The Attempted Lynching of Barack Obama, pt. 1

I started hearing about this a few days ago: a series of incidents in which Obama supporters — usually black — violently attacked McCain supporters — usually white. The most prominent of them was an incident in which a woman claimed that a 6’4″ black man mugged her and stole $60, then took an extra step because he was enraged by the McCain sticker on her car; he then carved the letter “B” on her face to “teach her a lesson” about not being pro-Obama.

I was skeptical about this from the get-go. Not only because of the silliness of the premise — what mugger is going to stop long enough to write a dyslexic “B” on some woman’s face once he’s got the money? Risk capture, and leave additional evidence, to make a political statement? And with a 4-to-5-inch knife, that shallow little “B” is all he did? Besides, wouldn’t the letter “O” have been quicker? PoC, please. On top of that, people from the area pointed out that it’s a heavily-trafficed intersection where anyone carving up somebody else would very likely be noticed, if not stopped by good Samaritans. So this attacker wasn’t just dyslexic, he was also stupidly self-destructive.

But I was also skeptical because the underlying narrative of this attack was so clear. Big black man, young earnest white woman, violent violation of the woman’s body. This alone made it newsworthy in some parts. But the added political basis of the attack, along with the ongoing whispers that we’ll see the LA Riots redux if those uppity black people don’t get their way, seemed to send a screamingly obvious message to those who are already terrified of the coming black apocalypse: if Obama is elected, black men everywhere will do this to all of us. Ooooweeeooooo… (cue Halloween music)

Turns out she made it up. Surprise, surprise. I’m skeptical about her confession, too:

Asked whether the false report was politically motivated, Bryant replied, “It’s difficult to say.”

“She is stating that she was in her vehicle driving around, and she came up with this idea,” she said. “She said she has prior mental problems and doesn’t know how the backward letter ‘B’ got on her face.”

…Rrrright. So she was delusional enough to conjure up an imaginary 6’4″ black man wearing shiny shoes who violently assaulted her, and schizoid enough to lose track of reality and forget how the “B” or the bruises happened… yet she was rational and coherent enough that no one immediately sent her for a psych eval?

It can happen, yes. But it’s damned unlikely.

What’s more likely is that she knew precisely what she was doing. Not so long ago, they used to string PoC men up when accusations like this got made. I think she probably knew that, too.

We’ve got 10 days ’til the election. I imagine we’ll see a lot more of this in the next few days, and not all of the attempts will be as ham-handed as this. Brace yourselves, folks.

21 Responses

  1. Not only did she (pretty transparently) make it up; the story was fed to the media in the first place by the McCain campaign: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/24/174033/12/463/641282

  2. I knew she was lying too. That damn mirrored B gave it away. Sheesh. Racism in this country still astounds me, and I don’t know why.

    I’m braced.

  3. It’s right out of The Birth of a Nation playbook.

    I am certain, as the Obama campaign believes, that this is a woman with serious mental problems, who needs treatment, a lot of treatment, and right now.

    However the advisor to the mvrik’s campaign, who immediately was spinning, to the Pittsburgh press and television stations, what they were supposed to think, should be charged with provocation to riot.

    Some black man might still be killed because of this, or even, a neighborhood torched.

    We all should be keeping detailed records of all these vile accusations that swirl around and out of the mvrik’s campaign, including the YouTubes, for when pln tries to run in 2012. Because she is going to. She’s really running for 2012 with that basest of bases right now.

    Love, C.

  4. About a week ago, another mom and I were chatting at the playground. With no prompting on my part, she started talking about a campaign worker in New York had a pro-McCain/Palin sign taken from her and trampled by a black man.*

    “Uh,” I said, edging away. (I hate politics on the playground, especially if they aren’t mine. I’m there to make sure my daughter doesn’t break her neck, that’s it.)

    “Yeah,” she continued “my dad said they are gonna rise up if Obama loses. They’ll be all fired up.” She paused, apparently confusing my lack of reaction (disbelief that this conversation was happening) with me not understanding her point, then clarified: “So black people will be rioting all over.”

    I took my kids and left. I’m not interested in any “hey you’re a white person so clearly you’re aware of the scary black conspiracy” conversations, and couldn’t tell her to fuck off because we were surrounded by preschoolers and I wasn’t able to think of a more polite way of putting it.

    * I have no idea whether this was true or not; this is a completely unsourced, unsubstantiated anecdote from a playground mom.

    And on-topic of this post, tidbit from the actual article –
    “She is stating that she was in her vehicle driving around, and she came up with this idea,” she said. “She said she has prior mental problems and doesn’t know how the backward letter ‘B’ got on her face.”
    Either she’s got severe multiple personality disorders (which is one of the very few things that would cause blackouts or “lost time”) or she’s full of shit. Odds are her “serious mental problems” were just depression and/or need for attention and love. She needs help, but doesn’t sound extremely mentally ill. I’ve got seriously crazy family, and this dumb girl doesn’t come close.

