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Fears for Obama's safety not a reasonable topic?
January 6, 2008 9:33 AM   Subscribe

This post which raised the issue of fears among some in the African-American electorate that Barack Obama would not be safe as president. The thread was shut down for reasons of WTF. Not exactly sure what the problem was, and I was disappointed, as I had recently heard about this and was hoping the thread would shed some light on the issue. This NYT article would be a good starting point for discussion.
posted by flotson to MetaFilter-Related at 9:33 AM (47 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Not exactly sure what the problem was,

It's a legitamite topic, but the post was horribly written and overly editorialized to boot.
posted by jonmc at 9:40 AM on January 6, 2008


I emailed back and forth with the OP about this. The topic is okay, though touchy, but the totally hyperbolic presentation and all the over the top rhetoric pretty much doomed it from the outset. Phrases like "shame on you" and "eeevul Muslims" and "nutjobs" really start things off on the wrong foot. If you want to have a decent topic about a touchy issue, set your post up so that can actually happen.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:41 AM on January 6, 2008


He should have just linked to his NYT article, and used its title, "Clinton-Obama Quandary for Many Black Women". People feel compelled to write way more in an FPP then they really should.
posted by chunking express at 9:46 AM on January 6, 2008


Stupid topic (although okay for MetaFilter), but the post itself was bad too.
posted by grouse at 9:57 AM on January 6, 2008


MetaFilter: Stupid topic (although okay for MetaFilter)
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:59 AM on January 6, 2008 [8 favorites]


Discussing the topic a la the NYT article would be fine (and in fact I'm glad for this MeTa or I'd not have seen the NYT article), but I agree that the original FPP was provocative and overly editorial. "Is everyone thinking what I'm thinking?" usually signifies a weak FPP; I didn't even scan all the links for "legitimate" content, once I got the gist of the post.
posted by pineapple at 10:01 AM on January 6, 2008


It was GYOBFW material.
posted by klangklangston at 10:02 AM on January 6, 2008


pineapple: I'm a lousy speller but I'm a better writer than whoever wrote that post.
posted by jonmc at 10:03 AM on January 6, 2008


Stupid topic

I remember in 1999 my very Republican neighbor, in all truth, was prepared to move to Canada if Gore became the POTUS. The rage, venom, and absolute disgust she displayed toward Gore makes me shiver when I think of how this country views a black, former Muslim. I wouldn't call the topic stupid, per se. A healthy conversation about the covert racial tensions that exist in this election would be fruitful; though as everyone else has said, probably not the way they were presented.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 10:04 AM on January 6, 2008


A healthy conversation about the covert racial tensions that exist in this election would be fruitful

For sure. But I don't think a NYT story on unsubstantiated worries that he might be assassinated is the best of the web any more than one on the latest switch to orange alert.
posted by grouse at 10:11 AM on January 6, 2008


A more interesting way of approaching the topic might be a collection of citations reviewing the ways in which Senator Obama and others have drawn paralells to Lincoln and certain Kennedys. Clearly, the imagery is in common use around the campaign; the imagery combines the ideas of 'savior of the nation' and 'secular saint' with, well, you know.

It should be noted that Obama expressed a critique of Lincoln in his announcement speech, which is a primary source for the Lincoln imagery.
posted by mwhybark at 10:20 AM on January 6, 2008


this country views a black, former Muslim

I don't think he was ever a former Muslim. He went to Catholic school as a kid and also a school that was predominantly Muslim. But I am pretty positive he had never represented himself as ever being a Muslim.
posted by Falconetti at 10:24 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm thankful the post was deleted. It was poorly constructed and led nowhere but down. Unless Senator Obama talks about his fear of assassination, articles and editorials like the ones posted are fear mongering that should be left out of Metafilter. Thanks again, jessamyn.
posted by hangingbyathread at 10:24 AM on January 6, 2008


Phrases like "shame on you" and "eeevul Muslims" and "nutjobs" really start things off on the wrong foot.

Ah, indeed. Somehow I missed those. . .
posted by flotson at 10:26 AM on January 6, 2008


And, in a general sense, touchy topics need to be treated with extra care if they're going to go okay here. Put another way, if you care enough about a subject such that you'd like people to have a good discussion about it, make your post a good starting point not a "OMG can you BELIEVE this?!" call-to-arms for co-outfreakage.

I thought mr_crash_davis made a great post about surrogate motherhood and "outsourcing" of same in this post. That post could have been rewritten to be totally ghastly and unbearable and totaly delete-worthy, but instead most of the comments that I read seemed to be more or less on topic and focused on the issue and tricky parts of it despite the post being a single link newswire article.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:34 AM on January 6, 2008


I'm thankful the post was deleted. It was poorly constructed and led nowhere but down.

