Sunday, January 16, 2011

There Are Birthdays and, then, There Are Birthers

Tomorrow our nation will observe Martin Luther King's birthday.

Leading up to his birthday, public schools discussed both his life, and his contributions to the civil rights efforts that became a movement under his leadership.

Not to detract from King's legacy (which stands unparalleled in our nation's history) a long line of civil rights leaders existed years before Martin Luther King, Jr., found himself swept away by the exigencies of the moment.

Some of those civil rights leaders were white, and some were black. That more were black that white speaks volumes about the wall of resistance that was erected to keep blacks in their place, and just how entrenched was the notion. That some were white tells another story: It seems this country hasn't always lived up to its constitutional ideals--not where women were concerned, and not where gays and lesbians are concerned. Even now, some states are denying this group equal protection under the law.

For example: It was an uphill fight that passed legislation to repeal "don't ask, don't tell", and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. Same-sex marriage equality is still not a reality in every state in our nation.

It's tempting to speculate on what Martin Luther King would have thought of our time were he alive to witness it. Without a doubt, he would be pleased with some things, while finding displeasure with others. A little over a year ago, I looked at King's "dream speech" in an effort to assess this nation's progress toward a realization of that dream. I titled it: "Are We Dreaming Or Is It Real? An American Report Card.".

What I wrote then still stands. In fact, since the election of President Obama, this nation's behavior in certain quarters may qualify it for a lower grade.

How many times in our nation's history has the birthplace of a sitting president been challenged to the same extent as President Obama's? The Tea Party pursued it so aggressively that a new word was inserted into our lexicon, "birther." Their fanaticism around this issue called their whole movement into question.

And one Tea Party adherent in particular is making it her personal crusade, one Orly Taitz. This Moldovan-Jewish woman, born in the Soviet Union, immigrating to the United States from Israel in 1987, now a U.S. citizen, is leading the charge to expose the president as a fraud.

Why her, and not someone born here is, too, a matter of speculation. Could it be that she's envious of Obama? He's president, this black man with a Kenyan father, but try as she might, she'll never qualify to hold the office, let alone pursue it.

I believe that Orly Taiz, and her crusade, would be one of those things that would displease Martin Luther King were he alive today. It certainly is one of those things that, despite its conservative make up, displeased the Supreme Court. Just in time for the observance of Martin Luther King's birthday, we have this:

January 11, 2011
Agence France-Presse
The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to take up the question of President Obama's citizenship, which a core group of skeptics continues to challenge despite presentation of his U.S. birth certificate.

The high court, without comment, rejected the request by Orly Taitz, a California lawyer who has emerged as a leader of the "birther" movement of mainly rightwing protesters who question where Obama was born.

She had asked the court to annul a federal judge's $20,000 penalty for filing a "frivolous lawsuit" by her client, a U.S. Soldier who refused to deploy to Iraq because she viewed the commander in chief as illegitimate.

The U.S. Constitution allows only "natural born" Americans to be elected to the presidency. Obama was born on Aug. 4, 1961, in the U.S. state of Hawaii.

Judge Clay Land in the southeast state of Georgia determined in October 2009 that Taitz's pursuit of the case was "breathtaking in its arrogance and borders on delusional," and scolded her for expressing "no contrition or regret regarding her misconduct."

She had filed a stay of deployment request on behalf of Capt. Connie Rhodes, an Army medic who challenged Obama's legitimacy as president. When Land threw the case out, Taitz publicly branded it "an act of treason."

In her petition before the Supreme Court, Taitz asked: "Is the whole nation de facto reduced to the level of slaves or serfs when one without valid vital records, without Social Security number of his own and without a valid long form of birth certificate is able to get in the position of president?"

On Monday, Taitz said she would not let the case rest.

"I will file a motion for reconsideration," she said on her website, adding that she has "evidence of highly suspicious activity in several federal courts."

"If we don't clean up corruption in the judiciary, in the White House, citizens of this country will have no trust in the system and will take justice in their own hands. This is dangerous," she wrote.


Sometimes, justice prevails, even here in the United States of America.

