‘Experts’: Racism is at the core of the birther issue

After the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the MSM and shamelessly opportunistic liberals shifted their focus from accusing opponents of President Obama’s agenda of being “racists” to trying to paint conservatives from coast to coast as “guilty by association” via “promoting an atmosphere of violence” – in spite of the fact that Giffords’ mentally unstable shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, didn’t fit the carelessly constructed MSM narrative of “right wing extremist.” Well, now that the Congresswoman is well on her way to recovery – and now that we’re headed full steam into Campaign 2012 mode – opportunistic liberals and MSM types are bringing back the “any criticism of Obama = racism” meme, as exemplified by this piece from the Yahoo! News Ticket blog (via):

During the 2008 campaign, questions about John McCain’s birth in the Panama Canal Zone on a U.S. military base prompted some to ask whether McCain was eligible to be president, since the Constitution stipulates that anyone not born in the United States is not eligible to be president.

Amid a flurry of news reports, McCain’s own campaign announced in February 2008 that it was conducting an investigation. When a bipartisan pair of lawyers announced the following month that McCain was indeed eligible, the issue virtually died–apart from a Senate resolution that pretty much laid the question to rest by attesting to the facts surrounding McCain’s birth and citizenship.

But the winner of the 2008 election, Barack Obama, has faced a relentless campaign questioning his U.S. citizenship–and thereby the legitimacy of his presidency–that has disregarded the facts.

Questions regarding Obama’s birth certificate have persisted for more than two years, as the president noted Wednesday at a press conference announcing the release of his long-form birth certificate. A vast array of evidence attests to Obama’s citizenship–including a certificate of live birth, signed affidavits from people who viewed Obama’s long-form birth certificate, confirmation by Hawaiian officials, and independent investigations by news outlets. Nevertheless, “this thing just keeps going” as Obama said this morning. Even after the White House released the long-form certificate of Obama’s birth, birther leader Orly Taitz—who has filed unsuccessful lawsuits seeking to obtain access to Obama’s birth certificate—sought to cast doubt on the document’s authenticity, suggesting that in 1961, Hawaiian officials would have classified Obama as “Negro” rather than using designation “African,” which suggests, in her view, a more contemporary concern for “political correctness.”

So what’s fueling the dogged questioning of Obama’s origins? Many critics of the birther movement say its core tenets–and its stubborn resistance to evidence disproving those beliefs–can be traced to racial hostilities. The fundamental birtherist conviction, these critics say, is that an African-American can’t have legitimately won the presidency–and that his elevation to power therefore has to be the result of an elaborate subterfuge.

“There is a real deep-seated and vicious racism at work here in terms of trying to de-legitimate the president,” Peniel Joseph, a professor of history at Tufts University, told The Ticket.

“This is more than just a conspiracy,” Joseph added. “I think this is fundamentally connected to a conception of white supremacist democracy in this country.”

Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. in early April called for the connection to be publicly drawn between birthers and racism: “So it is time to call this birther nonsense what it is–not just claptrap, but profoundly racist claptrap.”

And columnist Michael Tomasky wrote for The Guardian Wednesday that the birther conspiracy “had to be the only explanation for how this black man got to the White House.” He added: “And if you think race isn’t what this is about at its core, ask yourself if there would even be a birther conspiracy if Barack Obama were white and named Bart Oberstar. If you think there would be, you are delusional.”

Whether or not you are someone who still is or who at one point could have been classifed as a birther, these accusations are – as usual – outrageous, because the suggestion is all over the place that questioning this President on such basic issues as whether or not he is legally qualified to be the “leader of the free world” is off limits.  True, the short form bc was released when questions arose during Obama’s run for the WH, but HE could have put this issue to bed right then and there by requesting the long form version instead of waiting two and half years before releasing it out of supposed ‘frustration’ at the ‘distraction’ he claims it has created.  As the article correctly points out, Senator McCain faced a similar issue as well and nipped it in the bud without hesitation – in 2008.  Barack Obama chose not to, which led us to the point we were at this week with him finally releasing it in an attempt to “move on” from the issue.

As I’ve said before, even though I’m not a “birther”, I’m outraged that there are people out there who think it’s “beyond the pale” to question the legal qualifications of anyone seeking the highest office of the land … no matter their political affiliation, and furthermore, I’m disgusted that most of those same people believe that questioning a liberal President of color equates to racism.  People had doubts about the short form bc and wanted the long form released.  He didn’t do it.  The questions persisted long enough that conspiracy theories formed.  I didn’t believe in any of the theories because too many people would have had to be involved in “the cover up” and – in this day and time – nobody can keep their mouth shut about anything, so someone would have blabbed by now if there had been any shred of truth to the conspiracy rumors.    That said, I did agree with those who weren’t birthers who nevertheless called on the President to release the long form in order to try and put the issue to bed.   I was appalled by  his use of the issue as a political weapon.  For someone who claimed to want to “unite” the country and “build bipartisan bridges”, he deliberately used this issue for political gain by trying to paint conservatives as people you shouldn’t listen to because some of them believed he wasn’t born in the US. 

Also at the core of the questions about his birth, in addition to trying to determine his legal legitimacy, was something that both birthers and non-birthers had (and still have) in common: a serious concern about the secretive nature of then-candidate and now-President Obama, who promised historic “transparency” (barf).  Let’s not forget the refusal to release college transcripts.  And the limited information available about the time he served in the Illinois state senate.   Detailed campaign donor information. But, you see, that must be raaaacism, too – a conclusion that the writer of the above piece (Rachel Rose Hartman) tries to guide us to (bolded emphasis added by me):

Birthers emphatically deny such criticism [that racism is the primary motivator]. But it’s difficult to apprehend the ongoing resistance to proof of Obama’s citizenship without crediting racial fear as a significant factor. At first, after all, many adherents of birtherism argued that the administration fueled speculation by failing to release the long-form version of Obama’s birth certificate, but now that this version has been released to the public, the call continues to go out for other kinds of information about Obama’s past to be released–a level of scrutiny that neither McCain nor Obama’s 43 predecessors in the Oval Office were expected to face.

Riiight. Because previous candidates for President (and for VP) have never been expected to release their college transcriptsmedical records, tax returns, etc.  I take it the demand in 2008 that Senator McCain release his medical records must have been racist in some way?  After all, that’s what Hartman would lead you to believe.  Oh wait, McCain’s white … so it couldn’t have been racism.  But Barack Obama, on the other hand, is black (technically half black), so asking him to stop being so damned secretive is “code” (as the Rev. Jackson would say) for racism. 

It’s the same ol’ song and dance we’ve heard ever since then-Senator Barack Obama announced he was running for the presidency.  Any conservative question, criticism, discussion about him that is not 100% positive, glowing, and supportive “must” be racism to this crowd.  Heck, even reliable uber-liberals Hillary and her husband Bill (you know, the first black President) Clinton found this out the hard way during the 2007-2008 presidential campaign season.  You’re just not supposed to question this man. Period.

And that’s where we’re going again as America prepares for Campaign 2012 to kick into high gear.   The left’s game plan, in part, is to make Obama’s re-election campaign about race in an effort to try and silence the opposition.   Obama himself wasn’t beyond making race a part of his campaign in 2008, and it helped, so why change the winning formula?  He’s already sent signals to his base that he “knows” racism is behind the Tea Party movement, so expect him to invoke the race card as well at some point – although he’ll leave the vast majority of that to his underlings, so as to make himself appear “above the fray”, just as he did in early 2008 against Hillary Clinton.

Gird your loins, my dear readers.  We can’t let him, nor his campaign, nor his allies in the MSM, get away with this again in 2012.

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