 100%. Anyone has the right to criticize Palin, and everytother elected official, based on their knowledge (or lack thereof) of the issues, no one is debating that. But the vitrol against her has been great by the liberal media. As if every woman has to think a certain way, believe in certain things, and embrace the same issues.

The jacking of her e-mail account, the pregnancy of her daughter, and i would even say the travel and clothes issues she is facing: can someone please tell us what other Governeors around the US have spent on travel for family members in the same time Palin has been in office? Can someone please tell us that the RNC should not spend 150k of its own $ to make one of their candidates look better on TV? How much does the DNC spend on makeup, haircuts, and other consultants for Obama and his family?

So yeah, that is what is not acceptable.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | October 29, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Maverick Personality Disorder:

http://tinyurl.com/5ggtte

Posted by: caraprado1 | October 29, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Poor taste is poor taste.
But the longer Sarah is in the campaign the more she will be examined and prodded. I am amazed at how people say "we don't know him, dont trust him (Obama), etc, and yet Sarah has been here a few weeks and she is like butter! I have no problem with everyone voting their party, candidate whatever. But my sympathy level is very low for ALL POLITICIANS that run for office, Obama included. History will record that Hillary and MCcain are were beaten, run over, curbed, beaten again, clobbered, stompped, by a candidate who has used his COMMUNITY ORGANIZER skills to put together a focused team with clear and coherent message for the masses. They both have ran stupid and bad campaigns. Beside, this is the end of the Republican Right brand, and they need to reinvent themselves as not all white-christian (I use that word loosly)- conservative, or rich. If not they will be on the sidelines for a long time, at least until 2016...

Posted by: walterrock | October 29, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The Conservatives spent the last twenty years demonizing liberals, democrats and RINOs.
For them, American politics isn't a marketplace of ideas, it's a football game. Except for the players, the two teams are identical so root,root,root, for the home team and hate, hate, hate the opposition.
Any wonder things have gotten out of hand?
You have the same effect over a larger group of people when you hear conservatives claim Obama is a socialist or Marxist. They don't know the meaning of the words, and yet they are willing to argue with people who actually understand the two economic theories and have the temerity to point out the Republicans don't know what they are talking about.
One thing is clear, however, the rest of us have had just about enough of it.

Posted by: dijetlo | October 29, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

In light of the fact that McCain plans to use a Rashid Khalidi connection to further deamonize Obama I wish someone at the Post would investigate McCain's ties to this man. I am not suggesting that there is anything sinister about Professor Khalidi. It would be good to see McCain sink in his own sludge for a change. How can this man ever have been considered for President?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/28/mccain-funded-work-of-pal_n_138606.html

Posted by: littlepaws | October 29, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The most intriguing thing about Ashley Todd--that I've yet to see anyone in the blogosphere or MSM mention--is that she's a self-professed fan of Martin Luther King (and FDR and Susan B. Anthony). She has a college essay on line (posted long before her hoax) extolling them.

http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~bump/E328/web/P2C/Ashley%20T/P2Cf1.htm

Strange, huh?

Her supposed mental problems, though, are pretty much a second hoax. She clearly had high hopes for her hoax, twittered messages on her way to carry it out and boasted about the blog she'd be posting later. She's just showing how well she's learned the Republican tactic of "I do not recall."

Posted by: multiplepov | October 29, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

vmrg1974: "How much does the DNC spend on makeup, haircuts, and other consultants for Obama and his family?"

The DNC spends zero on that, which has been reported NUMEROUS times. The only sexism here is your assuming it's okay for a female politician to display shop-til'-you-drop ethics--on donated money (talk about welfare handouts)--while the three male candidates in the race do not. Don't the polls which show her with a *lower* approval rating among women than among men mean anything to you? The men think she's a "babe." The women think she's an embarrassment.

And Eugene Robinson's opinion of Hilary was a display of sexism? Puh-leeeeeze. Grow up. He wasn't the purveyor of sexist comments on her cleavage, etc. He never raised any issues regarding her that he wouldn't have raised about a man. Why pick on *him* of all opinion writres you could name?

BTW, I'm a white woman close to Hilary's age.

Posted by: multiplepov | October 29, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

In the case of Ashley Todd, I have a hard time calling her behavior "racism." In a 24/7 world completely absorbed with politics, an unstable, easily-led individual has been
encouraged to act out in a manner consistent with what her candidates have been preaching. It seems more likely she wanted acceptance and approval from her group, and nurtured a hope that her actions would help her people win--then she'd be the hero.

Then, too, there is an element of "the lady
doth protest too much." As a woman, I must stress that NO woman desires attention to be forced on her by any man, ever. But in the case of this plain, chubby, emotionally immature, and likely quite lonely young woman, it may be that her imagination go the better of her. The idea
that others might believe she had been the object of such uncontrollable desires of a tall, dark, and (no doubt)attractive man, might seem quite exciting and would have the affect of making a plain jane interesting to those around her. Kind of like Mayella Ewell in the movie.

Posted by: martymar123 | October 29, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

@Multiplepov

The answer is zero, nothing, nada!! If the DNC has wasted one cent of contributions in the way you have suggested- 1. They would have had to report it (as did the RNC) abd 2. There would have been Hell to pay? If one is going to be a Woman of the People, One has to dress like one.

Posted by: ehardwick | October 29, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

@Multiplepov

The answer is zero, nothing, nada!! If the DNC has wasted one cent of contributions in the way you have suggested- 1. They would have had to report it (as did the RNC) abd 2. There would have been Hell to pay? If one is going to be a Woman of the People, One has to dress like one.

Posted by: ehardwick | October 29, 2008 7:48 PM
------------------
Your a bit of an idiot, aren't you? It would help if you read an entire post before spouting off. I was saying EXACTLY what you're saying in response to someone else (vrmp1974). Please. Your scorn is entirely misplaced.

Posted by: multiplepov | October 29, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree the hatred is still out there.. certainly for conservative women... Sarah Palin is routinely trashed by tolerant liberal posters here on the Post.. but can you imagine the following from Socialite News today ?

"Sure she's irritating, but that doesn't mean she should die. Right? Anyone? The View's Elisabeth Hasselbeck reportedly receives more death threats that anyone else on The View, according to co-host Whoopi Goldberg."

Remember Hasselbeck is the lone conservative "redneck" on the View.. A womans show with an overwhelmingly liberal female audience... Who would have thought tolerant liberal woman could be well.. so hateful ?

Posted by: pvilso24 | October 29, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Yes King. The hatred is out there.

From a comment in the LA Times about a West Hollywood Halloween display of a hanging Sarah Palin:

A noose on a dorm door and the Media goes crazy.
A noose on a magazine cover and the Media goes crazy.
A noose around the neck of Sarah Palin in effigy is ho hum.

Something badly wrong with the Media in this country.

