Overheard on CNN.com: Arizona 'birther bill' about racism?
April 15th, 2011
05:51 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Arizona 'birther bill' about racism?

Exchange of the Day: "All Obama has to do to make this all go away is produce a birth certificate. It shouldn't be that tough. Why hasn't he?"– TRoublerunt

"The Health Department of the State of Hawaii (and then Republican governor) certified that he was born there. What exactly do you want as proof? The long-form birth certificate that Hawaii and several other states don't issue?"– LivinginVA

Arizona passes bill that makes presidential hopefuls prove citizenship

Federal law requires that presidential candidates be natural-born American citizens. For Arizona legislators, however, this is not enough. They have passed a bill requiring that all presidential candidates - including President Obama - prove their citizenship before they are placed on that state's ballot. The measure has not yet been signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican. Many CNN.com readers said the bill was really about racism.

Suhgarim said, "The only politician I've ever seen proof of being born in the US is Barack Obama; perhaps we should kick all the others out until they can prove where they were born. I am white and I am sick, sick, sick of this racism! Because that's just what it is. I've never seen a white candidate go through this. A plague and a curse on America for our stupidity! And a double plague and curse on conservatives and Republicans!"

kathyrants said, "In my entire lifetime, I have never known of a president who had to go through so much just to prove he is eligible for the presidency. I have also not seen so much disrespect for the president. Let's get with it America. Let's worry about more important things. Let our President do what he needs to do to get us back on track. I too am white and very tired of hearing about this. He is black; he is the president, so shut up, sit down and have another beer!"

Some readers questioned the use of taxpayer money to push the bill. Ghurst said, "So why did Carl Seel introduce a bill for a law that already exists? As a public servant, shouldn't he be mindful of how he spends his time and the people's money? If my boss caught me wasting my time and his money on something that is not needed, I would get fired."

BigOtto said, "We have truly become the laughing stock of the world."

Muslim beauty contestant faces critics on all sides, she says

Model Shanna Bukhari hopes to win the British Miss Universe contest this year and represent Britain at the international contest. Her presence in the beauty contest has upset all kinds of people: among them, some Muslims who think she is not religious enough and some U.K. citizens who think she shouldn't be allowed to represent a "white" country.

The story had some CNN.com readers discussing how Islam views women.  Alberto said, "As a Muslim, I say to Shanna: All the power to you, girl! Go for it. Don't let the idiots get to you. You are beautiful, created by the same God that has created this universe. There is no place for religious zealots to have a say in what you're doing, only you and your heart.”

fgf said, "Ignore these stupid people, Shanna. I'm a Muslim girl - do whatever you want. Those laws to cover up had cultural relevance in Saudi Arabia 1400+ years ago. They don’t apply today."

Husain said, "Allah did not want women to be our equals. Women are inherently inferior and subservient to men. They must be covered to keep them from entering into sin and causing a man to do so. They are put here to bring forth children and give pleasure to their husbands."

Billy Ryan replied, "Husain, You must come into the light. Women are equals in every way, Don't be left behind in another century, Join ours. It's much better."

KBaus said, "Husain, what does the Quran say about family and the mother? Does it say that family is at the feet of the mother? Does not it say to treat your mother with the highest respect? Saying that women are inherently inferior clearly states that your mother is inferior to you. That is not what Quran say. How is it that Jesus is one of the four most important prophets of Islam yet he taught peace and love, not hate and inequality? Are you a true Muslim or one who hijacks Islam for its own evil purpose?"

BiH said, "Dear Husain, as a Muslim women, I have the privilege to believe and practice the religion of Islam. I support the young lady; she is proving that women in Islam are equal to any other women in other religions. Now is the time for Muslim men to start respecting your sisters, wife, daughters. How many Muslim women are suffering because of the egoism of man? Don’t anyone dare to judge the women; we will all one day be standing in front of our creator, Inshallah."

'All My Children,' 'One Life to Live' canceled

For more than 40 years, TV viewers have been able to tune in to the much-loved life stories portrayed on "All My Children" and "One Life to Live." By January 2012 those stories will end, ABC announced, to be replaced with shows about food and lifestyle.

Many CNN.com readers shared how tuning in to those shows powerfully linked them to memories of loved ones. Kelly said, "I grew up watching 'All My Children' with my grandmother. I still watch till this day and I'm also hooked on OLTL and GH. These shows are as American as apple pie."

