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Ian Reifowitz

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New Evidence That (Still) Won't Convince Birthers

Posted: 06/26/2012 6:26 pm

In Barack Obama: The Story, the new biography by David Maraniss, there appear some new details that go further in corroborating President Obama's birth in Hawaii in 1961.

For some, the long form birth certificate wasn't enough. Neither was the birth announcement placed in both of Hawaii's newspapers, or any other amount of evidence.

Yes, I'm talking to you, Mr. Trump. And, for the record, you should be ashamed of yourself, Mitt Romney, for associating yourself with this man and his race-baiting birther hate. But I'll return to Messrs. Trump and Romney below.

What's the new evidence? Maraniss offers a letter written by Honolulu journalist Barbara Czurles to her father in Buffalo, NY, in which she notes being told by obstetrician Dr. Rodney West that: "Stanley had a baby." Of course, Stanley refers to Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham.

But, alas, even this letter is all part of the grand conspiracy to place a foreign-born, Manchurian Candidate in the White House. The doctor was in on it, see? Yeah, that's right, all part of the scheme.

Sometimes we have to laugh at birtherism. But it's not a joke. It's reflective of a broad push to "other" the first African-American president, to define him as "not American." Birtherism both reflects and fuels not only racism but a dangerous nativism that rejects the pluralistic, inclusive, yet unified conception of American national identity that so many of us do embrace, a conception at the heart of Obama's life story and his public rhetoric.

One central theme of my book is the clash between Obama's vision of Americanness and the exclusionist vision on the right, one that defines Americanness as something that belongs only to "real" Americans.

A couple of months ago, I wrote a article called "Mitt Romney Must Decide What Kind of America He Believes In." In terms of Romney, Trump, and birtherism, this news piece out of Boston sums up recent developments beautifully:

"Trump sticks with 'birther' argument, Romney sticks with Trump"

Mitt Romney's lack of principle and backbone in accepting Donald Trump's public endorsements as opposed to repudiating his birtherism is despicable.

Certainly, not all conservatives are birthers or even engage in exclusionary rhetoric. Nevertheless, exclusionism is without question one of the key strategies motivating contemporary conservatism.

Finally, we have one presidential candidate who welcomes and even exacerbates ethnic and racial divisions, and another candidate whose rhetoric centers on inclusion and strengthening national unity across the lines that have too often divided Americans. In addition to the policy differences, this is a fundamental distinction between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

 

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