The racist birther movement is also a fascist movement.

by on April 29, 2011 · 31 comments

in American Empire, Civil Rights, Election, Popular

Everybody – even yahoo news – now knows that the birther movement is a racist movement.  We on the left of the center divide have been aware of the birther’s racism for some time now. Their unwillingness to accept a Black man as president has exposed the racist core of their two and half year campaign.

But the birther movement is something else, something else that no one is talking about: the birther movement is also a fascist movement. Yes, that’s right, I said “fascist”, and it’s not hyperbole. Let me explain.

First, with President Obama proving (again) his place of birth by handing out his long-f0rm birth certificate, the white supremacist underpinnings of the birthers has so been totally demonstrated that even mainstream corporate media are calling them racist.

The moment that Obama brought out his Hawaiian birth certificate not only was the moment that exposed the birthers’ Big Lie, but it was a moment of American racism, a moment of shame for all Americans.

We all should feel shame for the fact that the first African-American president in our nation’s history felt compelled to prove himself – showing his papers, doing something no other president has ever had to do. This event has pitched the entire country into the reality of the current of white racism that runs through American politics.  A white president would have never been pressured such as Obama has.  Candidate John McCain – also not born in the continental U.S. – was never forced to run this racist gauntlet.  He was born in the Canal Zone, but it was never an issue.

Not accepting of a Black man’s attainment of our highest office on his own merits,  – or now their current mantra that Obama must have (wrongly) benefited from affirmative action programs to make the universities he attended – the birther movement  has immediately moved unapologetically for something else to prove that Obama is not entitled to be president; his college grades, his admission to elite universities, his father’s race ….

To highlight the racism of the birthers, we had a recent incident this month in Southern California to remind us of its vitriol. An Orange County Republican Party Central Committee member, Marilyn Davenport, had sent out an email depicting President Obama as a baby chimpanzee to public officials, with the tag line “Now you know why no birth certificate”.  She has refused to resign despite calls from some fellow Republicans to step down, saying that since she didn’t intend for it to be racist, it wasn’t racist.  This incident also shows us the proximity of the birthers with many Republicans.

Despite the exposure of the birthers’ Big Lie, their chantings and the chantings of  their enabler, the tea party movement, continue to be heard for “taking our country back” – taking it back from non-white people.

Yet, with carnival barker Donald Trump’s circus dancing, he has raised it again.  Potential GOP presidential candidates have had to publicly announce where they stand on the non-issue.

The President said we have more important issues to deal with and cannot have these distractions. Last week, he said, when the nation should have been discussing the different budgets – his and Paul Ryan’s and the People’s Budget, the mainstream media was all about talking about birthers, Donald Trump, and what other Republicans thought about the president’s birthplace.

Yet it was a shameful moment in American history – the moment with the first democratically-elected African American president has to go on national television and show his birth certificate two and a half years after his election. It’s as if he had to show his papers.   The mainstream media’s role in all of this is just starting to be examined.   MSNBC pundit Lawrence O’Donnell has called out NBC entertainment executives in their complicity in Trump’s racist mockery of reality.

Their Big Lie has been exposed. And in the words of the Spring Arabs “its over.”  Birther queen Orly Taitz has to go home now and never be seen again.

Some tea party types, like Michelle Bachman, when faced with the actual birth certificate document, admit that they now accept the president at his word – on this issue. John Boehner, the GOP Congressional leader who never saw a tea party he didn’t like also says he takes Obama at his word.  They may believe him, but they’re unwilling to explain it to the rest of the crowd on their side of the aisle.

While the Republican establishment has distanced itself from the birther movement, GOP legislators in about a dozen states have proposed birther legislation.  Recent polls showed huge groups of Republican voters either not sure or convinced that Obama was NOT born in the US of A.  Ugly majorities of like two-thirds fell in those categories, and had been confused or convinced by the birther movement, many apparently, still unable to accept a Black man as the Commander In Chief.

For instance, according to a survey taken April 15-17, 48 percent of Iowa Republicans didn’t think Obama was born in America.

So, is the birther issue truly over?

