White supremacist 'plot' to kill Barack Obama: A history of hatred

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Four US presidents have been assassinated, while Ronald Reagan was extremely lucky to survive being shot in 1980. That unfortunate past, combined with lingering presence of white supremacist groups has created a nagging fear that at some time someone will make a move against the politician now on the verge of becoming the country's first black president.

Mr Obama received protection from the Secret Service in early 2007, the earliest ever stage of an election for a presidential candidate, after threats to his life were received. The details were never released, but a bevy of burly, well-armed agents has been at his side ever since.
Among the African American community, the murder of Martin Luther King, gunned down in 1968, still haunts Mr Obama's candidacy.

The reforms that Dr King gave his life for - the end of segregation in the south in 1964 and improved legal protection for the black community - have seen a reduction in racist violence over the years.

But there are numerous neo-Facist groups across the United States that pursue an agenda of hatred for all immigrants, Jews and African Americans. The oldest such group, the Ku Klux Klan, remains in operation.

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