Well, it appears that getting into a White House State Dinner where the President and a visiting head of state are present is considerably easier than getting on a Southwest flight from Reno to Oakland.
For that half-hour trip, flyers need to show a picture ID, be checked against the reservation list and the no-fly list, put limited supplies of liquids into a see-through bag which is then X-rayed, and go through a metal detector.
To get into the aforementioned White House function it appears you need to be (a) well-dressed, (b) good-looking, and (c) (maybe) Caucasian.
It's estimated that this President has received about four times as many death threats as his predecessors, yet admission to his house is apparently based on having one's name checked against a list, and even that isn't all that tight.
The Secret Service has, appropriately, fallen on its sword over the security lapse, but there appears to be more to the story than that. According to Michael Isikoff in Newsweek, a White House staffer who was accountable for checking these guest lists resigned earlier this year when she was told her being at the door with the Secret Service was not necessary.
I was starting to think that this whole incident might be being blown out of proportion until my wife forwarded to me an email she received from a friend of the right-wing persuasion. The email is below:
THIS IS YOUR PRESIDENT
FORWARD TO ALL YOU CAN
Everyone of voting age should read these two books. Don't buy them, get them from the library before they are removed from the shelves.
From Dreams of My Father: 'I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.'
From Dreams of My Father : 'I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race.'
From Dreams of My Father: 'There was something about her that made me wary, a little too sure of herself, maybe and white.
From Dreams of My Father: 'It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.'
From Dreams of My Father: 'I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself: the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.'
And FINALLY, and most scary!
From Audacity of Hope: 'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.'
If you have never forwarded an e-mail, now is the time to do so!!!
We CANNOT have someone with this mentality running our GREAT nation!!
I don't care whether you are a Democrat , a Republican, a Conservative
or a liberal, We CANNOT turn ourselves over to this type of character in a President.
PLEASE help spread the word.
We have really put ourselves in harm's way with this monster in disguise.
I haven't checked on whether these quotes are accurate; let's assume for the moment that they are - it really doesn't matter They are context-free, and, as I read them, they have a clear and singular intent - to portray the President as anti-white. As much as they tried to leave the reader to draw their own conclusions, their real agenda is clear – to foment racial hatred against the duly-elected President of the United States.
Earlier this year when I and others suggested that the Birthers, the Tea Baggers, the Limbaughs and Becks (and now Palins) of the world were motivated at least in part by racism, the President himself said that he did not believe that to be the case. I wonder if the above email would change his mind.
I’ve never been attracted to conspiracy theories – it’s too easy to find a boogie man (boogie person?) behind every door. When Hilary invoked a “vast right-wing conspiracy” against her, I wondered. Now I’m getting a bit frightened. Is it possible that the lapse in security at the White House is part of something larger? I pray not.
But I also pray for this country – to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, we must hang together, or we will be hung out to dry separately.