By now, you may have already seen Baratunde's response to Obama releasing his birth certificate. If you haven't you really must watch it, and if you have, it wouldn't hurt to watch it again. I myself have seen it three times now, simply because it's so moving and so honest and reflects what a lot of people feel but can't quite express in words. Here's the video, and I've included the transcript (by Numol Bites) below.
it’s been a very difficult morning for me. um, got the news that President Obama released his long-form birth certificate, um, 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 an interesting time for many reasons — one of which is that it’s April 27th, 2011, and *this just happened*, so that’s… really interesting, to me. also, because i’m reading, right now, a book by Manning Marable — it’s called “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention”, and he unearths a lot of amazing detail and correspondence around this exceptional American, and through this book, you also get a window into the Civil Rights Movement throughout this country’s history, especially in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. and you are reminded, if you read this book — or see a documentary special, or know anything about the 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* [laughs, shakes head]. 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 in 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 which got increasingly difficult the more i might pass it. [pause] and today, the *President of the United States* had to prove that he was an American to the satisfaction of the 75% of Iowa republicans who doubt that, or the 43% of national republicans who doubt 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*… shouldn’t have taken so long. i wanna see the birth certificate for myself. i wanna test it for *authenticity*. i don’t want the press asking me about birth certificates anymore.” [pause] 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 embarassing to the *entire nation*, that we would sit and *let this happen*. [shaking his head] 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… and still 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 ancestors paid a very high price, and never… would never 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. [pause] 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. [shaking his head and laughing] 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 fucking town. [pauses, shaking his head] 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 upon anyone who would call themselves an American. [pause] my name is Baratunde Thurston and… i’m *heartbroken* over this. [shakes his head and rests his face on his hand as video ends]
- At Sun Nov 27, 11:13:00 PM Blogger said...
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