Posted by: pvilso24 | October 29, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I ask my brother King to get out and smell the hatred coming from the left. Plenty there websites offer nothing more than hate. Good reporters know both sides of a the coin. Maybe Mr. King aint no good reporter.

Posted by: Hedley_L | October 30, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

pvilso24, f*ck you, you chickensh*t hypocrite.

Posted by: wangbang747 | October 30, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Mr. King, I share your sense of disbelief that in 2008 there are still these lunatics out there. (But remembering the lyrics from South Pacific -- "You have to be taught to hate the people your parents hate, you have to be taught by six or seven or eight, you have to be carefully taught". Children are color blind until they are "taught" by their parents.

I am so sick of how this horrendous Bush administration has made every issue "us vs. them".I believe they have cultivated an atmosphere of intolerance in this country that has not been seen in a long time. These lunatics hate Jewish people as well. And as a middle aged Jewish woman, they scare me also.

But the haters will not win this time. Barack Obama and his wonderful family will win the White House and it will be a new day for this country, and, I believe, the world. He is a wonderful person and I am thrilled and yes, giddy, at the prospect of his leadership!

Posted by: zmar2 | October 30, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Mr. King, I share your sense of disbelief that in 2008 there are still these lunatics out there. (But remembering the lyrics from South Pacific -- "You have to be taught to hate the people your parents hate, you have to be taught by six or seven or eight, you have to be carefully taught". Children are color blind until they are "taught" by their parents.

I am so sick of how this horrendous Bush administration has made every issue "us vs. them".I believe they have cultivated an atmosphere of intolerance in this country that has not been seen in a long time. These lunatics hate Jewish people as well. And as a middle aged Jewish woman, they scare me also.

But the haters will not win this time. Barack Obama and his wonderful family will win the White House and it will be a new day for this country, and, I believe, the world. He is a wonderful person and I am thrilled and yes, giddy, at the prospect of his leadership!

Posted by: zmar2 | October 30, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Mr. King, I share your sense of disbelief that in 2008 there are still these lunatics out there. (But remembering the lyrics from South Pacific -- "You have to be taught to hate the people your parents hate, you have to be taught by six or seven or eight, you have to be carefully taught". Children are color blind until they are "taught" by their parents.

I am so sick of how this horrendous Bush administration has made every issue "us vs. them".I believe they have cultivated an atmosphere of intolerance in this country that has not been seen in a long time. These lunatics hate Jewish people as well. And as a middle aged Jewish woman, they scare me also.

But the haters will not win this time. Barack Obama and his wonderful family will win the White House and it will be a new day for this country, and, I believe, the world. He is a wonderful person and I am thrilled and yes, giddy, at the prospect of his leadership!

Posted by: zmar2 | October 30, 2008 1:39 AM | Report abuse

To the posters that defend the young lady, Ashley Todd, and her assertion (hoax) that she was attacked by a black man, is NOT racist, your memory is WAY too short. Perhaps you forget the mother (white) that drowned her kids in the car and claimed she was carjacked by a black man . . . until the truth was revealed. What this type of behavior does is stir up the deep-seeded racial prejudice inherent in all of us. When people are no longer fearful of other people based on the color of their skin, or religion or whatever, racisim will continue to exist. But keep in mind, you're NOT born a racist, you're taught to be one. It up to you to act on it, positively or negatively. It won't go away on it's own. And it won't go away anytime soon. So, basically, what I'm saying is accept that it's there, deal with it and keep your guard up. . . cause you never when it will show up or from which direction. I've lived through the 50's till now in the south (Fla) and the north. Racism lives all over this country. The difference is it's DIRECT in the south, and subtle in the north.

Posted by: HumanofEarth | October 30, 2008 2:38 AM | Report abuse

We should not forget that there is a lot of hatred out there that has nothing to do with race. Think back to how the right reacted to Clinton. I posit that most of the hatred is people trying to make Barack Obama a scapegoat for their problems, to whit, the collapse of their philosophy. It's the end of the world--It can't be their fault. It must be the devil, Obama!

Posted by: Logans1 | October 30, 2008 3:00 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it is possible to ever be rid of hate. As long as people live, some of us will always find a reason to hate someone because they're different. Xenophobia is an instinctual trait in people, and the only way to overcome it is through education and exposure to those different than us.

There will always be those tucked away in their own corners of the world who will hate others because of the color of their skin, the name of their God, their nation of birth of the name of their Football team.

The measure of a civilized society is both in how they treat those different than themselves, and how they treat those within their own ranks who participate in and spread this type of hate.

These things should be denounced from all quarters of our society. Choosing to ignore or downplay incidents because they're committed by someone on your side of an argument only serves to allow this type of hate to become more entrenched.

Posted by: Brashnir | October 30, 2008 6:18 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't help that our education system is slipping and has been for years. Bad economic times also tend to trigger scapegoating. And there's the fact that we're in a complex, rapidly-changing society where the old ways, the old narratives don't fit the world we live in. Most people adapt. Some cling neurotically to the old, the retro, the outdated, and the disproven because they can't make the leap. Especially when they feel like they would've had power in the "good old days", whereas now they feel powerless. Think of neonazis. Think how long it took people to stop burning a handy witch every time things in the village seemed to go wrong -- the last century? And that had been going on since the early middle ages.
Ugh. I'm depressing myself. On the flip side, nowadays these are isolated nut jobs. Racism -- at least in its more overt forms -- has been relegated to the desperate few. Most whites, I think and pray, are repulsed by them (I certainly am). If Obama's elected, these whack jobs won't entirely go away... but maybe he'll open the eyes of people who are clueless rather than warped.

Posted by: Hypatia3 | October 30, 2008 6:32 AM | Report abuse

By the way, everyone remarking about that disgusting Palin manikin -- the owner took it down earlier today due to the concerted outcry and protest of neighbors and pretty much everyone living in Southern California.
The homeowner who made it had the freedom of speech to be slime. He did NOT have the freedom to escape censure and condemnation.

Posted by: Hypatia3 | October 30, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

HumanofEarth, All of what you say is true, but much depends on your definition of racism. I believe racist behavior can be driven by something other than racism, but nevertheless, a racist frame of reference
is needed to form the thought that produces those actions. And the fact that such a frame of reference still exists in the minds of the very young does seems to show that it is deeply embedded in our culture, and/or there are some who are willing to learn it from those who insist on teaching.

But what is of note to me in these recent events is how quickly and decisively law enforcement acted, and the instant disapproval It is almost as though the margins have shifted and are now occupied not by the persecuted but by their persecutors. They are viewed as outside the mainstream, as they should be. As they, truly, now are.

Another point: Nobody of any sense or reputation thinks that hanging Sarah Palin in effigy is funny. But to imply it is somehow equivalent to lynching "pranks" shows a lack of appreciation for our racist history, where countless people were intimidated and many, many, many were murdered in just this way or even worse.
Watch the PBS American Experience: The Murder of Emmett Till. Listen to his mother tell the story. That story is just one drop in an ocean in which our ships have sailed.

