Friday, January 16, 2009

Hopes and fears

Here we sit, four days before the most important Presidential inauguration in US history. I'm excited, happy, and more than a bit apprehensive. While anti-Obamaism hasn't been making constant front page news, you know it's there. There are still dumb fucks out there who hate this man because he is black (no doubt aggrevated by the fact that he is intelligent, articulate, charismatic, and successful). They see his election as a slap in the face of the country, which is stupid because it is this very country that elected him. Then again, trying to apply logic to these people is like trying to tutor George Bush in particle physics.

You could try, but what would be the point.

My apprehension is sourced by several things. The first is concern for the man himself. I've grown to respect and admire the man (as much as anyone can a politician). I have the same proud feelings about him as I still do for Bill Clinton, a great man whom history will remember fondly, regardless of where he put his penis.

The second is concern for the country's future. I believe Barack has the power to change our course. I believe he has the vision to make America better, both in terms of living here and in terms of how we are perceived by the rest of the world. If some stupid rednecks did manage to kill him, the country and every one in it will have lost a great opportunity.

Lastly and most selfishly (and most paranoiac), is concern for myself. What can I say? I'm a white guy. If Obama was to be killed, the idea of the resultant racial backlash boggles the mind. The riots following the death of Martin Luther King Jr would pale in comparison; the post-Rodney King verdict chaos would be a mere blip. Lots of people, no doubt both black and white, would die. My stepfather, a black man who unforunately died before he could see all this, said to me once that if a black man were to be elected President and then be assassinated, the country would be in flames for months and every white face would look like the devil to any black person. To have this triumph taken away after having waited for it so long would be too much to bear for too many.

I would be afraid to leave my home. Call me racist. Call me paranoid. All I know that I'd be filled with rage. I can't imagine that rage magnified by what it must be like to be a black man in this country. You could ask Oscar Grant III, but he's dead now, isn't he?

See my point.

So a message to any fool contemplating killing this great man. In the unlikely event that you succeed, you will unleash a fury the likes of which you have never seen. Obama's death would be a terrible, terrible price for all of us and no doubt you and many that you love would be destroyed in the resulting backlash.

And that's too high a price for even you.


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