Monday, July 20, 2009

insist that barack obama wasn't born in the united states

This example of a thing that white people do is not something that all that many white people do (at least, I hope not). However, I do think that to doubt that President Barack Obama was born outside the U.S. is more of a white thing than it is a non-white thing.

Surely Obama's being black, and his having lived in foreign places (like, you know, Hawaii, and some other island-y country), and his being named in a seemingly un-American way, not once, but twice -- "Barack" and "Obama" -- oh wait, and Hussein! -- surely all those seemingly un-American (read: non-white) characteristics make it easier for some white people to believe this Missing Birth Certificate Myth That Will Not Die.

Here we have Congressional Representative Mike Castle (R-DE) trying to hold a town hall event, but then losing control when a woman demands! her! country! back! Back from these foreign whatevers trying to run us all out of town, or out of town hall meetings, or or out of wherever.

Notice, too, how much support this woman, who seems just plain crazy to me, gets from the audience.

Sometimes I think that most white Americans will eventually get used to having a black president. But other times, I really wonder . . .

What kind of vindication are people like this woman and her supporters going to feel if Obama doesn't get re-elected in 2012, and if a white person wins instead?

"Yes! We FINALLY got our country back!"

Will it be like that, for these people? And who's the "we" in that "our country," anyway?

I think very few of these folks would say this, or even consciously think this, but I think for a lot of them, that "we" is basically "white people." Republicans, yes, but white people too.

By the way, I find a credible go-to for these kinds of things. I've read a lot of other sources on these "Where's Obama Birth Certificate?" rumors too, and the debunking at Snopes works for me.

It says in part (and the rest is here),

when the Obama campaign made a copy of his Certification of Live Birth from the State of Hawaii available on the Internet in June 2008, it validated none of those rumors: The certificate shows his full name to be "Barack Hussein Obama II,"it lists his father's race as "African" and his mother's as "Caucasian," it contains no information about religion, and it reports his birthplace as being Honolulu, Hawaii.

A number of self-proclaimed experts immediately seized the opportunity to pronounce the certificate a forgery (even though none of them had actually seen the original, just a scanned image of it), picking on such specious details as minor variations from other Hawaii-issued certificates and the lack of an embossed seal and signature. (Some forgery claimants even maintained that the certificate was actually an altered version of one issued to Barack Obama's half-sister, Maya.)

Aside from the inherent absurdity of such claims (i.e., that a major party presidential nominee would risk his entire candidacy on a fraud that could be uncovered simply by a check of state health records), the supposedly incriminating details don't pan out: the certificate is consistent with others issued in the same time and place, and the embossed seal and signature don't show through very well on the scanned front image made available on the Internet because they were applied to the back of the original document, not the front. Those who have actually touched and examined the original certificate have verified and documented that it bears all the elements of a valid certificate of live birth.

What do you think -- are these rumors growing, or fading? Will this "Missing Birth Certificate" story ever die? Or will it live to fuel those who support whoever becomes Obama's opposition in 2012?

And is it fair to say that the fervid belief in these rumors is more of a white thing, fueled by common white fears and fantasies about Dark, Foreign Others?

h/t: publius @ Obsidian Wings


  1. Considering that an army major is refusing to be deployed on the grounds that "Obama wasn't born in the U.S. and can't be the president", and that it happened just last week... I'm not sure this rumor is dying.

  2. It's sad that individuals are so damn content with their blatant ignorance and hatred.

    However, I do find it funny that some evolutionary failures deem Hawaii as a foreign country.

  3. It would've been funnier if that woman had a footprint on her birth certificate...

  4. I don't know if they're growing but they certainly aren't fading. And I think it will take more than one non-white president for those people in this country to get used to the idea.

    A (republican) cousin by marriage continues to send us every hateful thing he comes across about Obama and Hilary Clinton as well. It's just nauseating, the crap he sends. I mean, some of this stuff is just downright ridiculous and supposedly intelligent people believe it! Is being hateful really that much easier than allowing that we are all equal, that every human has the same potential and that color alone does not have a bearing on what may be achieved?

  5. Unless your name is Dancing Bear or Running Wolf or Seattle or Geronimo or something such as that, then this ain't your damn country!

    honeybrown1976 said: However, I do find it funny that some evolutionary failures deem Hawaii as a foreign country.

    Hawaii was stolen, in the late 1800s, by the U.S. military on behalf of moneyed whites (to grow sugar) from the indigenous (read: brown skinned) people who had been there for, I think, several thousand years. (What I wrote is just a bit of, and severely boiled down, history that my wee brain can remember about the island.) The Hawaiian islands were forced to be a state of the United States.

