Report: Not all white supremacists opposed to Obama presidency

Mark Potok directs the SPLC's Intelligence Project.
Mark Potok directs the SPLC's Intelligence Project.
The article appears in the newly released "Intelligence Report" magazine.
The article appears in the newly released "Intelligence Report" magazine.

By Mark Bullock - Email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Senator Barack Obama became the first African-American to accept the Democratic party's nomination for president Thursday. The historic event prompted a Montgomery, Alabama civil rights organization to gauge how white supremacists might react to an Obama presidency.

There is no question, Obama is an inspiration to millions of Americans.

"This is a historic moment," said a woman visiting Montgomery's Rosa Parks Museum Thursday.

But at the Democratic national convention in Denver, the recent arrests of three white would-be assassins are proof that not everybody backs Barack.

The senator received Secret Service protection far earlier than any other presidential candidate in history.

A Southern Poverty Law Center investigation, however, shows most white supremacist groups support Obama's candidacy. It's not the result they expected.

"What was really unexpected was that a very large number of white supremacists, including some of their intellectual leaders, like David Duke, were saying actually, this could be a good thing for us," explained the SPLC's Mark Potok.

Potok heads the Intelligence Project, which monitors hate groups nationwide. An article in the project's newly released magazine, The Intelligence Report, indicates white supremacists feel an Obama administration would boost their membership rolls.

"The world of white supremacists really is hoping against hope that this will result in a white, Aryan victory," Potok explained. "It's an absolute fantasy, of course."

Reality may be that an Obama presidency would, in fact, ease racial tensions. That's a change most voters would welcome.

"The needs of this country are the same whether the president is black or white," said Russ Storman, who visited Montgomery's Civil Rights Memorial Thursday. "Their race makes no difference."