Why Donald Trump Birther Issue Has Wide U.S. Appeal
Why isnâ€™t media tackling the real issues dividing the nation? Instead we get 24 x 7 "Royal" wedding coverage, Charlie Sheenâ€™s antics
[Speaking Truth To Power]
So this is where America has come.
Who wouldâ€™ve thought a President of the United States would have to prove, of all things, his citizenship?
I guess thereâ€™s a first time for everything, especially, if that president is the first Black man to occupy the White House.
Wednesday, President Obama released a â€œlong formâ€ copy of his birth certificate amid the reemergence of the â€œBirtherâ€ issueâ€”thanks to Donald Trumpâ€™s antics. The Birthers claim President Obama wasnâ€™t born in America.
In addressing why he chose to publically release this document, President Obama said he was concerned â€œthe dominant news story wasnâ€™t about these huge, monumental choices that we're going to have to make as a nation.Â It was about my birth certificate.Â And that was true on most of the news outlets.â€
According to a new USA Today poll, only 38% of Americans say President Obama was "definitely" born in the U.S., and 18% say he "probably" was born here--15% say he "probably" was born elsewhere and 9% say he "definitely" was born elsewhere.
A CBS/New York Times poll found 1 in 4 Americans believed Mr. Obama wasnâ€™t born on American soil. It also found that 45 percent of Republicansâ€”and 45 percent of Tea Party crackpotsâ€”said he wasnâ€™t born in America.
President Obama no doubt realizes the danger in these numbers, especially, in times of economic distress when those with latentâ€”or not so latentâ€”prejudices look for convenient scapegoats. He, perhaps, also sees an opportunity to discredit those Republicans arguing his birth status is questionable.
The president highlighted the daunting challenges facing AmericaÂ including: the need â€œto invest in education and infrastructure;â€Â create â€œsafety net for our seniors;â€ tackle â€œhigh gas pricesâ€ and assist those â€œwho are still looking for work.â€
President Obama warned â€œWeâ€™re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.â€
Enter here the biggest â€œbarkerâ€ basking in his successful campaign of promoting prejudice: Donald Trump. "Today I'm very proud of myself, because I've accomplished something that no one else has been able to accomplish--But he should have done it a long time ago," said Trump.
The truth is President Obama provided documentation of his American citizenship during his run for the White House.Â But that is exactly the problem isnâ€™t it: a Black president in the White House? Sadly, many Americans still have a problem with this.
Trump banked on this. As the president himself said â€œI know that thereâ€™s going to be a segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest.â€
Indeed, throughout this country's history, African Americans have been scapegoated in times of economic distress. The list of these outrages is too long to list here, but they include: The 1909 Atlanta Riots that killed about 40 African-Americans; The 1919 Chicago Riots that, officially, killed 23 African-Americans, and; the infamous 1921 Tulsa Oklahoma Riots that, officially, killed 26 Africans Americans--during the attack aerial bombs were dropped on the town, which was the target of resentment because of their prosperity.
Now, this leads to something else: fears that African Americans and those â€œotherâ€ undesirables are making upwardly mobile gains in American society. Some people still believe in White supremacy. In the warped view of these people, the ascendancy of President Obama represents the capitulation of that ideal and is the sum total of all this racist Birther nonsense.
When the Birthers first reared their ugly heads, I asked why these bigots werenâ€™t questioning Senator John McCain over the fact that he was born in the Panama Canal Zone. How many of these Birthers voted for McCain, in spite of that? The truth is these Birthers
are no different than the racists whoâ€™ve always attacked whenever they witness African Americans achieving anything in America.
Now, something must be said of the mediaâ€™s role in promoting purveyors of prejudice like Donald Trump. For, if media can find time to give this moron the microphone, why canâ€™t they make time to educate Americans about things that are really devastating America?
America now faces the worst economic situation since the Great Depression. Why isnâ€™t media focusing on exposing those bankers who played fast and loose with the money of the American people? Shouldnâ€™t every American know the namesâ€”and facesâ€”of these swindling money changers who have this country dangling over the precipice?Â
Moreover, why isnâ€™t media tackling the real racial issues dividing the nation? Where are the insightful stories regarding the Birthers, the right-wing militias and all those other fringe groups planning to liquidate President Obama? Where was media when armed wing-nuts were showing up at rallies hinting at presidential assassination?
Instead, they give us wall-to-wall coverage of a wedding in England, Charlie Sheenâ€™s issues and the prejudiced provocations of Trump, a silly, bankrupt man who inherited everything from his father.
In the end, these attacks on President Obamaâ€”by Donald Trump and the Birthersâ€”have nothing to do with citizenship. Obamaâ€™s skin is the issue.Â
Trump played on American racism.
"Speaking Truth To Empower."
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