Tamzilla said, "One of my fondest memories is watching AMC with my mom over dinner! I bought my first VCR just to record AMC. Now that I'm disabled I DVR them both everyday. If they do away with both these I will never watch ABC again!"

Jerbear said, "This is a sad day. I am a 35-year old male (not gay) who watched OLTL/General Hospital religiously when I was young every day with my grandma. I became hooked. I still tune in if I have the chance, just for the nostalgia."

Others explained how the shows relieved the stress in their own lives and swore they would turn off ABC forever.  Sherry said, "Everyday I drive home for lunch just so I can watch 'All My Children,' and have had this same routine for the past 11 years. At least for an hour a day I was able to get lost in somebody else's world and leave my problems behind. I definitely will not be watching a food reality show. ABC has lost this viewer."

But others said the soaps had lived past their prime. When Andagain said, "Oh no! I stopped watching AMC 25 years ago when I had to go to work. Whatever happened to Erica Kane?!!" John replied, "You're wondering why they're canceling these shows? For one, even you stopped watching a quarter-century ago."

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (896 Responses)
  1. Who Me

    This has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with making sure that someone that does not belong here is not running the country. But all the Brown skinned people want to make it about race. Why not they cry race every time something bad happens to them. Oh poor us we were slaves.. Well then why did you not leave when you were freed. Oh so things really were not that good in Africa . Why don't you make it better there then? Why stay here and cry about it when you could be doing something about it over there. I am not, not, not a racist, in fact i have many black friends but... really do you have to play the race card now? WAIT one second can that work in reverse now? I am almost sure that I was passed up for a job due to the fact that I was WHITE and not BLACK . Yep A black man with the same credentials got the job over me. Must have been the color of the skin. The employer was a black man. Maybe I should sue. or call CNN and have them do a story about it.. Stop whining. Good lord.

    April 16, 2011 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      Where do you get the b@lls to say you aren't racist? You're one of the biggest racists I've seen! Own up to it.

      April 16, 2011 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Sammy

      Your ignorance is astonishing.

      April 16, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      yep, not about race at all.... wow..

      April 16, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • SgtSerge

      MORON! You are a racist....... big one...... look it up if you have balls......
      Signed a White Guy From America

      April 16, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Bloodyscot

      John McCain was born on August 29, 1936 in Panama, his father and grandfather were both four-star admirals in the United States Navy, while Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in Hawaii with dual citizenship British and American at birth and Hawaii has already certified he was born there, so Arizona can not question another states birth records only the Fed. Gov. or Fed. court can.

      April 16, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • FoReal

      You sir, are racist.

      April 16, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Lewis

      Who me, yes You....are definitely a racist....

      April 16, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. gary wilson

    This nonsense makes me ashamed to be American; as do the senseless wars, Bush's torture, USA imperialism, lack of budget sense, the way we treat the least among us, they way we treat children.
    USA is Toast

    April 16, 2011 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. pray

    I do not think of myself as a birther at all, whatever the bad connotation that the left has added to that one, but I do have to wonder why Obama and handlers would spend so much money defending him from it, if he has nothing to hide, then simply produce a valid birth certificate and everyone can shut the heck up. And saying this is about racism is just another tool the right uses, racism, medicare, children, etc.

    April 16, 2011 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      @Pray – They have stated over and over and OVER again that nobody has the ability to produce the original birth certificate. Not even the president. When you request it, they give you the copy that is pictured above. This is Hawaii law.

      April 16, 2011 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Day

      I am so sick of people wanting proof from the President about his birth. It is strictly racism no matter which way you try and word it. NO OTHER PRESIDENT HAS EVER BEEN ASKED TO DO THIS, EVER. He represents so many americans who are multiracial, who have experienced so many different cultures and have a better world view. Why are so many americans behind the times and fear anything that looks or acts different than them? the rest of the world laughs at us. Many white people forget that there was a time in the United States when the Germans, Irish, Italians, etc were not wanted and treated very badly.

      April 16, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Bloodyscot

      Can you or any one truly prove that they were born in the US to meet this standard, if the state you live in only issues certified copies of the birth certificate and not the original birth certificate.

