Alice Ladrick, Columnist

I’m writing this column on April 27; a day that will forever be remembered as the day Barack Obama released his long-form birth certificate, finally letting America breathe a sigh of relief that our President is a natural-born citizen. Oh wait, it’s not that at all. It’s actually just another in a long line of days that intelligence caters to stupidity while everyone else rolls their eyes. I’m reminded of a game my friends and I sometimes play called, “Why I Could Never Be Elected.” It’s what in life have you done to keep you out of public office. Bill (names changed) will talk about having had inhaled. Ted will mention his various Facebook pictures and status updates.

Even if you don’t agree with his policies, we should all be able to recognize that President Obama is a very smart person. He received his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law. He taught law at the University of Chicago for 12 years. He’s very smart. I can’t even imagine the frustration of pretending to care about everyone’s opinions; even ignorant racist opinions perpetuated by reality TV celebrities.

I think this is another thing that we should all be able to agree on; the “Birther Movement” is nothing more than ignorant racism. Suddenly, when faced with a president who’s not white, a frighteningly large percentage of Americans demand proof he was born in this country. If his name doesn’t sound of European descent, he must be a secret Muslim, hell-bent on overthrowing our freedoms. I wonder how disheartening it was for President Obama to have to “prove” is citizenship, all-the-while knowing the exact reason for these suspicions.

But he did. He gave in to the idiocy and produced his long-form birth certificate. Some Birther blogs claim fraud; that the certificate is obviously Photoshopped. Others claim that his Kenyan father also disqualifies him from presidential eligibility (apparently forgetting about other presidents with foreign-born parents, but, hey, it’s not like Andrew Jackson is on any currency or anything). Still others make the concession that he’s a secret Muslim hell-bent on destroying the country he was born in.

Of course, using the blogosphere is setting up a straw man for an argument. Mainstream politicians would never stoop to assuming our President was a malicious imposter based solely on his race. Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice-presidential candidate, wondered “why President Obama would’ve spent $2 million not to show his birth certificate,” according to www.mediaite.com. Donald Trump, who, in many legitimate polls, is trailing only behind Mitt Romney for the 2012 GOP nomination, has won most of his support by loudly espousing Birther theories.

Trump, after congratulating himself and subtly seeding doubts of legitimacy, seamlessly moved on to his next ignorant and racist attack against President Obama: that he didn’t deserve to attend his Ivy League schools and was admitted solely because of Affirmative Action. His proof for this:  he “heard he was a terrible student,” according to www.politico.com. That’s proof enough for me, how else could a non-white person get into the Ivy League? And don’t think Donald Trump doesn’t know a thing or two about unqualified Ivy League admittances, the book, The Price of Admission, was written about the $2.5 million it cost to get his unqualified son-in-law his admittance to Harvard, according to www.salon.com

The saddest part about all of this isn’t the blatant racism being accepted into mainstream political discourse; well, that is the saddest part, but the second-saddest part is that Obama can’t tell people what he really thinks. To watch the President in one of his speeches is to watch a quick-witted person with a razor-sharp sense of humor. I would love to hear the amazing comebacks to Trump or Palin that he’s suppressing. I can only imagine the unspoken thoughts he has about the 56 percent of Republicans who refuse to believe he’s American because he doesn’t look like them.

       

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