The Lynching of Barack Hussein Obama
none by jack blackshear
This is a photo of a lynch mob posing for a photo after lynching a black man. (The murdered man is behind the mob; cropped from the picture out of respect) These public executions were often festive with onlookers coming from all around to see a man murdered.
Some 3,446 African Americans were lynched between 1882 and 1933 by mobs made up of people looking very much like those you see staring at you right now. Many other lynchings occurred but were never recorded. These were sometimes accompanied by sadistic tortures.
If you had not already been told that a black man was still hanging lifeless at the end of a rope and if I had not cropped the horrific image out of the picture, it would be perfectly reasonable to assume that nothing as monstrous as a public execution had taken place. The crowd could just as well be standing in front of a stage listening to a speech by a politician seeking reelection. Look at their faces and see if you can find even a trace of guilt or remorse. Nope, there is nothing there; just some men standing around with their hands in their pockets staring into the camera.
In all likelihood, most of these people will be at church on Sunday where the events of this day will have been forgotten. They will say their prayers, profess their faith and never give a thought to the enormity of their sin or the gross hypocrisy of what they are doing.
When the Civil Rights Movement came along, the lynch mobs made a comeback. African Americans marched for their rights and endured threatening crowds of racists who showered them with bricks, drenched them with fire hoses and attacked them with dogs. But they persevered and the huge mobs once more faded into history.
That is not to say that African Americans are not the targets of violence today, they are.
Now, with the election of Barack Obama, the horrors of the past are coming back. The culprits are ultra-conservative organizations backed by corporate wealth and a compliant news media. They have been so successful in creating a purpose built organization in the Tea Party that it is common place to see rallies all over the country attended by angry mobs whose sole goal is to demonize President Obama.
The participants carry signs instead of rope but they are just as full of hate as the lynch mobs of old.
This article charts the organizations and people who make up the lynch mob, pointing out the racism and giving examples along the way. Of course lynching is used as a metaphor; no one is actually trying to physically lynch the President. Thought was given about the reaction of African Americans to the use of the word "lynching". I trust that no offence will be taken none is intended. Lynching is simply the only word that metaphorically describes what right wing Americans are doing to President Obama.
Fear is the starting point for a lynch mob and getting rid of what scares them becomes an obsession. Under the right tutelage, this fear can be turned into the kind of hatred that causes people to ignore reason and go after a man the way right wing America is going after Obama. This process is nothing new. Irrational fear has been around for a long time and a lynch mob is never far behind.
For many people, the fear of blacks in positions of power is normally tucked away in a corner of their minds seldom visited. But when Barack Obama came along as a candidate for President, that fear began to stir. At first it just lay there with its eyes open; then, when Obama was elected, it stood up and became a part of their everyday lives. It was under right wing tutelage that people's fears were turned into an irrational hatred that energized the Tea Party Movement.
Manifestations of this fear appeared early in the campaign. A woman being interviewed at a baseball game surprised viewers by saying, "I believe he's a Muslim"; no elaboration; just a matter of fact statement of what she believed. "He's a Muslim".
Other rumors followed. "Barack Obama is not an American citizen but a Muslem living in the United States as an illegal alien." Of course Fox and Rush Limbaugh spread the rumor far and wide until it took root with millions of Americans. From the Obama campaign, there was a denial and nothing more. They had made their decision not to make race an issue, a policy they have maintained up to the present.
The ready acceptance of these rumors by right wingers is understandable. Since Obama would be disqualified to run for office if the rumors were true, their problems would be over. Barack Obama would disappear from their lives and their worst nightmare would be over.
All the while, right wing leaders like Dick Army were crouching in the shadows waiting for an opening. Just consider their luck. The country was in a historically bad recession and people were restless, looking for someone to blame. The first African American had just been elected president presenting opportunities to exploit racism. Right wing ideologues like the Koch brothers were worried about their profits and willing to bankroll any plan to stop Obama's agenda. Now add Fox and Limbaugh into the equation and what more could they ask for.