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Sarah Seltzer: Three Videos that Show Why Birtherism is Racist

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Commentary from Rachel Maddow, Baratunde, and Ed Schultz on Obama’s newly released birth certificate, and the continuing birther controversy.

By **Sarah Seltzer**

By arrangement with Alternet.Org.

In the wake of Wednesday’s surprise long-form birth-certificate reveal from President Obama, there’s been plenty of incisive commentary explaining why the birther movement was offensive and racist, not to mention the insidious nature of conspiracy theories that won’t go away. For those in our audience who want to digest that commentary themselves or want fodder to combat colleagues, cousins, or anyone who isn’t convinced by the hard facts and evidence, here are three videos explaining the racial politics behind the birther movement.

Rachel Maddow had Goldie Taylor, contributing editor for, on her show. Taylor read a piece explaining the dangerous history of “identity papers” being needed for black Americans, particularly black men, to even go out on the street and used against them as a form of harassment, intimidation, and discrimination, using a story from her own family as an example.

Watch below: 

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Another impassioned and insightful commentator in the wake of all this was Baratunde, a blogger at Jack and Jill politics and his own site. Watch him explain, in a truly heart-rending video, why the announcement yesterday moved him to tears as a black American:


For a longer political and social contextual discussion, there was Ed Schultz. Last night, he brought Michael Eric Dyson and the Reverend Al Sharpton on his show to discuss the racist aspects of birtherism. Before they arrived, Schultz slammed John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Michele Bachmann for their “wishy-washy“ handing of the issue long before this week’s events.

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Finally, over at Booman Tribune, there’s some speculation on whether there will be any kind of blowback for yet another outspoken MSNBC host, Lawrence O’Donnell, who took his own network’s brass to task for “creating a monster” by promoting Donald Trump.

Copyright 2011 Sarah Seltzer


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