Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 22 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/30/10

Facebook Thinks Praying for President Obama's Assassination is OK

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   11 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message earl ofari hutchinson
Become a Fan
  (10 fans)

Facebook's terms of use couldn't be more explicit. It reads that posting any "content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence" Any violation of this supposedly is grounds for a user to get the summary boot. A Google search found more than 13 million references to the many ways one can get banned from Facebook and the endless squeals, gripes, and protests from the countless numbers who have been banned from Facebook. There's a difference, though. None of them were banned for praying for President Obama's death. Facebook seems to have a penchant for this kind of head in the sand, see no evil hypocrisy when it comes to Obama's life. Last September, hundreds of respondents answered "yes" to a Facebook poll question: "Should Obama be killed?" Facebook yanked the poll after howls of protest.

But this time the prayer posting has stayed up and dozens are adding their post and presumably prayer to it for the president's demise. The death prayer raises these questions: Does uttering a death threat even if couched as an imprecatory prayer on Facebook cross the line between protected speech and hate speech? What exactly does Facebook consider hateful speech? What does Facebook consider as gratuitous violence? Constitutional scholars, attorneys, and civil liberty organizations, and the courts have endlessly wrestled with these questions in every context imaginable, every one that is except in the Facebook case. Though Facebook has wrestled with them too, and in more cases than not, actually taken action, and dumped users.

The bigger danger is that polls and postings that urge serious harm to President Obama fuel the climate of resonant hate and crackpotism that's deep and widespread against him. In a real sense this gives backdoor credibility to those who cavalierly think there's nothing wrong with imploring violence against a sitting president. So when a pack of fundamentalist preachers openly pray for the president's demise as Phoenix pastor Steven Anderson and Southern California pastor Wiley Drake did last year their threats (prayers) pass low under the public radar scope.

The danger flags about Obama, of course, have flown high from the moment that he announced he would seek the presidency in February 2007. He had the dubious distinction of being the earliest presidential contender to be assigned Secret Service protection on the campaign trail. This didn't ease the jitters over his safety. Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson fired off a letter to Secret Service officials practically demanding that the Secret Service provide all the resources and personnel it could to ensure Obama's and the other presidential candidates' security. Thompson heard the whispers and nervous questions from his constituents about Obama's safety.

At any other time and with any other president, the Facebook million strong and still counting posts imploring the Lord to act against the president might be shrugged off as a sick joke. But this is not another time or another president. Obama has been the butt of every dig, insult, and knock sick minds could conjure up. Apparently thinks that's OK as long as it's just a prayer.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new book is How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge (Middle Passage Press).

Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: Policy

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   News 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Earl Ofari Hutchinson Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The House is duty-bound to Bring Articles of Impeachment against Clarence Thomas

Think of the Two Decade Embarrassment of Thomas We Would Have Been Spared If We had known about Thomas's Porn Alleged Ob

Tea Party Now a Huge GOP Liability

The Awful Transformation of Bernie Sanders

Clarence Thomas Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief with Weiner Downfall

Did Race Explain Penn State's Blind Eye to Sex Scandal?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend