Only a Matter of Time?

I love PostSecret, but I hope they reported this. It’s something a lot of us are afraid of, but this postcard looks more like a threat than anything else.

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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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36 Responses to Only a Matter of Time?

  1. Aura KitKatting says:

    I don’t know what to think of this. Yes on one hand – it does seem like a threat, especially considering the source. However more than anything I think it’s vocalizing what a lot of us ARE concerned about. – Maybe by making this more of an obvious issue and less of the elephant in the room, Obama will be safer.

    Let’s hope, anyway.

  2. PunditMom says:

    I hate to say it, but I’m not surprised anymore at this level of hate. The question is — what do we do about it?

  3. Cate says:

    It really does look like a threat, I’m surprised at PostSecret for publishing it.

  4. marilove says:

    What does it say? Blogspot is blocked here at work :(

  5. SunlessNick says:

    I see it as a threat too. It’s the red X’s that leave me unable to consider it a warning or awareness-raiser.

  6. Cara says:

    Marilove —

    Photographs of JFK, MLK, Malcolm X and Bobby Kennedy, with a red X over each image. To the right is a larger photograph of Obama with the words “It’s only a matter of time . . .”

  7. SJ says:

    Fuck NO. I refuse to accept this. This is so wrong. I am heartbroken that this is how people choose to deal with public figures they don’t agree with. Even my liberal friends are kind of whispering to me that they are worried about this.

    I have faith. I think he can lead this country. I don’t think he will be intimated. And people who don’t fit the cookie cutter politician mold will keep on coming.

  8. kaje says:

    “It’s just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. Jesus, murdered; Martin Luther King, murdered; Malcolm X, murdered; Gandhi, murdered; John Lennon, murdered; Reagan … wounded.” – Bill Hicks

  9. marilove says:

    Cara … yeah, sounds more like a threat. Maybe not an active threat, but a threat nonetheless (I’m reading it as, “someone will do it … watch out, because someone will, and I’ll be glad they did!” more than “I’m going to do it!”).

    Still, I have full confidence in our secret service. If you do a little googling, you’ll see that there have been quite a few assassination attempts on presidents and other political figures. I think Clinton got one or two, himself. Honestly, how many people, in the US and outside the US, want Bush dead? Plenty, I’m sure, and with many passionate reasons. He’s still here.

    Our secret service is TOUGH. I honestly don’t think Obama will be assassinated.

  10. Cara says:

    Good point, Marilove; to reference Kaje’s comment, the reason that Lennon, Ghandi, King, Jesus and Malcolm X were so easy to murder is precisely because they didn’t have that kind of security detail. And even then, the last of those murders was John’s in 1980. I’m hoping that means the world is getting better and assassination attempts getting more difficult to pull off, not that we’re somehow due for one.

  11. Aura KitKatting says:

    You know, the more I think about this, the more I’m reminded of that other PostSecret card a long while back from someone that admitted they had been involved in the construction of concentration camps in the U.S. … and I just keep thinking – I mean what if there really is some giant conspiracy?? – I really, really want to believe the Secret Service will keep him safe…. but “what if…” just keeps circling in my mind.

    Man this post-card has me depressed now. =( Maybe that’s the point though … to make the Liberal base that is supporting him and banding together less sure of ourselves….??!

  12. Angel H. says:

    Personally, I see it more as a possible reality.

    Let’s face it: Black leaders don’t last very long in this country.

  13. Angela says:

    Cara, Benazir Bhutto was just assassinated late last year. So the notion of “assassinations proving more difficult to pull off” is only a myth. Today’s would-be assassins are far more sophisticated and have the benefit of technology at their disposal.

  14. Angela says:

    If I were any of you, I wouldn’t get too worked up over an image. Common sense tells me that if Obama were truly a political threat to anyone, he would have been taken out a long time ago. You don’t need a presidential election as a motive.

  15. marilove says:

    Benazir Bhutto was also not assassinated in the U.S., nor did she have the benefit of the secret service, which also has technology at their disposal, and quite a bit of money, too, more money and connections than the average assassin, I’d imagine.

  16. Amerith says:

    I’m sure that Obama knows that assassination is a risk. He’s still willing to face that risk and run for president. He must trust that the secret service will keep him safe. There isn’t much we can do except hope that his trust in them is valid.

  17. Angel H. says:

    Common sense tells me that if Obama were truly a political threat to anyone, he would have been taken out a long time ago.

    Where have you been?

    Obama received Secret Service protection 6 months before the other candidates because of the racist death threat he’d received. had to close down their message boards because trolls littered them with racist, anti-Obama speech. And most recently, this, this, and this.

  18. Angel H. says:

    threat –> threats

  19. ol cranky says:

    what is post secret and where the hell did this post card originate from?

    even if it isn’t a direct threat, it appears as something that the person who created and distributed the card wants to use to encourage/incite someone else into acting on it.

  20. Bene says:

    If it’s about that person’s fear of this happening, then it sure as heck wasn’t executed well by the creator. I try not to be a conspiracy theorist, but something in my gut about this is off.

  21. Misspelled says:

    Hate mail is common, obviously, and even death threats (although I’m sure Obama’s gotten more than the typical share) — but there have already been honest-to-God plots against him. These nice young men with the rifles, walkie-talkies and bulletproof vest made a statement to police admitting as much.

