"WR6_gUnUj-ztiW07KQcOCnTel9A"/> Notes From Atlanta: December 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

What Yar’adua is learning and NOT learning from America

By Farooq A. Kperogi

There is no question that President Umaru Yar’adua has been paying close attention to what is happening in the United States. The first time he visited here, he was so overawed by the grandeur of the White House—and the “honor” of shaking the hands of President Bush— that he declared the visit “a rare opportunity” and a “moment that I will never forget in my life.”

Such child-like ebullition of gratitude and awe may be considered a little too self-deprecatory, even humiliating, for a country’s leader to express openly, but in a country where elementary honor and integrity in leaders is a scarce commodity, such dewy-eyed candor should not be dismissed with a snigger.

But I digress. Each time a major event occurs here our president almost always has a response—and an interpretive domestication to boot. For instance, when Obama was elected president, Yar’adua was quoted as saying that the historic momentousness of the event had inspired him to turn a new leaf in inter-ethnic relations in Nigeria.

“Prejudices arising from various differences in tribe, zones and regions— actually we should examine ourselves in the light of this experience and conduct ourselves purely as Nigerians to serve Nigeria and to serve humanity,” he said.

He warned that ministers who were still wedded to the primordial insularity of a pre-Obama era “will have no place in this executive council,” but that those who have embraced the post-racial or, if you like, post-ethnic era that Obama’s election has inaugurated “are mostly and greatly welcome.”

Again these are decidedly unsophisticated, almost infantile, presidential thought-processes that make one’s flesh crawl in embarrassment. Why would it take the election of Obama for our president to experience this post-ethnic “epiphany”? Well, it is at least commendable that he learned the right lesson—if he indeed only just learned that lesson— and made the right noise.

Then there was news of the arrest of Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich, on allegation that he was trying to sell to the highest bidder the senate seat just vacated by Obama. Yar’adua response to this was to advocate that the immunity clause in our constitution be expunged so that governors found to have violated the laws of the land can also be prosecuted.

This is all fine and dandy, except that it doesn’t seem Yar’adua is learning other lessons in democratic governance from America. A prime example is his appallingly poor government-media relation. His current war against critical sections of the media will probably go down in the records as one of the worst, if not the worst, in a Nigerian civilian administration.

First, his government unilaterally and heedlessly withdrew the license of Channels TV, one of Nigeria’s finest independent television stations, on account of an innocuous, if grave, professional misjudgment.

Then State Security Service agents invaded the office of the Leadership newspaper, forcefully seized the paper’s computers and arrested some its reporters and editors. Thereafter, the government sued the paper for libel—or is it sedition? This is, to say the least, gratuitously high-handed. Not even Obasanjo, as terrible a leader as he was, violently harassed any newspaper that maligned him.

But let’s get back to America, which our president is evidently enamored of. In America’s over 200 years’ existence as a nation, no public official has ever won a case against the media. In fact, no president has ever sued the media.

And the press here has historically been a tormenting thorn on the flesh of presidents. This is encapsulated in the creed of the American press: “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

President Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president, once famously declared that were he confronted with the dilemma of choosing between a government without newspapers and newspapers without a government he would not hesitate to choose the latter. But this lavish praise for the press did not immunize him from the caustic, often mendacious, attacks of newspapers.

He was later forced to confess that, “People who never read newspapers are better informed than those who do, because ignorance is closer to the truth than the falsehoods spread by newspapers.” That was the closest he came to fighting the media.

It is also noteworthy that the term “muckraker,” which we now use approvingly to refer to investigative journalists, was initially a derogatory term for journalists coined by President Theodore Roosevelt, the youngest president in American history. (He was only 42 when he assumed office as president).

Roosevelt was the object of scurrilous attacks by the press, some of it ill-motivated, most of it scandalously mendacious. But he never went to court, nor commanded his security forces to invade the newsrooms of newspapers that calumniated him.

The worst that he did was to deride journalists as “muckrakers,” a label that American journalists accepted with pride.

