The United States has seen a rise in racist attacks since the election of Barack Obama to the white house. The number of Insults, threats and intimidations have skyrocked, some resulting in aggressive attacks against African Americans. The Ku Klux Klan has registered a record number of new members. Is the US really witnessing a rise in “Negrophobia” despite having elected a Blackman to its highest office?
By Anissa Herrou
In the words of Mark Potok, head of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center – an Alabama based organisation involved in the collection of data linked to hate related crimes – “hundreds of racist attacks” have been recorded by U.S. police units since the November 4 elections.
Go back to Africa
The horrific scenes are diverse. In California swastikas have been reportedly painted on cars alongside racist slogans like “go back to Africa”. In Maine, black mannequins are seen hanging from trees. In Idaho, students are heard chanting, “kill Obama”… The sad list goes on.
Mark Potok confirms that since the final days of the Presidential campaign there has been a rise in violent attacks against Blacks, and “it is getting worse”. This violence, according to him, is “due to a number of factors: the rise of non-white immigration, the rise in unemployment rates, compounded with the fact that a Blackman has just taken control of the White House”, which have alarmed some Whites who think they are losing their grip on a country built by their ancestors.
The rise in the sale of guns since November 4 reveals the growing sentiments of insecurity among a substantial portion of the White population afraid that the Black community could be taking over power.
There are no official figures to substantiate this racist phenomenon that has gripped the US since Obama’s election, but the facts are worrisome.
Brian Levin, a professor at the university of California, confirms this trend, which has been marked by a growing fascination with racist movements in the US. He also observes a rise in racist internet sites which call for white supremacy. One of the sites, Stormfront, for example crashed during the election night due to excessive traffic.
This hatred for Obama and Blacks in general, was openly demonstrated, on October 26, during a Sarah Palin rally. While the republican Vice-Presidential candidate was delivering a speech in front of some 3000 people in Clearwater, Florida, her supporters screamed “Obama terrorist”, “Arab” and “Kill him”!
According to Brian Levin this racist attitude is not unusual. Paradoxically, comportments of such nature resurface whenever progress is made with respect to civil rights or democracy. The professor who specialises in Racism and Extremism pointed out that the Ku Klux Klan became a very popular movement following the abolition of slavery in the United States.
So are Blacks in more danger in the United States since the election of Barack Obama? The coming months will tell if this situation is only a passing whim.