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 Snopes.com 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