Again, during a speech in 1906, he said, “There should be relentless exposure of and attack upon every evil man whether politician or business man, every evil practice, whether in politics, in business, or in social life. I hail as a benefactor every writer or speaker, every man who, on the platform, or in book, magazine, or newspaper, with merciless severity makes such attack, provided always that he in his turn remembers that the attack is of use only if it is absolutely truthful." And this was a president who was under unremitting press attacks.

Of course, most recently, we have seen what Bill Clinton and Bush have been suffering from their national press. There have been outright libelous attacks on their persons almost daily in the American media. But they have never sued any media organization.

Well, that’s because the U.S. constitution prohibits government officials, whether elected or appointed, from recovering damages from the press for a defamatory falsehood relating to their official conduct, unless the government officials can prove that the press had shown a “reckless disregard for the truth.” Since America’s founding over 200 years ago, no government official has been able to prove this.

For me, the most dangerous terrain Yar’adua appears to be treading now is his newfound, misguided war on online citizen journalists. For an example, a certain Jonathan Elendu, a U.S.-based citizen journalist, was recently arrested when he traveled to Nigeria. His working tools and passport were seized, reportedly because of censorious stories that either he or people the authorities believe he is associated with have authored in the past.

And now Yar’adua’s agents are suing SaharaReporters.com, a popular, hard-hitting, muckraking online citizen media outlet. The president’s agents are also writing to a slew of web hosting sites to demand that SaharaReporters.com be shut down because of its virulent anti-Yar’adua content.

With the way things are going, it’s only a matter of time before government blocks certain web sites from being viewed in Nigeria. Nigeria would then be on the same list as China, Iran and other totalitarian regimes that muzzle the free flow of information.

I don’t know the people advising Yar’adua on public communication and information management. But his government’s relationship with the media has been at best primitive and at worst downright brainless. Yet, his spokesperson, Segun Adeniyi, spent state resources to visit the U.S. the other time under the pretext of learning public communication from the White House Press Office. Is it this unmitigated crudeness and unimaginativeness he learned from here?

Our ranking in the press freedom index, which had improved dramatically over the last eight years, is up for another diminution. I know this because I teach journalism and monitor news related to journalism practice worldwide. The news from Nigeria these days with regard to government-media relations is always agonizingly dispiriting.

For a man who stakes his entire presidency on his adherence to the “rule of law,” and who has demonstrated such praiseworthy sensitivity to what is happening in the outside world, Yar’adua’s government’s crude arm-twisting of the media is disturbing. It all looks like a throwback to the era of military absolutism.

Yar’adua needs to learn lessons in tolerance for a vibrant media culture.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Will Obama be assassinated? (VI)

By Farooq A. Kperogi

Why the hate?
The overpowering but wholly groundless sentiment among many white conservatives, especially Southern white conservatives, that an Obama presidency would inaugurate the era of the irretrievable loss of their much cherished, time-honored racial privilege in both material and symbolic terms is a huge culprit in stirring sulfurous anti-Obama and negrophobic hysteria and hatred.

Additionally, many Southern whites have so scrupulously internalized notions of the innate inferiority of black people and the putative preordained superiority of white people that it would take the infliction of tremendous psychic violence for them to come to grips with the reality of a “nonwhite” person as their president, especially if that “nonwhite” person is part African.

For them, what happened on November 4 was a violently disruptive, defamiliarizing inversion of the settled racial hierarchies of their society, which signals an unsettling descent of their beloved country to the nadir of hopelessness and despair.

It is the ultimate price they are paying, they think, for allowing immigration into their country from nonwhite countries, for decriminalizing interracial marriage, for humanizing black people whom the U.S. constitution, through the prodding of Southern whites, had officially labeled “three-fifth” of a human being, that is subhuman, and for generally being too “liberal” over the last couple of decades.

Grant Griffin, a 46-year-old man from the state of Georgia here, summed up this sentiment in an interview with the Associated Press shortly after Obama’s election: "I believe our nation is ruined and has been for several decades, and the election of Obama is merely the culmination of the change,” he said. "If you had real change it would involve all the members of (Obama's) church being deported."

“Obama’s church” here is a codeword for culturally secure black people who want to transgress “their station.” And here is why. The Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, the fiercely Afrocentric church Obama and his family attended for 20 years, describes itself as “unashamedly Black and unapologetically Christian.” The church’s Web site further states: “We are an African people, and remain true to our native land, the mother continent, the cradle of civilization.”

