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Elections & Voting Last Updated: Sep 23rd, 2008 - 00:43:22

The triple whammy of bigotry in the 2008 election
By William John Cox
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Sep 23, 2008, 00:20

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It�s been awhile since a black man was lynched in America, but the Rove Gang�s getting the crowd ginned up for another one and the town is on edge.

The last lynching took place 10 years ago in East Texas Bush Country when three young white racists chained James Byrd, a 49-year-old father of three, to the back of their pickup truck and dragged him down the highway until his body was dismembered.

If John McCain and his character assassins and vote riggers succeed, the next one will occur in November and it may tear apart America�s body politic.

The 2008 presidential election will make history. Americans will elect either their first African American president, their oldest president, or their first woman vice president who, given the medical odds, will have a good chance of becoming the first woman president.

During this election, bigotry is the elephant in the room; everybody is tiptoeing around wearing blindfolds, but it and its spoor are too much to ignore.

As an expression for an evil influence or hex, a �whammy� was added to the vernacular in 1941 when a boxing manager said a �double whammy� was the only way African-American boxer Joe Lewis was ever to be knocked out.

We will soon know whether Barack Obama and the American people have suffered a single, double, or triple whammy and we will all suffer from the assault.

  • Single Whammy - Overt and Latent Racism

  • Double Whammy - Religion, Sex and Other Prejudices

  • Triple Whammy - Class Disenfranchisement

The Aftermath

It is not difficult to see why some evangelical Christians believe we are living in the �End Times� and that the �Rapture� is imminent. America is entering the most threatening period in its history since the Great Depression, and perhaps even since the Civil War. As a nation of borrowers and consumers, our economy and banking systems are bankrupt, and our government�s only solution is to take from the poor and bail out the rich.

As a result of 30 years of deregulation and the giveaway of trillions of dollars of cheap credit by the Federal Reserve System, our economy has now pyramided out of control to the extent $500 trillion in totally unregulated derivatives are being traded without any accounting or governmental supervision. That is $1,669,357 for every single one of us!

As a temporary measure, President Bush has proposed, and both presidential candidates have agreed to, a $1 trillion government bailout. This solution will only cost each of us $3,320, which is just the first installment.

Millions of workers who have grown accustomed to the good life are now unemployed. Food and fuel costs are skyrocketing, and medical insurance has become unattainable. Our savings, investments and retirements are threatened and may become worthless. Our SUVs and BMWs are being repossessed, we are being evicted from our apartments, and our McMansions are being foreclosed upon because we can�t make the payments.

After years of declining crime rates, gun-related violence is on the rise in many of our cities, disproportionately targeting young black males. Forty percent of these young men are out of work; one of every 20 over the age of 18 is in a state or federal prison; and 28.2 percent of all African-American men will be confined at least once during their lifetime.

Overall, the United States is now incarcerating more than 7 million people; one in every 32 American adults is locked up, on parole, or on probation.

Attempts to control gun violence by imposing reasonable restrictions on gun ownership were recently shot down by the Supreme Court when it overturned Washington, D.C.�s ban on handgun possession. While the decision was praised by the National Rifle Association, and presumably by Sarah Palin, professional law enforcement officers across the nation fear that it will never be possible to control gun violence.

Our occupation of Iraq and our pursuit of Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders continues in Afghanistan and, increasingly, into Pakistan. There is also a great risk that our outgoing president and vice president will start a hot war in Iran and/or a cold war with Russia on their way out the door.

Yet we continue to have hope, and millions of us will go to the polls in November and cast our ballots, having faith that it will make a difference. For African-American voters, 85 percent believe this election will be a historical moment for them and their children, the surmounting of one of the last barriers to their full participation in the American Dream.

Barack Obama has raised the hopes of many that the stupidity of the Bush administration will end; that he will be able to restore confidence in the government�s ability to protect our livelihoods, our freedoms, and our environment; that he will end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and that he will halt America�s march toward unrestrained militarism.