The whole subject is distasteful. "What would happen? Would there be riots?" Sure, because you know how they are. Fuck off.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:36 AM on January 6, 2008


Uh...that is to say, I don't mean you should fuck off, hangingbyathread...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:40 AM on January 6, 2008


If riots ever do happen, will somebody call me. I could use some free stuff.
posted by jonmc at 10:40 AM on January 6, 2008


I remember in 1999 my very Republican neighbor, in all truth, was prepared to move to Canada if Gore became the POTUS.

I also knew a dozen people who were going to move to Canada if GW got re-elected in 2004. Canada must not have been allowing anyone in that year, though, because they all still live here.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:48 AM on January 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


Riots always seem fun until someone gets defenestrated.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:00 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I remember in 1999 my very Republican neighbor, in all truth, was prepared to move to Canada if Gore became the POTUS.


...yeah... Cause if you don't like living in a country with leadership who believes in diplomacy, environmentalism, and equality for her citizens... it makes sense to pack up and run to Canada....
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:02 AM on January 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


AstroZombie: I always wanted to create a theme park called RIOTLAND! where people could runaround destroying shit and looting preplaced stuff for a fee. There'd be separate sections for political zealots, religious freaks, sports fans and the merely insane. It'd ensure domestic tranquility and it's a moneymaker. win-win. hve your people call my people.

(note to self: get some 'people.')
posted by jonmc at 11:04 AM on January 6, 2008 [7 favorites]


It'd ensure domestic tranquility and it's a moneymaker.

Not that you were entirely serious, but that would just be a place 'people' could practice their full-scale riots. Anarchy 2-a-days, if you will.
posted by cashman at 11:07 AM on January 6, 2008


Not that you were entirely serious

I wasn't even remotely serious. In a riot themed amusement park, how would one ensure accurate cashouts at the snack bars?
posted by jonmc at 11:17 AM on January 6, 2008 [7 favorites]


Oh I thought that would be included with the price of admission? I'm disappointed that you weren't serious, because I wanted to attend RIOTworld.
posted by cashman at 11:22 AM on January 6, 2008


In a riot themed amusement park, how would one ensure accurate cashouts at the snack bars?

At gunpoint, brother - at gunpoint!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:22 AM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wanted to attend RIOTworld.

well, I'm open to investment. I'll give you a progress report in a decade or so...
posted by jonmc at 11:25 AM on January 6, 2008


Great, jonmc. And here's some startup material to read.
posted by cashman at 11:30 AM on January 6, 2008


Riots always seem fun until someone gets defenestrated.

Hey, the best offense is a good defenestration.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:43 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


pineapple: I'm a lousy speller but I'm a better writer than whoever wrote that post.

Wait, are you saying I mispelled something?
posted by pineapple at 11:44 AM on January 6, 2008


Hurry jonmc, start building. mathowie needs a place to hold MetaFilter's 10th anniversary and RIOTWORLD sounds perfect
posted by Cranberry at 11:50 AM on January 6, 2008


wot doo u meen?
posted by jonmc at 11:50 AM on January 6, 2008


and it's RIOT LAND, people. Land.
posted by jonmc at 11:51 AM on January 6, 2008


Try to imagine yourself in RIOTLand. You get your first look at this five foot six accountant on holiday as you enter a new block. He moves like a bird, gawky, bobbing his head. And you keep still because you think that even though he seems harmless enough, this is RIOTworld, and everybody's armed. Maybe his threat is being underestimated like Mister Shhh, he'll ghost you if you get too close. But no, not the accountant. You stare at him, and he just stares right back. And that's when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side, from the other two accountants you didn't even know were there. Because accountant is a pack hunter, you see, using Double-Entry Bookkeeping and Sarbanes-Oxley Audits and he is out in force today. And he slashes at you with this... a SOX 404 attestation form, like a contract with the Devil. He doesn't bother to take your wallet like a mugger, say... no no. He makes you sign, here... or here... or maybe initial, here, putting you on the record, forever. The point is... you have no idea what you just signed, but you know damn well that now they own you for the rest of your miserable life. So you know... try to show a little respect.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:55 AM on January 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


Try to imagine yourself in RIOTLand. You get your first look at this five foot six accountant on holiday as you enter a new block. .... The point is... you have no idea what you just signed, but you know damn well that now they own you for the rest of your miserable life. So you know... try to show a little respect.

Uh, more like ROTFLand, amirite?
posted by pineapple at 11:57 AM on January 6, 2008


"and it's RIOT LAND, people. Land."

Well, the first one should be RIOTLand. Then RIOTWorld.

