Bear Slain: Message to Obama Campaign?



Cub shot in the head
found in N.C. with Obama posters wrapped around it.


By Fred Mills



With memories of cries of “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” at
McCain-Palin rallies in recent weeks still lingering, the election trail took
an ominous turn yesterday morning (Oct. 20) when the body of a dead bear
covered with Obama signs was found at the entrance of Western Carolina
University in Cullowhee, NC.



According to a report filed by the Asheville Citizen-Times daily newspaper, maintenance workers found
a 75-pound bear cub on the campus that had apparently been shot in the head – a
pair of Obama campaign posters had been stapled together and draped over the
dead animal’s head.


Chief of university police Tom Johnson told reporters,
“Someone evidently was wanting to draw attention to the election. If we find
out who they are, we’ll make sure they’ll get some attention themselves.”


Added WCU associate vice chancellor, “We cannot speculate on
the motives of the people involved nor who those people might be. Campus police
are cooperating with authorities to investigate this matter.”

Local TV station WLOS broadcast a report on the incident, displaying
a picture of the campaign signs that additionally had some unspecified words
written on duct tape attached to the sign. The content of those words was not
released but speculation has already arisen that they were either of a
political or racial component, or both.


“A sick individual who thinks extremely badly about
Obama,” freshman Daniel Ford told WLOS, with political science professor
Chris Cooper observing, “I think it sends a pretty disturbing message,
obviously it sounds like it may have some racial implications and at the very
least its somebody sending the wrong message and taking this hot political
season the wrong way.”


At the Citizen-Times website, readers’ comments regarding the report were posted, including one that
read, in part, “In a perverse way, this is extremely logical. Animal haters
tend to be more conservative and, thus, more likely to hate Obama and even use
violence. This is all embodied in Ms. Palin.” Predictably, a rebuttal was
posted shortly thereafter that read, “Your comment makes no sense. You are
making huge assumptions with no basis. You also take everything you don’t like
and arbitrarily assign them all to a person about whom you have no knowledge.
You have no evidence that any candidate advocates violence toward anouther


Regardless, whether or not the bear killing was the product
of some drunk hunters making a very, very bad joke, or someone intending
specifically to send a none-too-veiled message to the Obama campaign, the end
result is the same. People that do things like this, or people who laugh and
look on approvingly, are the same people who barely a generation earlier would
have thought nothing about hanging a noose or placing a burning cross in
someone’s front yard.


Come to think of it, some of them still do.


As a friend of mine put it succinctly when we were discussing the incident, “If you had begun to forget who we’re fighting [in this election], this should remind us.”






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