For many white conservatives, the “Obama church” is the symbolic representation of the kind of blackness they intensely loathe and want “deported.” However, it is this loathsome “blackness” that is now going to superintend over their affairs for at least the next four years. That, certainly, has got to hurt.

Another motive force that drives the unease with Obama’s emergence as president is the visceral, indwelling dread of change that lurks in all of us. For conservative whites, a “black” president is "the most profound change in the field of race this country has experienced since the Civil War," said William Ferris, senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina. "It's shaking the foundations on which the country has existed for centuries."

Joseph Funk, a former Secret Service agent-turned security consultant who was part of the private protection Obama put together for himself before he was officially given Secret Service protection, said security experts have known for ages that anything "new" can activate latent antagonism.

He said it is not so much Obama’s race that is responsible for the rise in threats not just against him but against black people in America, as I’ve shown in previous parts of this series; it is the unusualness of his emergence as president.

But that’s not all. Sarah Palin, the unbelievably dimwitted and hatemongering former running mate to McCain, also contributed immensely to the hate against Obama. According to the Newsweek, the U.S. Secret Service informed the Obama campaign that the number of threats against Obama sharply increased during the time in which the crowds at McCain-Palin rallies became noticeably angrier.

All that the embarrassingly ignorant VP candidate did the entire campaign was whip up raw, undiluted racist hate against Obama, by calling him a "terrorist sympathizer," a "socialist," a "communist," one who “pals around with terrorists,” "someone who doesn't see America as a force for good," and other dangerous, culturally loaded innuendos that prompted her supporters to openly call for Obama's assassination.

Even after Obama’s victory, when McCain was gracious in defeat, Palin told newsmen that she was still concerned about Obama’s past associations. It is to be expected that her supporters will still be filled with the desire to harm Obama.

But why do the haters also target innocent black people? "The principle is very simple," said BJ Gallagher, a sociologist and co-author of the book A Peacock in the Land of Penguins. "If I can't hurt the person I'm angry at, then I'll vent my anger on a substitute, i.e., someone of the same race."

"We saw the same thing happen after the 9-11 attacks, as a wave of anti-Muslim violence swept the country. We saw it happen after the Rodney King verdict, when Los Angeles blacks erupted in rage at the injustice perpetrated by 'the white man.'"

Not as bad as it seems

After reading this litany of race hate that Obama’s election has provoked, it is easy to come away with the impression that white people are having a “buyer’s remorse” after electing Obama and can’t wait to murder him at the slightest opportunity. This is far from the case.

The truth is that a vast majority of white people are comfortable with, even excited about, Obama taking over the reins of government. It is only a minority of insular, xenophobic white people who mostly live in rural areas of Southern United States that hasn’t come to terms with the momentous change that has taken place in their country.

According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released on December 11, over 70 percent of Americans are confident in Obama's ability to govern and unify the country, “with many who didn't vote for him now seeing him in a positive light.”

The poll also indicates that the nation is more unified around Obama than it was for either Bill Clinton in 1992 or George W. Bush in 2000.

Pundits predict that the historically overwhelming support Obama currently enjoys across the country will give him a longer-than-typical honeymoon.

Superstition about senators who become presidents
Yet another factor fueling concerns about Obama’s safety is the eerie historical fact that all standing U.S. senators who became presidents were murdered in their first terms.

In America’s entire political history, only two serving senators ever got elected as president. Obama is the third.

The first standing senator to be elected president, Warren Harding, died of poisoning in 1923, apparently with the connivance of his own wife on whom he was known to be cheating. The second sitting senator to be elected president was John F. Kennedy. He was assassinated in 1963.

If Obama survives his first term (I hope and pray he does), he would make history as the only sitting U.S. senator who became president without dying in office.

And Obama has made history all his life. For instance, nobody gave him a chance against the redoubtable Clinton machine during the Democratic primaries. And certainly not many thought he would become president of America.

A few years ago, while a part-time senior lecturer in law at the University of Chicago, Obama once told his students that he could one day become America’s president. According to the New York Times, this elicited a loud guffaw from his students.

