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Those Who Hate the President See Him as an Enemy

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Sodini's writings revealed his contempt for black men and for white women whom he believed were beyond his reach. He wrote that, "dem white hoez dig da bruthrs! LOL. More so than they dig the white dudes! Every daddy know when he sends his little girl to college, she be [reference to sexual act] a bruthr real good. I saw it. Black dudes have their choice of the best white hoez."

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Inflamed by sexual rejection and his hatred of black men, Sodini opened fire on those attending a fitness class filled with white women he apparently couldn't have.

Okay, now let me have it: "King, you're generalizing, making a big story out of small, isolated examples. People like Anderson, Broughton and Drake, and shooters Poplawski and Sodini, are kooks, representing no one but themselves. Most people who oppose Obama don't want him dead. They wish him and his family no physical harm." I won't argue with that.

What I will say, however, is that a lot of malicious words have been thrown around about Obama since his election: words that inflame and that inspire the kind of hatred spewed from those two Arizona and California pulpits.

Right-wing ranters don't regard the president as a political opponent. Barack Obama, in their minds, is the enemy. He is, to them, dangerous and harmful to the country.

Do the Andersons and Drakes have a right to say they hate Obama and want him to die? Yes. Did Poplawski and Sodini have a right to trash the "liberal" press and expound their racist views? You bet.

Still, the depth of the hostility is extraordinary.

From a right-wing talk show host who opposed allowing students to see the president's education speech: "Make September 8 Parentally Approved Skip Day. You are your child's moral tutor, not that shady lawyer from Chicago." And from a parent's e-mail to a Florida TV station's Web site: "This is exactly how Hitler rose to power in Germany, by preaching to those most vulnerable members of society."

Smears? Paranoia? It's all sweet music to the ears of Lee Harvey Oswald wannabes.

If the president of the United States ever needed heartfelt prayers, it's now.

kingc@washpost.com


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