Thursday, April 28, 2011

Of Dred Scott, Slave Passes, and Donald Trump's Obsession with President Obama's Birth Certificate

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.


Vesuvian Woman said...

You seem so angry and counter-productive. Maybe these "polite bigots" have hit the glass ceiling of their inferiority and this is a last ditch attempt to save their pride. Transparency is the innocent man's bread ticket. Obama has nothing to hide. Water seeks its own level and effects/affects anything in its path. In closing, the self-entitled question anything about anyone because they are the "acceptable" sociopaths of the extraverted kingdom I like to call: No One Asked You. Muah ; )

Plane Ideas said...

Obama's lack of resolve has created and extended the shelflife of white racism ..Instead of using Black power to end the legacy of white supremacy to many Black leaders have never stepped up when racism is at play..Obama's campaign posturing on race and making Black issues marginal is a backturn turn in our navigation of this life in America as Black Folks..

Trump's attack was an act of civil war against a sitting president Obama'seaction was a white flag of retreat an affirmation that Blacl leaders even the president must still react to white privledge in America

The damage has been done The Issue now is the degree of severity Obama's legitimacy of Trump's racism has on the collective ethos of Black Americans..We and our ancestors and America deserves better than this from the most powerful man in the world who is now person of color

Voluminously Yours said...

The Ed show video from the alternet post contained such a great line: "the strange algebra of bigotry." That so spot on. Deception through false equations, true delirium.

chaunceydevega said...

@Vesuvian. You are write. I am going to pop a Valium, pleasure myself, and go to sleep in my effluence ;)

@Thrasher. Symbolic damage. Maybe we were too invested in him?

@Volum. Ed brought it. Too bad it takes white folks picking the meme up for it to resonate.

Shady_Grady said...

Black people were and are FAR too personally invested in Obama. So are white people for the reasons listed in your post. LOL.

In any event, the experience of having black political leaders who have been marginal at best or or having black corporate leaders who are just as devoted to the corporate agenda as any white CEO should have shown black voters, not that they need to hate or despise Obama, but that they need to hold him accountable and at arm's distance just like any other politician.

I mean Merck has a Black CEO but he didn't get the job because he's black. He got the job because he helped the company save millions in the Vioxx recall-not quite a moral act or one that has anything to do with helping black people per se.

I don't think there's ever been a truly progressive President and certainly brother Barack is not.

It is a shame that the POTUS does not have anyone on his team who can deal with the Trumps, the Buchanans, etc. But then again, that's HIS problem, not mine.

brotherbrown said...

It is a shame that the POTUS does not have anyone on his team who can deal with the Trumps, the Buchanans, etc. But then again, that's HIS problem, not mine.

He is assiduously sticking to the high road on the (false) premise that his political enemies will join him there.

Obama may not truly understand how he connected with grass roots everyday people during his ascendancy, and seemingly cannot relate.