How does that make you feel? How does it make Sasha and Malia feel? How about President Obama's wife, our First Lady?
I know how it makes me feel: wearied and worried; wishing sometimes that he hadn't been re-elected, because he made it safely through four years as our nation's first black President, and none of us want his luck pushed by hate. Read that sentence again; soak in the sorrow of those absent serifs.
From Secret Service Says The Number Of Threats Against The President Is Overwhelming:
President Barack Obama is the target of more than 30 potential death threats a day and is being protected by an increasingly over-stretched Secret Service. He is the most threatened President in history.
Since the President took office in 2008, the rate of threats against the president has increased 400% cent. Some threats to the President have been publicized, including the well known alleged plot by white supremacists in Tennessee to rob a gun store, shoot 88 black people, decapitate another 14 and then assassinate the first black president in American history.
Most however, are kept under wraps because the Secret Service fears that revealing details of them would only increase the number of copycat attempts.
The death of President Obama would be a symbolic blow so crushing that it would rip our nation apart at its existential root. People would fight; people would leave; an entire generation would be left permanently marred by an illusion that was all too good to be true, an illusion we rode for four lucky years and we wished we could for four more. America is a post-racial society in name and desire only. Attitudes toward racial integration have warmed, but in our homes and communities, we're as segregated as ever; attitudes toward interracial dating have also warmed, but dating patterns remain mostly unchanged, with only 1% of all American marriages taking place between a black and a white person. Yet the historic election of President Obama temporarily halted the cloud of racial pessimism that has hovered over our society since the 1600s and followed us through succeeding eras of hard-earned, if altogether underwhelming, progress:
We have 44 African-American Congresspersons (out of 435, or 10%, near-parity), zero black Senators (out of 100), 1 black governor (out of 56), and just 250-500 black mayors (out of 19,000 cities, or 2.6%).
But we do at least have one amazing black President.
The President is not made aware of all threats against him, however, because as the Secret Service says, "the sheer number would be overwhelming and, frankly, distracting."
That's 43,830 death threats
for his first four years alone.
But he, the most threatened president in history, still gets up each day to fight for us, befall what may. For those of you who believe in a god, pray for our President, pray for us, that our fears and angst, that my wear and worry, end up being mere markers of the best in us, rather than a prescient affirmation of the worst in us.