I suppose he had to do it, but it was nevertheless sad to see President Barack Obama give in to the malicious fringe of the American body politic and release original copies of his Hawai‘i birth certificate.
Obama proved he was a natural-born American three years ago when he released the computerized birth certificate that the state gives everybody born here, and it was offensive to see him still being hectored.
No other president has faced demands to produce any birth certificate, much less the original documents to back it up.
The only credible explanation for the unprecedented harassment is that Obama is our first black president and the first president born in our nation’s newest state, where the majority of the population is of minority descent.
We’ve tiptoed around the racism inherent in the birther movement for too long, and it’s time to call the practitioners of this low form of politics on it as they move on to picking at the president’s college records, Social Security number and toddler years in Indonesia.
I’ve been disappointed in the media’s reluctance to expose the racism in this non-issue and was pleased to see a new Associated Press story exploring birtherism from the black point of view. I recommend that you read the whole thing, but here’s a taste:
Shortly after President Barack Obama declared himself an American-born citizen with papers to prove it, Baratunde Thurston declared himself a disgusted black man.
“I find it hard to summarize in mere words the amount of pain and rage this incident has caused,” Thurston said.
“This” would be the nation’s first black president standing in the White House, blue power suit and all, going on TV to debunk, in more detail than before, the persistent, he-ain’t-really-an-American rumors fanned anew by Donald Trump, the developer and might-be presidential candidate.
Many African-Americans responded to Wednesday’s scene with a large sigh. The rumors and the controversy had a particular, troubling resonance for them: They’ve seen, heard, lived, the legitimacy of black people being called into question so many times before that, they said, they weren’t shocked to see it happen to Obama over something as simple as a birth certificate.
But they were sad about it, too, seeing what they felt was a high-level manifestation of the idea that when a black person accomplishes something great there must be something wrong …
Rings true to me.