Snarky tweets are great, but there's something else behind the Donald's October surprise.
Donald Trump makes it easy to laugh at him. His October surprise—secret information about President Barack Obama that could be a potential game changer in the upcoming Presidential Election—turned out to be nothing more than the same ridiculous birther insanity and affirmative action-based scaremongering that we've been hearing for the entirety of the Obama presidency.
Indeed, in the video, a red-faced Trump told us, "I have a deal for the president, a deal that I don't believe he can refuse, and I hope he doesn't. If Barack Obama opens up and gives his college records and applications, and if he gives his passport applications and records, I will give, to a charity of his choice—inner-city children in Chicago, American Cancer Society, AIDS research, anything he wants—a check, immediately, for $5 million."
Actually we do know something new: Trump's willing to hold deserving charities hostage in order to prove his point.
The subsequent social media reaction to Trump has been pretty amusing to watch. The Onion mocked the announcement, saying that Trump told the world, "I'm a sad, pathetic human being and a complete waste of life," adding that Trump said "he lives an empty existence, and that he is nothing more than a corporate shill, as well as a failed husband, father, and human being."
Twitter instantly reacted with a slew of Trump jokes. The account Donald Trump's Hair tweeted "Thanks to all who watched @realDonaldTrump's announcement, and witnessed me looking absolutely amazing. Bring on the info, @BarackObama."
Even funnier, television writer and author Caissie St. Onge quipped, "If Barack Obama can prove that he is NOT a werewolf by October 31st, I will give 5 million dollars to his favorite werewolf charity."
But although it's been rather gratifying to see Trump's "surprise" roasted, Democratic strategist and writer Zerlina Maxwell really nailed it when she tweeted, "What Donald Trump is doing is racist and should be identified as such. That is all."
In an op-ed penned for the New York Daily News, Maxwell explained her stance, saying we can't shy away from calling out Trump, "a man very concerned with whether President Obama, a Harvard-educated law professor, is just another dumb brown person riding the affirmative action ticket," for his racism. After all, racism isn't simply wearing white hoods, burning crosses on lawns, and calling black folks the n-word.
"The legitimacy of the first black President has been constantly questioned since he was elected," Maxwell writes. "Is he really one of us? Where is proof he’s really not a foreigner? Where is the proof he isn’t an affirmative action baby? What happens if we take away his teleprompter? Surely, an affirmative action baby wouldn’t be able to put a string of words together to form a coherent sentence without help, right?"
The first 43 Presidents were not subjected to the kind of stunts Trump's pulling. And, sadly, this is not just one man's crazy train. Plenty of Americans believe the exact same things Trump does.
"If you question the racial motivation behind these questions about the first black President’s legitimacy to hold office and you're trying in good faith to understand how this could be deemed as racist, ask a person of color what he or she thinks," says Maxwell. "It is a privilege to not see racism, and the first step in evolving to see a more accurate racial picture of the world is identifying that privilege, recognizing it, and working to accept the concerns people of color seriously."
It's tough to talk about racism in America, even when it's smacking us in the face. No one wants to be called a racist, or to be accused of playing a so-called race card. Yet, all of us, no matter the color of our skin should be deeply concerned that this kind of racism is embraced by any American and it should be called out for what it is and roundly condemned—by Mitt Romney, by the media, and by the average citizen. The fact that it is not is no laughing matter.
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