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Birther cop in Ferguson

The Americans Against the Tea Party have a couple of interesting videos up. The first shows citizens in Ferguson, Missouri, including CNN reporter Don Lemon, being pushed off the sidewalk by police. The officer involved has been identified as Dan Page, and Page is a birther—that is evident from the second video where Page says President Obama “was born in Kenya.” He doesn’t like blacks, Muslims and gays either.

Following the video, characterized by several news outlets as a “racist rant,” going viral on the Internet, Page was suspended from the St. Louis Police Department.

Mr. Page is being inducted into the Birthers from A to Z list.

Read more:

Birthers play the race card

While I have been hesitant to play the race card and make generalized statements saying that birthers are fundamentally racist, others have not, and they have used the “racist” label to good effect against birthers, to the point where I think that there are many, and maybe a majority who view birthers as racists (and undoubtedly they are right in many instances).

Birthers have been quick to pick up on any claims that they are racist and try to turn that into the entire argument to avoid the fundamental weakness of the birther position in general. However, seeing, I think, the effective use of the racist label when used against them, they are now responding in kind by labeling their opponents “racist.” Any time they can find two instances remotely parallel where the black guy is treated differently than they white guy, they cry racism, and we have seen such attacks against Barack Obama, Eric Holder and others.

We saw examples of this in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial in Florida this past July this such as the “Blackness Trumps Fairness (Eric Holder the Racist)” thread at the Free Republic from last July. Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld (in an ironic statement) suggested that calling some a racist unfairly is itself racist hate speech. Birther rock musician Ted Nugent said:

We are most offended that the president of the United States and the U.S. attorney general are clearly guilty of racism when they intentionally bring race to the fore when they make public judgments based on the color of someone’s skin instead of the content of their character in total defiance of the findings of the FBI, Department of Justice, entire state’s investigative resources and a jury verdict.

Orly Taitz is, of course, not to be left out of any anti-Obama movement. OC Weekly reports on this comment from Taitz, and her link to a racist web site:

More evidence of young black men beating up, mutilating and in some cases killing whites, particularly elderly, women and children. Black racist Eric Holder does nothing about it, only charged one white man with hate crime, did not charge any blacks, Demand impeachment hearings for Holder. Please, give me phone numbers of white men and women, who were victims of these attacks.

Black on white crime is a popular theme on the Taitz web site the last couple of days. Here are some articles, with links to the Taitz site (which still issuing that fake browser alert, so watch out):

The following are older articles from the Taitz site (where she is just copying the stories of others):

The birther fear of death

When I say “death” I don’t mean physical death, but death of a way of life. Birthers are mostly old white people who are saying: “Obama is destroying the country.” Ignore the “Obama” part for a minute, and listen to the fear that they live in the midst of some kind of destruction. Some of them think that the world is about to end in the Biblical Apocalypse, but even if the world isn’t ending, it is passing them by.1 Change comes at what appears an accelerated pace (and even if the pace were not accelerated, it would seem that way to older people whose sense of time is different). Change scares them witless because it could mean the death of their way of life. And out of this fear, they seem to be grasping at straws: that Obama is ineligible and every law he signed can be made to go away, that the Tea Party can set the clock back to 1950, that all the immigrants can be expelled2.

“Immigration and people of color” is a big deal for the status quo because in the future the United States is going to populated and controlled more by non-white people, and that can be a source of anxiety for white people. The Southern slaveholder’s greatest fear was of a slave uprising in which they would be murdered in their beds, and revenge would be exacted on them for the cruelty they had inflicted on their slaves.3 The people of the United States have exploited immigrants from the beginning, whether it be the unwilling Africans, the Irish, the Chinese or the Latinos today who work for less than the minimum wage and in some cases in slave-like conditions. Those classes will share in the leadership in American. Even racial distinctions are becoming blurred by mixed-race families. What’s even scarier to some is that other countries like Russia, India and China (among others) are growing at tremendous rates and America must share world leadership to a growing extent. (I was just in Russia and was impressed by their potential in land area, natural resources and a well-educated population if they can stay at peace and maintain internal stability for a while.)

I’m 63 years old now and I am reconciled to the reality that each generation makes its own rules and has to solve its own problems (except that the next generation will have to solve its own problems plus the ones my generation left them). While I love my Country, I also believe in the equal value of all human life. If someone not like me does well, that’s a good thing too. My view is not that white people are in decline, nor that America is in decline, but rather that we are seeing the “rise of the rest,” to use a phrase borrowed from an immigrant with a funny name, Fareed Zakaria.4

It is a brave new world, but it’s not necessarily a bad one.

