Second Class Citizens

Filed in National by on April 28, 2011

We may all laugh at the crazy birthers, but they are doing real damage to our country. Baratunde Thurston posted this video yesterday in response to Donald Trump’s boastful claims and the release of President Obama’s long form birth certificate. I think the title of the video says it all “With President Obama’s Birth Certificate, Klansman Trump Reminds Blacks They Will Never Be.”

Dalitso Njolinjo at The Moderate Voice adds his thoughts as an African-born American:

I hate using race as a rationale to complex problems, but it has made me sick to watch the mainstream media “not call a dog, a dog” when it comes to people questioning Obama’s citizenship. Advocates or ‘sympathizers’ of birthers argued that it was very simple to solve and move on from – he could just release his birth certificate. Even after Obama released his certificate of live-birth which in some cases is more legally useful than the long-form birth-certificate, birthers and the mainstream media kept on with this issue. Why? Again, they would tell you because he hadn’t released his ‘real’ birth certificate, the short-form wasn’t good enough for them, even though it was good enough in a court of law. In a court of US law!

You had a birth announcement which could only come from the health-department appear in the local-newspaper, and that wasn’t good enough.

You had Republicans from the state of Hawaii say they have seen his real birth-certificate and that he was in fact born in America, again, not good enough.

You had private investigators, fact checkers and media investigators saying the man was born in the US of A but again not good enough.

You had actual elected officials question their President’s birth-place in congress and in public addresses.

(This is the one which kills me) You had the leader of the House of Representatives say that he took the President at his word that he was born in the US but neglected to denounce the birthers and their issue.

I personally find all of this incredible.

So why not call a dog, a dog and just say this issue, birtherism, is racist? As plain as that. I can’t find any logical rationale for people to question this man’s nationality and therefore his legitimacy to be President. As far as I know (happy to be proven wrong), no US president has been subjected to the same pressure as Barack Obama to disclose his long-form birth certificate to prove that he is in fact who he says he is. Personally, I thought there was more of an argument to be made against John McCain’s legitimacy to seek the presidency as he was born in US controlled Panama – I don’t remember his being forced to release his birth-certificate to the press. Where’s both Bush’s certificate? How about both Clinton’s? Reagan’s maybe? Were they released during their campaigns or presidencies? How do we know that they were not born in some far off village in Africa where they gather, dancing and chanting around a large cauldron of boiled human flesh, Huh?

That’s the point. Obama was questioned the way no other president has ever been questioned and nothing was ever good enough. I’m hoping this is the final airing of the birthers. Oh, they’ll continue on, demanding some other proof and pretending that the certificate is a fraud. How this plays out will depend on what the media does. Will they keep giving a platform to people like Trump? Will they pretend there’s some kind of controversy?

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Opinionated chemist, troublemaker, blogger on national and Delaware politics.

Comments (44)

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  1. skippertee says:

    I totally agree.
    After emancipation came reconstruction, then the era of Jim Crow.
    The 100 years between the end of the Civil War and the Civil Rights finally won for blacks was so horrific, I am sick now recalling them.
    This birther crap is a powerful ECHO of the same mind-set that keeps the “stars & bars” flying from pick-ups and ,until recently, some southern statehouses.

  2. Auntie Dem says:

    This is and always has been racist and our media has made a lot of money pretending that it isn’t.

  3. pandora says:

    Since 2008 I have been careful in labeling birthers and Tea Partiers. I have been careful to make exceptions to the Republican Party. I have been careful in calling out individuals without painting everyone in the group with the same brush.

    But I can’t be careful any longer. They are racist.

    Believe it, or not, that was difficult for me to type. But it’s the truth, and there’s no denying it any more. If you are a Republican/Conservative who is a birther – or worse, a Republican/Conservative who has kept silent, or played the “There are legitimate questions to be answered” and put forth “hypothetical” scenarios which cast doubt on President Obama’s citizenship and/or Americanism – you are racist.

    I, too, am heartbroken.

