A few weeks ago, my 82-year-old grandma expressed her dismay at Glenn Beck’s racist attacks against the President and asked me ‘What’s happening to this country?’ Since then we’ve watched in horror as Beck went on a crusade against Van Jones and a new book reports that death threats against Obama are four times greater than any other President in the history of the United States and up a staggering 400 percent from former President Bush. I can’t help but think the constant attacks from white political pundits on cable news are contributing to this exponential rise in danger. And while the threat is greater than ever, funding cutbacks have left the first Black president vulnerable. AlterNet and Credo have started a petition to protect President Obama. The petition asks Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano to take the threats seriously and provide more services from the secret service and FBI.
We cannot allow funding problems to weaken the organizations charged with protecting the life of our nation’s president. In 2003, the Secret Service and FBI became part of the Department of Homeland Security and now must compete with 20 other agencies for oversight from their chief, Janet Napolitano. She must use her authority to ensure that the Secret Service and FBI put more agents on the ground to protect President Obama and confront and investigate those who threaten him. It is time for Americans of every stripe to insist that the Secret Service and FBI operate at the highest levels of effectiveness.