Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pondering the audacity of birtherism…

Shall we?
Lately I’ve been pondering one of the biggest oppression myths – that oppressed folks need to make the case to their oppressor that they should not be oppressed.  This myth is rarely stated outright – rather, it is a privileged expectation contained in almost every bigoted campaign.
To the person of color attending college – prove that you are smart enough to be here because the assumption is that you are not.
To the new mother returning to work – prove that you can still do the job, because the assumption is that you can’t.
To the LGBT person in the military – prove that your “gayness” isn’t going to be an issue, because the assumption is that it will be.
To the Latina driving while brown in Arizona – prove that you are in the country legally, because the assumption is that you are not.
To the disabled person applying for a job – prove thyself over and over again and the once more, because the assumption is that you only got the job through unfair legal protections.
And so forth and so on and so it is and so it has been.
Which brings us to the accusation made by so-called birthers that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States and thus should not be president.
For damn near two years birthers have responded to criticism by saying that they aren’t racist, they are just concerned citizens who demand proof and if the President had proof he’d provide it and then they’d be satisfied and let it go.
Folks provided them with a copy of the birth certificate – they responded that it wasn’t official enough.
Folks provided them with birth announcements printed in the local newspaper – they responded that it those were manufactured or not official looking or part of a vast left wing conspiracy dating back decades to elect a black socialist Muslim communist tyrant to the highest office in the land.
Now the President has provided these fools with the official as hell long form version of his birth certificate.
And…wait for it…birthers are still not convinced!
Why?
Because this isn’t about proving a damn thing to anyone.
This is about bigotry and oppression, fear and false tolerance…and those things resist facts like a drug resistant yeast infection resists penicillin.
We are within a teachable moment.
Blaming oppressed people for their oppression is intellectually lazy and flawed.
The myth that we just need to calm fears, sooth the beast, and make the case for why we deserve rights is just that – a myth.
The truth is that the President could broadcast video of him exiting the womb and birthers would say it doesn’t look like him.
Pause…sip coffee…continue.
‘Tis laughable and oh so very American.
Will these journalists demand to see the long form birth certificates of every candidate that dips their power hungry toes in the political pool?
Will they hound and dig in and circle and question and attack and scoff and air interview after interview and then start over again to hound and question and blah, bah, bah followed by blah?
***cue crickets***
What am I thinking?
That’s not the way we play the game, y’all!
We don’t question whether the straight white man waltzing across the campus of Yale got accepted because his family made a donation or his mother is an alumna.
We question the other.
That’s what we do.
The truth be damned.
Shit.

7 comments:

KK said...

I enjoy your posts. You have a way of explaining things that helps me to get a good grasp of the topic. Thank you! :)

Freya said...

Everything you have said I completely agree with! Most people don't think; they just accept the intolerant teachings handed to them by the majority of society, but your blog challenges that! Thank you for being inspirational and thought provoking :)

Kevin said...

Loved this post. You had me rolling at the "pause sip coffee" part.

Peterr said...

Vanity Fair is taking your comments to heart, Shark-Fu. They've demanded that Donald Trump address the ongoing questions about his hair.

"Recently, a small but increasingly vocal group of conspiracy theorists has hijacked the news cycle and upended the political process. We speak of Balders, a contingent of outspoken provocateurs who question the authenticity of Donald Trump’s hair. . . . In the interest of putting this controversy to rest, Vanity Fair demands that Trump release a notarized certificate from a barber proving the veracity of his hair. In the event that significant members of the Balder community question the validity of the notarized certificate, we insist that Trump submit to air, wind, and Dutch rub tests to be administered by an independent board-certified hair-care expert that will debunk, once and for all, these corrosive conspiracy theories."

The whole piece is here: http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2011/04/donald-trump-real-hair-proclamation-201104

Jenny said...

fan-fucking-tastic. Your blog just made my bookmarks, Shark-fu. You rule.

Roxie said...

I'm still getting people telling me that calling Trump racist is "too far" and that this issue isn't even racial at all!

I don't even know how to respond to such claims other than repeating the facts of what's happened and what they mean and ending up with a case of RAGEFACE

SimplyStated said...

Just found your blog...just read your post and I want to thank you. I an also an ABB who happens to be married to a very nice man of a different color.

He has been the sole reson I have not run screaming and swinging a bat down the main road of the little rural white town we live in. But I did serve notice the other day we he came in the back room where I was to let me know the latest "birther nonesense".

I stopped him right there and said "no, call it was it is...there is no such thing as a "birther". A "birther" is a racist spelt with a "B" and generally prefaced with the words like "real American" and Christian".

Nuff said and your blog is going on my iGoogle homepage.