      April 16, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • fred

      Its all about color. I live in the south but grew up in the north. Never new the hatred for blacks was still prevelent. You may not be racist but the legs of this story are faned by racisam.

      April 16, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • WT

      No one has their birth certificate. They have a copy. Only the state possesses the actual birth certificate. If you want to see it, fly to Hawaii.

      April 16, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • May

      Politics...Politics... it's all about the election people.... you are being used .... USED if you are buying into the birther idea. What a great scam. We have a President that is going to hard to beat so lets get a "grassroots" conspiracy theory going and keep the heat on and on and let the "birthers" run with it... because after all we can't let those Dems win.. the economy is turning around and the republican field of candidates is wanting. So fan the fires ... it is so easy... because of course there are those who are racist. But also some that are desperate and mad and can't get over they lost the election. Big money is grinning ear to ear when people are so gullible to sway on conspiracy theories.

      April 16, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. David_G

    The Progressives are going to keep doing everything they can to keep the sheeple from focusing on the issue at hand, Obama is criminally insane.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      What, exactly, makes him criminally insane?

      April 16, 2011 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
    • David_G

      He proposed to double the nation's debt, among many other things.

      April 16, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
    • SgtSerge

      David you obviously do not read..... or you are dumb.
      Did you read the plan to reduce debt? Did you listen to him speak this week.
      Your hate shines through even on the net.
      I don't like everything the guy has done, but insane? You are a perfect example of why people hate America.

      April 16, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • David_G

      He originally proposed no change in spending, which equates to doubling the nation's debt. At the end of the day only 360 mil was cut from a 1.5 tril deficit, so he still has us on track to double the nation's debt. Then he was caught on tape saying that he still is hell bent on doubling the nation's debt. You sheeple are so easily mis-direct from the important issues. Try paying attention to some of the non-US news outlets. The rest of the world is scared shirtless about the coming crash of the global economy being brought about by the irresponsibility of the US politicians.

      April 16, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      David.....you are as dumb as a f........ rock, really, really, really stupid.

      April 16, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Shamgar50

      David G, could you produce a transcript of that tape, or direct us to it?

      April 16, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Cati

      Are you a psychiatrist?

      April 16, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • fred

      Cant you see all the bs you are talking is just what people aposed to a better america use to blind average people. They yse hate to insite us to repeate non factual comments to keep us from getting the truth. Call your cable co. and tell them to fix your cable service, tell them every channel is fox news and you just realized it. Wake up and put our country first.

      April 16, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • WT

      Did you vote for the previous debt doubling president?

      April 16, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. stevie68a

    This whole thing is a nonissue. The birther people are the same morons who think they can win at the Vulgarian Trump's
    casinos. NY Magaizne called them "clip joints".

    April 16, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
    • ray

      I wana see birth certificate of bush and clinton , regan every white president America had ... straight up racism ..
      pple around the world laugh at americans ... how idiotic they are in this centuary ...
      i am glad i am canadian and we dont have dumb rules and idiot pple

      April 16, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jen

    Just what is so darned difficult... show the birth certificate and be done with it. What are you hiding? The only thing I can think of is that the father listed is not the one that raised you. Get over it, we have the right to know. It really won't be an issue anyway... he is one and done.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      OMG......what is wrong with you Birthers? It has been produced over and over and vetted by all the other candidates in 2008 and news outlets and the Republican Govenor of Hawaii and the Supreme Court, which is right leaning, has refused to hear the case brought by one of your stupid Birther colleagues.

      April 16, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • WT

      I have to admit you're pretty good at reciting what you hear on the radio. If you want to see the birth certificate, get on a plane and fly to Hawaii. They are the possessor of the actual birth certificate. The state, yes, even your state, holds a person's birth certificate. You do not possess your own certificate. Using your logic, you are not a citizen until you provide the actual certificate, which ironically, you cannot do.

      You possess a copy which is notarized.

      April 16, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jen

    Not an issue... OBAMA IS ONE AND DONE.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. Simple fix

    Most of the birthers also rant about "state's rights". So... here's an easy fix.

    Does Hawaii recognize the Certificate of Live Birth as the equivalent of a birth certificate for legal purposes? If so, then case closed!

    The State of Hawaii establishes what is considered an acceptable proof for babies born in that state.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Gary Dubois

      No they don't. I lived there and they do not accept a COLB in place of a birth certificate.

