In rural Georgia, a group of high-schoolers gets a visit from the Secret Service after posting 'inappropriate' comments about President-elect Barack Obama on the Web. In Raleigh, N.C., four college students admit to spraying race-tinged graffiti in a pedestrian tunnel after the election. On Nov. 6, a cross burns on the lawn of a biracial couple in Apolacon Township, Pa.
To be consistent, the Guardian's comment pages will need to cover this story in the following manner. Madeleine Bunting will have to write a hand-wringing explanation of how the attacks are an inevitable reaction to the 'provocation' of Obama's election, while urging us to understand the hurt feelings of a minority that has experienced systematic discrimination against its white supremacist beliefs. Jonathan Steele will surely need to remind us that these incidents have nothing to do with a supposed racist 'ideology', but instead have their root cause in the complex interplay of disadvantage and prejudice suffered by white people. And Seamus Milne will conclude that we shouldn't blame the perpetrators of the attacks but rather the American people, for having dared to elect a black president: in other words, as always, America is to blame.