Whatever you may think of Barack Obama as a presidential candidate, there is no denying that electing him now provides us with the opportunity of a lifetime to show the world and ourselves that we can turn the tide.

Posted by: martymar123 | October 30, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I naively thought that racial hatred would end with the Boomer Generation, my generation. Damn, I was wrong and had hoped and prayed for something not possible. This type of hatred is passed down from generation to generation like a family jewel. The fascist fringe only demonstrates such logic.

Hanging anyone in effigy is outside decent thought. Also beyond reasonable discourse is the suggestion that hanging Palin in effigy shows contempt by the black community. A white man did it as a piece of art! Art?

Free speech ends when someone promulgates hatred and espouses physical harm as the solution to a situation that they don’t like.

Some of the comments here want only revenge for the Palin effigy. How stupid that is and how ignorant of the truth: hatred exists when society fails to monitor itself and condemn and halt acts of violence against someone. Free speech is free speech no matter how egregious. Violence is violence no matter to which it is aimed.

Stop the violence.

Posted by: raiffer | October 30, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Well, I'm sure that Mr. King is right that there are folks out there, young and old that still carry hatred. These acts should never take place. On the other hand, given that Senator Obama has been on the campaign trail for two years and we have a population of 300 million, it may be reassuring to some degree that there have been only two such incidents involving only 3 people. If this were 50 years ago, it would have been much worse. so at least we have moved in the right direction since then. Hopefully, that positive movement will continue to happen so that in the future race and gender will not be an issue in our society.

Posted by: adifferentpointofview | October 30, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Racists in America? SURPRISE!! SURPRISE!!

Posted by: mudbone | October 30, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I am at a loss to understand the venom I have seen in this country. Since I have never seen color, nor gender, it is almost impossible for me to understand and/or tolerate racism or any other kind of "ism".

Our country is divided, and is in grave danger of total collapse. The news media, in large part, has fanned the fires of fear and hatred. Most of the news is biased one way or the other. A large segment of our population is acting like a flock of sheep, and NOT "thinking" for themselves. For what it is worth, I am "white", I think - not sure because I am a true bastard. I "appear" to be white, but it has never mattered to me. I am also a "christian", but not of the ilk that has contributed to the fear and hatred this election year has spawned. My church is not involved in any thing regarding politics.

Furthermore, I want to see TOTAL separation of church and state. That is - TAX churches income and any real estate they own. No one should have to pay for my belief in God. I have learned, on my own, respect and tolerance of others. Whether I agree or disagree is of no importance - ALL individuals should remain true to themselves regardless of which way the flock of sheep may be going.

Violence is not acceptable to me in any form and should be dealt with by our legal system promptly, and with total fairness. On behalf of my race, I sincerely apologize for damage done to any human being - whether physically or mentally. To espouse lies about another person is wrong no matter the source - this applies to the news media as well in my humble opinion. This is posted with respect for every one here.
Thank you.

Posted by: TIDYCAT | October 30, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I am at a loss to understand the venom I have seen in this country. Since I have never seen color, nor gender, it is almost impossible for me to understand and/or tolerate racism or any other kind of "ism".

Our country is divided, and is in grave danger of total collapse. The news media, in large part, has fanned the fires of fear and hatred. Most of the news is biased one way or the other. A large segment of our population is acting like a flock of sheep, and NOT "thinking" for themselves. For what it is worth, I am "white", I think - not sure because I am a true bastard. I "appear" to be white, but it has never mattered to me. I am also a "christian", but not of the ilk that has contributed to the fear and hatred this election year has spawned. My church is not involved in any thing regarding politics.

Furthermore, I want to see TOTAL separation of church and state. That is - TAX churches income and any real estate they own. No one should have to pay for my belief in God. I have learned, on my own, respect and tolerance of others. Whether I agree or disagree is of no importance - ALL individuals should remain true to themselves regardless of which way the flock of sheep may be going.

Violence is not acceptable to me in any form and should be dealt with by our legal system promptly, and with total fairness. On behalf of my race, I sincerely apologize for damage done to any human being - whether physically or mentally. To espouse lies about another person is wrong no matter the source - this applies to the news media as well in my humble opinion. This is posted with respect for every one here.
Thank you.

Posted by: TIDYCAT | October 30, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I believe the Obama's pay for their own personal items (including transportation for their children) but please someone, correct me if I am wrong.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | October 30, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The `lynched' Palin doll in West Hollywood is in no way the same as a hanging Obama effigy. The first blindingly-obvious mistake in drawing the analogy is to ignore the recent historical resonance. In this context, a hanging white woman immediately conjures up an image of a hanging black man. The second more legally based objection is the definition of hate here. A hate crime requires the act to be motivated by a desire to attack the group a person is identified with - by gender, race, disability, sexuality, immigration status... - intrinsic properties of the person that they cannot change. Attacking Sarah Palin because she is a woman, representing any woman, would be a hate crime. Attacking Sarah Plain because she is an ignorant is not. She chooses to be ignorant.

Posted by: awb3 | October 30, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The woman with the backwards B on her face is mentally ill. I don't think that one should generalize based on an illness.

Posted by: cyberfool | October 30, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Relax, vmrg & pvilso. Soon, the election will be over, and the pair of you can go back to doing whatever it is the pair of you do with whomever you do it to and wherever the pair of you do it.

I won't tell on either of you, I promise. (I will, of course, lock up my kids.)

Posted by: topor8 | October 30, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

You mean to say that on your hunt to uncover racism in America, this is the best you could do Mr. King? This to me says that white racism in America is way way way overhyped by the African American community. I understand that it will take some soul searching when people realize that white people haven't been systematically keeping african americans down since like oh 1970 or so. Maybe people will have to look at their own lives and take responsibility.

In terms of the woman you mention, do you remember Tawana Brawley? Al Sharpton and those trumped up charges. This is not nearly as bad and was deemed immediately incredible and unbelievable, where as the Tawana Brawley thing took like 6 months to sort out.

As far as the other case why is it news that a pair of village idiots 'planned' to kill Obama. Was this threat credible? NO it wasn't, these guys had a 22 step plan, got caught on step 1, and killing Obama was step 22. The fact that it was even news is curious.

So here is my advice, stop the fear mongering and playing to the lowest common denominator i.e. conspiracy theorists in the African American community. Look in the mirror and ask, why am I spreading this message of divisiveness and not able to let go of the past. Is this what Obama is really about? Holding on to the notion that white america is out to 'get' black america? I think that the millions of white people who are going to vote for Obama make it clear that we are willing to move forward with making a racially just america. Are you?

Posted by: DCDave11 | October 30, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Typical comments from an OBAMA supporter.

Everything is coming down to race, black vs white.

I hope and pray that it is NOT HATRED. But more of a stance for freedom, the Constitution and a general dislike for socialist/ black liberation theology.