    This is part of the reason I was so pissed at McCain’s answers at the last debate on the subject of the crazy shit his supporters have said and whether he should have denounced it. There is real danger of Obama or a member of his family losing their health or life to these Nazi nutbags. You don’t fuck around with that. And Obama of course had to smile and stay casual when he brought it up, because God forbid he should come across as “whiny” about the fact that physical violence is being threatened against him, while McCain gets to sit there and talk about how it cut him deep to be told by John Lewis that gee, maybe he bears some responsibility for making sure that his rallies don’t turn into Klan meetings and that people aren’t voting for him because he’s an old conservative white man and Obama is either a fundamentalist Muslim foreigner or a sullen black teenager.

    It ought to be unthinkable in this country for someone in a crowd to yell, “Kill him!” about a candidate’s black opponent in the presence of that candidate and not get a reaction. It ought to be a political disaster. The public should be appalled, and the media should be all over it, and McCain/Palin should have to scramble like rats to decry it and to dissociate themselves and their candidacy from any trace of that attitude. But no, it’s no big deal, in fact it’s being blown way out of proportion, and after all Obama is a friend of terrorists and a socialist and possibly hates America, and if there’s a death threat here or an assassination plot there, shame on him for bringing it up, because the people who attend McCain’s rallies are WWII veterans, many of them! And did we mention that Obama hates America?

  22. preying mantis says:

    Yet again I wish the PostSecret guy would remove the post office routing stickers when they cover part of the text. I couldn’t even tell what it said until there was an email response to it posted underneath the card.

    For those of you asking what PostSecret is: PostSecret Blog

    My initial response wasn’t that it sounded like a threat, though that’s mostly because I’ve heard similar sentiments from my mother. There are a lot of people who still remember the profound disillusionment that came with those assassinations, like it was watching a door close on the dream of peace and freedom and equality. Of course, on the flip side, the people who were on the other side of the barricades then are finding it harder to keep the door closed now, and assassination worked then, so….

  23. SoE says:

    PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard.
    That’s the description from their website. And they ran a comment next to the pic:

    That is my greatest fear. I hope that you’re fearing it too, and that that’s a concern you wrote about, and not a threat…

    I didn’t really see it as a thread but more like a bitter reminder.

  24. Rockit says:

    Personally, I saw it as a creative manifestation of dread, didn’t even click on it being a threat until I read the post and comments.

  25. Pinko Punko says:

    I don’t see it as a threat. I see it as someone afraid that yet another progressive icon will be cut down. In terms of reporting, the whole point of Post Secret is people admitting anonymous things they are afraid to admit. I will of course criticize the artist for not making their point more clear, but these are real people usually (mostly?) that send things in to PS, not professional artists or designers. I really see the opposite of a threat. I see a complete fear of assassination.

  26. It looks like a threat because the red crosses make it look like a hit-list rather than a memorial. It seems to be saying, “We’ve got our eye on you…” and that’s scary.

  27. whatsername says:

    I didn’t see it as a threat either, but as worry. The red x’s do indeed stand out but they could as easily be saying “yay” as “woe” through their standing out. I took it as “woe”. Given this country’s history with assassination I don’t think it’s an illegitimate worry.

  28. luzzleanne says:

    There’s far too much of this terrifying shit out there. I’ve had to avoid most facebook apps for the past couple of months because I keep seeing bumperstickers that say things like “Forget drugs: Obama is the only dope that needs to be shot.” I ended up reporting that one but I’m sure it and another hundred like it have popped up again.

    This election’s released an extreme amount of usually hidden nastiness. We definately need the change and may even be helped by getting this crap out into the open, but damn it if it doesn’t scare me.

  29. SophiaPriskilla says:

    I’m reading it as a threat too – the red X’s combined with the “matter of time” don’t fit with an expression of fear. Things like this in an election cycle generally have Secret Service swarming the source in no time. (And rightly so, in this case.) PostSecret is, however, likely in miles over its head. Many, many miles – which they should have known, and which is why they should have reported it immediately. (If they had reported it, I’m sure they would have been told not to post it.)

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  31. Aish says:

    I don’t know… I read it first off as a fear, as in, “I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time because a lot influential, controversial leaders got picked off eventually and it’s screwed up.” I can see the threat in it as well, but I’m not sure.

  32. MacBean says:

    Most of the “secrets” on PostSecret aren’t actually secrets but simple commentary. Seriously, every week on the LiveJournal feed, the comments are full of people bitching “This isn’t a secret!” I think this card is another case of that. It doesn’t feel like a threat to me, or someone saying that their secret is that they want to assassinate Obama. I see it as someone expressing worry. And I think anyone who hasn’t thought about it and isn’t a little worried is just plain foolish.

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  34. Benazir Bhutto, when she was assassinated, was the opposition candidate in a country where the government wasn’t particularly going out of its way to protect her. Obama, in contrast, got early Secret Service protection, and in all probability will soon be President – I trust the Secret Service to do a better job of protecting him than anyone did of protecting Bhutto.

  35. James says:

    this is pretty pathetic. I was reading another news letter where a bear was shot, and Obama yard signs were stuck to the carcass….

    it is not a new thing this race and ignorance of hatred – after all – the USA is still the only nation in the world that legislates protection for hate crimes, and hate crime related propaganda, and the freedom of speech toward hatred.

    so as Americans, you all really shouldn’t be surprised. Your constitution protects the right to hate and kill based upon racism.

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