    There is a "movement" (has been for quite some time) on the islands to take them back, have it indeed be a "foreign country", again--not a state. Part of this movement includes discouragement of tourism.

  6. RedCatBiker, I understand where you are coming from. However, this is my country of birth. So yeah, it's my country, too. I can't go back to any country that I've never lived without hacking me up into pieces neither can you.

    Also, I do know the history of Hawaii. However, today it is a U.S. state - so it's not a foreign country. While the means to the end isn't fair or right, it is what it is now.

  7. *shakes head*

    If you think the birth certificate question is about race then, i'm sorry, that makes you the only one concentrating on Obama's race in this...

    It has to do with Section 1, Article 2 of the Constitution. You know, that evil little historic document you libs hate unless it serves your purposes.

    Then there's those like KRS-One who also question the validity of his birth certificate. But he doesn't count, does he?

    It's funny that you, someone from the bottom barrel of American culture, calls us racist. We have rights too and if there is any evidence that Obama is foreign born then IT IS our rights and duties as Americans to look into it. It doesn't matter what race they are to us. But one's race seems to be all you concentrate on macon. Here i am wondering if your a repressed racist trying to cure yourself of racism. Similar to how a gay guy tries to cure himself of being gay. It's a daily hardship, huh? Hence this blog. But you'll never admit to such truths.

    BTW, "non-partisan" guy. Where is your comments on Barbara Boxer and this @

    Or are there no comment from you since they're a Democrat?

  8. honey...,

    The part of my comment (that the only true Americans are those who are indigenous to this land) was not directed at you specifically, but at the woman in the posted video. And, even though I quoted part of your comment regarding Hawaii, I only used it to make a point about what you had written.

    Perhaps I have misread what you have written, but you seem (your comment, that is) overly sensitive.

    Also, you know nothing (or very little, if you've gone through some of my comments on this blog and others, wherein I have revealed a bit about who I am--but even with that "information", I have not told all about myself) of my ancestry to have said this, "I can't go back to any country that I've never lived without hacking me up into pieces neither can you." Please, speak for yourself, not for me. Thanks.

  9. Antil

    *bangs head against desk*

    Considering the sources, yeah I see racism in this conspiracy theory. It feds into the frenzy of not dealing with the fact that we have a black president.

    Deal. I've dealt with presidents (white and male) who did not truly have my interests as well as other groups' interests at heart. If we can manage through it, you can (despite the fact that this president has your interests at heart).

  10. I just got the chance to watch the video: What I found scariest was how sheepishly everyone in the room followed her demand to say the Pledge of Allegiance. "When fascism comes to America..."

  11. antil, what makes you think I'm a "lib"?

    Here i am wondering if your a repressed racist trying to cure yourself of racism.

    Exactly, you got it. That's why my email address is unmakingmacon at etc. I'm trying to "unmake" the white macon that's been raised to feel, think, and act in many ways that are racist. In a racist society, white people are trained from early childhood to in effect be "racists."

    Similar to how a gay guy tries to cure himself of being gay.

    No, not even "similar."

    I haven't commented on the Boxer episode because I wasn't even aware of it. I tried to watch it, but so far, it's tedious. What's your beef with Barbara boxer?

    We have rights too and if there is any evidence that Obama is foreign born then IT IS our rights and duties as Americans to look into it.

    What's your evidence?

  12. Are you serious? We're back to this again?! The sad thing is, I remember one of my co-workers saying right before the elections that if Obama won, that there would be some repercussions.

    Also, what I'm finding interesting is how some conspiracy theories are making the rounds not only on the Internet, but around me as well. I keep hearing conspiracy theories such as NWO (New World Order) in which Obama will lead us all into doom--strangely I didn't hear NWO going around that much when Bush was in office, and then there's the FEMA concentration camps, in which many believe that Obama and the government will put "dissidents" in these camps to be enslaved. Oh, yeah and then of course I hear how we're slowly becoming a fascist nation. Maybe it's just me, but I really don't recall anyone crying fascism during the last administration or when Clinton was in office.

    I get that people are fed up with the government, but it's just interesting how these theories are beginning to surface...

  13. Macon, There is only one person of color (Allen Keyes) that I'm aware of that has brought the charge of non citizen against President Barack Hussein Obama, all the other allegations are from white people.

    Obviously the attacks are personal against President Obama, otherwise these plaintiff would bring charges against the state of Hawaii for furnishing a false birth certificate and promoting it as authentic. Or they would bring suit against the FBI for conducting a sloppy background check, and unleashing (the non american)Barack on the american people. Ofcourse the I.N.S should be sued for not properly documenting Barack Hussein status as a resident alien, or possibly an illegal alien. The birthers could also bring suit against Chief Justice for swearing in a non citizen to the highest office in the land. They could sue the democratic party for running a non citizen for the presidency. Yet, none of these parties or entities are being sued, only Obama, so it's about President Obama, and not so much about the office of the presidency.

