061308obamabill.jpgImage of defaced bill courtesy Staten Island Advance.

With Barack Obama finally clinching the Democratic nomination for president, we’re now off to the racists. Last week a Staten Island woman noticed that a 5 dollar bill in her wallet was stamped with the above message: “LETS [sic] KEEP THE WHITE HOUSE WH!TE!” The slogan was positioned next to the Lincoln memorial on the back of the bill, according to the Staten Island Advance.

Mutilating or otherwise vandalizing U.S. currency is a federal offense that can be punishable by up to six months in prison, but officials rarely investigate such behavior, which ranges from scrawling “I grew hemp” next to Washington’s face on the dollar bill to drawing geysers of blood spraying out of the pyramid eye. In this case, the racism highlights the unspoken dread that someone might bring the Democratic candidate to an untimely end. And it's still June!

But the Secret Service, which has been working with Obama since early in his campaign, seems unfazed; a spokesman told the Advance “this is rather innocuous ... given the current political place where the country is.”