Thursday, October 25, 2012

Birtherism refuses to die

As an Indian citizen, I am in absolute awe of the First Amendment. It grants the individual a right to state an opinion without fear of backlash. But sometimes the liberties it grants are used by the wrong people to make ridiculous claims that legitimately hurt the image of its victims. In this country, I cannot make a vocal opinion about the Prime Minister without fear of backlash. I cannot draw a picture of a stick figure and label him a certain name for fear of violence and butthurt sentiments. I cannot remark on our revered political figures; Gandhi, Nehru and others are on a pedestal, beyond reproach. Criticism of the established norm cannot be tolerated in this nation and every little op-ed column, an old cartoon from the archives or a textbook passage invites charges of sedition, plotting to disrupt peace and rendering apart the religious status-quo. Which is why it surprises me that there are a minority of vocal right-wingers in the US, who can get away with accusing the President of the United States of being a Kenyan who was illegally brought into the country to rule over them when he reached his late forties. And mind, that is only one of the many things that the poor man's accused of. The rabid conservatives (read Tea Party) believe he is a Kenyan, a Muslim (that's not any of the innumerous Christian denominations), a socialist well versed in the ways of communism and wealth distribution, the Anti-Christ (that's the opposite of Jesus) and have compared him to Hitler. Yet for reasons that blow my mind, the President acknowledges the existence of these deluded morons and carries on with business as usual and even fights for protecting the free speech of those who lambaste him with indecent accusations.

As we know, there are many religious people in the United States who believe that God (Father of Jesus who is paradoxically Jesus as well; thus giving birth by proxy to himself) created the world in 6 days and took a day off to visit the petting zoo on the seventh. These folks cannot see evidence even when presented and explained to them by experienced and knowledgeable anthropologists and evolutionary biologists. The same goes with the clot of blood issue. An educated friend of mine (in biological sciences no less), proudly tells me that he underwent “deep introspection” and came to the conclusion that the Koran was absolutely inerrant in every way and that science would one day come to realize. Never so badly did I want to see his degree revoked.
Cobb said it best: “An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.”

The cretins who subscribe to the ridiculous idea that Barack Obama isn't an American citizen and was in fact born in Kenya and expertly “shipped” into the country are called “birthers”. At some level, I always wonder if the accusations are racist in nature: Would anyone question the citizenship of a Caucasian man or woman who held the presidency? Is it because at some level they cannot stomach the thought of a Black man at the helm of the Free World? In any event, what was once a stupid remark has now grown into a cult of sorts; a conspiracy theory that's supposedly unearthed from the depths of Hades to see the light. And the President, rightly did not respond until the matter started getting out of hand. He released his long form birth certificate. He did so to finally end this charade and to get the conversation back on the economy and creation of jobs. What should have shamed the conservative Right and shut them up, only gave them more joy. Donald Trump, the wig that owns Trump Organization, revelled in the joy that his attempts had forced the President to make this unprecedented move. The sheer idiocy is enough to numb the brain.
What's more, he sent investigative agents to Hawaii to sniff out more Birther Conspiracy material and also pick out “evidence” for Obama's divorce papers.

And if all of this wasn't enough nonsense, Trump made an announcement today and made a deal that Obama “couldn't refuse”- a check for 5 million dollars if he released papers relating to his college transcripts and passport application forms. And if Trump is “satisfied”, he will write a check to Obama's choice of charity. Here's where the creationists and the Birtherists share another bond: no matter how much evidence is given, it will never be enough. They will come up with ways to dodge the evidence and twist their stories to fit a square into a circle. No Birther is going to admit: “I'm sorry Mr.President. I'm a fucking idiot.” Not going to happen. Instead they will gloat that Obama has something to hide and is guilty for not addressing their challenge. Plus by denying the 5 million, Obama has literally sold out on the chance of helping poor cancer or HIV patients get some money for helping their cause. Here's a question: Why can't Trump just write out a 5 million dollar check to charity for Christmas? This announcement from Trump is just a pathetic last card attempt to rile the Tea Partiers and the extreme Right to rally behind Romney for the November elections. One last pot shot at the Black President in hopes that he won't around in Washington any more.

It simply boggles the mind how it is possible to have so many religious fundamentalists, literalists and evolution deniers in a country that simultaneously brings out Nobel Prize winning research and literature. The extremes of the spectrum are baffling and unreal.

1 comment:

Vyaas said...