    Did not the Supremes dismiss one of these cases a couple months ago? But the hatred for President Hussein Obama and his skin color continue to fuel these racist pigs known as the birthers.

  14. Redcat,

    I misread your comment. I took your comment personally because two-thirds of my heritage was created from displacement of two groups. Thus, my displeasure was placed on you because of the assumption that my heritage, among others, is completely foreign to North America. I'm a Heinz 57 American - part of me would still stay here.

    My apologies : ). I am a ball of fire sometimes and my aim can be undeserved.

  15. i believe in the original post, the parts that say "2008" in regards to obama's prospective re-election are meant to say "2012."

  16. I have no idea if the birth certificate conspiracy is true and it doesn't really matter. It should because of the Constitution, but it doesn't because if Bush and Co. made one thing abundantly clear it is that the Constitution no longer applies.

    Besides, isn't it pretty obvious that the most powerful man in the world can produce an "authentic" birth certificate saying he was born wherever he wants? If he's got the power to lead us into a New World Order, he's certainly got the power to produce a fake birth certificate. Morons.

    The real issue is not where the man was born but, rather, that the people are so ignorant of what is going on around them that they focus on something so trivial. Goldman Sachs, with the help of the government, is raping the American people. The entire government, Republicans and Democrats, is in a mad dash to collectivism. Logic and reasoned thinking have been replaced by wants and desires. Etc., etc., etc. And the American people are worried about birth certificates and Sarah Palin's baby.

    We quarrel about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin oblivious to the yoke being placed around our necks...

  17. Macon and Others,
    I realize my posts tend to stray from the topic at times. I do believe that what you are doing here is important and not trivial in the least. My hope and dream is that we can build a society in which all people can live in freedom and prosperity and battling through our pre-conceived, irrational prejudices is vital to that end.

  18. Thanks dmh08, got those numbers fixed.

    Imhotep, yes, Alan Keyes has been pretty vocal about this. There's also James David Manning, who rails against the "long-legged mac daddy" about this Here. antil says above that KRS-One also questions the validity of Obama's birth certificate, but I can't find anything to that effect. At any rate, an exception or two to what seems to be a general rule -- that this kind of suspicion about a black president with some foreign roots is at least partially fueled by common white fears and fantasies about Dark, Foreign Others -- does not disprove that general rule.

    And yes, the U.S. Supreme Court did dismiss a suit about this prior to Obama's inauguration, which means, according to an LA Times blogger,

    that the minimum four justices did not deem it worthy of an actual hearing. Another suit by Philip Berg of Pennsylvania remains at the court, arguing that not only is the Hawaiian certificate fake but that because Obama attended Indonesian schools that required local citizenship, he is also Indonesian.

    I don't know if the latter suit has also been dismissed yet, but if not, it seems certain that it will. (Thanks for the term "birthers" for these true believers -- hadn't heard that one.)

  19. I don't know if such beliefs are spreading, but I do think that they are being desperately clung to by a very vocal minority, which keeps them out in the public arena.

    My take on it is that those continuing to voice these rumors are almost more scared by how "normal" Obama is (loving family guy, not pushing as liberal an agenda as they had feared - although they would never admit to that) that they have to keep up these rumors to keep fear and mistrust alive.

  20. I'm not sure myself. It does seem as though there are some real issues here with Obama being inconsistent. He said he was born at two different hospitals now. As far as "white people" accepting a black president, I have to say, that's the ONLY thing I like about the guy. I am a right-winger and I am proud that this country has elected someone of mixed race. However, his policies, his beliefs, they are not at all American and he does not believe in the republic that we live in. That is why we don't like him. The only people that see race and talk about race are people on the left.

  21. did anyone else notice the reference to PeeBO?

  22. Another POC having to validify his self worth!

  23. Ugh, this makes my head want to implode.

    As much as I hate throwing meaningless words like "fascist" around, every time I see conspiracy nuts like this I have think of people ranting about a communist Jew plot to control the global economy. If he wasn't from here, I'm pretty damn sure he wouldn't have gotten this far.

    And by that I mean "the entire government is in on it! wake up sheeple!" or something.

    I guess these people will vote Mussolini in 2012.

  24. As a person with an un-American name but very American parents, born on American soil overseas, and being of mixed (obviously not exclusively white) origin, this is something I encounter from whites on a regular basis. It seems ingrained in the culture of American politics. Not sure I can see it changing any time in the near future. People who are not white will always be viewed as somehow less American if American at all. (since I have partial Native American ancestry, I find that notion particularly insulting).

