Federal prosecutors charged two men with plotting a “killing spree” against African-Americans that would have been capped with an attempt to kill Sen. Barack Obama while they wore white tuxedos, federal officials said Monday.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Jackson, Tennessee, said Daniel Cowart, 20, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, were self-described white supremacists who met online through a mutual friend.
Both men have been charged with illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun, conspiracy to rob a federally licensed gun dealer and making threats against a presidential candidate.
The men planned to kill more than 100 African-Americans, including 14 who would be beheaded, according to the affidavit.
According to an affidavit from the federal agent who questioned them, Cowart and Schlesselman planned to charge at Obama with a car, firing from the windows as they went.
Throw away the key. That’s about the kindest, gentlest sentence I might urge.
Next spring, I celebrate 50 years of activism, officially challenging racism and bigotry in this land. I grew up in a northern factory town with neighborhoods stringently divided along ethnic and racial boundaries. But, an equally strong and radical political movement based in the major industries in that city – grounded in the CIO – led educators and unions, community organizations and individuals to positive, aggressive commitments against bigotry.
Much of that was crushed in the days of McCarthy and the beginning of the Cold War – a time that McCain seems to miss as much as does Karl Rove and his peers. But, it stuck with me well enough to guide a reasonably consistent political life that I see no reason to back down on, now.
The crimes associated with bigotry and racism are as vile as a human being may contrive and commit. I hope these thugs have decades to reconsider and reform their ways – behind bars.