Diehard birthers are continuing to question whether President Obama was really born in the U.S., even though he's fulfilled their request to release his long-form Hawaii birth certificate. Civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, say the conspiracy won't die because it's been a racist dog whistle all along. Are birthers really just unwilling to accept Obama's legitimacy because he's African-American?
In a word, yes: "The birther movement is nothing more than outright racism," says Doug Thompson at Capitol Hill Blue. No president before Barack Obama has been forced to go so far to prove he was born a U.S. citizen — and therefore is constitutionally eligible to be president — because no other president was African-American. So it's hardly a surprise that the "conspiracy lunatics" are insisting Obama's full birth certificate is a fake. Their "racism, hate, and bigotry cannot allow them to admit the truth."
"Birther movement is outright racism"
No, that is just how the Left smears conservatives: Liberals are the real "hate-mongers" here, says Joe Newby at Examiner.com. During the 2008 campaign, people questioned whether John McCain's birth in the Panama Canal Zone disqualified him from the presidency. "So, asking about McCain's place of birth is perfectly acceptable, but asking about Obama's is racist"? That just proves conservatives can't "criticize this president for anything" without being dismissed as "a white-hooded Klansman."
"Sharpton, Jackson: Racism behind so-called birther controversy"
Birtherism is not all about race, but that is part of it: "It is inconceivable that this campaign to portray Obama as the insidious 'other' would have been conducted against a white president," says The New York Times in an editorial. Sure, the birther fire is also fueled by conservatives' "deep political anger" over the president's more liberal policies. But race is undeniably part of the "toxic mix of reasons" for these persistent, nonsensical attacks on Obama's legitimacy.
"A certificate of embarrassment"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- How I lost all my money
- The best books we read in 2014
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How to save money: 12 great personal finance tips
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How to wrap a present with mathematical precision (and waste less paper)
Subscribe to the Week