Got something substantial on this Birther mess in the works, but the following seemed well-timed...
Trump's haranguing of the President over his birth certificate is a bone deep example of white racism. Commentators of all stripes took to the airwaves yesterday to finally call out the Birthers for what they are--not so polite bigots. In the broadsides fired by many in the pundit classes there is rage and offense at how Trump and the Tea Party GOP mine white bigotry for political gain. But, there is not a sense of personal offense. Sure, there is upset at Trump and the Birthers for their nonsense, but an offense of principle is not that same as feeling that you were collectively slapped in the face by the repeated insinuations that America's first black President is somehow a fraud.
Many black Americans are deeply offended by the white nationalist coloured Birther conspiracy because it signals once more that our citizenship and belonging is always in question. In total, the anti-black animus of the Birthers and their obsession with Obama's birth (and commitment to devaluing all of his life accomplishments) is a textbook example of symbolic racism. And on a more personal level, how many successful black folks can relate to having their accomplishments questioned at every turn, even by white folks who are utterly mediocre and that would be lucky to shine our shoes if we blessed them with the opportunity to do so?
History runs deep here, both in the bigotry of the Birthers, as well as in the hurt felt by Black Americans during this debacle. Obama's birth certificate is his 21st century slave pass or set of freedom papers. The unapologetic gall and dastardly nerve of the Birthers is that they feel entitled and free to question a man of great accomplishments simply because he is not White. As Judge Taney wrote in the infamous Dredd Scott decision, black Americans are "beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect."
When the white trash "conspiranoids" of the Birther movement, and a man like Donald Trump who was born on 3rd base and thinks he hit a triple in life, demand "the papers" on President Obama, they are just signaling to a deep history that Barack--like other black folks--had best know their place and don't ever dare to step out of it.
So much for post-racial America and the Age of Obama, for just as during Jim and Jane Crow the lowest white man can feel right and just in trying to knock the highest black man from his perch because for a negro to dream and achieve is too much for the White (Conservative) Racial Id to countenance or accept.