On Friday, Republican candidate Donald Trump public parted ways from the controversial Birther movement and admitted that President Obama was in fact born in the U.S. The only problem is this announcement is just a little too late.
Since 2011, Donald Trump has led an aggressive campaign against President Obama and his heritage. Trump's claim was that Obama was not born in the United States. Ultimately, this became known as the Birther movement.
By repeatedly posting nasty comments on Twitter and demanding to see Obama’s birth certificate, Trump successfully turned a large population of people against the president.
However, today Trump not only retreated from his “Birtherism” ideology, but he also attempted to pass the blame to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Instead of apologizing for the disrespectful rumors he started about the president, Trump claimed that speculations about Obama’s citizenship were started by Clinton in 2008.
“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period,” Trump said. “Now, we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.
Trump made his brief remarks at his Downtown Washington, D.C., hotel. The comments were short, but included a typical Trump backtrack and a dig at Hillary.
“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the Birther controversy,” Mr. Trump said. “I finished it.”
Since making his comment, voters on Twitter have refused to accept this as a step in a positive direction. The hashtag #birtherism started trending and led many to discuss the racist belief that is rooted in the word.
Now, what exactly does this mean for the upcoming election and the country?
In all honesty, it doesn’t mean anything particularly new. It just means Trump is playing the game he created and it’s our time to decide whether we are going to let him keep doing it or say game over.
When Donald Trump announced his candidacy and seemed to garner the support from a specific population of Americans who latched onto his anti-immigration, anti-Muslim and anti-woman rhetoric, many people wondered how this could happen.
The answer is simple. We let this happen when Trump first started the Birther movement and not a single conservative leader called him out for it. They turned a blind eye and Trump, slowly but surely, started to build his army. Now we are a little over a month away from the election and Trump has started to play a game of clean-up.
His attempt to tie up loose ends and appeal to a broader constituency only proves that he doesn’t necessarily believe in what he is saying; he just believes in what will take him furthest in that moment. In 2011, there were still a large group of people who weren’t exactly down for a Black president. And now, there is a larger group of people that isn’t exactly down for Trump’s racism, which has forced him to jump ship.
Does Trump actually believe Obama was born in the U.S.? We may never know the real answer to that. But what we do know is that he is a political pariah who needs to be held accountable for his actions — truly held accountable. No more pandering to his witty retorts. No more letting him run the show. This is our country, and come Election Day, one person is going to rise to the top. The only question is, will they be the right person for the job?
(Photos from Left: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images, Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
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