It looks like comedian Jeff Foxworthy has a new punchline to add to his “you just might be a redneck” routine. It goes like this:
If you believe Barack Obama was born in Kenya, (altogether now) you just might be a redneck!
Apparently 23% of Americans polled by Research 2000 are either unsure of the President’s citizenship or outright deny that he is a citizen. The geographic breakdown of the numbers is sadly predictable:
Yes No Not sure Dem 93 4 3 Rep 42 28 30 Ind 83 8 9 Northeast 93 4 3 South 47 23 30 Midwest 90 6 4 West 87 7 6
A whopping 53% of Southerners polled are not convinced that Barack Obama was born in the United States.
It took until 1865 and a civil war that almost wrecked our country for Southerners to figure out that slavery was not “ok”. It then took another 100 years or so before the government forced the imbeciles in charge of things to give equal rights to blacks. And now here we are in 2009 and the South once again shows its profound ignorance.
This does not come as a complete surprise to me. When I visited Atlanta a decade or so ago I turned on the hotel television to be greeted by an advertisement to tour a nearby plantation and get a taste of Southern culture. When in Germany, a tour of Auschwitz is meant to be a lesson in man’s inhumanity to man. In Georgia, the South’s past of dehumanizing Africans was celebrated as a culture for which we should be nostalgic.
As a black man, when I hear that great cacophony popularly called rap “music”, I cringe with embarrassment. Quite often, pure garbage passes as “culture”. I can only hope that the 47% of Southerners who think, are equally mortified by their brain dead brethren. It’s high time the South embraced intelligence and joined the company of educated men and women who can tell foolishness from fact.
In the following fantastic commentary, HBO’s Bill Maher says, “In America there is no idea so patently absurd that it can’t catch on”. He goes on to say that foolishness like the Birther movement gains traction by “dummies talking to other dummies”. According to Maher, we ignore this nonsense at our own peril. It grows like a weed, fed on ignorance and a dash of racism.
Above all, who do I hold accountable for the spread of this nonsense? Eleven names come to mind. Eleven Congressmen who don’t have the guts to call their constituents nutjobs when the label fits. I’m talking about the author and co-sponsors of the so called “birther bill”, H.R. 1503. This is a hall of shame that should be on the front of every paper in America, eleven elected officials who should never see elected office again.
Rep Posey, Bill [FL-15]
Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7]
Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5]
Rep Campbell, John [CA-48]
Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31]
Rep Culberson, John Abney [TX-7]
Rep Gohmert, Louie [TX-1]
Rep Goodlatte, Bob [VA-6]
Rep Marchant, Kenny [TX-24]
Rep Neugebauer, Randy [TX-19]
Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2]
We have two wars, a crushing deficit, record unemployment and more than enough legitimate grounds for debate about the Obama administration’s policies, to spend even a minute on this insanity, second only in absurdity to the “Hollywood studio moonwalk” conspiracy. And once again, we can count on the South to lead the way in xenophobic, if not outright racist diversions.
I’m sure there are Southerners who will read this piece and accuse me of being disrespectful. I’m sorry, but respect is earned through enlightenment, not ignorance. At least 53% of you are an embarrassment to our nation. You’ll get respect when you get a clue.