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.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has also observed that violent rhetoric spurred by Obama's potential re-election has become more common among what are referred to as "Patriot" hate groups. These groups hate the black president, fear his re-election but also have strong antigovernment feelings. "They're looking at four more years under a very hated black president -- hated by them. So, we're seeing signs of real anger over that. People saying we're at war already, saying go out and buy AK-47s and hollow-point bullets, get tools to derail trains," Mark Potok told the Raw Story earlier this year.
These developments raise the disturbing possibility that while hate groups appear to be doing less this election cycle, they could actually be preparing to do more should the president be re-elected.
It's Not Just About Hating Black People
It is easy to assume that white supremacists fear the Obama presidency mainly because of the president's race, but Baum noted that according to their polling data, immigration remains a signature issue for CCC members, one that has increasingly turned them against Democrats. On Stormfront message boards, fear that the president is pro-Latino, and particularly pro-immigrant, is rampant. Potok noted that Obama really represents not just a black or "mulatto" man to many of these groups, but a symbol of a new "multicultural America." (Months ago census data confirmed that for the first year ever, white babies were not the majority of those born.)
If what Potok observed is true, then it's possible that whatever anger these groups feel toward President Obama is small compared to the rage they may feel toward candidates in both parties four years from now. Republicans such as Jeb Bush have predicted that Latinos will soon decide presidential elections, which means both major party nominees are likely to temper language on issues like immigration to woo Latino voters. When this happens, white supremacists may find themselves without any viable mainstream political options.
But for now, they are hoping for their best-case scenario and preparing for what they view as the worst: four more years of Barack Obama in the White House.
Keli Goff is The Root's political correspondent.