On Daily Kos appears a piece about a $20,000 reward for anyone who can provide a copy of President Obama’s college transcripts. The offer is being made by a Mr. Brooks Bayne over at a website called The Trenches. Quoted in the L.A. Times, The Trenches says: “We’re not convinced that Barack is as smart as you media elitists keep insisting he is.” One can only sit and blink at a sentence like that. A reply is almost superfluous, but I’ll try anyway.
The title of the L.A. Times article pretty much says it all: “College transcripts replace birth certificate for Obama detractors.” Having failed to achieve their goal of ousting the president by proving that he is not really a citizen, the villains skulked back to their dens, twiddling their Snidely Whiplash mustaches, to hatch new plots. I got it! Let’s show that he’s really not that bright after all! Victory will be ours! Nya-ha-ha!
Donald Trump, who seems to be on a birther kick again, started this gotcha a year ago, according to the Times, with the sideways comment, “The word is, according to what I’ve read, that he was a terrible student when he went to Occidental.” Yeah, D, so bad in fact that was he able to transfer to that hack school on the Upper West Side, you know, Columbia. And he screwed up so bad at Columbia, that he was able to get into Harvard Law School, which is locked in a match to the death with Yale Law School as top law school in the country. And get this, at Harvard Law that Barack dude became president of the Law Review and then he graduated magna cum laude. What a slacker!
I would write a piece about how Obama finds a cure for cancer, to the outrage of Republicans everywhere, but it’s been done already. I’m sure similar pieces have also already been written about the president finding a cure for AIDS, herpes, or the common cold, inventing warp drive, building a functioning TARDIS, or successfully constructing any piece of furniture from the IKEA catalog in less than a day.
This is not to say that the president is perfect or that I agree with everything he’s done to date. He isn’t and I don’t, but that’s not the point. Having disagreements about substantive policy issues is always fair game for any president. We would not have a functioning democracy without such questioning taking place. What is at issue are these attacks against the president’s personhood and qualifications for the job. They are as transparent as plain, old-fashioned glass.
What do we have so far? First, during the 2008 campaign, we have the charge that he was just a “community organizer,” thus he lacks experience. Never mind that he was a sitting US senator and was in the Illinois legislature before that. Then we have the birther business. Then we have the “you lie” moment during a state of the union address. Now we have transcript-gate. See a pattern?
Sadly, I do. It’s a pattern far too many black folks have seen for a very, very, very long time. It’s a pattern that says regardless of what you’ve accomplished and what hurdles you’ve surmounted, you ain’t good enough, you ain’t American enough. The president’s election told a generation of black children that yes, it is possible, a message that these bigoted detractors strive to undermine and mute.
It’s time that these racist you-ain’t-good-enough attacks be called out for what they are by the media.
© 2012, gar. All rights reserved.