an atmosphere full of poison

David Remnick (New Yorker): Not long after the White House released the President’s birth certificate this morning, Donald Trump stepped off a helicopter, ambled up to a bank of microphones, and declared, “Today, I’m very proud of myself.” (One assumes this is a daily ritual for Trump, but today there were more cameras than usual.)

…What is there to say anymore about Donald Trump? That he is an irrepressible jackass who thinks of himself as a sly fox? That he is a buffoon with bathroom fixtures of gold?….

….What is truly disturbing is the game Trump has been participating in, the conspiracy thinking he was playing with. And here the polls — to the extent that they can be taken as hard fact — tell a disturbing story, in which no small part of the country has believed in a variety of tales about Barack Obama. There is the birther fantasy; the fantasy that Bill Ayers wrote “Dreams from My Father”; the fantasy that the President has some other father, and not Barack Obama, Sr.; the fantasy that Obama got into Harvard Law School with the help of a Saudi prince and the Nation of Islam. There is a veritable fantasy industry at work online and in the book-publishing industry; there are dollars to be made.

The cynicism of the purveyors of these fantasies is that they know very well what they are playing at, the prejudices they are fanning: that Obama is foreign, a fake, incapable of writing a book, incapable of intellectual achievement. Let’s say what is plainly true (and what the President himself is reluctant to say): these rumors, this industry of fantasy, are designed to arouse a fear of the Other, of an African-American man with a white American mother and a black Kenyan father. Obama, as a politician, is clearly not a radical; he is a center-left pragmatist. If anything, he believes deeply in his capacity to lead with subtle diplomacy and political maneuvering, with a highly realistic sense of the possible; in fact, to many he is maddeningly pragmatic.

…more than two years after the fact, this is deeply disturbing to many people, and, at the same time, the easiest way to arouse visceral opposition to him. Let’s be even plainer: to do what Trump has done (and he is only the latest and loudest and most spectacularly hirsute) is a conscious form of race-baiting, of fear-mongering. And if that makes Donald Trump proud, then what does that say for him? Perhaps now he will go away, satisfied that this passage has sufficiently restored his fame quotient and television ratings. The shame is that there are still many more around who, in the name of truth-telling, are prepared to pump the atmosphere full of poison.

Full article here

15 Responses to “an atmosphere full of poison”

  1. April 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    This sickens me. It doesn’t matter what the President does, someone has to criticize. The scrutiny he has lived with is hard for me to take. God bless our President.

  2. 2 Me4obama
    April 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Jelousy is the root cause of Hatred.

  3. 3 Theo67
    April 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I hope Trump gets all the “credit” for stoking the flames of racism and hatred, and that he gets the rewards he so richly deserves for performing such a feat.

    April 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm


  5. 6 vitaminlover
    April 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    If I were on that stupid reality show of his the apprentice and I was black or if I felt strongly about how he has acted concerning our Beloved President Obama I would quit the show.

    • 7 Theo67
      April 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      I was watching CNN just now and there was a presidential historian on, who was visibly disgusted with what happened today, and he called for a major boycott of cable, and specifically of NBC. He also challenged NBC to immediately dump Donald Trump. I plan to call NBC today to give them a piece of my mind. The historian is right – this was a statement on the state of affairs in America, and a sad statement on racists in America. They’ve moved on to questioning the President’s student records and who paid for them, and after that, they’ll have something else lined up. Racism lives comfortably in the hearts of these people – and we, as people, need to tell these racists to stop, and shun them from society. It’s 2011, for heaven’s sake, and these people should be ashamed to think these thoughts, let alone utter them out loud – forget about having a media replay and amplify their crap all day and night.

  6. 8 Rita
    April 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    This makes me sick to my stomach. It’s a black mark on American politics and history. I hope those that screamed for this suffer some regret and self-realization, but I doubt it. Racists will be racists and… words fail me… it’s just depressing…

  7. 9 barb
    April 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    We need to use the Change of Color stategy. Notify the offending network with a boycott notice and boycott their advertisers. If we do nothing, nothing will change.

    • 10 V C prezOfan2
      April 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      Boycott both the advertisers AND the stations! The kind of repetitive stuff being shown has been bolstered by the stations – even Anderson Cooper’s CNN’s supposed rebuttal contributes to the stupidity. Why dignify the racist idiots with a formal (2-part) rebuttal when the President’s birth certificate had already been presented years ago? Call them out for what they are and move the dialogue along!

  8. 11 DoNoHarm
    April 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I haven’t seen Change of Color’s petition. Probably the best bet is to email directly to the sponsor of Trump’s program with a copy to NBC. Wait a minute, is he washed up anyway? We know there’s a count of one that is proud of Trump,himself. MSNBCers gave the POTUS good coverage. Say, any truth to Trump saying he would present his assets docs or some such when the POTUS showed his long form birth cert.?

  9. 12 CEB
    April 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Remember that PBO is a “first.” The first person of color who intergrates a school or university, major league sports, or the political arena always suffers the slings and arrows. Their courage paves the way for those who follow. This is the unfortunate truth of life in America. But also remember, 70 million Americans voted for and elected a bi-racial man who has an Arab name. Most of us can see the “content of his heart.” Deal with the silliness and vindictiveness as President Obama does, then go and donate to his campaign ( I just did.

    • 13 V C prezOfan2
      April 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      So true.

    • 14 Sue in Minnesota
      April 28, 2011 at 1:44 am

      CEB, I’ve always thought of Barack Hussein Obama as being the Jackie Robinson of American politics (not to diminish in anyway those in elected positions at all levels), and I knew his election did not in fact usher in a post racial America. But I never thought such open and virulent racism would be tolerated, let alone given a media platform and vigorously promoted. Hateful, and opportunistic….it’s so destructive.

  10. 15 CEB
    April 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I think I misquoted, but you know what I mean.

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