This is Part III in a series. You can read Part I here and Part II here. “Our current president came out of nowhere … The people who went to school with him—they never saw him.” Thus began Donald Trump’s attack on President Obama’s origin of birth as he spoke at a Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2011. As he often does, Trump doubled down on his claims by appearing on The View, calling for President Obama to show his birth certificate. In March of that year, he appeared on the Laura Ingraham Show and claimed that President Obama either had no birth certificate or “there’s something on that certificate that is very bad for him,” hinting that President Obama is Muslim. In April, he claims to have “dispatched a team of investigators” to go to Hawaii to “find” the President’s birth records.
Sam Nunberg, who became an advisor to Trump during Trump’s campaign against an Islamic cultural center in New York near Ground Zero, said that Trump’s actions were all about “destroying Obama’s favorability, his likability.” Nunberg said that they saw President Obama as a “Manchurian” president. No, that would be Donald Trump. Ben Rhodes, who worked with President Obama, said that this entire debacle was extremely frustrating to the President. While President Obama tried his best to keep the focus of his presidency on the issues impacting our country, Rhodes said that he was “more acutely aware of issues involving race and racism than he sometimes projected.” Unlike faux president Trump, President Obama knew that he was elected to help a struggling country not to stir up feelings that should have been long ago dead and buried.
Again, Donald Trump has not changed, and he has learned nothing from his ill-fated ideas and big mouth. Just as he did with the “birther” issue and the false advertisement in which he was involved with Roger Stone, Donald Trump uses lies and the fears of his supporters to divide our country and attack our democracy, this time using Ilhan Omar. He is the main one pushing the false narrative, that his supporters now parrot, that Omar backs terrorists and married her brother to stay in the country. Similar to the birtherism issue, he has helped this false narrative become a part of mainstream media and conversation. The saddest part of all of this is that people continue to support him. Indeed, people support him because of his unethical behavior, blatant lies, and racism. He is the worst thing that has ever happened to this country.
When society cannot learn and grow from its past and instead holds dearly to that past, the society as a whole is irreparably harmed. When our elected officials become a part of that harm, by either their actions or inactions, they fail us. America’s past as it relates to race is shameful, and the desire of some to return to that way of life is beyond shameful, it is ignorant. Our country is dying under the lack of leadership of Donald Trump. We must continue to stand firm; we cannot allow our past to become our future.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years