Hate Groups: Preparing for an Obama Win?

We spoke with a white supremacist, as well as a hate-group expert, about how racists see Nov. 6.

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Baum stressed that while the group doesn't endorse candidates, it does strive to keep members politically informed and engaged through its newsletter and conducting polls. Its most recent poll on the presidential election was conducted this summer, although he said the results would not be made public until after the election. He did, however, say the winner "was overwhelmingly Romney." The results of the organization's poll may not have been particularly surprising, but Baum's election prediction was. After decrying President Obama as "the worst president of my lifetime," Baum said, "I hope you got a good job because we got Obama four more years."

The Specter of a Meltdown

According to Potok, Baum is not alone in this sense of resignation within the white supremacist movement. Potok said that "there is surprising little activity from Klan, etc." The number of white supremacist groups ballooned from 600 in 2000 to more than 1,000 last year, but his sense is that "What we're seeing is a kind of meltdown as they contemplate four more years under the hated black president." Potok recalled that as soon as President Obama first received the Democratic Party nomination, there was a skinhead plot to murder him, and other white separatists have been arrested for similar plots since his election. But while the activity of some hate groups may appear to have mellowed in this election cycle, their rhetoric has not.

In a recent TV segment for Nightline, Steven Howard, a grand wizard for the Ku Klux Klan, attempted to rev up his fellow Klansmen by chanting, "Barack Obama does not care about us, he does not care about America." He later said, matter-of-factly, that if President Obama is re-elected there will be a race war, and white Americans will be in danger of being placed in concentration camps.

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Stormfront, the online community for white supremacists, which netted 2,000 new members the day after President Obama's election, makes the president and the presidential election a staple of its discussions. After news emerged that Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan once dated a black woman, the Stormfront message boards were filled with comments like this:

We do well to be disgusted and outraged that he would do that at one time, but at some point, we have to get real: He has a beautiful White family now, but that's not even the real point. The biggest issue is Obama and the supreme court and other things Obama's done/will do if given half a chance; and then there's the disgrace of having a black man in the White house … As I've said before regarding Romney/Ryan camp: they may be useless to us, but Obama is a positive and determined threat … Obama will stack the Supreme Court with his anti-White cronies. Look what he has already done: A hispanic who hates Whites, and a jew who is a raving liberal.

and this:

Once again, the right-wing is totally unprepared to field a viable pro-White or even mainstream right-wing candidate to oppose the two-party candidates. Are we supposed to allow the mulatto Obama to stay in the White House and thereby encourage millions of White women to think that 'Black men are OK and race-mixing is OK'? I'd at least like to win the consolation prize and vote the Black monkey out of the White House so that he's branded a one-term-president and quota-hire failure. Hopefully, race-mixing will drop in popularity as a result.

Fear of a Black President, 2.0