As politicians and pundits continue to debate whether racism is behind many of the criticisms of the nation’s first African-American president, federal law-enforcement officials investigate yet another case of a White supremacist threat against President Obama.
The Secret Service says it is looking into a swastika that was carved into the grounds at a Massachusetts country club next to Obama’s name on Monday. The racist symbol at the Lakeville Country Club “is being investigated,” said Steven Ricciardi, the special agent in charge for the Secret Service’s Boston office. He declined further comment.
Groundskeepers at the club found the letter “I,” a swastika and the name “Obama” dug into the green at the 18th hole early yesterday morning, golf course owner Gary Mosca told The Boston Herald.
“I said, ‘This is sick,’” said Mosca, who lives near the 18th hole. “They are going to do this stuff and cause a problem just to be anti-establishment or just to be tough guys. Their minds are probably demented enough to think of anything.” The vandals either used their heels or a board to carve the 20-foot-by-30-foot hate sign into the green, he said.
Mosca contacted the Lakeville Police Monday, he said.
Law enforcement officials nationwide say they have seen a serious increase in the number threats against the president and that recruitment for White supremacist groups has spiked since last election.
In addition, racially offensive depictions of Obama – from posters and placards portraying him as everything from a bone-in-the-nose witchdoctor to a monkey – are displayed regularly at town hall meetings and conservative rallies nationwide.
Some observers, including former President Jimmy Carter, members of Congress and some Black leaders, have attributed much of those character assaults to racism. However, others, including former President Clinton and Obama himself, have dismissed the racial factor.
“I love the president,” said Mosca. “I think he’s a great guy.”