    It isn’t debt that’s destroying this country.

  4. pandora says:

    It isn’t liberals that are constantly trying to amend the Constitution, so spare me your faux love over the document.

    And it’s funny, delbert, how the sudden concern over a President’s citizenship hasn’t been an issue until now. In my lifetime, I don’t recall a President ever being questioned over this. Why now?

    Go on, delbert, educate us on why this is an issue. Explain the thought process behind this. I dare you.

  5. delbert says:

    Just because someone questions the President’s birthplace, that makes them a racist. Bullshit. The President’s birthplace is a Constitutional requirement, but you Libs never care much about the Consitution anyway. And what you hate is there is no way revisionists or “living Constitutionalists” can modify that rule. Sorry Ahnold, but you can fuggedaboudit.

  6. heragain says:

    Delbert, as I pointed out the other day, the Constitution also requires the President & VP to be from different states. Where were all these backseat Constitutional scholars when the GOP decided they wanted to run 2 residents of Texas?

    Also, where do birth certificates come from… do you know? They register births as reported. In the case of a hospital birth (like Barack Obama’s) the hospital writes down the information. In the case of a home birth, the information is reported by the parents.

    Jimmy Carter was the first American President born in a hospital. Before that, the information on “the birth certificate” was the unsupported testimony of whoever went around to tell someone. Even in the case of hospital births, the identifying information is completely voluntary. You want to report the father as “unknown”? From a legal point of view the child becomes fatherless.

    The attack on President Obama’s legitimacy is an expression of outrage that a Black got so far… despite a system still largely designed to prevent that. He is maybe the ONLY significant example of America being a place where excellence is rewarded independent of birth; and an attack on him should be hotly resented by any American who still wants to believe in the American dream.

  7. skippertee says:

    Yea DOGbert, bark all you want.
    You are nothing but a running DOG of the Living Constitutional Imperialists!

  8. delbert says:

    I’m not getting into the argument of where the President was born. The fact of the matter is, I don’t care. I’m just saying that “racist” is an unfair retort to anyone who questions it, because birthplace IS a Constitutional rule.

  9. pandora says:

    I’m not getting into the argument of where the President was born. The fact of the matter is, I don’t care. I’m just saying that “racist” is an unfair retort to anyone who questions it, because birthplace IS a Constitutional rule.

    Not only did you get into the argument, but you tossed in a pile of birtherism. And I’ll note that you haven’t explained why this issue of birthplace is an issue now. I’ll keep waiting.

  10. skippertee says:

    But delbert, the question of the President’s birth was asked and answered three years ago.
    It was vetted by EVERY major news organization and found to be true.
    It was kept alive, originally by a fringe element, and then picked up as a talking point by more and more Republicans.
    Only to depict the President as someone not “like” us.
    As an “other”.
    RACISM personified.

  11. Jason330 says:

    I suppose it is possible to me a birther and not be a racist. The non-racist birther might instead be mentally retarded, or have an IQ which does not allow them to comprehend the concepts being discussed.

  12. Jason330 says:

    The dual racist/low IQ birther is probably the norm.

  13. delbert says:

    If it was answered three years ago, then why was a full birth certificate not tendered until now? And again, you’re drawing me into the argument. I DON’T CARE WHERE HE WAS BORN. But birhtplace is a Consitutional rule. Being over 35 years old is also a rule. It doesn’t have anything to do with race, and it is you assholes who are playing the race card in this dialogue.

    • It was offered now because the media was elevating Trump and it started becoming a distraction. Beltway reporters started asking about this non-issue in press conferences.

  14. Dana Garrett says:

    “Just because someone questions the President’s birthplace, that makes them a racist. Bullshit.”

    Perhaps you’re correct. But it does make them an idiot. And it’s telling about you that you don’t understand that.

  15. Geezer says:

    “But birhtplace is a Consitutional rule. Being over 35 years old is also a rule.”

    And that question was settled three years ago by the state of Hawai’i. There was not then, nor is there now, any rational reason to suspect he was not born where the state says he was.

