It didn’t have to take so long.
When a non-white, female American citizen born in the United States has gotten a place on the presidential ticket carried by the Democrats, the birthers immediately came to scurry out from whatever rock they have been living under since Obama ended his term.
Hours. That’s how long it took for them to pose, “Some Questions for Kamala Harris and Her Eligibility,” on a reputable news channel after the announcement by Joe Biden on Wednesday was made.
The author, a conservative law professor — why’s this not a surprise — wrote that “some” are “questioning” whether Harris could be “constitutionally ineligible” to be a vice president because, should she have to step into the presidency, she might not meet the requirement of a “natural born” citizen.
This was, of course, immediately backed up by Trump’s supporters when Jenna Ellis retweeted it and declared Harris’ eligibility as an “open question.” This leaves us to assume that the president’s re-election campaign is on board with this pretext, which reminisces President Trump’s own leadership of the “birther” movement that launched against Obama.
Harris is a daughter of immigrants. Her Jamaican father and Indian mother were not citizens at the time of her birth in Oakland, which was then and now is in the United States, making her a U.S. citizen from the very first get-go.
The theoretical and esoteric question of whether first-generation Americans are eligible to be president is booted around from time to time, which, frankly is something of a parlour game.
Let me remind you again to the real world that is made moot by history: At least a half-dozen of U.S. presidents have been the sons of immigrants. Because the American Dream always dares and lures those out of the shore for centuries.
But, apparently, this arises in the modern presidential politics only when the candidate involved is a non-White female Democrat.
The most recent GOP primary election in 2016 introduced us to Sen. Ted Cruz who was born in Alberta and came in second to Trump. Going further back, George Romney’s birth in Mexico did not pose any question during the governor’s brief run for president.
For media, a dilemma arises in dealing with deplorable and racist tactics such as these. Do we ignore them or call them out for what they are? Trump’s demands for Obama’s birth certificate were and still are nonsense, but polls showed that about a quarter of Americans — and nearly half of Republicans — believed the lie that Obama was not born in the United States.
Amid the backlash, the said news channel published a pushback in which they claimed, laughably, that the law professor’s argument “has no connection whatsoever to so-called ‘birther-ism.’ ”
Sure it doesn’t. And if you believe that, I have a statue in New Jersey I’d like to sell you.