We live in an era where invasion of privacy is big business. Almost anybody we do business with can sell our information and there is little we can do about it. Sometimes they don’t even sell it, they just give it away because it is an advantageous business move. Driver’s license ID numbers, addresses, type of butter last bought at the supermarket — there is little about you that is not bartered, sold or shared on a daily basis.
That is why Donald Trump’s insistence that President Barack Obama share his birth certificate is positively fascinating. Americans have a constitutional right to privacy, so what else do Trump or his following of “birthers” need to back off Obama and this issue? Well, Trump, a master of spin-and-synergy, is perhaps being crafty with the American public again.
How coincidental that the latest incursion of NBC’s hit “Celebrity Apprentice” coincides with Trump’s coast-to-coast rant about Obama’s place of birth? Not very coincidental at all. Trump is doing what he’s always done: seizing opportunity regardless of the shame factor. What better time to introduce yourself to an audience that previously did not factor you into their lives at all? More African Americans are watching the competitive outlandishness of “Celebrity Apprentice” because they are familiar with the African American contestants. The show spans generational interest by having Lil Jon, Dionne Warwick, Star Jones, La Toya Jackson, and NeNe Leakes in the lineup. That’s quite the mixed bag for one TV show — regardless of race, let alone personality mash-up.
Trump has a master plan and a small element of it involves African American households tuning in to the show with regularity every Sunday night while simultaneously instilling doubt about the president’s birthplace on talk and radio shows on weekdays. One spins the other. But, is it working? The week after he did the talk show circuit, ratings for “Celebrity Apprentice” were up 7 percent. But, are we watching because Trump has insulted the president and breached the boundaries of personal privacy? That notion would score a solid “no.” We watch because we are all waiting to see NeNe do a Meatloaf as she has several times on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” We watch because Dionne Warwick is the cranky old aunt that you adore and abhor all at once. How fascinating is it to see Lil Jon’s creative brilliance unfurl? WHAT! WHAT! And, Star … dear Star. Year after year we whisper about her antics in private, but defend her publicly because, she is after all, a sister with a law degree and a brass set of cojones. Of all 14 contestants, she is the one who most closely resembles Trump in character.
Perhaps Kanye West and Swizz Beats said it best on the cut “So Appalled”:
It’s like that sometimes, man ridiculous
Life can be sometimes ridiculous
I’m so appalled, spalding balled,
Balled in and Donald Trump taking dollars from y’all.
Trump demanding the president hand over his birth certificate just reminds many of our country’s history of some white folks making unconscionable and (sometimes) unlawful demands just because they feel superior. Trump considers himself superior to mankind. Black folks are just a by-product of that position. We watch “Celebrity Apprentice” because it’s sick fun. And, Trump daring Obama to give up his birth certificate? Well, that’s just “ridiculous.”