News & Politics

Fueled by Right-Wing Paranoia About Election Chaos, a Georgia Gated Community Shuts its Gates

Post-racial, indeed.

It must be truly terrifying to be a conservative who genuinely believes the conspiracy theories swirling around the fever swamp. 

One of the far-right's themes, in an election tinged with racism, is that should Obama emerge victorious, African Americans will rise up en masse and riot in the streets. This has been a constant theme in the "conservative" blogosphere and on right-wing talk-radio. It's an obsession of the Drudge report; Rush Limbaugh said that while he wouldn't go so far as to predict that race riots would occur he "wouldn't be surprised" because they're part of Obama's plan. Michelle Malkin has been collecting a series of (highly suspicious) tweets purportedly from black Democrats promising revenge should Mitt Romney win. 

And one older white guy in Georgia apparently buys it, according to the New York Times:

A gated community near Atlanta has decided to step up security this week. The reason is not burglaries, but another issue entirely: the presidential election.

In Woodstock, Ga., about 30 miles north of Atlanta, the president of a homeowners’ association sent an e-mail on Sunday informing residents that the entrance gates would be closed 24 hours a day beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, out of concern over possible civil unrest after the election.

“I feel it is better to take a position of caution to enhance controlled access to the community until we see what (if any) negative repercussions may occur because of the results of the election,” wrote Bill Stanley, the president of the homeowners’ association at the Cottages of Woodstock, a residential community for people 55 and over.

The entrance gates have been open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during various construction projects. Mr. Stanley said the gates would be closed round the clock until next Monday – “if all goes well.”

The e-mail, which took some residents by surprise, was the latest sign that fringe voices predicting looting and rioting after the election have been making some nervous. The radical predictions have had an anti-Obama tinge, with some warning of civil disobedience depending on whether President Obama wins or loses the election.

Stanley told the Times that he "made the decision to close the gates based on a recommendation from local law enforcement officials, and that he did not believe there would be election-related chaos." But Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal Constitution got a different story when he contacted local law enforcement.

We just fielded a call from Calvin Moss, the Woodstock police chief, who said that he has had a conversation with Stanley this afternoon — and Stanley denied getting any such information from the Woodstock police force.

“We have no reason to believe that the election and its aftermath will be anything but peaceful,” Moss said. “Certainly we would give no one that kind of information.”

The local Fox News affiliate spun the story as evidence that there is danger afoot -- that's how the pros do it.

Fearing chaos depending on the outcome of the election, a community in Woodstock is taking steps to protect themselves.  The homeowners association president of Cottages of Woodstock sent an email to the residents saying all gates will be closed 24/7 starting on Tuesday night...

Most members of the community that FOX 5 talked to say they know that there is deep passion on both sides in this election, but they never thought they'd have to worry about their safety depending on the outcome.


Joshua Holland is Senior Digital Producer at, and host of Politics and Reality Radio. He's the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter

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