NOT ONE individual in the MSM has spoken up for Palin. The majority of the slander that has been sent her way is coming from the Obama supporter.. BECAUSE she is talking about TRUE facts regarding the Messiah. Bringing up points that HAVE BEEN glossed over or NOT REPORTED by the Media... because they are in the hip pocket of THE ONE.

I do not hate the man... because I personally do know him. I do not trust Obama, know that he CAN NOT and will not meet his campaign promises and because of his character BELIEVE that he is and will be a bad fit for President. I know believe that he will attempt to re-write the Constitution and Bill of Rights to in his image.

Bush and Cheney dis-regarded... but OBAMA will CHANGE them to reflect his views.

Posted by: miller51550 | October 30, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

to adifferentpointofview, all is takes is one screwball nutcase to fire one gun with one bullet to kill and maim. don't you dare try to say it's been only 3 racists to try anything. it has only been thost that we know about.you all try to justify the hatred and whai i have found to be true, jealousy of anyone different from you.

Posted by: ninnafaye | October 30, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

We have "Joe the Plumber" to thank for Ashley Todd's despicable stunt. Joe made up a story about buying a business and even being a real plumber and the McCain campaign made him a celebrity even after they knew he was lying about being an "undecided" voter, Joe had already donated money to McCain.
Ashley and other attention cravers saw how Joe's lies made him famous and got him a record deal, etc. Now all of these deranged people like Joe will start coming out of the woodwork so they too can go on tour with McCain and be on TV.
Just one more horrible mistake made by the McCain team.

Posted by: dawnisis | October 30, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Both cases were caught ... and dealt with. Race will continue to be a problem in America but it is much less than long ago.

On the other hand, Sarah Palin is still hanging in effogy on a porch in California and it is consicered OK, art. Now there is a bouble standared. It is ok in America to hate a CONSERVATIVE woman.

Posted by: markandbeth | October 30, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 30, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

So many things are to blame for the behavior illustrated by these two examples, not the least of which is the desire for instant celebrity that constant news coverage of even minor items generates. I still have to think that such behavior in young people is learned -- that they have been influenced by the so-called adults around them, who indulge in this kind of vitriol daily. But I also have to admit that even 18-year-olds are capable of developing wrongheaded beliefs entirely on their own.

I am encouraged that so far Democrats have resisted the urge to counter the cries of "terrorist" and "Arab" heard at some Republican rallies by shouting out "baby-killer" at McCain rallies in a misguided attempt to bring back Vietnam.

For all our trappings of democracy, we are showing signs of intolerance that threaten to dwarf the racial and religious intolerance rampant before and throughout the 1960s. Unfortunately, I've heard "tolerance" defined by clergymen not as the quality of respecting the opinions of others, but as "we are right and we tolerate everyone else even though they are wrong."

The bigger problem is that these days, "the American way" seems to change with the wind as it is rejiggered by politicians to fit their agendas. The American way once meant no torture, no denial of rights to "enemy combatants" and fiscal responsibility. Exactly which American way are we to follow today?

As I've aged, I've seen the country polarized in more ways than one. We seem incapable of compromise, of falling into the trap of thinking that there is only one correct way to view any issue -- religious, moral, ethical, social or politial.

I can only hope that for the sakes of my 19-year-old son and those like him that we can somehow come back to the center and learn to work through issues without the constant need to punish "the other side" for their lack of foresight in not agreeing with our side.

Posted by: djmolter | October 30, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

So many things are to blame for the behavior illustrated by these two examples, not the least of which is the desire for instant celebrity that constant news coverage of even minor items generates. I still have to think that such behavior in young people is learned -- that they have been influenced by the so-called adults around them, who indulge in this kind of vitriol daily. But I also have to admit that even 18-year-olds are capable of developing wrongheaded beliefs entirely on their own.

I am encouraged that so far Democrats have resisted the urge to counter the cries of "terrorist" and "Arab" heard at some Republican rallies by shouting out "baby-killer" at McCain rallies in a misguided attempt to bring back Vietnam.

For all our trappings of democracy, we are showing signs of intolerance that threaten to dwarf the racial and religious intolerance rampant before and throughout the 1960s. Unfortunately, I've heard "tolerance" defined by clergymen not as the quality of respecting the opinions of others, but as "we are right and we tolerate everyone else even though they are wrong."

The bigger problem is that these days, "the American way" seems to change with the wind as it is rejiggered by politicians to fit their agendas. The American way once meant no torture, no denial of rights to "enemy combatants" and fiscal responsibility. Exactly which American way are we to follow today?

As I've aged, I've seen the country polarized in more ways than one. We seem incapable of compromise, of falling into the trap of thinking that there is only one correct way to view any issue -- religious, moral, ethical, social or politial.

I can only hope that for the sakes of my 19-year-old son and those like him that we can somehow come back to the center and learn to work through issues without the constant need to punish "the other side" for their lack of foresight in not agreeing with our side.

Posted by: djmolter | October 30, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

There are two kinds of learning.

There are things we humans will never have to learn again. How to create fire, how to generate electricity, how to design computers, how to split the atom.

There are other things that have to be taught to each new generation. How to be good parents. How to be tolerant. That love is healthier than hate.

Posted by: DavidinToledo | October 30, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Legitimacy is the first attribute of government. Much of the divisiveness of late centers not so much between various ideologies as to whether it is seen as lawful. Human activities are seen not just as the kind of differences with which reasonable people might disagree, but as illegitimate. Too often this is translated into the "passionate intensity' characterized by Yeats. Worse, it is seen as a virtue. Thus we have illegitimate religions, cultures, economic systems, political movements, and people. In our fears we are free to imagine the worst and that reinforces this simplistic notion of what is acceptable, what is just.

We all have encountered laws that we feel are unjust. Many work to change them. But the fears of being dominated by an unjust system of laws, of government, is no easy matter to address. It is, however, relatively easy to appeal to. Preaching fear will lead to hatred and hatred to regrettable acts.

I see the example set at the top. None of these leaders would condone acts of violence from the rostrum or the media studio. The tone, the accusations and the appeal to the illegitimacy of one's opponent is sufficient to ignite these acts.

Posted by: octopodian | October 30, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Stop the Lies. Most of us that DON'T SUPPORT OBAMA do not hate him. Many of us don't even care if he is black, half black, or 2/3 white. I would not like to see anything bad happen to him, or anyone in this race.

I just don't like who he hangs out with, who he listens to in church for 20 years, who he works for (Acorn), who he gives money to (also Acorn). Or the kind of change that he promises. These are not attacks, just a disagreement.

I would shake his hand if he showed up on my door step, but I would be afraid to ask him a question about taxes, as he might attack me (remember Joe the Plumber)...over
what answer he gave me.

I donate to lots of groups, and people. I pay lots of taxes. I do not believe that taking even more of my money, and spreading it around is going to fix everything.

I think Obama is a terrific speaker, he says what many of us want.....real change.

I just don't believe it is more then a campaign trick and promise. Just like every other campaign trick I have heard for
decades.

