Baratunde Thurston on Donald Trump, Obama’s Birth Certificate, and the Degradation of Americans

By Andrea (AJ) Plaid

With all of the jokes about “Birthers” and Donald Trump’s toupee as well as the leftysphere excoriating the mainstream media for not taking Trump to task for his antics, Jack and Jill Politics’ Baratunde Thurston breaks down what we lost due to Trump’s BS.

Transcript after the jump.

It’s been a very difficult morning for me. Got the news that President Obama released his long-form birth certificate due to the increasing media circus surrounding claims that he is not one of us. That he is not an American. And it comes at a very interesting time for many reasons, one of which is, it’s April 27 2011 and this just happened. So that’s really interesting to me. Also because I’m reading, right now, a book by Manning Marable called Malcolm X a life of reinvention and he unearths a lot of amazing detail and correspondence around this exceptional American. But through this book you also get a window into the civil rights movement throughout this country’s history – especially the 40s 50s and 60s and you are reminded if you read this book or see a documentary special or know anything about the complete history of the United States, you’re reminded of the extraordinary level of sacrifice that has been involved in allowing all Americans to exist as, be treated as, participate as Americans. To be that which they are took a lot of work. A lot of tears, a lot of pain, a lot of death.

There were people who dropped out of their ordinary lives, sacrificed their personal safety, their reputation, their ability to earn money, to intervene on behalf of those who they also saw as American. They got on buses and Freedom Rides. They sat in, they died in waves and waves of domestic terrorism so that someone like me could go to a voting booth and not be asked by some racist poll worker to pay a tax or prove that my grandfather wasn’t a slave or pass a literacy test that got increasingly difficult the more I passed it. And today, the President of the United States had to prove that he was an American, to the satisfaction of the 75 percent of Iowa republicans who doubt that or the 43 percent of National Republicans who believe that or the one heinous low-class individual who took credit for it after: Donald Trump.

A man who was given every advantage – who inherited millions and lost it all twice but had that opportunity because no one’s ever had to ask him to prove anything. A man who lacks intelligence, compassion, common sense, respect, decency, or an understanding of WHAT THE FUCK it means to be an American that he would come out moments after the President of the United States – and I stress that: the President – released his long-form birth certificate – and Donald Trump comes out moments later and says, “I’m really proud of myself – but it shouldn’t have taken so long. I wanna see the birth certificate for myself. I want to test it for authenticity. I don’t want the press asking me about birth certificates anymore.”

I find it hard to summarize in mere words the amount of pain and rage this incident has caused. It’s humiliating – not just to Barack Obama, not just to the office of the President, not just to Black Americans who died and those who supported our quest for freedom. It’s embarrassing to the entire nation that we would sit and let this nation. We have all been debased by this incident. By a charlatan, by a con man, by a mere promoter of himself. And for him to take credit for this, and for him to revel in it, and yet not be satisfied makes him no better than a Klansman. No better than a Bull Connor. No better than an anonymous, privileged white man in the 1950s who, regardless of his position in society, knew his position was higher than that of a common nigger. And that is what the fuck Donald Trump has done to the President of the United States. To the office of the President of the United States. To me. And to you.

I am disgusted. I have cried, because I know my own ancestors paid a very high price, and never would have imagined that we might have the President that we do, but certainly, part of their joy in the ancestral, celestial skies right now has been greatly diminished by what has happened here today. I hope that eventually, not just in the post-mortal world of karma and spiritual justice, Mr. Trump pays an exceptional price. I hope that price comes during his life. To then be able to walk around, a super-free, super-white, super-privileged man lording over all who would pay attention – which is far too many – at what you have done has got to cost you something in this life, as well.

I don’t wanna hear about The Apprentice. I don’t wanna hear about your new cologne. I don’t wanna hear about the new tower you’re building in whatever fuckin’ town. That cologne smells of racism. That tower is built on the blood of disrespected slaves and freedom fighters, and that show is merely a showcase for the dishonor you have brought among anyone who would call themselves an American.

My name is Baratunde Thurston. I’m heartbroken over this.

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  • TeakLipstickFiend


  • blackstocking

    The birthers, et al, have damaged the presidency forever. Their hatred of black people has triumphed over their love of the US. I’m mad that he released the certificate too. Now that want his grades. Next thing they’ll want is to look in his mouth and inspect his genitals. Racism is a shapeshifting monster.

  • Pingback: links for 2011-04-28 « Embololalia()

  • Anonymous

    Baratunde truly articulated all of the pain and shame many of us felt at yesterday’s turn of events. It’s absolutely disgusting the way in which a small minority has sensationalised and dominated the national conversation around Obama’s “legitimacy” as President. As Digital Coyote said if this was a white person (American or not) there would be no question.

    Say what you will about Obama’s policies, his unswerving dedication to bipartisanship, etc. there in lies some legitimate complaints, but god love him for being willing to run for re-election because I don’t know how I or many other people would be willing to deal with this ish for 4 more years. He may be the leader of our country, and therefore subject to a great deal of criticism, but he doesn’t deserve to be dehumanized.

  • Digital Coyote

    I have to agree with Mr. Thurston. I saw the headline saying the President released his birth certificate and said “Oh god no.” The move rubs me the wrong way on a level similar to what’s indicated in this piece. It also upsets me because the release of the document was never going to be enough–hence the choruses declaring it inauthentic–and because it seems like he is always in a position where he has to acquiesce to the crackpots when PoC (like himself, Ms. Sherrod, or Mr. Jones) are involved. I’m old enough to remember when Donald Trump was a late night punchline along with the esteemed Reverend Jim Bakker. Why should a loser with an equally impressive toupee be the judge of the veracity of the fucking PRESIDENT’s birth certificate? Who are the people supporting him? Where is this madness going to stop?

    The economy’s in trouble, we’re at war with a new group of people, we’re getting creamed by oil speculators….and the most pressing trouble is where Stanley Ann Dunham had her baby fifty years ago?

    The questioning of a President’s place of birth is unprecedented, as is states moving to pass their own laws to determine whether or not that person is citizen-enough to hold the office. This wouldn’t happen to a white candidate: the fact that they were vetted enough at lower levels of office would be more than enough to prove who they are. People who benefit from white privilege are usually “American enough,” even if they aren’t American at all. The rest of us are perpetual guests in our own country, even if our familial presence predates theirs by generations, centuries, or millennia. We’re not supposed to be in charge of anything and we should be grateful they “allow” us to stay here. That’s the most hurtful thing about all this. We can all share water fountains and go to the same schools now, but we’re still not equal.