The reactionary conservative Washington Times just did a small poll among is readers:

Poll Results: Does the release of President Obama’s birth certificate put an end to the state-of-birth issue?

  • Yes – 34(20%)
  • No – 124(73%)
  • Undecided – 9(5%)
  • Other – 1(0%)

Here are some additional thoughts on the polls.

Why the Big Lie?

Okay, with Obama’s birth certificate now clearly out there, and the birthers’ Big Lie exposed, we now ponder the question, why would they have pushed this Big Lie for two and a half years, with Donald Trump’s carnival barking bringing it to the foreground just lately?

Why would they have made such a lie up and kept it alive, despite the facts, for all this time?

On the surface, you can say, spreading lies about your opposition is a mainstay in politics, isn’t it?  Telling lies about your opponents helps you, helps to manipulate your base, helps to dirty your opponent in the media. Isn’t this what politics is all about? Vilifying your opponent? It’s a loathsome tactic, but isn’t it par for the course?

And taking advantage of the current of white racism in our national politics – isn’t that something that Republicans and even some Democrats have done for decades?  Catch phrases like “welfare queen” (Reagan), “the silent majority” (Nixon), the “Southern Strategy”, “Willie Horton” have tugged at our prejudices over the years.

But the birther movement has been more, as the more virulent racists in this country have used this movement as a cover for a more outright opposition to Obama based on race. It’s more than your normal, “run-of-the-mill” racism, it’s Big Lie racism that questions the very heart of American democracy.

The use of the Big Lie to manipulate the masses was finely tuned by the Nazis. The common thought is that if you can get people to believe a Big Lie – and a Big Lie that is racist – then they’ll believe other falsehoods much more easily.   Remember the “Death Panels”? More lies, deliberately spread by the tea partiers and Sara Palin.

The use of a Big Lie is definitely a totalitarian tactic; it spreads fear, anger, pricks that feeling that America needs to return to its past, a past that was white; the Big Lie “softens” the gullible up for nastier policies and actions.

Here, in America, for these last two and more years, the birther movement has been spreading this lie, the lie of Obama’s illegitimacy. This is more that just a racist lie. It is a fascist lie.

The birther Big Lie was / is intended to not only undermine Barack Obama’s legitimacy, but it is intended to undermine the American electoral process in general, to call into question the legitimacy of our very federal government, to call into question our very democratic process and government.

The legitimacy of our American federal government and our democratic electoral process was heavily damaged during the Bush Era of the recent past.  It began in the first year of this century, in 2000, when the US Supreme Court stepped in and undemocratically determined that George Walker Bush was the president.

It was again damaged when Bush lied in 2002 and 2003 to the American Congress and the people about the reasons to go to war with Iraq.  More damage occurred during the 2004 presidential campaign with serious allegations of voter fraud and voter machine manipulations.

However, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 did signal a re-legitimation of the American national electoral process – the essence of what’s left of our sickly democracy.  Despite the voter over-ride of 2000 and the voter manipulations of 2004, the first Black candidate to win a party’s nomination, in a long, come-from-behind “he’ll never win” campaign, it was apparent that Obama won a majority of the votes – both popular and electoral, thereby shoring up the all-important legitimacy that any government needs to genuinely govern.

The election of a Black president in 2008 was the primary factor  in that election, an election in a country and society that developed the first race-based system of slavery in the world’s history, a slave system that lasted for 400 years, a slave system that cost this country the most dead in any war that we have ever fought, a slave system that was replaced by a racist Jim Crow system that pervaded our society into our life times, into our living memories.

Now, to be honest, many on the left and among independents have problems with and oppose many of Obama’s policies. Iraq, Afghanistan, the “tax compromise”, the lack of a fight for the public option, for starters.

The difference is that those who oppose him for these reasons do not question or contest the legitimacy of his election, or whether the national democratic process “worked”. Obama is wrong on this or that, those leftists will say, but they do not doubt that he was genuinely elected or that he was entitled to run as a candidate. (Now some leftists do perceive Obama as a “tool of Wall Street” or as a “corporate lackey” and therefore as any capitalist politician, he is not a servant of the working class, and therefore is not our real leader.)