When he does not get elected, then I would like to see him go back to the Senate, do the job he was elected for, and start making some change. In four years, I will
be glad to look at his acomplishments, and if he has made any improvements, besides voting "present", I would vote for him for President.

Sorry. Not who I want for President, now.

Keep the change.

Posted by: rick2008 | October 30, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Last night on Hardball, Brother Tom Delay told Chris Mathews that Obama is a Marxist, scary man scary. BTW, nice hair coloring Tom, God told me you are a phoney.

Looks to me that the conservatives are showing their true colors, they are fear based and not faith based. These people are really fearful of the future. They must lack foresight.

But look, Delay himself lacked foresight. Florida Newspapers reported that Suncruz Lines, under Abramoff Incorporated, intended to move a gambling boat from Florida to the Mariannas Islands, imagine that.

Posted by: truthhurts | October 30, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

These cases highlight a definite issue of racism that persists in our country. Truly unfortunate.

However, the Obama supporters time and again point to anyone that disagrees with their point of view and calls it hate speech. Just about anything anyone says in opposition to Obama is labeled hate speech. Absolutely no room for a difference of opinion. Yet Obama has direct ties to Reverend White, William Ayers and Louis Farrakhan - people that seeth with hate. His past associations are undeniable. Okay, so now that he wants to be elected he has distanced himself from these men, but only because of the scrutiny.
Obama supporters have Chutzpah. They themselves come across as full of hatred for anyone that has conservative values - values life, values the ten commandments, values, believes in personal responsibility, etc. so they go on the offensive and call them full of hate. Its a topsy turvy world.
I just hope that if Obama is elected, that his new days of lets not be divisive, I am now patriotic, I am now for the everyday person truly replace his old days of socialistic, divisive and racial fervor.

Posted by: Chamaco | October 30, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

King,
You are correct. The problem still exist and will always exist. It starts in their homes. It is sad to think that we still have youth in this world that are taught to hate, whatever that hate might be, to a person because of their belief, color of skin, nationality, etc.... Imaging going through life with those kind of thoughts and convictions. It goes to show the stupidity of man is still present. We can only hope that over time the ignorance will die. Keep the faith,but don't turn your back, those people are still scary.

Posted by: JoseMidwestHeartland | October 30, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I beg to differ with an earlier comment about racist not being as prominent. I am a white, native, coastal North Carolinian, college degree,some post graduate studies in language. I lived a lot of places before moving back to a small town in coastal Carolina.
Racism is alive and doing quite well in the rural and coastal areas of NC among those native born and who have remained here. It has strong healthy roots. It is only that it is far more muted, not quite as 'out in the open' but still very prevelent.
It has some of its strongest roots among a lot of the so-called 'Christian' neoconservative evangelicals, who are among the most hypocritical beings on the planet - and among less educated whites. They email each other constantly with: "Be Alert. Obama is a Muslim!". What they really mean is Obama is a black man. Translation: "Honey, I ain't votin' for no black man - 'bless his heart'. (The term 'black man' is only sometimes used).
The large influx of outsiders from all areas of the US is slowly but surely diluting the ignorance that prevails in many rural areas of America.
The racist faction I speak of is truly in the minority; problem still, is it is not exactly a 'tiny' minority. Fortunately, the great majority of Southerners, and North Carolinians particularly are like the great majority of Americans everywhere who are about to elect the first black man president. This is the positive note about North Carolina's rural areas. Metro areas? They are in the 21st century for twenty years. Education is a wonderful thing.
The 'Old racist South' is dying, but: "It ain't going down easily."

Posted by: Iconoclast1 | October 30, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I beg to differ with an earlier comment about racist not being as prominent. I am a white, native, coastal North Carolinian, college degree,some post graduate studies in language. I lived a lot of places before moving back to a small town in coastal Carolina.
Racism is alive and doing quite well in the rural and coastal areas of NC among those native born and who have remained here. It has strong healthy roots. It is only that it is far more muted, not quite as 'out in the open' but still very prevelent.
It has some of its strongest roots among a lot of the so-called 'Christian' neoconservative evangelicals, who are among the most hypocritical beings on the planet - and among less educated whites. They email each other constantly with: "Be Alert. Obama is a Muslim!". What they really mean is Obama is a black man. Translation: "Honey, I ain't votin' for no black man - 'bless his heart'. (The term 'black man' is only sometimes used).
The large influx of outsiders from all areas of the US is slowly but surely diluting the ignorance that prevails in many rural areas of America.
The racist faction I speak of is truly in the minority; problem still, is it is not exactly a 'tiny' minority. Fortunately, the great majority of Southerners, and North Carolinians particularly are like the great majority of Americans everywhere who are about to elect the first black man president. This is the positive note about North Carolina's rural areas. Metro areas? They are in the 21st century for twenty years. Education is a wonderful thing.
The 'Old racist South' is dying, but: "It ain't going down easily."

Posted by: Iconoclast1 | October 30, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Something to think about from the "inclusive" candidate:

comments from his books:

From Dreams of My Father:'I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.'

From Dreams of My Father : 'I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race.'

From Dreams of My Father: 'It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.'

From Audacity of Hope:'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.'

Libs, please stop with the double standard... both sides are guilty...

Posted by: Chamaco | October 30, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I fully agree, criticizing Senator Obama is downright racist and hateful. There is absolutely no reason to disagree with Senator Obama, so everyone who questions his judgment is clearly racist. Senator Obama's actions and record indicate an extreme liberal, who has already said that we need to cut back on Defense spending, but we have to tax the bad corporations, and cut taxes for people making under 300,000 .. 250,000 .. 200,000 .. 150,000. Which one?

Oh yeah, No doubt that any one who disagrees is racist and probably a bitter gun and bible clinger who has antipathy for anyone not like them.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his means"

"Spreading the wealth around is good for everybody"

Posted by: thelaw1 | October 30, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I fully agree, criticizing Senator Obama is downright racist and hateful. There is absolutely no reason to disagree with Senator Obama, so everyone who questions his judgment is clearly racist. Senator Obama's actions and record indicate an extreme liberal, who has already said that we need to cut back on Defense spending, but we have to tax the bad corporations, and cut taxes for people making under 300,000 .. 250,000 .. 200,000 .. 150,000. Which one?

Oh yeah, No doubt that any one who disagrees is racist and probably a bitter gun and bible clinger who has antipathy for anyone not like them.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his means"

"Spreading the wealth around is good for everybody"

Posted by: thelaw1 | October 30, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, there will always be hatred, anger, and fear of those different than ourselves. This Presidential Election is evidence of how far we, as a Country, have advanced in dealing with our race and ethnicity issues while, at the same time, exposing the ugliness that still exists. My worst fear is that emotions will overcome logical and civility--which ever candidate should win the race--and boil over as violence.