And as a 5-year-old boy in Hawaii, Obama also once wrote an essay titled, “I want to Become President,” according to Fermina Katarina Sinaga, Obama’s primary school teacher. She said Obama’s essay was a response to her assignment to the class to write an essay titled, “My Dream: What I Want to be in the Future.”

The Hillary Clinton campaign tried to use this information against Obama in 2007—to show that his run for president was not actuated by a patriotic zeal but by a childhood ambition, by a journey of self-discovery. But it backfired on Hillary. The media dismissed the attack as childish.

So we are talking about a man of destiny here, a man who has perpetually defied odds. He may very well prove skeptics wrong again. Nonetheless, there is ever-present reason to be worried for his safety.

Concluded

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Will Obama be assassinated? (III)

By Farooq A. Kperogi

In a town called Midland in the state of Michigan, a reliably Democratic state, a man attired in the ghoulish ceremonial robes of the Ku Klux Klan, a murderous white supremacist organization dedicated to eradicating African presence in the Western Hemisphere, held a gun and waved the American flag upside down simultaneously. When police arrested him, he said he was protesting over Obama’s victory.

A similar incident was reported in another Michigan town called Traverse City shortly after Obama’s election. There, several workers at two local stores flew an American flag upside down as an emblematic expression of remonstrance over the election of Obama, according to the town’s newspaper, the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

"(The inverted flag is) an international signal for distress and we feel our country is in distress because the nigger got in," one of the protesters told the paper. He later reportedly apologized for calling Obama a “nigger.”

The Winston-Salem Journal also reported incidents of people protesting against Obama’s victory by symbolically flying the American flag upside down. “The flag is stretched upside-down between two poles in a field, with a black X running from end to end. The X is a reference to the Confederate flag,” the Journal reported.

(The Confederate States refer to the Southern states that attempted to secede from the United States in 1861 because they wanted to keep Black people enslaved in perpetuity, and the flag is the symbol of their continuing defiance against the United States).

In Long Island, an island in southeastern New York, people woke up after Election Day to find their cars spray-painted with racist graffiti, including messages threatening to kill Obama.

It even got closer home—from an African perspective, that is. In New York, a 17-year-old Liberian Muslim immigrant by the name of Ali Kamara was pounded to a pulp by four white brutes who shouted “‘Obama’ before beginning the attack," according to a local newspaper.

The Los Angeles Times also reported that angry white men spray-painted racist anti-Obama broadsides on houses and several cars a few days after the election. Of the many graffiti inscribed on the cars and houses, the one that tickled me the most is: “Go back to Africa!” Recall that a similar phrase was used in an incident I reported last week.

Many innocent Black Americans have also been bearing the brunt of fringe white anger over Obama’s victory. This week, for instance, a Black American in California was beaten to a state of stupor by white men who were incensed that he wore a T-Shirt with Obama’s picture emblazoned on it.

His tragedy was only the latest in a string of misdirected anger at Black people over Obama’s victory. A day after Obama’s victory, for instance, a predominantly Black church in a town called Springfield in the northeastern state of Massachusetts was burnt to cinders.

The town’s newspaper, The Republican, quoted the church’s pastor, Bishop Bryant Robinson Jr., as saying that the fire was “a hate crime" ignited and fueled by anger over Obama’s victory.

In the same state of Idaho where I reported that primary school children were caught singing “assassinate Obama” in a school bus, the Secret Service looked into the case of a sign posted on a tree with Obama's name and the offer of a "free public hanging."

These and many other as yet unreported incidents around the country are dampening the post-election glow of racial progress and harmony.

Editor & Publisher, which prides itself on being America’s oldest journal covering the newspaper industry, has been chronicling the threats to Obama since November 5. Most of the incidents recounted here were taken from the journal.

Obama win galvanizes white supremacists, spikes gun sales


As is obvious from the foregoing, one of the unintended consequences of Obama’s victory is that it has energized the hitherto fragile white supremacist movement.

According to the Associated Press, a day after Obama’s election, Stormfront.org, the most vicious white supremacist Web site on the Internet, got more than 2,000 new members. The previous day, which is Election Day, it had registered only 91 new members.

