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“Why a Birther Conspiracy is Racist and Dangerous”

When Barak Obama was running to become the 44th president of the U.S., a “birther” conspiracy started circulating. It was one of those distractions from the people who were not interested in the truth, but who simply repeated someone else’s question as a true statement. Hypothetical became real because of an old adage, “where there is smoke, there must be fire.” The truth did not matter.


This came to be when then, citizen Donald Trump came on TV and asked how we could be sure Barak Obama was born in the U.S. since his name, Barak, is not an “American” name. His faulty logic was based on the idea that Barak Obama must have been born in Nigeria because he had a Nigerian name and Nigerian father. However, the name Barak is of Semitic origin, and it is a general’s name in the Bible (Judges chapter 4). It is much more common in Hebrew than it is in Arabic, so if anything, Barak Obama should have been accused of being Jewish, not Muslim.


In the current election, Trump, the racist, has brought up the birth question against Karmala Harris, who was born in Oakland to naturalized citizens of Jamaican and Indian heritage. He has intimated that her birth certificate must be fake. However, he has never questioned the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s birth certificate, or his VP, Mike Pence. He has not questioned his either. He has only questioned the legitimacy of non-white person’s birth certificates.

Mind you; he had no facts; he just creates smoke. He does not assume any responsibility for his words, but he claims to say what many others have on their mind. The next person then comes up and he makes into a statement saying that he heard that Barak Obama and Karmala Harris were not born in the U.S. This is how he starts conspiracy theories; he relies on people’s ignorance.


If you listen to his claim carefully, he says that Karmala Harris might not “qualify” to become a vice president of the U.S. Listeners hear that she is not “qualified” to be a vice president. Once again, based on the idea that since the name Karmala has Indian origin, she must not be qualified. The intent is to state that a non-white person is not qualified to be a president of the U.S. The birther conspiracy is upholding the racist idea of Jefferson Davis, the president of Southern succession during the Civil War, who said, “America was created by white men for white men.”

The goal of this question is to ignite a race war in the U.S. They believe that if the U.S. can’t be a white nation, then they will destroy it. It was almost 250 years ago that the founders of this country stated that “all [persons] are created equal.” Over 150 years ago, the country suffered an unimaginable number of deaths to defend that belief in the Civil War, and more than 50 decades ago, we enacted landmark legislation to ensure civil rights that were promised in its founding. We have paid too dear of a price as people to allow a few racists to dictate our future. Too much blood has been spilled to protect it from Concord, New Hampshire, to Gettysburg, Virginia, to Selma, Alabama, to allow it to be undone by racists.


We must not allow racist attacks to slide or ignore them as non-sense, but see for what it really is, an attack on the very foundation of this nation. If a foreign army did it, we call it a declaration of war. If the military did it, we call it coup d’etat. If a disenchanted group did it, we call it a terrorist attack. If an individual does it, we call it treason. We call the person who perpetrated that act as a traitor.


Birther conspiracy is dangerous, and we must see it as an attack on the very meaning of the United States.


Pastor Sunny



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Hope on Union, United University Church is an inclusive, progressive campus and community church located near USC, Mt. St. Mary's College and LA Trade Tech College on S. Union Ave. between 22nd and 23rd St. Rooted in the love of God, and following the example of Jesus, the faith community of United University Church seeks peace with justice, and welcomes all to join the journey, break bread and share stories of hope.

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