This election touches on sensitive issues as no other election has in many years. It is because of this that I think each of us must look to next week with a sense of social responsibility and goodwill. Victory by either candidate may be seen as a rejection of certain communities within our Country. As a Country, we must choose to stand together rather than be torn apart.

Let each of us start considering now how we can act as compassionate Citizens when the election results are known. Let us choose to draw together.

Although no single one of us can change the outcome of who will win the election, each of us can play a key role in the direction our Country moves. Whether your preferred candidate wins or loses on Tuesday, please remember we are all neighbors, stakeholders, and the children of God. We share this County. Let us not tear apart what needs to stand together.

The ability is within each of us to accept the outcome of the election with civility and dignity. The beliefs and tenants we hold dear will not suddenly disappear. Let us all understand that when we lash out at any one group, we are lashing out at a part of the whole. Let us reach out across the divide for the hands of those who believe differently than we. Let us shake hands in goodwill. Let us seek common grounds and unity.

Please, please, make it your plan to be civil to all. And, let us all pray that any who feel slighted by the outcome of the election can accept the outcome without resorting to acts of violence and hatred. Moreover, go beyond that, if the need so arises, act as the Peacemaker. Choose not to incite emotions and harmful actions. Choose to soothe trouble waters.

Remember we are all God’s children. Let us look for reasons to reach out across cultural divides and foster peace and goodwill rather seething anger or hatred. Also, please remember that even in strong “Red States,”, there are people looking for unity and brighter tomorrow. For instance, the polls are showing that there will be at least 40 percent of the voters in Texas casting their ballots for Mr. Obama.

In the end, we all share this County. Let us choose to walk towards unity rather than to sow the seeds of destruction and hatred.

Blessed be the peacemaker. Let each of us intentionally walk the path of peace and compassion towards a better tomorrow.

Posted by: Samsara1 | October 30, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

If I remember correctly, Ms Palin's first words out of her mouth were hateful, and it has not stopped.

I would have supposed she and he already had their base in tow.... and needed to work across party lines and among more conservative democrats to win.

But it was not to be... anyone not right behind her on the stage was somehow 'other'...

Good for us.

Posted by: dutchess2 | October 30, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

the american species is volatile, immature, and original. let the experiment continue.


but please, take the uzzis away from the children, and give them health care.

Posted by: forestbloggod | October 30, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion obama is a racist, why else would he sit is a racist marxist church for over 20 years. I believe that anyone who is honest with themselves and has any sense of reasoning capability will come to the same conclusion. The surprise of this election will be the overwhelming numbers of democrats that felt disenfranchised by the corruption displayed by the DNC and the media during the primaries and the general election cycle. Their are millions of us that already have and will vote for McCain. If they all vote as I did, then pelosi and reid will not have a filibuster proof house or senate. How anyone with sense of history or country could vote for a racist, socialist ,marxist fraud is puzzling to me. I will be watching the results come in on election night while I pray to GOD and load my new AK-47. I was told by the salesman that gun sales are going through the roof. Its great to be an American. After all these decades voting democrat, I thought it would feel strange to pull that lever for all republicans on the ballot, but once I saw obamas name on the ballot I realized my vote for John McCain was a vote for Americas proven principals and constitution that our forefathers put in place to ensure a strong and long lasting America. McCain / Palin 2008
— Used2bdemocrat

Posted by: used2bdemocrat | October 31, 2008 3:03 AM | Report abuse

It isn't that I think conservatives are overt racists. It's that conservatives are childish.
They don't have a plan that anyone will support for the United States, so they don't talk about the future.
What do they talk about? Same thing they talk about every four years, how the Democratic candidate is a traitor.
Kerry was a Viet Cong spy!
Gore was a Chicom plant!
Obama is a terrorist!
He knows people!!!!!
Grow up, we all know people.
You can't fault what he's done.
You can't fault what he believes.
So you make up wild stories about the people he knows. Same thing you do every four years. It's childish and despicable and you people need to grow up.

Posted by: dijetlo | October 31, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Racism does exist! There is nothing we can do about it.

Even Children born post civil rights movements imbibe this racial prejudice from their Parents.

Be that as it may, I believe that what we have as racism is negligible.

An example is the performance of Obama both in the Primaries and in the Polls so far.

White Americans have come out in large numbers to get him to where he is now.
And they will also play big roles in giving him victory on Tuesday.

If I could reach a conclusion on this basis, I opine that racism is fast giving way to tolerance in the face of our differences.

Who would in all honesty think, in less than a year ago, that Obama would be the flagbearer of a major Political Party in the US?
Even his major black supporters had their doubts then.

Thank God the racial divides are being bridged.

We will one day, reach the stage where the skin of a man will not matter like the color of the eye.

And for the blacks, it is also incumbent upon them to rise above what has held them down in their communities, rise above the racial slur to contribute to the progress of America. How can you do that? Get education, leave the life of Crime and be socially responsible in your community.

As President J.F Kennedy said "Ask not what your Country can do for you, but for what you can do for your Country"

Its a wake up calls to all blacks.

Obama didn't whine, so many black Americans refused to whine and be held down, I didn't whine either because I am black and I will not whine now because of a Skinhead.

We went out there and got what is most important, which is education and knowledge.


Posted by: daryem_2000 | October 31, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I am Turkish and I can objectively tell you how US looks from outside right now. No one in US media wants to admit it but people in US are very prejudice. US claims to have put back the racism in their country and focusing on other countries being undemocratic and racist. You have no right to push judgment any other country, while your people still harbor racist feelings. Fix your own mindset before judging others.

Posted by: kasinaiyan | October 31, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Bigotry and hatred is more acceptable than ever, as long as one accuses the people one hates of hatred, racism, anti-Semitism, 'homophobia', etc. Zionists are free to be as racist and murderous as any Nazi, and anyone who objects is anti-Semitic. Anyone who objects to the anti-American hatred and treason of 'liberals' is guilty of McCarthyism and swiftboating, which makes one a fascist liar and an enemy of the people. And never question the goodness of homosexuality in the presence of a liberal. Of course, the one group that can never be accused of anything are Jews. Only Hitler would criticize the untouchable Jew.

Posted by: markoller | October 31, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Rick2008 wrote: "Stop the Lies. Most of us that DON'T SUPPORT OBAMA do not hate him." If you must lie, at least be honest enough not to begin with, "Stop the Lies." I hate Barack Obama, and I am one of his supporters.

Posted by: markoller | October 31, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The cases cited here are absolutely despicable, for sure.

However, are you not equally disturbed to see a whole church full of black people hooting and hollering and slapping Jeremiah Wright on the back when he spews forth angry, racist rants toward white people?

I had hoped our country was beyond this kind of bitter racism -- on both sides. This election, rather than bringing people together, seems to be causing more of a divide. With 90% of the black community voting for Obama, regardless of his stand on the issues, sure doesn't look good for America.

Posted by: SeekTruth | October 31, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

DCDave - I think you missed the point. King was trying to say that incidences like these today are so few and far between. You'd more likely expect it someone older. But when they are young...it's discouraging to realize there will always be some racism - albeit slim and waning - that gets handed down.

