It’s official.

If you question Barack Obama, you’re a racist.

If you think he should be held to the same standard as previous presidents and his opponent with regard to establishing constitutional eligibility to serve, you’re a racist.

If you draw critical cartoons of Obama in major U.S. daily newspapers, you’re a racist.

If you are concerned about the fact that he attended Jeremiah Wright’s church of hate for 20 years, you’re a racist.

If you wonder what values he absorbed as a child studying Islam in a foreign country, you’re a racist.

That’s what I learned from reading what purports to be a news story disseminated by the semi-official news service, the Associated Press, but more closely resembles a race-conscious screed you would expect to read in People’s Weekly World.

Here’s how it begins: “In a country long divided by race, Barack Obama argues that Americans generally have been colorblind in judging him,” writes Liz Sidoti. “Yet old racial stereotypes and Internet-fueled falsehoods flourish about the first black president.”

Were you under the delusion that America would stop being a racist nation once it elected a black president in spite of the fact that he had no qualifications for office and probably is not even constitutionally eligible?

Where’s the proof Barack Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the “natural-born American” clause in the Constitution? If you still want to see it, join more than 345,000 others and sign up now!

Forgive me, but I actually thought that would take us white folks off the hook – especially given the fact that the only race-conscious voters in last November’s election were blacks, who voted for Obama by 96 percent. On the other hand, 43 percent of white voters chose Obama – the same percentage that voted for Bill Clinton in 1996.

In other words, it would seem, based on the evidence, that racism elected Obama. The white vote was split along the lines of previous elections, while the black vote went to Obama in record numbers.

Nevertheless, the race-baiters are still claiming Obama is somehow a victim of racism. They apparently will not be satisfied that racism is dead in America until all of us vote for Obama and cease all criticism of him.

I suspect that as his poll numbers continue to plummet and his inane policies fail, the race card will be played with increasing frequency and fervor.

I guess what got my attention about this smear by the AP was its focus on the eligibility issue.

I am probably as closely identified with this issue as anyone in the country. My news agency has practically been alone in continuing to report on the many lawsuits that have been filed; we have sent a reporter to Kenya to investigate Obama’s background and have sent professional private investigators to every hospital in Honolulu trying to find any evidence of his birth on the island.

It’s safe to say we have done more work in trying to establish Obama’s eligibility than all other news agencies combined – yet we still cannot say with any certainty that Obama was born in Hawaii. All Obama would have to do would be to release his actual long-form birth certificate, if he has one, to prove he was born in Hawaii. Yet he refuses to take this simple step.

Apparently that doesn’t even raise any curiosity in the AP Washington bureau. Reporters there think their job is to run interference for the man in the White House. They think their job is to attack reporters who actually take their watchdog role seriously. They think their job is to label anyone who doesn’t close their eyes, lie down and enjoy the rape of America as a racist.

That would not be me.

I will never be intimidated into ceasing to stand up for the Constitution and for America.

I will never be silenced by name-calling.

I will never be coaxed into submission by peer pressure.

I will never stop seeking the truth, no matter where that search takes me.

If the AP doesn’t like that, let them have the courage to call me for their next Obama puff piece.

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