As I’m reading a book on hate groups right now, that question naturally comes to mind. I’ve been thinking about an article with this title for a few days now. I thought: “This should be pretty straightforward. Define ‘hate group’ and then collect some of the really hateful things birthers say and give examples.”
That would be straightforward, but it wouldn’t be valid. I could use the same methodology to proves that Birthers are racists, or that they are illiterate – for example, check out this one I just found at Orly’s site:
You mean that Parke Bostrom is so stupid that he thinks that Obama is rligible for to be president of the United States. I guess he can’t read or hasn’t heard of our Condtitution of the United States. Obama father was a british suject and his mother was a American, but that put obama with a dual citizenship and no way in hell he can ever be President of the United States. Does corrupt Democrats slip him on the ballot and the election commitee kept thir mouth shut, that is treason against the United States. If you want Obama enoughto go to prison for that whatever he is, go for it.
There’s no question that there is a lot of hatred directed against Barack Obama from people on the Right and from the Birthers in particular. It wasn’t a warm fuzzy feeling that put Obama’s head onto a chimpanzee baby and wrote “now you know why no birth certificate.” My personal view is that conspiracy theory thinking is what defines Birthers, not hate. That said, I also believe that hatred is the “gateway drug” to Birtherism and that the closed world of birther web sites reinforces hate speech and amplifies hatred. And in time, perhaps Birtherism will evolve into a pure hate group, just as it appears to have evolved from retelling rumors to full-blown paranoid conspiracy thinking.