The historical election of the first black man, Barack Obama as president of the USA was an event that touched the soul of people all around the world. This historic event kindled optimism that America was finally reconciling its negative history with black people. Perhaps this was just wishful thinking as this optimism started to evaporate soon after the president was in the White House.
While many countries were showing their goodwill to the president, the Republican Party had a different idea. They launched a crusade that was designed to delegitimize Pres. Obama. It was as if the president was elected by some great fraudulent scheme and the Republicans were on a quixotic mission to expose it.
Donald Trump the Republican presidential candidate for the November presidential election played a major role in the crusade to delegitimize Pres. Obama. He did this by starting what was dubbed as birtherism.
When Pres. Obama produced his birth certificate, we thought that the birther nonsense would have been put to rest. This was not the case as Donald Trump never apologized to the president and continued make birtherism an issue.
Sensing that birtherism could be an election issue and raised in the debates, Donald Trump called a press conference at his new luxury hotel in Washington DC to make a big announcement. After introducing military honorees and letting them talk at length, he made his big announcement at the end,
President Barack Obama was born in the United States period. Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. Now let’s get on with the business of making America great.
Not so fast Mr. Trump, birtherism isn’t over yet, you didn’t apologize to the president.
Why does Donald Trump need to apologize to Pres. Obama for the birther conspiracy he promoted? It is not because it’s a malicious lie and it’s not just because it was a personal attack against Pres. Obama. The consequence of birtherism was much more than that. It caused the GOP to withhold their support to the president throughout his entire two terms in office and in the process, it was a setback for the economic recovery of the country. It also caused many people to disrespect and hate Pres. Obama.
Donald Trump and his birtherism have also exposed the hypocrisy of several entities. First, it has exposed Donald Trump as being a slanderous person. A person who engages in slanderous speech creates enmity, division, and alienates people from each other. It has exposed the Republican Party leadership for not having the integrity to stop birtherism, and it has exposed the media (both conservative and liberal).
The Washington Post even made the this comment about the damage birtherism did to the Republican Party,
With the presidential election just about four weeks away, the media has failed to challenge Donald Trump to proffer an apology to Pres. Obama. If they have then I apologize to them.
The hypocrisy is even more blatant with conservative Talk Shows especially on Fox News. I recall Bill O’Reilly, the host of The Factor, challenging people aggressively when they suggested that President Bush was a liar. O’Reilly would say, “Are you calling the president a liar?” And of course his guest would not say yes. Had they said yes I am sure Mr. O’Reilly would’ve demanded an apology from them.
Bill O’Reilly has had Donald Trump on his show several times, yet it is doubtful if he has challenged him or anyone who promoted the birtherism to apologize to Pres. Obama. In one interview with Trump, this was the extent of their birtherism conversation,
TRUMP: I don’t know. I guess was maybe some, I don’t know. Why? I really don’t know why. But I don’t think, very few people, you are the first one that’s brought that up in a while. I don’t think so. I mean, look, I went to Detroit. We had — it was like a love fest. We had just a great, great time. I was there for a long time. Again, the bishop and his wife and whole congregation, these are fantastic people.
Obviously, O’Reilly does not see birtherism as a serious problem that has done damage not only to the president but also to the country. Maybe in Bill O’Reilly’s world and issue like birtherism is a non-issue for obvious reasons. This is a shame because his type of Talk Show is politically biased. This does not help America as it creates conflict and disunity.
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