Everybody is blogging the Birthers these days, So here's my two cents. A recent poll announced that 28% of Republicans believed Obama was not born in the United States and another 30% weren't sure. The fact that 58% of Republicans had doubts about something provable like where the President was born has a lot of people puzzled-- but not me.
I know only too well what makes people cling to the crazy idea that our President is not really one of us, is sinister, a fraud and a dangerous foreigner who is trying to destroy us. It's just good old fashioned American racism wearing a new set of clothes.
Once we elected an African American president, I knew it had to surface sometime and here it is. Not surprising that the strongest support for the Birther movement is in the south, where slavery once reigned supreme and where when I was a child there were separate but far from equal facilities for black and white Americans and where 40 years ago the marriage of Obama's mother and father would not have been legal or recognized. So great was the fear in those days, that Obama's father could have been lynched for simply walking down the street with a white woman let alone marrying her.
The Birther movement is nothing more than a new incarnation of a dark secret in our national past. Our founding fathers believed in liberty but owned slaves. Our original constitution counted every slave as three fifths of a man ( women didn't count for voting purposes at all in those days). We fought a bloody Civil War which pitted brother against brother to finally put an end to " the south's peculiar institution" 25% of the young male population of what was then the United States died in that war, but fear, racism and Jim Crow laws did not.
You can show the Birthers all the evidence you want-- legal affidavits and birth certificates and newspaper announcements and it will do no good. Their minds are made up. Do not confuse them with the facts. Their truth is made up of fear and guilt and downright paranoia. It is the sad legacy of slavery. Ironically it is the Birthers who are enslaved by their own distorted fearful notions of truth. The rest of us are moving forward behind a President who really is who we are: multi- cultural, multi-racial, and all American.