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Are Donald Trump and his fellow 'birthers' racist?

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"If he comes back on this show, and I am not sure we want him back on this show under these circumstances, he ought to be prepared to apologize just for that kind of behavior,” Letterman added.

David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker magazine and author of an Obama biography, wrote this week: “To do what Trump has done … is a conscious form of race-baiting, of fear-mongering.”

“The cynicism of the purveyors of these fantasies is that they know very well what they are playing at, the prejudices they are fanning,” Remnick wrote. “Let’s say what is plainly true … these rumors, this industry of fantasy, are designed to arouse a fear of the Other, of an African-American man with a white American mother and a black Kenyan father.”

A new "Southern strategy?"

Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center (best known for fighting the Ku Klux Klan and other racist organizations) says that even if birthers are not racists, “they are shameless opportunists perfectly willing to exploit racism for their own personal benefit, proponents of a second Republican ‘Southern strategy.’ ”

“The continuing conspiracy theories about Obama – from his country of birth to his religion to his relationships with the radical left – come from people who are essentially motivated by antipathy toward black people,” Potok writes in his Huffington Post column.

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