  5. What a crock of poo! This woman isn’t mental. She was a volunteer who traveled from Texas and they didn’t notice she had a screw loose. Yeah right. The way the Communications Director embellished the story for maximum racial arsonage indicates to me that someone may have coached her to do it – but like everything out of the McCain camp these days – it’s erratic and not well-thought out. Being racist is a sickness but it is not one without fault and choice.

  6. I just read about this right now! I am from Pittsburgh. I just returned home from travel and read this report. This is so disgusting. I think she should be charged with a hate crime. Foxessa is absolutely right, this could have cost someone their life. Also, the East End is predominantly black and is being gentrified at an alarming rate. Either this girl lives there and this is how she treats the community or she is some rich college girl from Oakland who saw some people of color when she drove through and thought up this scheme. Mentally ill, perhaps, or more than likely just what this dirty racist campaign has produced naturally. How dare she.

  7. Richard Mellon Scaife’s newspaper broke the story first in print. McCain staffers have been caught pushing the story to TV stations.

    Whoever ran this scam doesn’t know that secrets can’t last when information moves at Internet speed.

    This is an old-media operation.

    This is a McCain campaign operation.

  8. I was also skeptical when I saw the report on the news…it was that “B” that threw me off the most….the premise of the attacker taking the time to lightly scratch a “B” in someone’s face, and upside down and backwards is just ridiculous!

    I do think that she should be charged with something…the wasted man hours, the potential for retaliation…absolutely stupid move on her part.

  9. Asked whether the false report was politically motivated, Bryant replied, “It’s difficult to say.”

    To paraphrase:

    Well, that’s a complicated question. I think it’s fair to say… yes. Indubitably. Without a shadow of a doubt. Definitely, for sure. And uh-huh.

  10. Well, I wrote Sean Hannity to ask him about what his own exec VP’s words on the incident. No reply yet. I am laughing so hard at him right now.

  11. On the plus side, this bitch has given me a FABULOUS costume for Halloween.

    Hilariously, I’ve found that I’m best able to re-create the lightly scarred backwards “B” and black eye using the make-up kit made for Joker costumes.

  12. When my mother and I saw the woman’s beat up photo on the news, we didn’t know the story that went with it. We joked that a McCain supporter beat her up after hearing her talk about voting Obama. Little did we know how close our joke was to reality.

    See, the media has things all twisted. It isn’t the Obama supporters who are crazy enough to do such absurd things like this. Better check the other side though.

  13. It just doesn’t get any lower than this. Seriously things have gotten pretty desperate when the McCain campaign actually jump on something that looks this dubious to start with, and then proceed to feed it to any media outlet that will bite. It’s sick. I await the fox news apology and retraction with baited breath.

  14. Eh?

    I just learn about this story. (Sigh.)

    Wow.

    My Faith in humanity dropped 10 degrees now.

  15. I heard about this a few days ago and was just horrified. There are filthy campaign tactics being used by the McCain camp all around, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I’m still just absolutely disgusted to the point of rage. She knew exactly what she was doing, maybe she is a nutter but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t do this with full understanding of the implications and potential consequences of her actions. I’m not saying that the McCain camp TOLD her to do this explicitly, but they’re running a smear campaign appealing to the fearful, xenophobic, racist, hateful parts of the population and they’re inviting crap like this – McCain can’t just get the ball rolling down the hill and then throw his hands up like he didn’t have anything to do with it.

  16. I knew she was a fraud the moment I saw her picture. Once someone punches you in the face – your face swells up pretty quickly. A black eye is a swollen shut eye. Discoloration with that black, purple and greenish tinge happens after a few days.

    Since those pictures were supposedly almost a few hours after the event – her eyes were very clear, not red, certainly not swollen, and just rimmed with black, like her mascara was smudged.

    Plus the fact that the McCain campaign and Fox News was pushing this as an Obama supporter attacking a GOP operative was enough for me to know this was a rigged story.

  17. Black men still get lynched here all the time.

    I am glad Barack was spared.

    See wrongful death of larry neal dot com

    Blessings to you

  18. “She is stating that she was in her vehicle driving around, and she came up with this idea,” she said. “She said she has prior mental problems and doesn’t know how the backward letter ‘B’ got on her face.”

    Not only that, as reported by Wonkette and many others, she was twittering away the setup for the whole thing for hours, which is imo kind of hard to do if you don’t know what you’re doing. We’re supposed to believe she was also sleep-blogging? Srsly?

  19. @notoftenpunctual: get outta my head! I gotta find an orange tee shirt and write TENNESSEE on it!

    I’m also mad at using mental illness as an excuse. You can be mentally ill and still do wrong, and know you’re wrong.

  20. This tried and true scheme has worked in the past for white women back in the day when all a Black man had to do was to look at a white-woman the wrong way. He would find himself swinging from a tree for commiting a serious crime.
    Black men were and still are targets of public lynching by white people. High crime rates in urban areas leads to the War on Crime which is code-talk for a War on the Black community endorsed by the local government and the police.
    EnochSpeaks

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