Many men, wish death upon me
Blood in my eye dog and I can't see
I'm tryin' to be what I'm destined to be
And niggas tryin' to take my life away
It's not every day that yours truly would lead a blog post with lyrics from a rap song, but after listening to 50 Cent's urban lament, it felt somewhat appropriate. After all, many men and women have wished death on the president, from ordinary citizens to militia members and even U.S. servicemen. And now we can add a law enforcement official to that ever-growing list:
A sheriff in Massachusetts is refusing to apologize for joking that President Barack Obama could best serve the country by being assassinated.
Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald, Jr. made the joke during a local St. Patrick’s Day breakfast for Republicans on Sunday. He said that the ghost of Lincoln appeared to Obama in a dream and advised him to go to the theater, where the former president was shot in the head.
Of course, invoking the imagery of Abraham Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theatre in April 1865 is considered a "joke," one made "in jest," to boot. Perhaps the president should just lighten up and shrug off this latest threat to his and his family's well-being.
Both of Barack Obama's terms as President of the United States have been marked by a thorough and unrelenting disrespect of his being and the office he holds, on both racial and ideological grounds. Through thoughts, words and actions, that unending disrespect constantly oozes out of the pores of people who see the president as an aberration, as someone who neither deserves the office he currently occupies nor deserves to lead a nation populated by men and women of a certain ideological bent. This seething, unrelenting disrespect manifests itself most noticeably in calls for the president's life, his wife's life or (and I shudder at the thought) his childrens' lives.
Sheriff MacDonald should not only be heaved away from his department with great force, he should also be prevented from taking on any more jobs within the law enforcement sector. By all indications, this is what's least likely to happen. If the trials and tribulations of countless men and women are anything to go by, it's a given that those within law enforcement not only tolerate, but also welcome and perpetuate the ideologies and rhetoric that drives people to threaten the president's life. As long as the good sheriff is tolerated by his constituency and the Powers That Be™ above his own pay grade, he and others like him will continue to exist as a part of law enforcement.
It's interesting to note that news of Sheriff MacDonald's "joke" was included in an initial report by the Boston Globe, only for any and all mentions of said "joke" to be scrubbed without so much as an editorial note. Perhaps someone didn't want to become a target of the Plymouth County authorities or perhaps the good sheriff had some good friends in all the right places. Nevertheless, sources like the Boston Globe end up making themselves irrelevant and unimportant to ordinary people as they stray from reporting actual news and gravitate towards issuing stories that read more like the latest public relations news wire.
With a press that's all too willing to cover for the disrespect of others who "don't belong" and the willingness of people to look the other way and remain silent during these fragrant acts of disrespect, it's little wonder the president has to tolerate having death threats hurled his way on a constant basis by people who feel entitled to do just that. At least until the Secret Service shows up.
Speaking of the Secret Service, I hope the sequester isn't hitting them too hard. The last thing we need is for the people who actively seek to neutralize assassination plots to be underpaid.