Trump also claimed that Obama didn’t write his first book, telling Sean Hannity in 2011, “I heard he got terrible grades, and he ends up at Harvard. He wrote a book that was better than Ernest Hemingway, but the second book was written by an average person. He shouldn’t have written the second book.
Trump insisted that Bill Ayers, who happens to be white, should be the author of the first book.
And it didn’t stop there. In 2012, Trump offered to donate $5 million to Obama’s chosen charity if Obama released his college and passport records.
These episodes have been so nerve-racking, because it’s not just presidents or Supreme Court picks who have to present proof of their credentials. Too many people, black and other races, have had to do the same thing at some point in their lives. It is humiliating and degrading.
This has happened to me several times and I will share one.
Before being a columnist, I was an infographic journalist, a profession that processes data, sometimes tons of data, to produce maps, graphs, diagrams, etc.
The Times was then, and remains, a leader in the field. And as graphic director, I was in charge of his efforts.
But that field was a predominantly white world. So, for some, my presence was incongruous.
One year I was in Pamplona, Spain, judging the international computer graphics awards. Student assistants invited some of the judges to a bar after dinner. The bar was a cavernous space with an overwhelming amount of flashing and rotating lights.
The students introduced me to some of the locals with my title and the kind of work I did. No one believed them. I spoke almost no Spanish, but the locals’ no’s were as clear as their shaking heads. The students confirmed that the locals didn’t believe I could be who they said I was.