The Associated Press quoted one Stormfront poster, identified as Dalderian Germanicus, as saying: "I want the son of a bitch [that is, Obama] laid out in a box to see how 'messiahs' come to rest. God has abandoned us, this country is doomed."

The anger and frustration over Obama’s win has also spawned a disturbing phenomenon: the unprecedented rise in gun sales. According the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which checks police records of gun buyers in the United States, more people have bought guns since Obama won election than at any time in the past.

In October alone, for instance, when every respectable poll showed that Obama would win the election, 1.18 million firearms were purchased, according to the FBI. This figure has since increased several fold after Obama won the election.

People who want to put a positive spin to this disturbing trend claim that the increase in gun sales is a response to fears that Obama might enact laws to limit gun ownership, and that what we are witnessing is merely panic buying in anticipation of Obama’s impending gun-control laws. They point out that a similar, though less dramatic, scenario happened when Clinton won the presidential election in 1992.

However, others are not this pollyannaish about the unexampled increase in gun sales after Obama’s victory. They fear that the rise in gun sales may signal that Obama would have to contend with the specter of mass would-be assassins throughout his presidency.

Victory emboldens secession threats

Obama’s election is also intensifying calls for secession by some elements in the still largely racist South. This is not surprising, though. Obama had his worst electoral showing in the South.

Just about 20 percent of Southern whites voted for Obama. They gave McCain more votes than any Republican candidate ever received in a long while. But their efforts came to naught. So, for many Southern whites, Obama’s victory has heightened their sense of powerlessness and irrelevance in the new America, Obama’s America.

"In states like Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, there was extraordinary racial polarization in the vote," said Merle Black, a political scientist at Emory University here in Atlanta. "Black Americans really do believe that Obama is going to represent their interests and views in ways that they haven't been before, and, in the Deep South, whites feel exactly the opposite."

The Associated Press reported that for secessionist groups like the League of the South, the hope is that Obama’s victory would provoke a more vigorous debate about the direction of the US and the South's role in it.

It quoted a member of the League as saying, "To a lot of people, the idea of secession doesn't seem so crazy anymore. People are talking about how left out they feel ... and they feel that something strange and radical has taken over our country."

Does this signal an impending race war? Well, no. "We're not looking at a race war or anything close to it, but ... what we are seeing now is undeniably a fairly major backlash by some subset of the white population," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report in Montgomery, Alabama. "Many whites feel that the country their forefathers built has been ... stolen from them, so there's in some places a real boiling rage, and that can only become worse as more people lose jobs."

To be concluded next week

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Will Obama be assassinated? (II)

By Farooq A. Kperogi

Now the real threats
A few months before Barack Obama was elected president, there were at least three high-profile attempts by white supremacists to assassinate him.

The first real, publicly known threat to assassinate Obama was posed by a 22-year-old man by the name of Raymond Hunter Geisel who lives in Miami, in the state of Florida. The U.S. Secret Service said Geisel kept a cache of military hardware with which he threatened to assassinate Obama.

Geisel allegedly called Obama a disparaging racial epithet and boasted: "If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself." This was in early August this year.

Then, in late August, in Denver, the capital city of the state of Colorado where Obama won a surprise victory on November 4, a group of men with guns and bulletproof vests were stopped in the tracks in their attempt to assassinate Obama during the Democratic National Convention where he formally accepted the nomination of his party.

How were they caught? Law enforcement officers were on a routine duty when they saw a car swerving lanes recklessly. So they stopped the car. It turned out that the occupants of the car were Obama’s would-be assassins. In the suspects’ car, law enforcement officers found two high-powered scoped rifles, ammunition, sighting scopes, radios, a cell phone, a bulletproof vest, wigs, drugs, and fake IDs.

After intense questioning, they confessed that they had intended to shoot Obama dead while he was delivering his acceptance speech before a live TV audience. One of the suspects told authorities they were "going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a ... rifle … sighted at 750 yards."

They then told the officers that there was another accomplice staying at a nearby hotel. The agents went to the hotel. When they knocked on the man's door, he jumped out of his sixth-floor window and broke his ankle. But he was subsequently arrested.

