Re March 30 Leonard Pitts column, "Birther idiots show their true color"
I am so enraged by Pitts' complete and acerbic dismissal of a legitimate and common sense question, I hardly know where to start this reply. Pitts admittedly lowered his level of discourse, diminished his thoughtful response and showed a serious dearth of class, all repercussions he noted.
I'd like to go to the heart of the issue: should a candidate for the United States presidency be required to prove the constitutional mandate that he was born in the United States? The operational word in that sentence is prove. If Barack Hussein Obama were applying for a job in the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, NSA or any other major branch of law enforcement and/or intelligence, I think the vetting process would be quite thorough, passing well beyond showing a birth certificate. Should the standard be any less for a candidate for the most powerful office in the world? Should the commander-in-chief of every American military person leave any doubt in the minds of any of his armed forces personnel, and the public in general, that he is in fact an American?
What proof has been provided that Obama was born in the USA? A Democratic governor of Hawaii remembers his birth, Barbra Streisand, Sean Penn, Whoopi Goldberg and yes, even Bill O'Reilly, will vouch for his citizenship, though without proof. On "The View," Whoopi tried to stifle Donald Trump's position by asking if any white president had ever been asked to show his birth certificate. I think if Adolf Gunther Eichmann was a candidate for the presidency during WWII - you betcha Americans would've demanded to see his birth certificate.
All Donald Trump was saying was that this is an issue that should be a non-issue. Just show us your birth certificate and the matter is settled. But the refusal to show a birth certificate is compounded by Obama's need to suppress and completely deny access to his college records, which only adds fuel to the fire. If there is nothing to hide, why is Obama hiding documents that would shed light on his background. I think it is reasonable to assert that if there is nothing to hide, bring the documents to the light of day. This is a request not steeped in racism, but in common sense and it should be made a statutory requirement that presidential candidates must make their medical, college and birth records a matter of public record. I would not vote for a candidate with serious heart problems; I would not vote for a candidate whose doctoral thesis embraced socialism; and I would not have an opportunity to vote for a candidate not born in this country.
I'm not sure I know what a "birther" is. I am an unaffiliated voter - an independent, basically centrist. I wanted to know about Obama's background going into the 2008 elections. I wanted to know, not because he is black, but because his star rose so quickly and I was impressed with his demeanor. But I also recognized there was little background information available and I started to become uncomfortable with his refusal to make his college records public. Then his mantra of wanting to "fundamentally change" America started to make me sour. America always needs refinements, but fundamental changes? Pitts' claim that his birth certificate has been "vouched for" by Hawaiian officials is wanting. If I'm not mistaken, when a citizen loses an original birth certificate, a hospital or similar agency issues a certified duplicate based on their records. Government officials "vouching" for a document is a long way from certification or proof of authenticity.
I am not a bigot. I am not a racist. And I demand an apology to the tens of thousands (if not more) of other Americans who are simply not unreasonable or bigoted in asking for something our president should have made available years ago. By no means am I saying there are no bigots among those demanding to see his birth certificate. There are, but in my opinion they are a minority. The fact is that anyone who dares criticize Obama is labeled a racist because in far too many cases the critics are right and the only recourse for progressives is to vilify the critics.