I have dealt numerous times with the malicious accusations across the mainstream media, entertainment industry, left-blogosphere, and even in the right-blogosphere that questions regarding Obama’s birth certificate and/or birthplace were motivated by racism.
The accusations of racism left no possibility that people who doubted Obama’s birthplace or citizenship were motivated by an honest desire to see the best evidence, and an honest bewilderment as to why a presidential candidate or president would not release a document which we all have had to release at one time or another in our lives.
After all, if racism were the motivation and Obama were being singled out because of his skin color, then the evidence would not matter.
Now The Washington Post reports that after the release of Obama’s original birth certificate, the number of people who believe Obama definitely was born abroad has plummeted to 1% of the population. That’s right, almost every one of the 20% of people who thought he was born abroad and the additional 28% of people who were unsure now believe Obama was born in Hawaii.
In interviews following the public release the president’s “long-form” birth certificate last week, fully 70 percent of Americans say Obama was born in Hawaii, a big bump-up from the 48 percent who said so a year ago. Even more say he was U.S.-born, or call that their best guess, for a total of 86 percent.
Overall, 10 percent of Americans say Obama was likely born abroad, down from 20 percent in an April 2010 Post-ABC poll. Almost all those who now say Obama was born in a foreign country say that it’s only their “suspicion;” just 1 percent claim “solid evidence” that the president was born elsewhere (9 percent said so last year).
The remaining skeptics are not that far apart by party affiliation (Democratic 7%, Independents 12, Republicans 14%), although WaPo does not break down how many of those are in the definite category as opposed to merely suspicious.
Doubts linger even among Democrats, perhaps because of the way in which Obama handled the delay, and two years of doubts may take more than a few days to dissipate.
But what is clear is that the evidence mattered, much more so than skin color.
Updates: Aaron Worthing at Patterico, About the Impossibility of Convincing Conspiracy Theorists…
And Daniel Foster at NRO:
I can’t tell you how often I heard the argument from liberal colleagues that the relatively high number of self-identified conservative Birthers found in some polls implicated the entire conservative coalition as hopelessly racist, and that since Birtherism is rooted in President Obama’s perceived “otherness,” no amount of evidence could ever change our Bible-thumping backward redneck minds.
Boy oh boy, if that’s true, then Obama’s decision to release his long-form birth certificate accomplished a feat on par with — nay, greater than — killing Osama bin Laden: it made America dramatically less racist overnight!