But the birthers  do contest Obama’s legitimacy.  And by doing that, by undermining his very right to sit in the Oval Office, they undermine America’s legitimacy, they are attacking our very Constitution, the very thing that makes America America.   The birthers hence do not believe in or support the Constitution and do not believe in or support American democracy – what is left of it.

The birthers and their tea party enablers join with such corporate manipulators like the billionaire Koch brothers as they take advantage of last year’s Supreme Court decision in “Citizens United” and continue to dig gigantic tunnels under the democratic election process in order to weaken – and ultimately destroy it.

If you’re into destroying the American democratic process and thus democracy itself, you are helping to prepare for something else, something else that is undemocratic, autocratic, plutocratic, ugly, authoritarian, racist, violent – and ultimately their game plan calls for the corporate take-over of our government, which is “fascism” by definition.   We are not there yet, but the fascist birther movement – what is left of it now – is still out there.  They will attempt to morph into something else, but they haven’t been convinced that since American democracy offered up a Black guy as president, that they cannot stop fighting to “take America back”.

All this places the left is a novel position.  With the far right’s and racist attack on our democracy, our democratic process, our Constitution, that places the left and honest independents in the position of defending the Constitution, in defending the electoral process, in defending the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s election as president.  This new role – very different from the left’s position in the Sixties and Seventies where we attacked the federal government – is where we’re at because this is a different historical period.

We are in a period where the racists want to burn the Constitution because it allowed for a Black president.  We on the left may oppose the president, but we don’t doubt that he was genuinely elected by the people. We must continue to oppose his policies, but without vilifying  him, and we must actually defend his presidency from those who want a fascist America.  The birthers have been momentarily defeated, but their fascism has also now been exposed.

We will continue to prevent them from taking over our country. We continue to stand on the side of democracy, and not on the side of a corporate sponsored empire.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Rick Ward aka mr.rick April 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm

At last someone has the guts and foresight to lay out what should be obvious to all of us. WELL SAID.


avatar Outlaw April 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I hope they keep questioning it.

That might side track them enough, and then we win the house back in 2012


avatar The Mustachioed OBecian April 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Out of curiosty, Frank, you write: “But the birthers do contest Obama’s legitimacy. And by doing that, by undermining his very right to sit in the Oval Office, they undermine America’s legitimacy, they are attacking our very Constitution, the very thing that makes America America. The birthers hence do not believe in or support the Constitution and do not believe in or support American democracy – what is left of it.”

Aren’t you inferring the illegitimacy of President Bush’s presidency as much as those whom you decry do the same to President Obama? What does that say for your above argument?

And what does any of that have to do with fascism?

As for “taking America back”, I’m pretty sure President Obama spoke at a conference titled “Take America Back” in 2006 and 2007. Not to mention, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, among others have used the motto during George Bush’s term. Does that make it more or less illegitimate?


avatar Steve Zivolich April 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm

This same group is going after immigrants (imaged as non-white hispanics), government workers (imaged as non-white) public sector union members (imaged as non-white), teachers (primarily women) as scapegoats.


avatar Jackie OB April 29, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Simply, I believed from the start that racism was at the root of all the birther crapaloa- and look at who Trump is.. A very WHITE male with a gigantic ego. Those that emulate Trump and wish to be like him will agree with him.. there are lots of folks who identify with the oppressors… and don’t want to be oppressed… Better to oppress others than be opressed… Fear of the lessening ANGLO population… Someone to blame for it all….
Enjoyed reading your article it reflects much of what I think is true… thanks


avatar annagrace April 29, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Frank- this is a righteous piece of writing. I am proud to be associated with the OBRag, and the viewpoints and analysis which it provides.