Maybe even a EuroRIOT.
posted by klangklangston at 12:26 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's Raining Florence Henderson: "Try to imagine yourself in RIOTLand. You get your first look at this five foot six accountant on holiday as you enter a new block. He moves like a bird, gawky, bobbing his head. And you keep still because you think that even though he seems harmless enough, this is RIOTworld, and everybody's armed. Maybe his threat is being underestimated like Mister Shhh, he'll ghost you if you get too close. But no, not the accountant. You stare at him, and he just stares right back. And that's when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side, from the other two accountants you didn't even know were there. Because accountant is a pack hunter, you see, using Double-Entry Bookkeeping and Sarbanes-Oxley Audits and he is out in force today. And he slashes at you with this... a SOX 404 attestation form, like a contract with the Devil. He doesn't bother to take your wallet like a mugger, say... no no. He makes you sign, here... or here... or maybe initial, here, putting you on the record, forever. The point is... you have no idea what you just signed, but you know damn well that now they own you for the rest of your miserable life. So you know... try to show a little respect."


Here, you win six internets! Grats!
posted by lazaruslong at 12:35 PM on January 6, 2008


didn't detroit already try this?
posted by pyramid termite at 12:39 PM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, I've got to remember to check out MeTa before I post to MeFi.
posted by homunculus at 1:07 PM on January 6, 2008


That NYT Article was great, flotson. I read it last night and found it fascinating. Then I looked at the rest of the post and, well, turns out it wasn't such a good post overall. It is fascinating that Obama may lose votes because of well-intentioned people thinking that the only way to "save" him is not to vote for him. How will we ever elect a black man to high office, then? There's a FPP to be made on the subject, but not the way that paul_smatatoes did it.
posted by mumkin at 3:31 PM on January 6, 2008


My greatest hope for America this year is that Obama will actually be elected (and I do think it's possible, even likely). My greatest fear is that then some crazy bastard (or Dick Cheney's Secret Army™ or something) will murder him, and combined with the economic shitstorm that will be cresting there in the next few years, America will truly go down the rabbit hole, even more dramatically than it has in the past 7 years.

I really don't want that to happen, schadenfreude-laced LOLAMERICUNS disaster-gawkery aside. By god I hope the man has good security, because the way things have been, a glimmer of hope, minor as it may be, just seems these days like an invitation to the powers invested in the status quo for a vicious War on The Future.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:57 PM on January 6, 2008

^ jonmc: I always wanted to create a theme park called RIOTLAND! where people could runaround destroying shit and looting preplaced stuff for a fee. There'd be separate sections for political zealots, religious freaks, sports fans and the merely insane. It'd ensure domestic tranquility and it's a moneymaker.
This describes, perfectly, the annual Fall Festival at one of the elementary schools I attended; however, you forgot to include chili and cake walks. Hmmm...that doesn't sound quite in the spirit of RIOTLAND! Offer BATTLECHILI! and CAKE WALKS OF SHAME! and I will sell more tickets than any other MEFITER!.
posted by bonobo at 4:17 PM on January 6, 2008


Well, the first one should be RIOTLand. Then RIOTWorld.

Maybe even a EuroRIOT.


And then Tokyo RIOTLand, which will consist entirely of boarding the monorail at rush hour.
posted by ormondsacker at 5:15 PM on January 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


...a glimmer of hope, minor as it may be, just seems these days like an invitation to the powers invested in the status quo for a vicious War on The Future.

Personally I think this "War on The Future" thing sounds like a great idea, much better than the "War on Drugs" or the "War on Christmas".

I've always hated people from The Future. With their flying cars, metallic clothing, and hologram-based chess games. Like most people I only care about my kids and grandkids, once it gets to the great-great-grandkid level I would just as soon punch them in the face as lend them 2000 space credits.

The only problem would be that we would need to burn all of the plans from the war after we won, because otherwise people from The Future might dig them up and figure out what we were going to do after we did it but before it happened to them.
posted by burnmp3s at 5:44 PM on January 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


I always wanted to create a theme park called RIOTLAND!

Years ago, a friend and I wanted to have Back Alley Knife Fight Camp at Burningman. Of course, that was back in the day when you could drive cars around the Playa and shoot at propane tanks on the edge of town. Life was simpler back then. Now you need an entire Riotland to relax and wreak havoc.

Not that you were entirely serious, but that would just be a place 'people' could practice their full-scale riots. Anarchy 2-a-days, if you will.

The Great Outdoor Fight: 3 Days, 3 Acres, 3,000 Men.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:10 PM on January 6, 2008


co-outfreakage

That's going in the glossary.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:20 AM on January 7, 2008


I am totally going to be the Yul Brynner type Gunslinger of RIOTLAND; I'll walk around and act like a victim of some riot inspired violence, until a thrown bottle flips the circuit in my head from Automaton to Cybernetic-Killing-Machine.

Then I will go on a carnage spree of my own, flipping cars, burning buildings, throwing bricks and generally trashing the place. Unfortunately, most guests won't even notice a difference till it's too late.

Boy are they going to wish that they had gone to ROMANWORLD instead...
posted by quin at 8:01 AM on January 7, 2008


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