Summary: In this YouTube video, Baratunde Thurston vehemently declares the release of President Obama’s birth certificate an outrage and indicative of the continued existence of a white supremacy in the United States. He discusses the implications and meaning behind the release of the birth certificate, and briefly discusses the messages conveyed to the American public through the wealthy White man who took credit for stirring up the Birther controversy, Donald Trump. He argues that the demand that President Obama release his birth certificate in order to prove he is eligible to run for the Presidential office is racially motivated. One could liken the request for Obama to produce a birth certificate to similar demands on Black Americans to pass literacy tests in order to vote during the Jim Crow era. This video could be used to introduce students to Du Bois's concept of a double consciousness. In The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois wrote, "One ever feels his two-ness—an American, a Negro; two warring souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder" Du Bois was articulating the experience of African Americans as being both insiders and perpetual outsiders to the nation; as being American but the wrong type of American. Thus, even after being elected to the highest, most respected American office, Barack Obama was still asked to prove that he belongs to the American nation.
Submitted By: Beatrice Sorce