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What do Gen. Colin Powell and the leader of the American Nazi Party have in common? Both plan on voting for Obama this coming Tuesday.

Rocky Suhayda, Neo-Nazi leader, said to Esquire, “White people are faced with either a negro or a total nutter who happens to have a pale face. Personally I’d prefer the negro. . . It’d be poetic justice to have a non-white as titular chief over this decaying modern Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Liberal-minded Rocky Suhayda is not. After the 9/11 attacks, he thought white supremacist groups should learn from Al-Qaeda, saying, “If we were one-tenth as serious, we might start getting somewhere.”

Seven years later, Neo-Nazis’ are ready to get serious. Many agree an Obama presidency would finally unite the white race, igniting America’s last and greatest race war.

Former Louisiana State Rep. David Duke wrote earlier this year that Obama might be the best thing for the Neo-Nazi movement.

According to Duke, “Obama is a visual aid for White Americans who just don’t get it yet that we have lost control of our country, and unless we get it back we are heading for complete annihilation as a people . . . Obama is the pain that lets your body know something is dreadfully wrong.”

The white supremacist blogosphere agrees. JD Underground, a site that describes itself as a “growing community of lawyers and lawyers-to-be,” ran a thread entitled “N----- President” earlier this year.

Among page after page of posts, one poster wrote, "LOOK OUT N-----, THE KLAN IS GETTING BIGGER!!!!!!" while another identified as "amerikkkan" simply said, "The deep south is making plans."

Then there’s American Renaissance. Self-described as “the best source on the Internet for race-realist information and perspectives,” the Web site serves as a breeding ground for racist rancor.

One poster wrote, “if Obama wins, let the republicans know that cultural preservation and ethnic integrity are real issues. we will not become slave to Goldman Sachs, China or his Chicago hotel and commodities buddies, let alone the hordes of shrieking blacks demanding ‘rights’ without a fight.”

On the brink of electing their first African-American president, many Americans call such sentiment fringe and extreme. They believe we are a post-racism society.

As such, even when news of Obama assassination plots come to light, like last Monday, America remains undeterred from its march away from race.

Though no one takes such assassination plots lightly, implicit in the discussion of race-driven crime is that racism is no longer part of the mainstream.

Similarly, when respected politicians participate in identity politics, pundits call their tactics, not the tacticians, polarizing.

For instance, the media happily points out every time the McCain campaign employs rhetoric that would “other-ize” Obama. However, the same media quickly and categorically qualifies any accusation with the disclaimer, “But, remember, McCain is no racist!”

McCain has referred to Obama as “that one,” time and again has asked “who is the real Barack Obama?” Obama-hating crowds have yelled at McCain rallies “terrorist” and “kill him.” He is proud to have a running mate who prefers the real, “pro-America” of small rural towns to the fake America of big urban cities.

So here’s the part in the column where I make the requisite statement: Okay, so McCain is no racist. White supremacists would agree — they loathe this “Jew-loving,” illegal immigrant-abetting Republican more than any black Chicagoan.

But for a candidate who isn’t party to polarizing identity politics, McCain certainly campaigns like one.

And for a society that claims its moved beyond racism, our skittishness to talk about race keeps us turning around it in an endless, looping gyre.

Rosie can be reached by e-mail at

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