There's mounting evidence that at least some of Obama's faithful intend to see a black American president sworn in next year -- no matter what it takes.
Earlier this month, popular black author and talk-show host Tavis Smiley disclosed death threats he'd received from those accusing him of blasphemy against their black prophet. Then, at Saturday's Smiley-hosted State of the Black Union forum, Congressional Black Caucus member Stephanie Tubbs Jones lent credence to Smiley's claim by suggesting that many black elected officials not swearing allegiance to Obama have also been the target of violent threats.
While widely ignored by the mainstream media, the implications here are nothing short of momentous. The very prospect of physical intimidation as a means of garnering political compliance from Americans awakens frightening images of the thuggish antics of one William M "Boss" Tweed in mid-nineteenth century New York. Having survived the 2000 election debacle without even the threat of bloodshed, would some now have us back on the road to the iniquitous days of Tammany Hall?
Not surprisingly, no one in the black community has come forward with specific complaints. But here's what we do know.
For nine years running, Smiley has hosted the annual symposium of black college professors, politicians, activists, and entertainers during Black History Month discussing matters of concern to those whose heritage the month honors. This year, Barack Obama declined an invitation -- accepted by Clinton -- to address the panel of black dignitaries in New Orleans. The Illinois senator and presidential hopeful's unexpected rejection prompted a disappointed Smiley to blast the decision as a "major mistake," and that's when the trouble allegedly began.
The perceived racial apostasy apparently sparked not only thousands of angry emails labeling Smiley as a "hater, sellout and traitor," but also the relentless harassment of his entire family. And, while he has yet to elaborate, Smiley has also mentioned the matter of death threats - levied for the mere suggestion that the mighty Obama had somehow erred.
Needless to say, this newfound esteem wouldn't help sell standing room tickets to Saturday's historically well-attended seminar.
As it turned out, round one of the conference featured two CBC members - one an Obama backer and the other a Clinton stumper. You'll likely be as surprised as I was to learn that the Caucus is actually split rather neatly down the middle in their support for the two remaining Democratic candidates.
And, while DC congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton spoke the requisite racial solidarity, Tubbs Jones revealed a true affinity for Clinton's sisterhood message, admitting that she had committed to Hillary's feminist positions and election some 15 years ago. That was, of course, long before anyone ever even considered a possible race/gender dilemma for black women
The Ohio Democrat spoke quite convincingly of sexism trumping racism and the need for women to finally shatter that immutable "glass ceiling." Listening to her passionately address women's issues and considering her voting record on such concerns as Child Health Insurance Programs, one could hardly question her Hillary decision. But then she spoke with equal earnest of a darker truth hanging over black Clinton supporters:
"There are some black elected officials who have earned their stripes, who've had to change their phone numbers two or three times because of the calls being made to them about the positions they are taking in this election. Shame on us. Shame on us. That we would beat down black elected officials who've paid their duty and their time.
"I'm saying to you that I don't care what happens, I'm for Hillary, someone else is for Barack Obama, but we're going to stand up - the black caucus is the conscience of the nation and we're going to stand up and do our thing no matter what happens."
But while Tubbs Jones dallied vague about the nature of the "beat downs," fellow panelist Louisiana State Senator Cleo Fields was so distressed by the very thought as to warn that he would:
"be disappointed and would be ready to fight if somebody raised a finger at this sister [Tubbs] who had worked so hard for so long and had been representing black people better than most people could ever dream of."
It was then that Tavis Smiley, himself, grasped the opportunity to address his own first hand experience of this darker side of Obamamania, the one we've previously explored with much concern:
"Some folk [are] getting death threats because of the emotionality and the excitement and the lack of wise enthusiasm that we see rampant in our community.... How can we have a conversation about this campaign or any other issue where we are divided in the community without the kind of name calling, the hater talk, the traitor talk; the sell out talk? .... How do we have a civil, loving dialogue when there is a divide in our community?"
But in the shadow of possible death threats waged against blacks for even speaking against Obama -- I have a much better one.
Marc Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. He welcomes your feedback.