Friday, March 24, 2023

President Barack Obama, Dred Scott: A case of domestic terrorism… “Donald Trump Birther Drama”

May 18, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry


I am a real American/fight for the rights of every man…
Pro Wrestler Hulk Hogan, Theme Song

My president is a “real American,” just as the opening song of his remarks at the White Correspondent dinner suggest. His long form birth certificate confirms this fact of course. He was born in the United States – Hawaii, 1961. Indeed these facts are matters of public record. Nonetheless, Donald Trump and his fellow birthers doubted that a child born of an American woman and a Kenyan man – bearing a name that rhymes with Osama – could be a “real American.” When Trump boldly requested proof, he not only asked Obama to show those proverbial papers as many have noted. With this rather curious demand, Trump seemingly placed himself within a history that has  sought to define and visualize the representative American: his looks, his religion, his gender, and his genealogy. Quiet as it’s kept in these “post-racial” United States, it’s a history of the club of good ol’ boys – a time when citizens were men; men were white; blacks were inferior; and women were of no political concern.

Though no one seems to have said it, the subtext of Trump’s request – namely, the question “who is an American” – seemingly addresses the central question raised by the Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. Sandford. Even though the formerly enslaved Scott sought to prove his freedom, Justice Taney cast aside this question of liberty in order to examine the very idea of American citizenship. Taney argues that Dred Scott, as well as all others of this “class of person,” is not a citizen of the United States. Backed by legal precedence Taney confirms what he deems obvious. The Founding Fathers – the celebrated Framers of the Constitution – did not have black men in mind when they employed the word “citizen.” By “citizen,” these educated men meant “white man,” not those an “inferior order” brought to American shores as property. Thus, Taney’s American, the propertied white man, did not have to respect to the rights of this un-American, inferior other. Trump, as the American, does not have to respect the presidential authority of Barack Obama, and historical precendent is on his side. More than a century and a half has passed since Taney wrote the words, “they had no rights which the white man is bound to respect.” Despite the ratification of 14th amendment, the Civil Rights movement, and the election of President Barack Obama, this question of citizenship has reentered popular discourse. The person in question is not a former slave turned free then re-enslaved man, but rather the president of the United States.

This unsettlingly discussion of citizenship and race was cast aside several days after President Obama confirmed his “real American” citizenship by his announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. The president concluded his speech with the words, “justice has been done.” Mobs danced in the streets to celebrate justice and by implication the hopeful end of international terrorism. In the wake of these peculiar celebrations of death and American hubris, I couldn’t help but to return to the implications of Donald Trump’s request for the president’s long form birth certificate. I couldn’t help but to return to the history that was so quickly silenced and ignored as we, Americans honored “justice.”

In the wake of the so-called end of international terrorism, what do we make of a more domestic form of terrorism wherein our highest executive authority – the president – can have his American citizenship questioned by a wealthy laymen, such as Donald Trump? Trump’s actions are part of history that affords him the privilege to question the American-ness our “first” black president. His actions make clear that there is no post-racial America; there is no America separate of distinct from racism, sexism, classism, all of which might be properly named domestic terrorism. I wonder what will come next. If the president’s citizenship can be questioned, what about the average American walking down the street? Who will come to his or her aid when stopped by another and asked to show papers or proof of citizenship? The War on Terror is not over. Moreover, it cannot end abroad if we cannot confront it on our American shores at the hands of our own American citizens. But then, who is American?

Written by Dr. Tara Bynum


7 Responses to “President Barack Obama, Dred Scott: A case of domestic terrorism… “Donald Trump Birther Drama””
  1. BeadStallcup says:

    On this birth issue. Very simple, let’s just see the ORIGINAL long form Hawaiian birth certificate and settle this matter once and for all. It’s the only honest way to do it.

  2. F Ben Kautz says:

    African man,
    The only thing I question is Barack Obama’s legitimate presidency.
    You twist this to your own thinking.

  3. dancingrabbit says:

    One more item…all Presidents have come from the White womb. Obama said his father gave him his Arabic name.

    In the 20th Century, Hawaii classified “Blacks, Negroes as Puerto Ricans in the census and birth certificates. It is doubtful the word African could be listed on a 1961 Hawaii birth certificate.

    Since Obama’s father was a transient alien student (who was deported)..he does not meet the subject to jurisdiction in the 14th Amendment.

    Remember Obama does not gain citizenship from the original comes from the 14th Amendment.

    The 14th Amendment could not make natural born citizens…

  4. dancingrabbit says:

    Let me add a few comments..the word natural in natural born citizen means a Kind.

    When the Founders used the words natural born citizen they placed this type of citizen into a Kind. Kind comes from the word gecynde.

    Kind and Natural have the same meaning. Natural born citizens are the descendants from the original citizens created after the ratification.

    It has to be determined if the 14th Amendment can change this Kind.

    Now you know the meaning of a natural born citizen.

  5. The African Man says:

    Kautz, the implication here is that you not only question the President’s credibility, you also question the legitimacy of the very system that issued his birth certificate and by extension, your own birth certificate and, therefore, your citizenship. No doubt, you will say “no” to my deduction. That will not come as a surprise, because you and I are people of convenient thought – the rules we use are based on whether we like or dislike the subject of our conversation. No wonder the world is in the state it is.

    • Kautz says:

      My bIrth certificate has the seal. I do not base my opinion, and therefore my behavior on whether I like certain rules or not. The world is like it is because of the left’s trying to destroy the rule of law.

  6. F Ben Kautz says:

    The question still remains as to why Obama spent so much in legal fees to keep his birth certificate and other records from the public.
    His latest version of his birth certificate doesn’t have the embossed seal.
    I would like to see it presented for a passport.
    It is not about his being a man of color, its about the citizenship!

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!