(LETTER TO THE EDITOR) Before pointing too many fingers at our beleaguered Secret Service agency and its recent foibles, we should consider its success so far in its bottom line responsibility: to keep President Obama and family alive and injury-free.

Interviewed during Obama’s 2012 visit to Portland, Oregon, the Secret Service reported that “Obama faces more death threats than any other president. More than 30 a day.” (Portland Oregonian, 7/28/12).  This is consistent with the big spike in US hate groups, spread quite evenly over all states except Hawaii, that the Southern Poverty Law Center documented following President Obama’s 2008 election.

Obama and his family have exhibited admirable magnanimity in the face of such huge constant danger.  Nevertheless, the stress level and demands on current Secret Service personnel to do its job under these conditions with this president, a difficult 24/7 job with any president, are considerably elevated compared with previous presidents. This should be weighed against its mistakes in evaluating the Secret Service agency’s performance.

More importantly, these factors, along with recent analyses of tragedies in such cities as Charleston, Baltimore and Ferguson, some applicable more country-wide, clearly indicate we still have a ways to go in solving our country’s race problem.

 

Norm Luther
Spokane, WA 99223

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