As reported in our live blog of today's Obama rally in Coral Gables there was a bewildering invasion about five minutes into Barry's speech.
About twenty black men suddenly stood up and started chanting "Barack go home," unveiling signs with such slogans as "Blacks Against Obama", "Jessie [sic] Jackson hates Obama for Federal Child Support Act", and our personal mind-melting favorite, "Obama is endorsed by KKK."
Wait, are we thinking of the same KKK? I was intrigued, so I followed the merry band of madmen as they were escorted outside by Secret Service and UM security guards.
I caught them mid-scuffle with a black Obama volunteer, Rick Morton, who screamed as he was separated from the fray, "Get out of here! You don't vote anyway!"
"We're witnessing history," said one woman watching the scene, which was probably a bit overblown.
But this was indeed a strange development. A recent poll has Obama beating McCain for black support by a whopping 91 percent. No, this isn't the first time Obama's been interrupted by black protesters. At a St. Petersburg speech in August, he was interrupted by screaming activists from the "Uhuru Movement" who unfurled a sign reading "What about the Black community, Obama?" before being escorted out. An explanatory essay written by one of the protesters shows that their act, while perhaps misguided, was at least ground in reason. Comparatively the Uhuru protesters were as sane as soccer moms. So who the hell are these guys?
I talked to their ringleader, a man who insisted his name is Michael the Black Man, and at one point arranged himself in front of a Fox news camera, with two docile, scantily-clad women flanking him. He held court in a train station parking lot across the street from campus. When a transit cop told him he had to leave, he moved to a sidewalk.
All the while, Michael screamed alot- and didn't make an awful lot of sense. "Obama's a man who completely disagrees with God," he yelled, "and he wants to put women in charge!"
The sound logic, it seems, that brings Michael to hating Obama: 35% of all abortions are of black males. And Obama is completely gung-ho on abortion. Well, we'll let Michael tell us just how gung-ho he is: "He believes in partial birth abortion where you stick a needle in a baby's head-- out of the womb-- and collapse it's head! It's completely wrong and insane!"
Yes. Insane, indeed.
This isn't the first time New Times has encountered Michael the Black Man.
In our 2002 story on the tempestuous and racially-charged history of the little village of El Portal, we ran into Michael, who at that time had commandeered an illegal but popular radio show and was lambasting the town's Democratic black mayor, Daisy Black, as a "devil" and encouraging that she be "set on fire".
It all stemmed, it seemed, from Michael's obsessive and Old Testament-fueled quest to convert blacks to Republicanism. He would refer to democrats as "Demon-crats" and "slave masters", and, yes, accuse them all of being in bed with the KKK.
Michael's gone by the names Maurice Woodside, Maurice Symonette, and Mikael Israel. And he was once the disciple of Yahweh Ben Yahweh, a cult leader who served eleven years for a murder conspiracy conviction. Michael himself was tried in the case, along with 11 other cult followers, but was one of seven acquitted.
I leave you with this gem from Michael's busy afternoon of ranting: "McCain's the closest thing to God, so I'm going to go ahead an encourage my people to vote for that guy."