The horrifying Charleston, South Carolina Massacre reminds us of the growing tide of racism and hatred that has emerged in the six and a half years of Barack Obama’s Presidency.
Barack Obama has faced more death threats than any President since Abraham Lincoln, and the mounting threats have taxed the Secret Service, which is responsible for his safety, that of his family members, and protection of the White House and its grounds from “Fence Jumpers”, who have become more bold in recent years, including Omar Gonzalez, who scaled the fence last September and entered the White House and almost made it to the stairs for the private quarters of the President and his family.
But it is also the hate groups which have multiplied in recent years, and have an effect on unstable, mentally ill people, mostly young men, many of them rightfully called domestic terrorists. The threat of foreign religious and political extremism also hangs heavy over the responsibility of the Secret Service to protect the President, the Vice President, other top government officials in the line of succession, and Presidential candidates.
There is a growing sense of foreboding and fear that the President, who has 19 more months from today until he leaves office, is in great danger, with any slip up by the Secret Service one too many.
Right wing domestic terrorism against Americans who are subjected to hate because of their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or identity, or political persuasion is a danger not only to regular citizens, but also to Presidential candidates in the political season we are now entering.
Hillary Clinton, already protected as the wife of a former President, is under Secret Service protection, and Bernie Sanders, being a Socialist, also faces dangers not faced by right wing candidates on the Republican side, although Jeb Bush, brother and son of former Presidents, is also a target.
And Donald Trump, with his provocative mouth attacking Obama, Clinton, Bush and others, is a perfect foil for right wing lunatics to plan to attempt assassination plots against our President and others seeking the Presidency.
The reality of death threats against President Obama is covered in Chapter 16 of my forthcoming book, entitled; “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama,” available August 15 from Rowman Littlefield Publishers, and can be purchased at a 30 percent discount using the code available on this blog. It is well worth a read!