13 comments:

Greg L said...

This woman, Orly Taitz, is a fool but a well funded one. It takes money to take this ridiculousness all the way to the supreme court and I wonder who exactly is funding her. She seems to have come out of nowhere into prominence.

msladydeborah said...

I have often wondered what direction this nation would have continued to take had MLK not been murdered. It looked like Martin was moving towards economic development and that would of been another major upset to the system of the haves and you ain't never gonna get it.

From the first time I encountered the birther theory until this very moment, I have deemed the theory a thinly covered attempt to remove Obama because he is a POC. If both of his parents had been born in America, there would just be another route they would try to take.

Orly et. al., are in that group of people who are a bigger hinderance to the progress of the nation than they are a help. I find it ironic in a legal system that is known world wide for sentencing and housing more POCs than any other in the entire world, that she would crack her lips open to even claim that they were in any form of conspiracy to keep Obama in office.

Only in America would Orly be free enough to continue this nonsense without fear of being kicked out of the country. There are nation's that would of had her imprisoned,murdered or removed for this type of anti-government activity.

I think that if MLK had lived, he would of been in the forefront of demanding economic justice as well as human justice.

Reggie said...

Friday I was on my way home from work and I tuned in to a local conservative talk show. This being South Carolina, conservative talk shows are the norm and not the exception. The host was blasting our "liberal minded government" and weak minded fellow Americans for even having a MLK birthday as a federal holiday in the first place. He didn't understand why no other American, other than a president, doesn't have a day set aside for them. So why would we need to have MLKs birthday as a holiday? It's amazing to me that no matter how far we come as a supposedly civilized nation that some of us could be so clueless.

Black Diaspora said...

@Greg L: "I wonder who exactly is funding her."

Taitz fight has serious implications for this country, whether the substance of her fight is true or not.

At one time the press, now the media, would investigate relentlessly the likes of Orly Taitz, but now the Taitzs of the world are allowed to take a stand without the rest of us knowing upon whose broad shoulders.

Financially behind a large segment of the Tea Party, The Koch brothers didn't come to light immediately, but pulled the strings from the shadows.

Even if the Supremes believed that Obama might not be a "natural born" citizen of this country, I don't think they'd want to uncover that--it would present this nation with a constitutional crises not seen since the Civil War.

Strangely, this country is tolerating Orly Taitz and others like her, I think in a way that's reserved for blacks and not whites. Blacks, whether in leadership positions are not, have always had to fend for themselves, with very little support from whites.

The only way I can explain this phenomenon is thusly: Obama is seen first as black, and then as president.

Black Diaspora said...

msladydeborah said..."Only in America would Orly be free enough to continue this nonsense without fear of being kicked out of the country."

Precisely. Obama, after all, is just another black man, his interraciality (my coinage) notwithstanding.

This nation's history has supported black deprivation, not black development, and empowerment. So Orly Taitz, and others, can attack the first black president with the impunity it has always enjoyed.

"I think that if MLK had lived, he would of been in the forefront of demanding economic justice as well as human justice."

For sure! And those on Fox No News, and other right-wing pundits, Limbaugh in a major way, would be devoting the whole of their energies to silencing him, because King would have fought for, and spoke for, all those disenfranchised by the system, be they white or black--this nation's silent poor, and severely exploited.

Black Diaspora said...

@Reggie: "So why would we need to have MLKs birthday as a holiday? It's amazing to me that no matter how far we come as a supposedly civilized nation that some of us could be so clueless."

What a vantage point you have: Living in the belly of the beast.

I have said it before: Martin Luther King's birthday is more for whites (the racially bigoted ones, that is), than for blacks.

Had it not been for them, a Martin Luther King would not have existed as a champion of the people--would not have emerged to fight against social, and economic injustice.

Dr. King's life was devoted to freeing these whites. Once freed of their racial bigotry, their attempts to hold blacks down would be a thing relegated to our racist past.

Short of achieving this lofty goal (Dr. King was first and foremost a minister, a man of the cloth), he settled for legislation that would minimize, and blunt the racial hatred that gripped the soul of this nation.