  25. I want to apologise, because I totally punked out--got all cowardly--in my second comment here, which was in response to honeybrown's comment:

    "RedCatBiker, I understand where you are coming from. However, this is my country of birth. So yeah, it's my country, too. I can't go back to any country that I've never lived without hacking me up into pieces neither can you.

    Also, I do know the history of Hawaii. However, today it is a U.S. state - so it's not a foreign country. While the means to the end isn't fair or right, it is what it is now.

    Not to "pick on" honeybrown, but her response irks me, because it reeks of the narrow-mindedness and arrogance of American imperialism -- it dismisses history, and implies that the horrible crimes committed in the past (specifically, stealing the land and resources of indigenous people in this part of the world), since one cannot change the past, that those crimes were okay, we should sweep them under the rug. C'est la vie!

    For me, just because the crimes committed against the native peoples here by white European colonialists does not affect me historically (although, some of my ancestors were Native American--I do know the specific tribe--however, I don't have any connection to that culture) that does not mean that I should choose to be blind to the crimes committed against them. Thus, I'm going to stand by what I wrote in my first comment, all the while acknowledging that no one, who is here now, can go back to where they historically came from, nor "hack themselves up into pieces" (as honeybrown stated) to be shipped off to the various lands of their ancestors.

    This statement, "While the means to the end isn't fair or right, it is what it is now," that honeybrown made makes me wonder why you are here on this blog. I've seen some of your comments on various posts of this blog (although, I have not memorized them, so I may be mistaken), and I take it that you are anti-racist, and that, because of who you are, feel/have felt the ugliness of racism, yes? So, it seems to me that when racism and empire building, because it does not affect you, your kind, that it is okay if one turns his eyes away from that which has happened to another group?

    You see, that is the problem: blindness to another group's struggle for justice, because if one acknowledges its mere existence (that Hawai'i may not be a state, but a foreign country, as native Hawai'ians wish their land to be), it will look like one is being unsupportive (read: racist) towards Obama, the first black man to be president of the US.

    Again, honey..., this comment is in no way picking on you, I just found that your argument did not sit well with me.

    Here is a good bit for anyone who is interested--a 25-minute video about Hawai'i versus US Imperialism

  26. Redcatbiker,

    I am by no means an American imperialist. However, I am an American and with that I do bear the burden of my country's history without any blindness. In addition, I am the descendent of at least two groups - Native American and African that has carried the reminders of such pain; while, the other group, European, has reaped benefit. As a woman of color, I am an anti-racist by birth without need of being given the job title.

    I do not deny the plight and history of others. What have I said to encourage that thought? I know and understand how Hawaii became a state (I'm not denying that at all). But, although it was made into a state through imperialism, it is a state that exists nonetheless (as the United States does as a whole).

    We cannot deny the past nor the present, if we desire a more ideal future. What have I said, Redcat, to deny that?

    In addition, as a woman of color, I was born with the moniker of anti-racist and anti-sexist. I didn't decide to join the cause. I was born into it for the sake of my well-being as well as those of my children and fellow persons of color and gender.

    I don't see you as picking on me, by the way. : ) We may disagree; but, the conversation should remain on-going.

  27. I was living in one of the larger towns in Nebraska when Obama was running and eventually won the presidency. The place I lived was 98% white, and I've just discovered it was a sundown town - they kicked out all the blacks in the 20's. They believe every single word on those Obama forwards that say he's not an American, that he's a secret terrorist, that he's Muslim (which shouldn't be an issue in the first place, but in Nebraska it's enough to discount the worth of any person). It was very frustrating to live in Nebraska in 2008, because SO much of the state willingly embraced these lies as reasons not to vote for Obama - basically they looked for any reason that wasn't "he's not white" (their true problem with him). What's worse is that because I'm half black, my opinion counted for very little - I was "obviously" voting for Obama, and my blackness kept me from seeing his flaws.

    I remember the day after the votes were counted I went to school (a community COLLEGE - a place of higher learning) and after an hour I seriously considered going home, because I felt threatened all day. People made out-right racists comments all day, and the fact that a black person was sitting right next to them did not give them a seconds pause. I tried all day to debate and reason with people, but it was a wasted effort. If you asked a random person in Nebraska today if Obama was a U.S. citizen chances are they would forcefully, angrily, and honestly believe it when they told you "no!"

  28. "The only people that see race and talk about race are people on the left."

    The conservative god reagan supported apartheid. Conservaties really do live in an alternative reality smh.

  29. This site really needs to be renamed to "stuff white americans do".

    Most people in Europe and other countries would vote for Obama if they could - there have been many polls about it - and they see the birther scandal for the farce it really is.


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