    “It doesn’t have anything to do with race,”

    Yes, it does. Just because you’re unaware of it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. In my humble opinion, this hatred isn’t because he’s black — it’s because his mother is white, and his father had sex with her, and he’s the proof. If there’s one thing that still sets off the rednecks, it’s interracial marriage.

    “and it is you assholes who are playing the race card in this dialogue.”

    What dialogue? One group of people essentially saying it will not accept any evidence of the truth renders it something other than a dialogue.

  16. jpconnorjr says:

    Delbert = POS Racist punk, just sayin’ 🙂

  17. V says:

    Before EVERYONE jumps on Delbert he does have a point that not eveyone who ever questioned our president’s birthplace is racist, he’s right. Someone three years ago knowing that one of his parents was from another country who considered it isn’t racist. Just like I wasn’t (I dont know, agist?) when I heard that McCain actually was born outside this country on a military base and I thought about it. Then I did a little googling realized his parents were American so he’s fine.

    BUT people who continue to need proof years later, after all the evidence has come out (the legal cert that everyone has a copy of instead of the state record that was just released, the birth announcement in the paper, the de-bunking of every major news organization)coupled with other ways of trying to paint Obama as an “other” (secret muslim!) does seem to be a little bit of a dog whistle, because there ARE still some people in this country who voted against Obama based on race, and will continue to do so. While the Politicians pushing this might not even agree with it, they’re just doing it to get those votes. And if it’s not a deliberate dog whistle then they’re just ignoring all the evidence and Dana’s right and they’re idiots. Can you admit that Delbert?

  18. jpconnorjr says:

    I stand by my previous post.

  19. flutecake says:

    Bless you, UI, for posting this! I was coming back here this morning to link to this and here I find it posted already!! Great job!

    I am with @baratunde on this one. I’ve followed him on twitter for ages, I’d recommend him! Besides, he’s got Apple geekery in his resumé! (not to mention, he works for the Onion)

    On other humiliations doled out to the President…

    Did y’all see this one, too?

    (in my excitement, I haven’t read all of DL, yet, I was busy reading the rest of the internets, first –> LOL)

  20. pandora says:

    The GOP would have gone after a women President with sexism and a gay President with homophobia, so it’s hardly surprising they went after Obama with racism. The one thing they don’t discriminate against is hate.

  21. pandora says:

    Exactly, V. This is simply their weapon of choice against Obama.

    But don’t you dare call their tactics racist.

    Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, said minorities earn less than white people because they don’t work as hard and have less initiative.

    “We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school? I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.”

    Nope, no racism here.

  22. V says:

    Pandora: we already have seen the sexism and homophobia. Criticism of Hilary crying while it makes Boehner look impassioned, Sarah (the only time I’ll ever defend that woman, but of course it only fed into her victim complex) taking heat for campaigning while also having young children (oh who will care for them?! clearly not her husband who has no job!), like anything said about Nancy Pelosi, and remember that “disco dancing” Barney Frank ad?

  23. anon says:

    Isnt it true that Hillary Clinton started all this during the primary?

  24. Von Cracker says:

    I’m sorry, but if Barack was white or his father was born in England, then there would not be any questions about his birthplace, especially with all the mitigating evidence that was available from Hawaii prior to the release of the long form.

    I blame the fucking lazy TV media mostly for this. Controversy sells soap, regardless of how plausible, and unthinking foolish rubes, like delbert, are buying.

    You know, sometimes I wish we lived under the code of the Samurai for one reason only. It is for times like this, where in the arena of public opinion, you’ve brought so much shame on yourself and your cause, the only thing left to do is to impale yourself in the gut, while twisting and moving the blade in a sharp upward motion.

    But alas, that would require one to be self-aware. Unfortunately, that’s something that TP-birthers lack.

  25. Von Cracker says:

    HRC and her campaign did not start the rumors, it was her PUMA supporters.

    PUMAs actually believed that the perceived sexism against their candidate excused its blatant racism.

