Saturday, April 30, 2011

Is the Birther issue settled? A way to revive racialist attacks on Obama

Barack Obama finally decided to put the birther issue at rest by publishing his full birth certificate? Maybe not. It won't satisfy the 'true believers' that it is a falsified document and he was actually born in Kenya. What's more he's a Muslim in Christian clothing. In other words, nothing will satisfy them.

The huckster Donald Trump has used the birther matter, in order to throw his hat in the ring for the 2012 presidential nomination on the Republican Party ticket. His tack has shot him high on opinion poll ratings. Now that the president has decided to quash rumours that have been floating in the media and on the blogosphere and spread by whispering campaigns, the 'silliness', as he calls it, should come to an end.

It hasn't. In fact, Trump seized the ball Obama put into his court to talk credit for making the president come clean finally. And if political mileage is to be made of attacking him without respite, the Donald is now worrying about how the 44 president got into Columbia and Harvard. Without explicitly saying so, Trump is implying that BHO [Barack Hussein Obama] got in through a policy of social promotion which favours people of colour. It makes no difference that the president's SAT scores more than meet admissions requirement, the seeds of doubt are liberally spread on the fertile imaginations of the anti Obama crowd and may very well appeal to a sea of whites who feel children of theirs got bumped so that colour not merit counted more in getting ahead in this life.

And there you have the subtext of the attacks mainly from the Republicans and the Tea Baggers and opportunists like Trump to make sure Obama becomes a one term president. The racialism is not subtle: each response is met by another question, another worry, another fear that it is not straightforward. In this way, licence is given to open a Genie's bottle of prejudice. Invidious it is to introduce again the fear of the Black or the Brown or the Yellow into the American mainstream of what's licit.

On the other hand, Obama's sloth in letting matters lie has worked against him. Was he clever by half? Perhaps. His unwillingness to crush his opponents quickly reveals a tragic fault. GuamDiary is not saying he's a Hamlet, but the way he works does the country a disservice.

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