Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pull Over, that Ass Is Too Black!

When I first turned on the internet this morning and realized that President Obama had released the long-form version of his birth certificate, verifying that he was, indeed, born in Hawai'i, my first sarcastic thought was, "Bet some people finally regretting how we stole Hawai'i now."

Beyond my sarcasm, though, I think the president has set a horrible precedent. I mean, on a grand scale, he just got pulled over and asked to show papers proving his citizenship. I could be optimistic, I suppose, and think, "Well, maybe now he'll take a firmer stand on the treatment of immigrants and other people of color who are harassed, badgered, interrogated and violated every single day over questions of citizenship. Maybe he'll have this as a reference point." But optimism is not my strong suit.

He is supposed to be, as we so smugly and arrogantly love to say, the most powerful man in the world. This should be a lesson as to how that power is negated? mitigated? birthergated? by race and the equation of "Americanness" with "whiteness." In releasing that birth certificate, President Obama not only validated current problematic (understatement!) immigration policies, he conceded to the historical demand for people of color to "prove" their citizenship and that they deserve access to political and civil rights.

And why? He can't really believe the people who even posit shit like this will ever be satisfied or accepting of his presidency. Instead of saying, "I'm tired of this shit, it's ridiculous, so here is proof," he should've been saying, "I'm tired of this shit, it's ridiculous, and I won't engage with it."

I don't understand how you validate the extremists in the "other" party while always scornfully chiding the so-called extremists (ahem, perhaps actual progressives?) in your own.

5 comments:

Blackamazon said...

Elle For the WIN

Rebecca said...

He refused to engage with it for two years, right? And only recently was pressured by his advisors into making this move. Sure it's a concession, but the Birthers are sidling back into the shadows.

defeatedandgifted said...

'This should be a lesson as to how that power is negated? mitigated? birthergated? by race and the equation of "Americanness" with "whiteness."'
Brilliant. Just brilliant!

elle said...

Hey y'all thanks for commenting. Tired right now, but wanted to say I don't think the birthers will go quietly into that good night, Rebecca. I think something else will come up or they'll simply discount the birth certificate.

Vkabral said...

no, they will not go away and yes they will lock onto something else but i don't think he had any other options here. sad but ......

Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...