The Racist Roots of “Birtherism”

On Wednesday, President Obama released his long-form birth certificate. Of course, the document confirms that he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii as those in the reality-based community have known for some years now. Yet, this faux controversy has been taken to new depths of media attention with the recent addition of Donald Trump to the mix of Tea Party conspiracy theorists, whom President Obama did not call by name, but referred to as part of a panoply of “sideshows and carnival barkers” that distract the nation’s attention from the real issues. The comparison between Trump and P.T. Barnum is an apt one, but it misses the deeply racist roots of “birtherism.”

How is the call for President Obama’s birth certificate racist? No one breaks it down better than Goldie Taylor, contributing editor at The Grio, in this short video (4:13) featured on The Rachel Maddow Show (apologies for the ad at the beginning):

Taylor is eloquent in her description of her great, great grandfather’s encounter with a white power structure in 1899 and weaves that into the present-day call for President Obama to demonstrate his legitimate right to hold the highest office in the country.

You can read the full text of Taylor’s commentary here.


  1. Blaque Swan, previously No1KState

    Oh, yeah!

    Let’s not forget that now they’re demanding to know how he managed to get into Harvard, the classes he took, etc, etc. Trump said he heard Obama was a bad student, blah, blah, blah.

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