Fair warning: I'm white and half Irish. I'm writing this from a position of white, male privilege and I can't do a damned thing about that.
You were warned.
I woke up this afternoon after having some much-needed Twitter conversations with friends last night.
Good morning! President Obama released the long-form birth certificate. Within minutes, the racist subhumans at Free Republic were using their computer magic to "refute" the fact that our president was born in Hawaii (three years after it was admitted to the union) to an American woman (who incidentally shares a name with a friend of mine).
The Donald™ -- a thrice married and twice bankrupt loser -- was falling all over himself to take credit and subsequently demand Obama's grades. And then he pops off with the statement that Obama should get on the phone or gets off his basketball court or whatever he is doing at the time. Never you mind that The Donald only has a bachelors degree and his BFF, The Sarah, has a college transcript that was probably written in crayon. Obviously, there is no possible way that a colored man from a proletariat background could become an important center-left leader.
That whole Affirmative Action thing was intended to elevate people of color who agree with the existing power structure, you idiot.
And we aren't supposed to believe that this asshat with a terrible wig is not a racist? Riiiiight. This is the same douche canoe who said ten years ago, "We must have universal healthcare" and is now campaigning for the party that wants to end Medicare for anyone under 65 (read: not the Republican base).
Sadly, this whole birth certificate thing changes nothing as @techweenie reminds us:
The official birth certificate has been up on the Internet for 2+ years. Anyone who thinks this new release will change anything is naive.
So this is a non-event, really. It is a good day to highlight, though, the blatant hypocrisy of the right.
It is easy to dismiss the birthers as a bunch of racists. They are, actually. But there is a bit more to it. This is really about "what's good for thee is not good for me." Let's look at some examples.
The Donald and his tax returns
As Think Progress points out, Da Donald -- the biggest political joke this side of Sarah Palin -- said he will release his tax returns once Obama releases the long form.
Me thinks there is some juicy stuff there. Otherwise, why is Da Donald not releasing this absolutely vital information? And why was it not out immediately? Okay, he will probably release that stuff eventually and we all waste time combing over (pun intended) it. But this guy really is a sideshow. I hope his ratings dip down to the sub-zero range.
Let me tell a story. Back in college, I took a bus trip to Canada with the school's international students organization. The American border guards essentially said that all of the non-white people had to have their papers checked. So the Japanese, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Brazilian and Lebanese students got off the bus and had their passports and visas checked. As for the "rest of us," they didn't even check so much as a driver license. If we were white, it was alright.
And that is really the central point of the birther movement. If you are white and don't openly announce that you were born elsewhere, it is alright. Arizona's "papers please" law is another example. It's not like they are looking for Luxembourgers who overstayed their visas.
It is rather cute for the tea party to point to Rep. Alan West (who is a black Republican, if you haven't heard) and his sort-of firm statement that Obama is a citizen. That's always my go-to source, you betcha.
The far right is so irritated that a center-left person -- and a black one at that -- is the chief executive that they will do anything to discredit him. And, oh the humanity, he was elected on the power of a bunch of people who are not from the white upper class. (Pro Tip: we need to do that again, and again, and again.)
The rich, white upper class and their aspirants (think poor people who love them some Ayn Rand) were perfectly satisfied until those meddling poor minorities were allowed to participate in the electoral process. That's why we are seeing a rise in votersuppression efforts from the right.
The point is that a few of the rich, white people control most of the wealth and a lot of poor white people think that is awesome because they might get a piece of the action some day. Really. They will! And they even found a handful of the colored who have more money than you. Therefore, Randian theology is valid and they should have lower taxes because they might, just might create some jobs.
You see, the sad fact for these people is that America will not be majority white by about 2050and frankly, I can't wait. Hopefully, the wealth gap doesn't destroy us before then. In the meantime, these closeted racists are hoping they can at least die on their piles of money before those non-whites can get it. If they can devalue it before then, all the better.
The Constitution and rampant hypocrisy
But the underlying issue to the birthers, 'baggers and the rest of the unseemly right is that they would love to have the agrarian republic envisioned by Washington and Jefferson (slaves and all). Never mind that our current president (have you heard that he's black?) is a constitutional scholar and has forgotten more about constitutional law than most idiot bloggers have ever read.
These people scream about the constitution and then select the parts that they like and focus on those.
On the other hand, corporations should enjoy complete and unfettered freedom of expression, not on legalistic grounds, but because they actually think the Koch Brothers (but not the Center for American Progress) ought to tell us how to vote.
Freedom of religion to these people is the freedom to worship a very specific god. Unless you are an evangelical protestant (or Jewish), you are something less than a human. Sure, they will form alliances with Catholics and Mormons if they need to, but Muslims, Pagans, Buddhists, Taoists, atheists, et al are not welcome. It matters not that 1) Islam shares roots with Christianity and Judaism and 2) liberals of all religions live the teachings of Jesus more than any right wing activists. Disclosure: all liberals pronounce "Jesus" in the original Spanish.
Freedom of assembly does not apply to working people who want to form a union.
The second amendment exists solely to give them an excuse to threaten inner-city youths and other scary colored people. And the Cubans and Chinese, who will be invading next week and the military will break down, forcing the militias into duty.
The supremacy clause is overridden by the tenth amendment when a Democrat wants to makes sure Americans can get access to health care. Similarly, the commerce clause only applies only to regulating marijuana.
Those bits about "Promote the general welfare" and "For Ourselves and Our Posterity" are just words and not binding, unlike the vaguely worded second amendment.
And frankly, they are pissed about those amendments expanding the franchise beyond rich white men (read: race as a qualification, women's suffrage, 18 years olds voting, no poll taxes). One would think that democracy means "one adult, one vote" but not to these people are desperately clinging to their power.
George W. Bush
George W. Bush was fucking clown shoes.
But we still don't know if he actually protected the skies over Alabama from Hồ Chí Minh. When it came out that the documents Dan Rather used were forgeries, the story was all about Rather and the documents. No one bothered to question the very real questions they raised after that. But the right and their enablers in the media had carte blanche to question whether John Kerry, who actually went to Vietnam, was patriotic enough.
Now I'm not questioning W's patriotism, assuming we define "patriotism" as
Patriotism. Noun: (pey-tree-uh-tiz-uh)
1. Invading a sovereign nation that had nothing to do with 9/11
2. Not creating jobs while lowering taxes with the aim of creating jobs
3. Taking the week off while a city full of black people drowned
4. Growing the deficit and debt while campaigning as a "fiscal conservative"
But, hey. At least he didn't shoot an old man in the face and force the victim to apologize.
The bottom line
The bottom line is that this little diary barely scratches the surface of the IOKIYAR phenomenon. But quite frankly, imagine the backlash of anyone questioning the citizenship -- and by extension the patriotism™ -- of McCain, Bush, Shrub, St. Ronnie, Nixon or Lyndon LaRouche.
Hell, liberals in America have been maligned since well before FDR. In the past century, we have had FDR, JFK and Obama. The rest of the supposed center left party has been culled from the South and JFK was attacked as a closet papist while FDR and Obama got the "socialist" tag. Apparently, to the right, pseudo-Republicans like St. Ronnie, W and Nixon are awesome. Democrats, OTOH, may only have conservative southern presidents. Otherwise, they are evil.
So even if you are a pale white boy like me, Say it Loud!: