This is fascinating. Living in conservative Phoenix when Clinton was elected, I remember a lot of people saying, “This is it, this is the end of Amurrica!” Limbaugh went ballistic, beginning his show each and every day with a dramatic intro stating “America held hostage!” Things didn’t go this far, though — when Obama was elected, there were arsons, cross burnings, random attacks on black folks, and ropes were being hung from trees. White-power groups saw an influx of new membership, racial epithets were being spat at public figures, and redneck assholes called for his assassination. What the hell, America? Get a goddamn grip!
I’ve said it many times: Obama’s election brought some racist emotions to the surface for a lot of people — some of it deeply buried, some of it just simmering, waiting to be triggererd. I personally know some people who think he’s a Muslim (because Muslim=terrorist in their eyes) or a dirty Commie Socialist Nazi. To them it was the end of the fucking world. It’s just absurd and disappointing. That’s why I just might have to check out this book…
Among a certain subset of those Americans, however — especially those who opposed Obama precisely because he sought to become the nation’s first black president — it went well beyond the usual despair. For them, November 5, 2008, was the end of the world. Or at least, the end of America as they knew it.