And on November 3, just a day before Election Day, a plot by two white supremacists in Tennessee to murder not just Obama but other black people was nipped in the bud by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

According to a Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Bureau’s Nashville field office (Nashville is the capital city of the state of Tennessee), the two white supremacists planned to first kill 88 black people, including 14 by beheading and then later assassinate Obama.

What’s special about the numbers 88 and 14? Well, according to people who study racist hate groups in America, the numbers 88 and 14 have a symbolic significance in the white supremacist community.

The number 14 refers to a 14-word phrase ascribed to a currently jailed white supremacist iconic figure: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children" and to the eighth letter of the alphabet, H. Two "8"s or "H"s stand for "Heil Hitler."

"They said that would be their last, final act — that they would attempt to kill Sen. Obama," Cavanaugh said. "They didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying." Legal documents also show that the would-be Obama assassins "planned to drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows."

Assassination threats increase after victory

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes in America, Obama’s election has so far instigated over 200 death threats and race-related incidents. And these are only the incidents that are in the public domain.

The Christian Science Monitor reported that although threats against new presidents historically spike after an election, the threats against Obama have assumed “a record in modern presidential elections.”

Since November 4, a plethora of racist threats against Obama have spiraled all across the country, giving fodder to fears that Obama’s life is in danger in more ways than any president in America’s recent history.

The scary thing is that threats to Obama are manifest even among white elementary school kids. For instance, in the town of Rexburg in the deeply conservative state of Idaho where Obama lost soundly, the nation was alarmed to read the story of a bunch of elementary school kids who were chanting “Assassinate Obama! Assassinate Obama!” in the school bus.

Of course, 3rd grade kids don’t know what the word “assassinate” means; they were merely parroting what they had heard from adult conversations either at home or in school—or both.

And in a rural town called Snellville here in the state of Georgia, a white boy on the school bus said to his 9-year-old black classmate the day after the election: "I hope Obama gets assassinated." This became a national story after the black girl’s mother alerted the media.

I think it speaks to the intensity of the threats against Obama that even little kids who are ordinarily not politically conscious are advocating the elimination of their president-elect.

Again, a day after Obama’s victory, a black high school student named Barbara Tyler of Marietta, a suburb of Atlanta, told newsmen that she heard hateful Obama comments from her white colleagues, and that teachers cut off discussion about Obama's victory in the classroom.

Another student, from a school here in Atlanta, said he was suspended for wearing an Obama shirt to school on November 5. The student's mother, Eshe Riviears, told newsmen that the principal told her: "Whether you like it or not, we're in the South, and there are a lot of people who are not happy with this decision."

Similarly, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in a town called Allison Park in the state of Pennsylvania, a student said a day after the election, a teacher launched a vitriolic rant against Obama in the class and said Obama was going to be shot and killed. The teacher has been suspended.

But these school incidents are mild compared to the other threats out there.

In Milwaukee, in the state of Wisconsin, police officials found a poster of Obama with a bullet pointed toward his head. Perhaps the biggest shocker was that this was found in a police station— in a place where everybody, not least the president of the country, should be safe!

And in the state of North Carolina, four students of the North Carolina State University students admitted writing anti-Obama comments in a tunnel, including one that said: "Let's shoot that nigger in the head."

At a town called Standish in the state of Maine, a sign inside a store read: "Osama Obama Shotgun Pool." Customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed. "Stabbing, shooting, roadside bombs, they all count," the sign said. At the bottom of the marker board was written: "Let's hope someone wins."

In Los Angeles, California, racial slurs against Obama were sprayed on cars, houses and sidewalks, including: "Go Back To Africa."

University of Alabama professor Marsha L. Houston said a poster of the Obama family was ripped off her office door. A replacement poster was defaced with a death threat and a racial slur. "It seems the election brought the racist rats out of the woodwork," Houston said.

Another way racists vented their spleen was through the symbolic hanging of black figures from trees. The Bangor Daily News reported on these incidents in many places in the state of Maine. A similar incident was reported in Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

A black teenager in New York City said he was attacked with a bat on election night by four white men who shouted 'Obama.'

In the Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills, a black man said he found a note with a racial slur on his car windshield, saying "now that you voted for Obama, just watch out for your house."

To be continued

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