Pretty offensive title, eh? The accompanying photo is also illustrative of just how short of time ago it was when we regarded African Americans as second rate citizens. Al Jolson, a white musician, made a living portraying African Americans (called Negros at the time) in black face as dumb, subservient, second class people not even deserving of citizenship. If I could display Donald Trump in white face, I would; but he’s just too orange.
I wrote an article on Donald Trump yesterday because he purports to be a serious contender for the 2012 Presidential race and we are doing articles on all serious contenders. I personally don’t think he is serious about running against President Obama and I don’t think many in professional politics do either. But Trump has been able to whip the Republican base and the media into a frenzy of late by banging the “where’s the birth certificate” drum. Now that this three year old non-controversy/media circus event has been definitively closed (aside from the few fringe elements still examining typewriter fonts of the sixties), Trump is banging a new drum asking for legitimacy of President Obama’s higher education bona fides. Really? Harvard Law doesn’t give passes to just anyone. Look, Donald, it’s understandable if you’re jealous. What was your undergrad GPA at Wharton?
Let’s put aside the fact that Trump is manipulating the media for personal gain and focus on the message for a moment. Birtherism is code for ‘I can’t tolerate a black man as President’. Trump is guilty of inflaming that racism.
Questioning the legitimacy of the President’s education is essentially a complaint against affirmative action. Questions about George W. Bush’s education were summarily dismissed despite serious evidence contesting his credibility. I think everyone is pretty sure ‘W’ was a spoiled frat boy who skated through academically by the seat of his pants and with the help of more than a few phone calls from Daddy ‘HW’. Calling President Obama’s rise from obscurity to higher education in question and challenging the breadth of his political experience is, again, also racism.
The Grio‘s Goldie Taylor had this to say:
For the first time in recorded history, a sitting president of the United States found it necessary to produce his original birth certificate for public inspection. Not once, in 235 years, have we ever demanded proof that our president was born on American soil.
In a stunning display of unchecked ego, Donald Trump quickly hosted a news conference, during which he took credit for forcing President Obama’s hand. The sometime real estate developer, socialite, author and television personality went on to caution onlookers to let “experts” examine the document. Lest the president continue perpetrating was Trump has called potentially the “biggest fraud in American history.”
For weeks, the thrice married, comb-over construction magnate has enthralled news reporters with his apocalyptic ranting. Trump openly questioned whether President Obama belonged in the White House, a boardroom, or even an Ivy League lecture hall.
And we let him.
I have to agree. The media took Trump’s trumped up objections at face value and reported it as if it were fact. The seething sense of entitlement off of the Donald was quite palpable. It was as though the media was enraptured by Trump’s fake fame and fortune and took everything that he said to be gospel. I’m surprised and somewhat ashamed that our media, and in particular NBC, has let it go on for so long. MSNBC hosts both The Apprentice and Lawrence O’Donnell; the one lone dissenting voice at MSNBC. They also link with the Grio; a voice for African Americans (or the ‘blacks’ if you’re Donald Trump). If NBC had any cajones at all, they would fire Trump on May 16th. It would be such a PR coup. And it would force Donald Trump to either put up or shut up over whether he was running for President in 2012.
Trump is playing to the lowest denominator of our population. I, for one, won’t tolerate it.
I was disappointed that the President even had to address these issues that Sideshow Don brought up but I’m glad he did it. We need to move on. As much as I want this website to be a legitimate source for political views, I occasionally feel the need to object strenuously to anything that distracts from the seriousness of running this nation. Anyone who continues down this road of attempting to discredit the legitimacy of a popularly elected president on the grounds of country of birth or quality of education is tipping their hand as to their real feelings.
As the President said, we’ve got bigger things to do. Let’s get down to serious business, shall we?