      April 17, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kenneth

    It looks like Jim Crow (or Jaime Cuervo) is alive and well in Arizona. This is just like the obstacles that were placed in the way of black voters in the south like proper ID, I.Q. tests, etc., anything to discourage minorities from taking part in the democratic process. They say it's not about racism, but Donald Trump stated that "There's something on his birth certificate he (Obama) doesn't want us to see.." hinting it may state his religion as Muslim. His birth in Hawaii, Muslim or no, still makes him eligible to be president. Anything else is to label him as a foreigner in the eyes of white America. This is definitely about racism, but not against the people you think.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • J R Brown

      Requiring persons to present "proper I.D." to cast a ballot is "racist"? really? how so?

      April 16, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • awaysaway

      Mr. Brown – I think you are being obtuse. But here goes... requiring an ID has been used in the past as an obstacle (one of many) to deny blacks a vote. And then you can make it hard to get an ID in order to double down on the obstruction. Now for me a better question might be to ask whether requiring an ID is really a burden in this day and age. However I believe the sticking issue is that the courts have ruled that IDs could be a mandatory requirement only if you made them free to obtain.

      April 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Unless an ID is free, it is unconsti-tutional to require a citizen to get one to vote. When someone has to make the decision "Do I buy an ID so I can vote, or do I feed my family for a week?" then it is unconsti-tutional (qualifies as a poll tax). It is a disenfranchisement of the poor and has been used to disenfranchise minorities in the past – the reason the Poll Tax amendment exists in the first place.

      April 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. newsie

    Guess they will have to kick out all the laws that the pigrams made and so forth none of those people were born here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only the navie americans should have the rights to make laws LOL. I mean for real how can you make a declaration of independence when you dont belong in the USA anyhow. LOL

    April 16, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. rockman

    CNN,is the one bringing race to the whole issue,if McCain was president i think the same thing would have happened from the left about his birth certificate.CNN keep saying they are in the middle,but they are the new mouthpiece for the Democrats.I don't think John King would have call it race it a black man asked for McCain's bc,use to like CNN when they were in the middle,now they so desperate for ratings and they are now promoting the DNC.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • billybobguntotinidiot

      McCain did produce a birth certificate. He was born in Panama on a US military base. What a sec...he is white. He doesn't need to show his birth certificate.

      April 16, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. Graham

    Of course this is about race. Let's be clear here – there are still people in this country who cannot stand the idea of a black man being president, and they will do everything they can to discredit him. That would even be true for me, I suppose – someone who was born in a state that was one of the original 13 Colonies AND for whom both birth and marriage are an easily accessible matter of public record. Never mind that there are plenty of people who know me, some racist redneck would try to discredit my citizenship. It's sad.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. alboze

    I'm not a birther but it is starting to seem a bit strange that they don't just show the original birth certificate. The computer generated form above didn't exist in '61 and isn't even acceptable to renew one's driver's license. There is always a birth certificate with full details of both parents and the doctor's signature, others born around that time in Hawaii have them. I wish they would just produce it and shut these guys up once and for all.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      There is also issues with his social security number. It was issued in Connecticut. There is more to this story but most people here wouldn't believe it.

      April 16, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Lie and more lies from both of you. Not only that really lazy lies that anyone with google can disprove.

      April 16, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  14. clarke

    Why is no questioning our VP if he was born in the united States. I want all politician, congress, senate any and all that work in the White House or on the hill to produce a birth certifiate. Include the Lobbyist, all staff. In oder to get a pass port we need one. Don't forget State and Local politicians as well. Lets settle it.

    April 16, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • billybobguntotinidiot

      actually, only the pres is required...naturalized citizens can serve as members of congress or senate...now lets go eat some rodekill....i think illegals can too but they have to steal someones ss# first.

      April 16, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. glj

    OK, HI is a state, HI has said it is a legal B/C. Therefore this is a non-issue.
    But, why is it anytime anyone challenges Obama on anything, it automatically becomes a racial issue?

    April 16, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      John Mccain, was not born in the U.S., he was born in Panama. His citizenship has never been questioned. WHY! Because he is one of the GOOD OLE BOYS! He is accepted because he is white. The senator from AZ, is never questioned about his citizenship while the Black President is questioned daily. RACISM IS ALIVE, WELL AND THRIVING HERE

      April 16, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
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