Early Saturday morning an effigy of President Obama was found hanging on a storefront, in front of a large Jimmy Carter sign, in Carter's hometown of Plains, Georgia. Watch this video: the store owner says it is "not a story" and refuses to talk; only black citizens seem willing to talk.
That this cowardly event took place in Carter's hometown is evidence that racism in America, and politics, is far from over.
On July 4, 2009, some 400 persons attended an anti-government, anti-Obama Tea Party rally held in Plains (photos). Among the sponsors was FreedomWorks, a conservative political organization devoted to small government and unfettered capitalism, and who promotes the Tea Party movement on racist online forums (whether this is done by FreedomWorks members or paid staffers is unclear; be aware that the forums link contains some graphic language, but also note the enthusiasm of racists for the Tea Party). The money trail reveals that FreedomWorks is the joint intertwining of radical Republicans, anti-government forces, racists, and certain big corporations.
Speakers at the Tea Party rally in Plains included an attorney speaking against separation of church and state, and Baptist pastor James Brown from Barnesville who spoke on behalf of states-right, Baptist, candidate-for-governor Ray McBerry. McBerry is the Georgia Chapter Chairman of the League of the South, a racist, southern nationalist organization. Brown (who in October started a small, strict Calvinist church comprised of two families with lots of kids) is also a member of the League of the South, as well as the racist-affiliated neo-confederate organization Sons of Confederate Veterans, and is the author of the Southern Resurgence blog and the Baptist Vision Web site.
In other words, back in July, the good - probably mostly church-going - white folks who turned out for the Plains Tea Party (note that while Plains is 60% African-American, the Plains Tea Party photos above are only of whites) got a good dose of southern racism (inferred or spoken, or perhaps both) from preacher and politician alike. In addition, here's the kind of anti-Obama posters that have appeared at Georgia Tea Parties such as the one in Plains.
Consider the July event in the context of this statement from Dr. Anthony Samad, an associate professor of African American studies at East Los Angeles College: "I think there's this notion that we're in a post-racial period in America because of the election of the first African American president. However, this president has received more death threats than any other president in the history of America."