When Democrat Barack Obama was president, Donald Trump was a leading proponent of the racist “birther” conspiracy theory—which claimed that Obama wasn’t really a U.S. citizen and was born in Kenya rather than the United States. Of course, the theory was absolute nonsense: Obama’s birth certificate shows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. But Trump promoted birtherism anyway. And in a new op-ed for USA Today, journalist Jason Sattler asserts that the president’s proposed U.S./Mexico border wall is merely an extension of birtherism.
Sattler (who hosts the podcast “The GOTMFV Show” and is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan) stresses that while national security should be a top priority for the president of the United States, Trump’s demand for a border wall is not motivated by security concerns, but rather, racial resentment—and if Democrats give into his demands, they will be rewarding racism and bigotry.
“Donald Trump’s wall is Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate as a $25 billion budget item,” Sattler writes. “And if Democrats reward him for birthering the entire country over the wall with what could soon be the longest partial government shutdown in American history, it will only fuel the racist fire Trump hopes to ride to re-election.”
On Tuesday night, January 8, Trump gave a ten-minute Oval Office speech in the hope of convincing more Americans that illegal drugs, gang members, illegal immigrants and terrorists are entering the United States in record numbers via its southern border. But Sattler notes that in fact, illegal immigration declined considerably when Obama was president and “hit a 12-year low in 2016 as the world’s most famous birther was running for president on the premise that our borders were under siege.”
“New requirements have made it harder to hire employees without proper documents,” Sattler explains. “The vast majority of unauthorized immigrants in this country have been here for more than ten years, and immigrants who stay in this country without permission increasingly arrive here legally.”
Because Trump’s border wall is a “racist fraud,” Sattler writes, his administration must “invent phony statistics that crumble when even Fox News gives them the slightest scrutiny—much like birtherism.”
Sattler goes on to say that it is impossible for Democrats to reason with a president who is motivated by bigotry rather than facts.
“There’s no deal to be had with Trump and his hardliners because this isn’t about securing a border, which is more secure than it has been all this century or possibly ever,” Sattler emphasizes. “It’s about the same thing birtherism was about: re-establishing the dominance of white Americans.”
Sattler finds it ironic that Trump is so anti-immigrant when his mother was an immigrant (Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, born in Scotland in 1912) and he is married to a Slovenian immigrant (Melania Knavs Trump). And it should also be noted that Trump’s first of three wives, Ivana Zelnickova Trump, immigrated to the U.S. from what used to be communist Czechoslovakia and is now the Czech Republic.
Sattler concludes his op-ed by urging Congress to resist the president’s demands for a border wall.
“(Trump) believes in nothing but dividing us for his convenience,” Sattler asserts. “Appeasing him only validates this strategy. Standing up to him and demanding that Senate Republicans reopen the government now is our only choice.”