We only demand proof from those who we think are beneath us. That’s why FOIA requests are always publicized with language about how the government works for us. It’s also why white people continue to feel comfortable demanding that President Obama prove his Americanness.
The thing about proving: once you’re on the defensive, once you’ve accepted that it is your responsibility to prove something to the more privileged persons’ satisfaction, then you have to rely on that person’s willingness to construct reasonable standards of proof. Questioning the standards of proof laid out for you will only lead the privileged person to claim that you’re evading your responsibility. As Ed puts it:
Why would Obama expect this new information to have any impact on his opponents? The more mainstream, non-lunatic conservatives have already rejected the issue (Birtherism appears to embarrass them, in fact) and the lunatics will simply trot out predictable excuses – “It’s fake!” or any number of similar Moving Goalposts arguments. Rather than being satisfied, they will simply demand additional “evidence” which, if received, they will similarly discount in their haste to demand even more.
An abominably high percentage of Americans won’t believe that President Obama is the same kind of person that they are. That’s unfortunate, in part because of the lack of perspective showcased: Obama isn’t perfect, but those folks are incomparably smaller and meaner than he is.