Melissa Harris-Perry writes in The Nation that for birthers, Obama is not black enough. “Many on the left say that birtherism is just racism, but there’s more than simple racial animus behind it. I suspect that part of the problem is that Obama is indeed not black enough; specifically, the president is not sufficiently Negro—the historical variation of blackness that is uniquely and indisputably American.” It is an interesting article.


avatar Rick Ward aka mr.rick April 29, 2011 at 7:05 pm

The difference between Ob ama and Bush is. The Supreme Court circumvented the electoral process. If Flordia count was held up for some reason ie: the vote wasn’t properly certified or somehow invalidated, and no one having enough Electoral votes to make a majority,then the House of Representatives is supposed to vote and pick the President. I could be wrong about this,but Article II Section I seems to say this. But I suppose this is why we have Constitutional scolars. Someone let us know if this interpretation is wrong. This is the main reason Bush was considered a “Usurper. Obama won the Presidency the “Old Fashioned Way”. By Decree of the People.


avatar Ernie McCray April 29, 2011 at 9:27 pm

You have, in this brilliant piece of writing, done what Aaron Neville once wrote and encouraged in a song. You told it like it is. You let your conscience be your guide. He was speaking of love and such but what you’ve written applies. It’s all about love.


avatar Annie April 29, 2011 at 10:28 pm

This was a well thought out, excellently composed article. Thank you, THANK YOU, for writing it.

It’s like the old saying: When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross.


avatar Citizen Cane April 30, 2011 at 10:15 am
avatar bob April 30, 2011 at 3:20 am

Please give it a rest.


avatar Abby April 30, 2011 at 7:37 am

How can anyone believe that a secret that huge could be kept? It’s insane!

And why are these idiots quibbling about this crap when there are lots of real questions we should be asking?

Like why is the Department of Homeland Security enforcing copyright law? Why is Obama appointing RIAA lackeys to high ranking offices? Why isn’t more being done to protect net neutrality?

You know, things that are actually happening? Or is wearing a tinfoil hat more fun?


avatar tj April 30, 2011 at 7:54 am


Sorry, I must respectfully disagree. One of our Presidents parents was a foreign national. That alone is reason enough for full disclosure. He spent some of his childhood out of the country. Verifying beyond any doubt the country of birth of a President where some legitimate questions may exist – is only “racist” to blind supporters – as it has NOTHING to do with race. The full verifycation only became an issue because of BO’s long delay in providing it. Good timing though – his $1.7 million dollar income from last year was overshadowed by his timing on the full birth certificate release.

President Obama was elected on a “Change” message with many promises – & with many legitimate criticisms bt him of the “W” administration. His promises have been unfufilled. His path has been far more similar to W’s, then different.

He has been a HUGE disappointment to anyone even slightly realistic, optomistic, or objective.

He is just another tool of the “top” 1% – where he is now a full fledged, card carrying member of that exclusive club.

BO’s the President of the avg middle-class American = hardly.

The facts may be a bit@h – but they are still the facts.

Race the problem?



avatar jettyboy April 30, 2011 at 8:48 am

Not racist? Name one white president that was forced to show a birth certificate. Of course it’s racist, if you can’t see that, your views on racism should be re-examined. What are these “facts” you have that prove this entire movement wasn’t started because of BO is a black man? So he is a tool of the rich, no disagreement on that, but that’s a straw-man argument when talking about the racism that fueled the birther/tea party movement.


avatar annagrace April 30, 2011 at 9:01 am

Not racist? Barack Obama’s mother was an American citizen, and born in this country. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. End of story.


avatar Goatskull April 30, 2011 at 11:59 am

“BO’s the President of the avg middle-class American = hardly.”

Agree on that. I don’t think there is a single person anywhere on the planet who chooses politics for a career is representative of the average middle class person. Maybe i’m just pessimistic that way.

As to the race thing, can’t agree with you on that. To tell you the truth, and maybe I’m going out on a limb here, I honestly believe a lot of “birthers” deep down never questioned that BO was born in Hawaii. I think they just played the birth certificate card as a way to avoid coming right out and saying they don’t like the fact that a black man got elected President. As to the birthers who DID honestly question as to whether or not he was born in the US, I think their racist feelings is what triggered that. I always notice that when I call one of these knuckleheads a racist they fly off the handle, which does nothing but prove my point.


avatar blaw0013 April 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

Frank, brilliant because its passionate and true to you. Thanks for expressing what many of us know.

annagrace said it well, “Frank- this is a righteous piece of writing. I am proud to be associated with the OBRag, and the viewpoints and analysis which it provides.”