I’m really not sure what to say to the birthers. “Chill out” seems trite. My former pastor strongly recommended prescription drugs for anxiety. To the extent that you can, find constructive activities, delete those gloom and doom chain emails, and spend time with your family.

1Jesus said:

Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go. John 21:18

2Note this headline from an article on Orly’s site:

How to fight Soros pro amnesty thugs? We need bikers and truckers there, advising them that they are under citizens arrest and we need to call immigration and police immediately, demand deportation and have the call to immigration on loud speaker and on video. We need congressmen there talking to immigration on loud speakers. Maybe George Soros should be arrested for misprision of felonies, for inciting violence and violation of immigration laws? Is Soros a U.S. citizen, did he get his U.S. citizenship under false pretenses?

3The book The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory talks about paranoia over real and imagined slave revolt plots.

4I had a really hard time writing this article, and making it say something worth reading, instead of being a collection of platitudes. A great deal was written and deleted. I don’t think I succeeded beyond offering the idea to the reader that part of birtherism can be attributed to old white people’s fears of losing their way of life.

Sheriff Arpaio: Murray mandates monitor

Federal judge G. Murray Snow has ordered a court-appointed monitor to insure that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office establishes policies “consistent with the Constitution and law of the United States and State of Arizona…and with current professional standards,” reports the Wall Street Journal. Arpaio and his Office have been sued many times for civil rights violations and racial profiling. Birther sheriff Arpaio is appealing the ruling from four months ago where Judge Snow determined that Arpaio’s Office had engaged in systematic racial profiling.

Article says birthers are good for Obama

In an article on the Chinese web site, Global Times, California writer Charles Gray said in a significant article yesterday:

However, far from being a danger to Obama, birther mania has actually helped his political agenda and has, more often than not, left the Republican Party on the political defensive.

It’s good propaganda for the Chinese to paint the Republican party as racists, but I don’t think this article is far off the mark, pointing out the failure to produce any evidence by birther celebrities Donald Trump, and Joe Arpaio.

Anyway, “’Birther’ lunacy leaves all Republicans painted as racist crackpots” is a feel-good article for Obots, and the birthers (in particularly David Farrar and KBOA) are wailing and gnashing their teeth in comments there.

Obama taught Vattel at The University of Chicago

President Obama, when an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Law School, taught a course  on Constitutional Law and one titled “Current Issues in Racism and the Law.” The New York Times published the syllabus for the latter back in July of 2008 in an article called “Teaching Law, Testing Ideas, Obama Stood Slightly Apart.”

There are some interesting items in the reading list Obama gave his students. On the issue of the removal of Indians, he cited Vattel’s The Law of Nations. We don’t have the over 500-page reading packet itself, so we don’t know what the particular reading from Vattel was1. It is nevertheless instructive that then professor Obama picked such a source, which in modern times is rather obscure. Obama also included a reading about the Dred Scott case and the Slaughterhouse Cases (both having been cited in the Presidential eligibility debate). Of course no discussion of citizenships is complete without the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, both of which appear in the Obama syllabus.

While the Obama reading list is extensive, still it is remarkable that there is as much overlap between it and what we talk about on this site, and I do not think that this is a coincidence, because a discussion about racism is one of the practice of discrimination and exclusion and eligibility criteria are about the same thing.

1I suggest that the text might have been from The Law of Nations, Book 2:

§ 97 The savages of North America had no right to appropriate all that vast continent to themselves; and since they were unable to inhabit the whole of those regions, other nations might, without injustice, settle in some parts of them, provided they left the natives a sufficiency of land. If the pastoral Arabs would carefully cultivate the soil, a less space might be sufficient for them. Nevertheless, no other nation has a right to narrow their boundaries, unless she be under an absolute want of land. For, in short, they possess their country; they make use of it after their manner; they reap from it an advantage suitable to their manner of life, respecting which they have no laws to receive from any one. In a case of pressing necessity, I think people might, without injustice, settle in a part of that country, on leading the Arabs the means of rendering it, by the cultivation of the earth, sufficient for their own wants, and those of the new inhabitants.

Vattel, of course, had no notion of the vast size of the native population of the Americas before it was decimated by diseases from the European explorers.