I'm afraid, Reggie, that many in our "civilized nation" are still "clueless." Today, only 3 of 10 businesses observe King's birthday.

If it were 7 of 10, I'd say that this nation had finally turned the corner on its ugly, sordid, racial past.

Greg L said...

>>The only way I can explain this phenomenon is thusly: Obama is seen first as black, and then as president.<<<

To be sure, that is sure to be the view of some. This thing is also a major diversion from the economic calamity we've encountered. We have some very serious problems, but these people will pull out almost anything to avoid these being discussed and focused on. There was nothing more controversial than Bush's election in 2000, yet that was quickly swept under the rug and we were quickly told to forget about it. Obama's win was clear, so no controversy on chads, so they create this whole thing on his birth. It doesn't matter if it's not true, the fact that it's raised keeps the pot stirred and that's the objective. They don't want people looking at the real issues. As we get closer to hitting the economic wall, the crazier everything will get.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

ADL might be funding her behind the scenes. Abraham backed Beck behind the scenes. And y'all know what Beck was saying about the President.

But some of his own people are not to happy with him and beginning to look at him with suspicion. I remember reading a letter written to him by one of his own people and it was calling him out on a few things. It has been scrubbed off the Internet now. However, I did make a copy of it and have it in a box that I cannot get to.

Black Diaspora said...

@Greg: "It doesn't matter if it's not true, the fact that it's raised keeps the pot stirred and that's the objective. They don't want people looking at the real issues. As we get closer to hitting the economic wall, the crazier everything will get."

It's a ploy that works because it taps into the bigotry that already exists.

The old saw that you can't con an honest man applies here. Republicans know that a large segment of the populace can be distracted with just the right dog whistle remarks--statements which don't require the prerequisite creativity to employ.

The American people have one major shortcoming: They're predictable. This predictability kept Bush in office for two terms, and now it's being used to keep us fighting among ourselves to our own peril.

After their retreat, Republicans have unveiled their new unified strategy--"Whatever we do, don't own the government, say it still belongs to Obama and the Democrats."

It's brilliant in its simplicity: Rather than remain the Party of No, become the Party of Not Able To.

It keeps the burden on Democrats to fix our economic mess, and to reduce the deficit. In addition, it sends a clear message to the electorate: "We can only fix the mess that the Democrats created (although Republicans did) if we're in charge of both houses as well as the executive branch."

How is that for throwing down the gauntlet for the next presidential race in 2012?

With ten million homes poised for foreclosure in 2011, it may be the straw that breaks the back of our struggling economy, and postpone our recovery indefinitely.

Black Diaspora said...

GrannyStandingforTruth said...
"ADL might be funding her behind the scenes. Abraham backed Beck behind the scenes. And y'all know what Beck was saying about the President."

Thanks for saying it, Granny: I was thinking it.

Beck is slipping. He lost a major radio market. You can fool some of the people some of the time....

Kathy said...

I really believe Taitz is some type of paid plant. The fact that she is a naturalized citizen, I think that there may be an attempt to infuriate people and also send a subliminal type message the somehow relates President Obama to "foreign".
The whole birther movement could be summed up by the "go back to Africa" meme. That is really their message, which of course they would arrogantly deny.

Black Diaspora said...

Kathy said...
"I really believe Taitz is some type of paid plant."

It's kinda hard not to see it that way. As a "naturalized citizen" what does Taitz have to lose if Obama wasn't born here?

Why is she personally offended, and why is she taken this up as her cause célèbre--her sword upon which to fall, and to build her reputation?

She's become the laughing stock of the political circus that's become the Republican/Tea Party.

I miss you over at your place. Even Ernesto has stopped blogging. I pray all is well with him.

Kathy said...

As a "naturalized citizen" what does Taitz have to lose if Obama wasn't born here?
_
Exactly, you would think that Taitz would be in favor of naturalized citizens having the same rights, instead, we have a person who is challenging a US born citizen. What a nerve.

I want to start blogging again, I miss ya too:)