Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Assassins Among Us

. . . An Unspoken Fear Stalks the Presidential Hustings

by Suzanne Fields - March 6th, 2008 - Creators Syndicate

Assassination buzz spawns speculation, mostly partisan and some of it mean-spirited, about who the assassins would be.

There's the inevitable attempt to invoke race and assume that because Barack Obama is a black man, his lethal tormentors will be Southern rednecks. But the four presidential assassinations in our history were largely the work of deranged hangers-on from the margins of society, driven by personal jealousies and demons, and pathetic delusions of fame and celebrity. The public revulsion by both black and white to the subtle invocation of race in the Democratic primary campaign suggests strongly that this is not your grandfather's America.

The public image of America as a land where assasination is common is not supported by the history. Our lack of expecting assasination in earlier days allowed some of the few successes. 4 assasinated out of 43 would be of more concern if we had tried to protect the Presidents as much as kings and queens have always been protected. It took a while before we took it seriously.

There have been 10 attempts with 4 successes and every one of the successes died. That means that you really have to be deranged to make the attempt, and you have to hope it fails if you want to live.

What angers me about the current speculation is the belief among many that a serious possibility exists of some organized attempt. I have already heard comments that the huge vote for Obama would not happen in the general election because he is black and "Republicans will not vote for a black." Why then did a huge number of Republicans try to persuade Colin Powell to run for President? Condoleeza Rice could be competitive for the nomination of Republicans if she would run. As noted by Fred Thompson, having enthusiastic support does not mean she would win. Having a large support group does not alter the fact that there are lots of good candidates and winning is tough. Of course if she ran and lost, as far as many are concerned, it would mean the racists did her in. That is a handy excuse, but having an excuse does not mean it is true.

White racism is not the problem today, no matter what people think. The biggest problem is that some of the biggest racists are in the black community and they label anyone who disagrees with them as racist just for disagreeing. That accusation is then treated as true whether there is any supporting evidence or not. Until being black does not allow you to insult any opponent with a racist charge without proof, we will continue to have a huge part of the population who claims that racism is still a serious problem in America. It allows them to avoid an honest dialog about the issues.


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