"President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again."
This was the half-ass afterthought of a statement presidential candidate Donald Trump tacked on to the tail-end of promotional speech touting the opening of his latest hotel last September.
Apparently, in Trump's mind, these two dozen words were supposed to wipe the slate clean with a Black electorate that he presumed would just forgive and forget that he had spent the past 5 years attempting to undermine the legitimacy of the first African-American president.
Of course this didn't sway any notable percentage of Black voters on election day. But upon further consideration, this statement wasn't really for us. It wasn't for anybody really.
The fact is that the racist seeds of the Birther Movement were planted in the hearts and minds of allegedly aggrieved, angry white voters years before Trump became a serious contender for the presidency. But in 2011 it was Trump who became the highest profile proponent of the lie.
For the next 5 years he re-tweeted rumors, stoked conspiracy theories, and alluded National Enquirer-style to secret evidence his people had uncovered about Obama's supposedly foreign origin.
The absolute absurdity aside, the most insidious aspect of Trump's Birther bullshit wasn't the lie, but rather what the lie was intended to infer. It sought to cast Barack Obama as the "other," "not one of us" — with the "us" being real, die-hard, patriotic white Americans. It was an idea that crawled out of the same defamatory sewer as the strategy employed during the 2008 campaign when Fox News hosts and guests frequently referred to Obama by his full name — Barack Hussein Obama. It was an open attempt to conjure a link in the minds of their viewers between Barack Obama, dictator Saddam Hussein, and terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, with Obama apparently being some kind of foreign-born Muslim agent of a nefarious anti-American terrorist organization set to unleash his radical agenda upon the nation.
Of course Fox News didn't employ this same full-name tactic to Obama's opponent, John Sidney McCain III. Why bother? We all know that John McCain is one of us.
And it was this notion of them taking from us that Trump's substance-devoid campaign used to appeal the Rust Belt fantasy that the laborious factory jobs made obsolete by technology and cheap foreign labor are coming back, and the redneck dream of returning to an era when America was great, the white man was on top, and women, niggers and foreigners knew their places.
In the weeks following the election, there have been calls from various quarters for "healing," "coming together," and "moving on" for the good of the country. The problem is that choosing that path means attempting to normalize an individual whose divisive, discriminatory vitriol was so inflammatory that Trump received the full-throated endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan and one of its former grand wizards, David Duke.
#NeverNormalize is a call to not allow time or fatigue with the process and outcome of the election to normalize an individual as reprehensible and wretched as Donald Trump.
When he is standing in the Rose Garden with other heads of state, remember Trump's comments that an American judge, Gonzalo Curiel, couldn't be a fair arbiter in the courtroom because of his of his Mexican heritage. #NeverNormalize
When he is consoling grieving family members after some tragedy, remember Trump's support of the blatantly discriminatory "Stop and Frisk" policy. #NeverNormalize
When he is taking pictures with the Super Bowl champs, remember Trump's desire to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. #NeverNormalize
When he is touring the aftermath of a natural disaster, remember Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. #NeverNormalize
When he is delivering a speech to the members of the United Nations, remember Trump calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. #NeverNormalize
When he is delivering his 3 State of the Union speeches, remember Trump spent 5 years attempting to delegitimize the first Black president. #NeverNormalize
Trump has repeatedly made it very clear where he stands. And I stand in firm, total, and absolute opposition to him, his supporters, his policies, his racism, his misogyny, his xenophobia, and any and every attempt to normalize this blue-eyed billionaire troglodyte.
Join the #NeverNormalize Movement —
- Buy a sticker
- Stick the sticker
- Post a pic of the sticker with #NeverNormalize