Saturday, February 25, 2012

Warning: Birtherism On Steroids

Earlier this week, an Alaskan citizen filed a lawsuit challenging President Obama's legitimacy as a presidential candidate. Just read an article at Addicting Info about the lawsuit, Lawsuit Claims Obama Can't Be President Because He's Black. Seriously

Gordon Warren Epperly (bet you thought it was Sarah Palin) alleges in his complaint that Negroes and Mulattoes are not citizens, natural born or otherwise, and therefore Obama cannot legally be on the presidential ballot.

A little bit of knowledge leads to people making complete jackasses of themselves. The crux of this lawsuit is Epperly declares that the Negro race and the Mulatto race (and presumably anyone with any black ancestry) were not citizens and had no rights of citizenship until the adoption of the 14th amendment in 1868. 

That's accurate. In 1857, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sanford that anyone with any African ancestry was not a citizen and had no rights of citizenship. However, the 14th amendment (ratified in 1868) essentially overturned Dred Scott (note that the civil war concluded in 1865). The 14th amendment was one of the Reconstruction amendments. Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court  that held that blacks were not and could never be citizens of the United States.

Mr. Epperly notes in his complaint that as Barack Hussein Obama II is of the Mulatto race, his citizenship status is based on the 14th amendment. It's true that the 14th amendment conferred citizenship status on former slaves and their descendants. But then this nut job goes completely down the rabbit hole, declaring that the 14th amendment only grants "civil rights"and not "political rights." His brilliant conclusion is that President Obama has no political rights under the U.S. Constitution to hold any public office of the United States government.  (By the way, President Obama isn't a descendant of slaves. His mother is Caucasian and his father is African.)

I'm assuming that this means that anyone of the Negro or Mulatto race (he uses such quaint terminology) is ineligible for public office. Oops! Darn, perhaps white women aren't eligible for public office either. They were citizens but without complete rights of citizenship until the 19th amendment was passed in 1920. Did it grant civil rights or political rights?

Epperly's lawsuit is absurd and it will likely be dismissed without a hearing. His legal theories have no merit. I have become immune to most racism; it's difficult to muster much concern over the ravings of idiots with the intelligence of a pair of shoes. 

What does intrigue me is the persistence of racism and the refusal of America to honestly confront that racism and bigotry are as American as baseball and apple pie. there is this desire to pretend that the only reason there is any racism today is because black people won't let it go and keep playing the race card.

A very nice woman on Facebook who is a friend of a friend declared that she thought that there was nothing wrong with displaying the Confederate battle flag. She reasoned that it was about pride in ancestry and that we needed to let the past lie and move on. I agree except for me that means stop flaunting a flag that represents the subjugation and torture of millions of your fellow Americans for more than 350 years. Slavery was hell but Jim Crow was no improvement,and Jim Crow is part of my lifetime. It is my past and the past of millions of black Americans.

The animosity and disrespect shown this president have been unprecedented, as have been the attacks on the First Lady, and even his children. This dimwitted, ignorant variation on birtherism is grounded in racism. I could only shake my head at Epperly's use of the terms Negro race and Mulatto race. 

Epperly is a fool and a racist, and he would be laughable if he didn't have so much company.

9 comments:

Miss Ginger Grant said...

I wonder how that woman who defended the confederate flag would feel if her neighbor hung out a nazi flag?

Did she really use the word "Mulatto"?! I haven't heard that word since my grandmother died! I wasn't even 100% sure it was a real word when I was a kid- she was the only person I ever heard say it, and none of m y friends even knew what it meant. Finally, I had to give up and ask my mother!

Shaw Kenawe said...

"A very nice woman on Facebook who is a friend of a friend declared that she thought that there was nothing wrong with displaying the Confederate battle flag. She reasoned that it was about pride in ancestry and that we needed to let the past lie and move on. I agree except for me that means stop flaunting a flag that represents the subjugation and torture of millions of your fellow Americans for more than 350 years. Slavery was hell but Jim Crow was no improvement,and Jim Crow is part of my lifetime. It is my past and the past of millions of black Americans."

Would this "very nice women" also encourage the display of the swastika? Afterall the swastika has been around for thousands of years:

"The word 'swastika' comes from the Sanskrit svastika - 'su' meaning 'good,' 'asti' meaning 'to be,' and 'ka' as a suffix.

Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck."


The Confederate flag, as does the swastika, represents the subjugation, torture, and murder of innocent people. That certain southerners continue to value and admire this symbol is disgusting and racist. It is no more worthy of respect as a symbol than is the hated swastika.

That certain southerners don't get that plain and simple idea, shows, at least to me, that they are not very intelligent or sensitive.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Only consolation to this stupidity is that maybe such idiocy will help fire up the base again.

Leslie Parsley said...

Like you, I'm hoping this asinine and frivolous lawsuit gets tossed out and the idiot gets fined big bucks. I'm really sick of this kind of thing and maybe if they got hurt where it hurts, they might think twice before filing such an obviously racist suit.

Nance said...

"...it's difficult to muster much concern over the ravings of idiots with the intelligence of a pair of shoes."

And, immediately, Prince is singing in my head, "Act your age, not your shoe size..." Oh, brother.

You know what's so confusing? I just finished reading Game Change, Halperin and Heilemann's take on the 2008 election. Fascinating stuff; I couldn't put it down. It reminded me of how that election brought out the best, at least at the polls, in America's pride in the progress we have managed to eke out against racism. It seemed to mark a the potential dawn of a new post-racist age...a promise attributable entirely to Mr. Obama's brand and message. And, then, no sooner did we do something to be proud of, than this same country launched a counter-movement that has made me squirm with shame--a movement that has grown and spawned an equally terrifying push to roll back the rights of women, too--all culminating in the insane rhetoric of the Ayatollah Santorum and the blatant racism of Gingrich.

I veer between thinking that it's impossible that a majority of voters could be so ignorant and malevolent and fearing that I've been living in an imaginary America. In my worst nightmares, I have never been so frightened.

Sheria said...

Nance, your mention of the Prince song really struck my funny bone as I also thought of that particular line even as I was writing that line.

UncleBad said...

The lawsuit exposes Mr. Epperly as a racist idiot, but I hate to see all the "birthers" characterized as racists. In 2008, when Hillary supporters first starting questioning Obama's eligibility to be president, no one said anything about racism. However, once someone on the right takes up that position... obviously racist. The race card certainly is a convenient way to discredit those opposed to Obama.

Sheria said...

UncleBad, birthers may not all be racists. I certainly can't read their minds. However, they are ignorant of the law. The entire birther argument is based on a total misreading of the citizenship provisions of the U.S. Constintution. Ironically, a lot of birthers are the same people who decry "anchor babies." Those are children born to non-American citizens on American soil, The parents don't have citizenship but the children do because they were born in the U.S.

Obama's mother was a U.S. citizen. He was born in Hawaii. The state of Hawaii attests to his birth. There is no requirement for so-called long form and short form birth certificates. That's an idiotic notiion dreamed up by birthers. My NC birth certificate looks pretty much the same as the President's birth certificate which has been made public.

I'm willing to entertain some reason other than racism as to why after at least two courts have thrown out birther lawsuits that these folks keep alleging that the President is not a U.S. citizen, a socialist, a Muslim, and the foe of all things American.

Perhaps they are just ignorant and not racists at all.

By the way, opposing Obama doesn't make anyone a racist. It's referring to he and his wife as simians, labeling him a socialist,calling him the Food Stamp King, characterizing him as anti-American with some hidden agenda to destroy the U.S.,and the general use of racist vocabulary including the n-word (check the comments on a lot of the conservative websites) that suggests that maybe there is a bit of racism at play here.

Not supporting Obama's policies just means that we disagree on political issues. However, I've been black for all of my 56 years, and I assure you that I've never confused racism with a difference of opinion.

As for Hilary Clinton. the difference is once she researched the law and obtained all the facts, she had the sense to drop that line of attack.

Beth said...

I read Game Change a while back and loved it. I'm looking forward to the movie, too.

I was pretty appalled when I read this story, and his use of the word mulatto disgusted me even as I laughed. I recall commenting somewhere on Facebook that next they're going to start saying that the state dinners at the White House are Quadroon Balls!

Well, at least this bill should die a quick death before it even gets off the ground. It's ludicrous.