That's all he's saying, no consipiracy theories.

thelaw1 - how much wealth did you see in the last 8 years of Bush? So it's ok to be poor and screwed over by corporations run amok and their Washington accomplices, as long as the guy in the Oval Office isn't a Democrat??

BTW I hope the Post site editors are taking note of Used2bdemocrat's not so subtle threats.

Posted by: nora4 | October 31, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Considering the threats of violence ("Kill him!") and the racist remarks ("Muslim!") tossed out freely at McCain and Palin rallies, clearly condoned by them and their party (with only two exceptions, neither McCain nor Palin has tried to rein in these remarks), therefore I believe the Repugnican party should be classified as a terrorist organization. How are the Republicans any different than Al Qaeda, shouting for death for leading American political figures?

Republicans are terrorists. Every one of them should be sent to Guantanamo Bay!

Posted by: DNicol | October 31, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama's racial heritage is of no consequence. I'm not voting for him because I disagree with his policy proposals, particularly those regarding economics and the military. I also lost respect for him when he broke his pledge to accept public campaign financing. And now there's the following promotion, which mocks the seriousness of the presidential campaign: "In an e-mail to supporters, Obama says his campaign is saving some of the best seats for select donors at his election night rally in Grant Park Tuesday.

'Show your support at this crucial time with a donation of $25 or more and you could join me on election night,' the message says. 'If you're selected, you can bring a guest and we'll fly you in and put you up in a hotel. You'll go backstage at the big event. You'll have a front row seat to history.'"

Hasn't the Obama campaign amassed enough money already? Now the campaign is begging for more when people are losing their homes, their jobs. Obama and his campaign chest have become an embarrassment to our nation.

Posted by: judithod | November 1, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

I think this will go a long way toward calming the tensions that have existed here for years. I am though reserving final judgement until this is over. Whatever you feel, there is going to be an overwhelming sense of entitlement by a small group of Obama supporters and it is yet to be seen how they will handle this change. I would hope this to be handled in an adult and peaceful manner, but i have my doubts. Let's hope for the best!!

Posted by: opie48 | November 1, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

One of the guys at work said "I don't care if a black guy wins. Just not THAT black guy."

I replied that the right wing spin machine would have done unto any Democratic candidate what they have done unto Obama. In which case he would have said "I don't care if a woman wins. Just not THAT woman." or "I don't care if a Democrat wins. Just not THAT Democrat."

Posted by: arty2 | November 1, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The hatred is bubbling beneath the surface, sometimes rising to surprise us.

The viral email I got earlier this week was especially notable for the false witness it contained and for the way it introduced, as is too usual these days, the issue of race.

So I wrote a reply posted here.

Posted by: BurrDeming | November 1, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

vmrg:"...Eugene's Robinson hatred towards Hillary was a prime example of sexism at its best, funny Mr. King wouldn't mention that type of hate. Apparently the only type of hate that is intolerable is that against blacks...."

Gene didn't "hate" hillary; he hated what she did during the campaign....which was, when you think about it, the template that McCain and the GOP are following. Whenever you represent a supposedly intelligent party of mod/lib principle and you prance along the campaign trail disingenuously avoiding the straightforward answer to your opponent's religiosity and directly appealing to "working americans, white americans" you're not exactly setting yourself up for unimpeachable political sainthood.

What fact-based challenged, [far]rightwing columnists and the Hannitys and Levins of the world are accusing Obama of has no equivalent with the side of the political divide that the Dionnes, Robinsons and Kings inhabit. What your post is is just another false equivalency often successfully perpetrated, in the past, by the [far] Right until the bottom dropped out from under them.

Posted by: stoneman48 | November 1, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

As for Palin being hung in effigy: some frat boy idiot indulged his baser instincts from the comfort of his home. For every immature magillah, you've got ten effigies at every five Palin/McCain rallies--with the principals in attendance.

Neither example is right but you'll readily get a Dionne, Olbermann or Robinson spontaneously denouncing the hooliganism before a Palin, Hannity or Levin does the same.

Please

Posted by: stoneman48 | November 1, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"...I also lost respect for him when he broke his pledge to accept public campaign financing...."

He never "promised" to "accept public campaign financing"; he promised to negotiate with his major opponents in the general election about pursuing public financing for the campaign. Had he bound himself, early on and before preconditions, to public campaign financing the GOP 527s would have eaten him alive. Another example of the type of political leader needed to right the ship of [this] state while hamstringing the fringe of the party that has caused the ship to be sinkin', in the first place.

Posted by: stoneman48 | November 1, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA TELLS SAN FRANCISCO HE WILL INTENTIONALLY BANKRUPT THE COAL INDUSTRY!!! Audio Unearthed
YOUTUBE ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdi4onAQBWQ
ATTN: Coal states Virginia , Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Indiana and more guess what Obama told San Francisco about you.

San Francisco Gate Interview January

Posted by: 4elise | November 2, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Radical extremist Red Bushies, and their Socialist brethren in the Socialist Republican parties KNOW that they will no longer be in power soon.

And that they will be made to live in a country where Truth, Justice, and the American Middle Class way of life are the norm.

This, quite frankly, is what scares them.

No longer will their apostate values reign supreme - they will have to account for their actions - and go to jail when they commit crimes.

Posted by: WillSeattle | November 3, 2008 4:40 AM | Report abuse

I see lots who rage against McCain for daring to think the USA can win at anything in the world, let alone a war. He said we could win and they said "We can not win this war."

How dare him to be right?

Posted by: gary4books | November 3, 2008 5:28 AM | Report abuse

"I don't care if a woman wins. Just not THAT woman."

But that is exactly what they say of Palin.

Posted by: gary4books | November 3, 2008 5:32 AM | Report abuse

"What's to make of this?"

I'll tell you what's to make of all this....in the words of the musical SOUTH PACIFIC:

"You've got to be taught...to hate and fear, day after day and year after year, it's got to be drummed in your dear little ear, you've got to be carefully taught. You've got to be taught before it's too late, before you are six or seven or eight, to hate all the people your relatives hate; you've got to be carefully taught."

Posted by: sabrina1 | November 3, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. I enjoy most of Colbert King's commentary on PBS and occasionally in the Post. But this article is just plain silly. If your standard of success in the struggle with racism is that you will never be able to find as many as 3, count 'em 3!, white people who voice racist views, then there can never be success on this front. Which, unfortunately, suits many Black commentators, I fear.

Why this unrelenting need to exaggerate racism in America in spite of all the proof of overwhelming progress? Never mind the rise of a very affluent Black middle class, never mind the extensive and growing paritipation of Blacks in all positions of leadership in this country, there are still some White people who are nutty! Even on the day before Barack Obama will almost certainly be elected president, why these articles that appear to be downpayments on future control over the racial bully pulpit, when we should be gearing up for a new era of maturity on these issues? Deal with the remaining issues on race aggressively, of course. And from all sides, but we have to get some perspective on these issues and stop relying on extreme minority positions as evidence of something more general.

