Commentary: Bigotry and threats to President-elect Obama

This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.

Every American president is at risk of an assassination attempt. But because of the historic nature of President-elect Barack Obama's victory as the African American in that office, the risk of assassination is greater.

Mr. Obama is a target for the deranged, the politically extreme and other would-be assassins. He also arouses the hatred of bigotry, as evidenced by the ugly underside of the election. He has received more death threats than any other president-elect, authorities say.

So it is not surprising that people reacted with outrage about a sign in a Standish, Maine, store that invited customers to bet $1 on a date when President-elect Obama would be assassinated. The sign, written on an eraser board, said "Osama Obama Shotgun Pool. Stabbing, shooting, roadside bombs, they all count. Let's hope someone wins."

The sign was reported to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. When a deputy went to the Oak Hill General Store on Nov. 7, the sign was gone. Store owner Steve Collins implausibly denied any knowledge of the message that had been written on his board.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Miami Herald.