  26. V says:

    I agree with VC that if the media had been doing their job this would have been over years ago. Instead the news networks are now entertainment, and bringing the crazy is way more entertaining than bringing the truth.

    and while it’s my network of choice, we can’t let MSNBC off the hook for not exposing Trump as the blatant opportunist he is. I expected Fox to run with it and CNN to “leave it there” without debunking. I assume the reason MSNBC station (normally good at exposing idiots like this) kept having to feature it is because the bosses over at the mother station wanted to make sure The Apprentice ratings stayed high. Coporate synergy: the new way to take down a president. The only anchor I saw really go after his own bosses was Lawrence O’Donnell.

  27. delbert says:

    You really are a sick fuck, Geezer. Now you’re bending it from being your original white vs black race card to a white vs. white black-lover race card. You definitely have a racism problem, and probably guilt feelings that go along with it.

  28. jason330 says:

    It is the racist Republicans who keep saying that Obama is “half black.” That’s waving the miscegenation bloody shirt at their fellow racists.

    But that aside, delbert, you acknowledges that the birther issue is about racism. For a Republicans, that is no small admission. I commend you.

  29. jpconnorjr says:

    Unlike Geezer , Delbert you are a simple basic run of the mill POS punk Racist:) have a nice day!

  30. donviti says:

    Having lived in the south and meeting some real racists, having relatives from the south that were truly bigots (Jackson, Ms) and worked with enough Southerners that I can easily ID as racists I can honestly say their is little else behind this birther crap than racism. Plain and simple.

    I say south, b/c let’s be honest, this is a southerner thing for the most part.

  31. delbert says:

    Listen, dumbass Jason: My point all along is that the “birther” argument IS NOT about race. It’s about BIRTHPLACE. That’s why it is wrong to say it is about race. And I personally don’t care if the President was born in a rickshaw in China. I never said I was for the birthplace rule in the Constitution. It’s just that anyone has the right to argue FOR the rules in the Constitution without being labelled a racist by some of the idiots on this chat blog for doing so.

  32. socialistic ben says:

    what an ignorant little fool you are.
    No president has ever had to prove THIS MUCH that he was born in the US, or eligible to hold office… That the regular rules… and they DO EXIST, despite what you might have been told to think by the Tbag media… weren’t enough and he should provide MORE than the LEGALLY PRESCRIBED amount of proof.

    The rules of the constitution, as you so claim to call for WERE FOLLOWED and met. But that wasnt enough for the teabaggers. You can hold your fingers in your ears and stamp your feet all you want, but the fact he has been put through this much unnecessary scrutiny AND the fact he is the first non-lilly white president is NOT a coincidence.

    oh and nobody see’s through your Beckian “im not saying anything, i dont really care, im just asking innocent questions” bullshit. It is cowardly to advocate your racist theories by pretending to be some uninterested their party who is thinking about “bigger philosophies” The birther issue is 100% racism. People who keep dogging our president about where he was born are racists. They are cowardly little fucks who come up with shiny new packaging but they will burn in the same hell as their braver ancestors who donned white robes.
    Thats right folks… modern day birthers make the Klan look brave. suck it.

  33. Auntie Dem says:


    Once you started finger pointing, name calling, and using profanity to describe other posters on this thread you forfited any right to take up my time. You can’t support your claims with facts and so you resort to adolescent whaaa-whaaa. I know you are frustrated to be proven so totally wrong on the racist issue. Too bad. From now on when I see delbert at the beginning of a post I’ll be scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.

  34. socialistic ben says:

    wont let me edit, but i meant to say “no one is buying” you Beckian “im just asking a question” BS..

    should people who post under the name Delbert be allowed to live near children considering sometimes people with that name rape goats? im not saying you rape goats, or eat babies Delbert…im just saying the law should be upheld and IF YOU DO burn toddlers alive, you should be held accountable.

  35. Jason330 says:

    Commendation rescinded.

  36. V says:

    We’re talking about 2 different things. Delbert’s trying to pretend we aren’t.

