The security team protecting Barack Obama has, in a manner of speaking, gone to Red Alert following the discovery of another alleged plot to kill him.
Obama’s already ultra-wary guards will be spooked about accusations four young white supremacists were planning to open fire at a rally and kill him and as many other African Americans as possible. Two have been charged with threatening a presidential candidate.
“You know, look, I think what’s been striking in this campaign is the degree to which these kind of hate groups have been completely marginalised. That’s not who America is, that’s not what our future is,” was Obama’s reaction.
In Bells, Tennessee, home of one of the suspects, some expressed disbelief. Police say the capacity of the plotters to suceed in their alleged aims appeared slim.
“I was shocked and surprised and I could not believe it. I thought it was just some kind of put-up deal aagainst the boy. I did,” said one white lady.
Others found the plot ridiculous, even doubting race was a factor in this election campaign. And there was no uniform reaction from Bell’s African-American community.
“It’s crazy, that stuff is nonsense, because you got white people voting for Obama, you got black people voting for McCain…‘cause if McCain wins I’m pretty sure that we ain’t gonna go and kill white people” said one man.
One young woman had a different angle on the news:
“Well it’s kinda scary to think about somebody actually want to come down here and kill us, saying that we don’t do anything, and it really makes you think about how people think that you know discrimination or racism is not here anymore, but just seeing that it lets you know that it’s still around, and it’s actually something to worry about.”
A major worry, of course, is that a plot might succeed, and what might happen afterwards. After Martin Luther King was murdered 40 years ago, over 150 people died in riots across the country.