The Thing Not Being Said
…about all this “birther” crap, in which fine upstanding folk who are legitimate natural-born citizens of this fine country (the US of A, because we’re all from it or want to be from it, of course) incessantly and illogically question the fact that our president is also legitimately natural-born…
…is that they’re not crazy. They’re just fucking racists.
I mean, it’s obvious with the Republicans. They’re just using this shit (and other shit) to blow smoke over their attempt to scuttle single-payer healthcare. But all these individual teabagging crackpots who jump up at rallies and rant about Obama being from Kenya? They’re not really crackpots. They’re just the same old garden-variety racists we’ve always had, using “he’s not a citizen” as a euphemism for “he’s not completely white OMFG he’s got 50% black cooties straight outta Africa and I bet the White House smells funny now somebody go get a roooope!!!”
See, although African Americans are generally better-off than other racial groups in this one respect — we don’t get the “But where are you really from?” schtick quite as often as Asians and Latinos/as — there’s still quite a bit of feeling out there that we aren’t really Americans. Yeah, even though we built the place. Even though most of the people saying this aren’t really (Native) Americans either, if that’s how they want to play it. It all just comes down to one very simple fact: that “American”, in the minds of these people, equals one thing — white.
So it really doesn’t matter how much proof gets shown to confirm that Obama is too, really, truly, an American. The birthers aren’t going to buy it. Because the only proof these people will accept is a 100% European American genetic makeup, or 99.44% with the incriminating .66 hidden acceptably far back in the family tree. That worked for McCain — don’t see the “birthers” going after him, do you? But since that ain’t gonna happen in Obama’s case, they’re never going to shut up.
We don’t need a new term for the birthers. They’re just the usual plain, boring old racists wearing new clothes and chanting new slogans, because they’ve figured out that slurs and hate speech just don’t have the same cachet these days. But underneath the new trappings, they’re the same old shit. So can we please stop paying so much attention to them and get back to healthcare?
7 thoughts on “The Thing Not Being Said”
as a white woman who is struggling with mental health issues, thank you for this.
when my fellow “liberal” white people pull out the “crazy” “crackpot” language, we are ourselves engaging in an act that is both racist and ableist. racist in that labelling them “crazy” lets us ignore the racism inherit in society and lets the birthers’ racism off the hook, and ableist because it associates such racism with mental illness. (i’m not saying that (white) people with mental illness aren’t racist, i’m saying that our racism isn’t caused by mental illness.)
I actually felt better after seeing the Urban Dictionary take on the word birther.
They are racists, but most are also crack pots too. The two are not mutually exclusive.
I sort of like “Birthers” because it sounds so much like the (equally racist and paranoid) Birchers.
I agree with everything you say above…except the title of your post, because I’ve read that analysis a few places, and I’ve made it myself as well. Which is, I hope, somewhat heartening that a few other people see this BS for what it is.
I agree with King Rat, The birthers are not crack pots, racists in general tend to be crack pots. I dont think I have ever met one who wasnt in one way or another a nut job…
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