    Delbert’s (at least I think) is talking about the fact that his birthplace was questioned AT ALL as a requirement for presidency. He’s right. Not racist.

    Everyone ELSE is discussing the EXTENT he has been asked and the HIGHER STANDARD of proof that seemed to be required from Obama that hasn’t been required of other presidents. As if his proof wasn’t as good as other presidents. If not racial, than why?

    in sum:
    inquiry: not racist
    degree: racist

  37. pandora says:

    Exactly, V. Very well put.

  38. jason330 says:

    inquiry: not racist
    inquiry after the question has ben settled: racist

    Look, Racism is what the modern GOP is all about. This is not some fringe movement. 75% of Iowa Republicans think Obama was not born in the United States, because he is not a “real” American to them. When Sarah Palin talks about “the real America” does anyone doubt that she means “white America?” No.

    When the GOP argues for tax cuts, and claims that we are “broke” does anyone doubt that it is out of fear that some unworthy brown person somewhere might possibly benefit from a government program? Of course not.

  39. socialistic ben says:

    In a vaccuume,
    the fact that people, according to the constitution need to be born in the US, and that there should be some some basic attempt to verify that are all true and fair statements.

    There are ways of checking and verifying. They were al performed on President Barack Obama. End of discussion.
    Any extra calls for verification are based in a racist notion and come from people who simply do not want to believe he is the president and are willing to advocate any batshit notion to show he is illegitimate. Remember the original Birther… Orly was originally upset that he was black….. she made up the whole birth certificate thing to open her cause up to bigger cowards who wanted a reason other than “hes black” to oppose his presidency… in public at least.
    By showing more proof than legally neccessary, Obama has been humilitated into doing what the racists say.
    It reminds me of a James Earl Jones movie (forget the name) where he is rushing his daughter, who was beaten by a group of white boys, to the hospital. the cops stop him for speeding and force him to say “Yes sir, Im a lazy coon” before they allow him to continue on his way. The birth certificate crowd is a disgusting bunch of maggots and it is sicken they got their way. No one running that scam ever really believed it. They just wanted to show how powerful white people are.

  40. Aoine says:

    @delbert – you’re a fucking idiot to say “birthplace is a Constitutional rule”

    dont you even know what the Constitution says? for your review:

    Section 1 of Article Two:

    No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

    I don’t see a single WORD in that about BIRTHPLACE! and the citizen clause is grandfathered – in other words, was dropped many years ago.

    Natural Born citizen has NEVER been defined!

    US citizens get citizenship in a couple of ways but BIRTH is what we are looking at here and what is recognized under BIRTH is:

    Jus soli- also known as birthright citizenship, is a right by which nationality or citizenship can be recognized to any individual born in the territory of the related state.

    Jus sanguinis- is a social policy by which citizenship is not determined by place of birth, but by having a parent(s) who are citizens of the nation

    that citation you can look up yourself.

    Citizenship is defined as:

    TLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER III > Part I > § 1401

    The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
    (a) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;
    (b) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe: Provided, That the granting of citizenship under this subsection shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of such person to tribal or other property;
    (c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person

  41. MJ says:

    Aoine – tell how you really feel about delbert the dolt. 🙂

  42. Aoine says:

    I dont do dolts well – or suffer fools lightly

    and if you all want to see doltish:

    fat man’s latest tweet:

    BumpColley Bill Colley
    Wrong hospital name on the birth certificate?

    and desperate blog posts on the partiot network – what a sad sack – both of ’em

  43. Geezer says:

    “You really are a sick fuck, Geezer. … You definitely have a racism problem, and probably guilt feelings that go along with it.”

    I base my case on the PPP poll last week in which 46% of the Republicans in Mississippi said they thought interracial marriage should be illegal. I suggest you aim your ire at the racists, not the messenger.

    BTW, for all your research of the issue, you apparently remain unaware that because his mother was a US citizen, it doesn’t matter where he was born — he’s still a birthright citizen.