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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > It’s a sad day in DC when the President has to yet again prove his citizenship

It’s a sad day in DC when the President has to yet again prove his citizenship

LatinaLista — The “birther” movement’s latest champion, Donald Trump, could hardly contain his joy in broadcast interviews today after it was announced the White House was releasing President Obama’s long-form birth certificate.

birth.jpg“The Donald” took full credit for forcing the issue on the White House, and he may be correct. In his appearance in the White House’s James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, President Obama appeared both frustrated and angry that he has to yet again prove his birth.

The long-form birth certificate of President Obama released on April 27, 2011

As many of you have been briefed, we provided additional information today about the site of my birth. Now, this issue has been going on for two, two and a half years now. I think it started during the campaign. And I have to say that over the last two and a half years I have watched with bemusement, I’ve been puzzled at the degree to which this thing just kept on going. We’ve had every official in Hawaii, Democrat and Republican, every news outlet that has investigated this, confirm that, yes, in fact, I was born in Hawaii, August 4, 1961, in Kapiolani Hospital.

We’ve posted the certification that is given by the state of Hawaii on the Internet for everybody to see. People have provided affidavits that they, in fact, have seen this birth certificate. And yet this thing just keeps on going.

And it probably will continue because this was never about Obama proving his birthplace but proving his patriotism. For some people, a man christened Barack Hussein Obama can never be a patriot because his name isn’t what is considered traditionally American, like George, Bill, Ronald or Jimmy.

For those same people, a man such as Obama can never be considered a true leader of this country because his skin color is different from every single one of his predecessors.

Many smart people who have analyzed this issue have come to understand that the foundation of this argument rests on one thing — racism. In fact, they say that the birther movement is just a code word for racism.

Racist tactics of the past — lynchings, physical and verbal assaults, offensive signage — have evolved into subtle campaigns that smear people deemed “unAmerican.” Unfortunately, these campaigns are quite effective because they ensnare average Americans too ignorant to know the truth but innocent in their belief that if it’s on the news it must be true.

The fact that Obama has had to prove his birthplace sends a chilling message to every child of color who aspires to the highest elected office in the country. The message is: Anyone may be President but not everyone is considered American, even if you were born here.

Visions of forcing future presidential candidates with names like Juan or Aarif or Sung Hea-Jung to produce their birth certificates in multiples doesn’t seem like a far-off dream now.

Donald Trump may have been correct that he was the final straw that forced the White House to do this but it doesn’t make Trump right. In fact, it makes him a pretty pathetic candidate who has to resort to such low tactics to get the publicity he craves for a campaign that already is exhibiting signs of just how bad it would be for the country if he was in office.

It’s never been any clearer than with the birther issue that racism still exists in this country and at high levels. The choice has become whether we, as a nation, allow racism to overrule common sense and surrender to the most despicable of humankind’s vices or actually see people for who they really are undefined by skin color or name?

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