Rather than being blindly aligned to Obama’s politics, however, I see his election as an intentional move of the american plutocracy/oligargy. Pairing the Palin with McCain was a intentional move, an opiate for the masses if you will. It caused America to feel it still lived in a democracy, and that the false meritocracy represented by the American Dream was real.

Throwing the dog a bone.


avatar tj April 30, 2011 at 11:17 am

… “the BIG LIE” = the whole BO “Change” campaign – lie stacked upon lie.

You guys are seriously missing the big picture.

Your obsessive distraction with minutia’ keeps your attention away from the real problem – our countries citizen MAJORITY is UNREPRESENTED!!!

The “top” 1% has the game rigged with their own (like W) – & with – “For Sale” lawyer/ politicians with NO moral compass (like BO & Slick Willie) who aspire to join their ranks & will do their bidding to obtain their favor (see the movie “Running Mates” to get an idea of how they work).

Missing the big picture – is what the 1%ers rely on to retain control – until their unbridled Greed & selfishness finally implodes the whole system.

Supporting their stacked deck of iniquity – hardly qualifies one as a “patriot.”

A patriot stands for what is right, good, & true.


avatar Old Hermit Dave April 30, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Good job Frank. No way are these people going to admit their racism is racism. There is a right wing nut on Delphi that posts as his signature a photo of President Obama with a pair of hash mark Jockey shorts on his head. Every other conservative right wing born more than one time homosexual hater swears the photo is not racist. Face it many Americans will never accept the idea that a Black family is being served food, NOT just serving food to WHITE officials in their “WHITE HOUSE.


avatar Charley May 2, 2011 at 7:49 am

How does requesting a President to document his citizenship make someone a racist/fascist and every other vitriolic form of hate speech applied ?
Obama was the first president for whom a question of his citizenship arose and he patently refused to provide proof – one has to ask why. How does pursuit of that question for anyone make them a racist and the object of such hatred ?
The love, peace, and tolerance touted by the OB Rag is lost here….


avatar Patty Jones May 2, 2011 at 8:47 am

Obama’s birth certificate was originally released in June of 2008. He did not patently refuse to provide proof. Even the Associated Press reported they had confirmed it.

We are not the ones who are lost.


avatar RB May 2, 2011 at 9:11 am

This date, June of 2008, is very important. It was during the Democratic primaries when questions were being raised by Clinton supporters. It is funny how with all the talk of racism and right wing politics, nobody ever talks about how this issue started.


avatar Patty Jones May 2, 2011 at 10:13 am

The issue was raised by Clinton supporters during the election and I’m not defending their dirty politics. The difference is that the birthers kept it up after the document had been released, like a dog that keeps shaking a dirty, old sock.


avatar Molly May 2, 2011 at 9:18 pm

? But what if you are a cat person? is it like a cat that keeps jumping up on the same dresser during the night?


avatar Abby May 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

My cat has a birth certificate, though her father IS an African cat, so it could be fake.


avatar Charley May 3, 2011 at 8:52 am

ahh…but the point was whether persistance in pursuit of something warrants such vitriolic hatred spewed by those in disagreement; where IS the love, peace, and tolerance in that ?


avatar Patty Jones May 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm

The “vitriolic hatred” that you talk about… where are you reading that? In Frank’s post where he defines fascism? In my comment about a dog shaking a sock? Or just trying to bait me?


avatar Charley May 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I am not trying to bait anyone. The article and many of the comments reflect a very negative, almost hateful view, of those people in pursuit of information which apparently exists. What bothers me are the labels applied to those people, whether you agree or disagree with what they are doing. Children in school are taught not to write in such vehement terms, and the OB Rag has long been a proponent of tolerance – hence my comment. namaste….


avatar Frank Gormlie May 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Just because one is peaceful and tolerant, does not mean one has to tolerate fascists in their midst.


avatar Rick Ward aka mr.rick May 2, 2011 at 8:14 am

How many birth certificates do you assholrs need!


avatar Outlaw May 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Mine is three pages.

Waste and below from Mexico, My head from Canada, and my chest, stomach, and arms from Russia.


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