The failure of Barack Obama to be elected in November will be more, far more than a betrayal of the hopes, dreams and aspirations of millions of Americans. There is a great risk that the inauguration of his opponent will sound the death knell of America�s free and democratic society, and the Liberty Bell and all it has symbolized will be tarnished and forgotten.

Is John McCain capable of presiding over the United States government? A man so unintelligent, incurious, and unmotivated as to finish near the bottom of his Naval Academy class? A man so uncaring and disloyal that he continues to deny the existence of more than 600 other living POWs he left behind in Vietnam? A man of class privilege who has never had to work a real job in his life? A man so rich that he doesn�t even know how many homes he owns? A man so senile that he doesn�t know that Spain is an ally of the United States? A man so stupid that he chooses an unqualified, gun-toting, religious fanatic to be his vice president, even though the chances are he may not live out the term of his office? Most dangerously, a man with such barely suppressed rage that he regularly loses control of his explosive temper with little or no provocation?

What will McCain do if he becomes president next January? Will he surrender the extraordinary powers that George Bush and Dick Cheney have seized over the past eight years? Or will he use them in exactly the way he says he will -- militarily to �defend� the country? From whom? From alleged terrorists, or from other Americans who disagree with him?

What will the millions of disenfranchised, unemployed, homeless, sick and hungry, angry -- yes, very angry -- and very well armed people, who have seen their dreams turn into nightmares, do? Go away quietly and not make a disturbance? Not on your life! Not on the lives of any of us.

The dozens of violent urban riots that burned through our cities in the �60s and �70s ended when disadvantaged people began to improve their lives and to get a bite of the American pie. The last two major riots, Miami in 1980 and Los Angeles in 1992, resulted from circumstances that should be instructive. They both resulted from the unpunished beatings of black men by white police officers.

The cities across America will not burn because an old white man fairly defeats a young black man. No, they will explode because the political, cultural and financial elite will have stolen another election from the poor and disenfranchised.

It will be ugly. It will be violent. Police helicopters will be equipped with machine guns and crowds will be mowed down without the legal benefit of arrest or trial. Military might will rule and the light of American freedom and democracy will be extinguished.

Or, the resilient strength of democracy may prevail. If elected, Barack Obama will have the opportunity to achieve the true greatness in times of crisis that has been afforded only a few of America�s presidents since the founding of our nation, perhaps only Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.

Will Obama be able to rise to the challenge, master the issues, articulate policies, display the richness of his intellect, and reveal the depth of his soul? We will never know unless we give him the chance.

The economy will not magically improve and the violence will not suddenly subside. To the contrary, the economy will get worse before it gets better, millions of bitter people made even more hateful by the disgusting and violence-inciting campaign conducted by the McCain-Rovian gang of political cutthroats will blame the new president for their plight.

Obama may become the most hated person in the country, and the risk is great that he will suffer the fate of Lincoln.

With the 2008 election becoming a referendum on the religions of the candidates and the faith of the electorate, perhaps we should all pray for Divine guidance and the wisdom of the ages to help us survive the extraordinary crisis that will surely confront our next president and those of us who elect him.

William John Cox is a retired supervising prosecutor for the State Bar of California. As a police officer he wrote the Policy Manual of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Role of the Police in America for a national advisory commission. Acting as a public interest, pro bono lawyer, he filed a class action lawsuit in 1979 on behalf of every citizen of the United States petitioning the Supreme Court to order the other two branches of the federal government to conduct a National Policy Referendum; he investigated and successfully sued a group of radical right-wing organizations in 1981 that denied the Holocaust; and he arranged in 1991 for publication of the suppressed Dead Sea Scrolls. His 2004 book, You�re Not Stupid! Get the Truth: A Brief on the Bush Presidency is reviewed at, and he is currently working on a fact-based fictional political philosophy. His writings are collected at, and he can be contacted at

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