Posted by: dwatson01 | November 3, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

How common is the hatred? Not as common as one might have supposed.

I attended an Obama rally in reddest of red SW Missouri over the week-end. Crowds in this city of 150,000 (which is home to John Ashcroft) were estimated at between 30-35,000 and some have said possibly larger. Lines for the 9 p.m. rally started forming early in the a.m. and stretched at one point for at least one mile, with four abreast in some places.

A group called "Rednecks for Obama" which is from nearby Rolla, Missouri, was in attendance. Many attendees had "Rednecks for Obama" bumper stickers plastered to their clothing. Go to www.news-leader.com
to view the story. Be sure to look at both
photo galleries, there is one of the rally itself and one covering the long wait during the day. That second gallery
includes a referenced photo of some black teen-agers posing with the "Rednecks for Obama" guys, one of whom said, "This happens all the time."

I don't know if this is the biggest crowd I've ever been in, but it was definitely the happiest. I've never before seen so many happy, smiling, laughing, excited people together all in one place before.
Everybody was thrilled, just thrilled to be
at this historic gathering.

Now that is not to say there were not detractors. An attendee writing in huffingtonpost.com says that while they waiting in line, a man living on the route blocked his driveway with his van, and had a Sean Hannity radio broadcast turned up full blast. This man was really angry that Obama supporters were lining up past his house. But the writer said, that NONE of the Obama supporters "took his bait."
Now that lady called it what it is: bait.

Posted by: martymar123 | November 3, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"...The stereotype of black men as sociopathic fiends..."?
Just look at this link:
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/race.htm
It is an official Federal Government site that shows that Blacks who comprise less than 13% of the US population have committed more than 52% of all murders in the last 30 years. Everbody else (White Americans, Arab Americans, Asian Americans, non-black Hispanics, American Indians, etc) who comprise OVER 87% of the population, committed LESS than 48% of all the murders over that very lengthy time.
So there is a very factual basis for peoples' distrust of Blacks due to their demonstrated propensity toward violence.

Posted by: MilesFinucci | November 3, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

To quote from a song from South Pacific (I don't remember it well, too long ago since I saw it) "...we have to be carefully taught". Two of the main characters in this musical were discussing their prejudice because the young man was in love with a beautiful Tongan girl and the young woman was in love with a white man who first wife was Tongan and the man had mixed race children.

In the song and in the scene the two related that they were raised to believe that people of other races were somehow bad and intermarriage was a disaster.

I guarantee you that there are those of the "past" generation who have 'carefully taught' their children to believe that there is still something wrong about other races besides their own.

It takes those of us who have been carefully taught lies to stand up against those lies we have been taught and change. As an example there were undertones in my upbringing as a "white" girl against African Americans and I was taught to dislike Mormans yet, against those odds ---I voted for Obama last Friday and I am a Morman)

Yes it takes courage and it is part of the change Obama is trying to push in the United States. We are all Americans.

Vote Obama/Biden!

Posted by: eashley12 | November 3, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Please don't make me puke. Anthropologists have long observed that various primitive peoples are instinctively suspicious of any peoples that are not like them, i.e. that are not part of their family or tribe. Indeed, one of the main achievements of "civilization" is to curb this instinctive drive to kill others that are outsiders. Consequently, we do not have to be "carefully taught" to do what is, unfortunately, instinctive. This rather stupid myth has been around long before the Broadway musical: the French used to call Indians "noble suavage" or natural men who were uncorrupted by civilization - They learned of its fallacy when they were burned at the stake. One of the motivations of the Prophet Mohammed was to develop an ethical framework different Arab tribes didn't kill each other since tribal loyalty was all that existed in that land before him.

Posted by: reegospamoni | November 3, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Please don't make me puke. Anthropologists have long observed that various primitive peoples are instinctively suspicious of any peoples that are not like them, i.e. that are not part of their family or tribe. Indeed, one of the main achievements of "civilization" is to curb this instinctive drive to kill others that are outsiders. Consequently, we do not have to be "carefully taught" to do what is, unfortunately, instinctive. This rather stupid myth has been around long before the Broadway musical: the French used to call Indians "noble suavage" or natural men who were uncorrupted by civilization - They learned of its fallacy when they were burned at the stake. One of the motivations of the Prophet Mohammed was to develop an ethical framework different Arab tribes didn't kill each other since tribal loyalty was all that existed in that land before him.

Posted by: reegospamoni | November 3, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Please don't make me puke. Anthropologists have long observed that various primitive peoples are instinctively suspicious of any peoples that are not like them, i.e. that are not part of their family or tribe. Indeed, one of the main achievements of "civilization" is to curb this instinctive drive to kill others that are outsiders. Consequently, we do not have to be "carefully taught" to do what is, unfortunately, instinctive. This rather stupid myth has been around long before the Broadway musical: the French used to call Indians "noble suavage" or natural men who were uncorrupted by civilization - They learned of its fallacy when they were burned at the stake. One of the motivations of the Prophet Mohammed was to develop an ethical framework different Arab tribes didn't kill each other since tribal loyalty was all that existed in that land before him.

Posted by: reegospamoni | November 3, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Mr. King,

I have two children, a son who is 20 and a daughter who is 18. We live in the South. I have been astonished and touched by the responses of my children and their friends during this election. They are intelligent, well read, and politically active. And the issues that we "grown ups" have been arguing during this election - race and gender - do not even touch the radar of their discussions. When they talk about this election, they talk issues and character and fairness. They don't care who is black or white, who is a female or male. They don't even care if any of the candidates are gay. They just want leaders who are fair, non-partisan, cool under fire, and prepared. And universally they are appalled by the obsession with race and gender.

I can't say that racism in the younger generations doesn't exist. But I can say with confidence and pride that a vast number of the upcoming generation will judge based on the content of ones character and not on the color of ones skin.

Posted by: reycraft | November 3, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

If there's any doubt that the McCain campaign encourages hatred and even violence in its supporters, the official TV ad "Special" makes it obvious. Most of the McCain ads seek to diminish Obama's humanity, but this one characterizes him as a target--literally.

http://whenrepublicansattack.com/2008/11/03/special/

Posted by: WhenRepublicansAttack | November 3, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Ashley Todd is almost as bad as Colbert King who claimed a lynch mob of one yelled "Kill him" referring to Obama at a McCain rally based on hearsay claims made by another liberal and biased Washington Post hack Dana Milbank. The secret service never found the one person in the crowd who supposedly uttered this statement. Colbert King is a liar and a fraud.

Posted by: hoimacoach | November 3, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

There is as much rage against Whites by Blacks. I have been a victim of it, so I speak from experience. I see it everyday in LA.

Posted by: jen0830 | November 4, 2008 2:54 AM | Report abuse

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