There has been a ton of discussion about the so-called "birther" movement, and not a lot of understanding of what it entails. There are insults traded, but not a lot of intelligent conversation occurring between political factions. So, as someone who tows the centre line of the political spectrum and a master debater, I'm going to look into birther and other conspiracy claims to find out if there really is any validity to them.
The eligibility movement has a pretty simple theory - that Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was born in Kenya or some other nation as opposed to the United States and therefore cannot be Commander in Chief. They believe that the President has used fraudulent documentation to prove his identity and has committed impeachable offenses against the American people as well as the World at large.
So let's look at the birth certificate. It claims that Barack Hussein Obama Jr was born of Mr. Barack Hussein and Mrs. Stanley Ann Obama on August 4th, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Hawaii Department of Health registered a live birth of a biracial child named Barack Hussein Obama II on August 8, 1961.
Ron Polarik claims to be a "document imaging" expert who claims after a 4 month(!) investigation that the certificate is a forgery and people on conspiracy websites ate it up. The truth is that Mr. Polarik has no more expertise in this subject than any layman, with no educational background in computer imaging, technology or antiquities. He also examined a scanned copy of the document as opposed to the real deal.
However, the independent folks at FactCheck.org not only took a look at the certificate, but touched it, smelled it, checked all public records and concluded that Barack Obama is indeed an American. This is a non-partisan group of people with advanced degrees in every conceivable specialty from the best universities. They unabashedly call people from every party on their bullshit, so I'm going with them on this.
But let's just play devil's advocate here and pretend there was no printed birth certificate, shall we? Could Barack REALLY have been born in Nairobi or Mombassa? Let's look at Kenya for a second here.
Kenya is a country on the Indian Ocean in Eastern Africa with neighbours like Ethiopia and Somalia. They have been invaded (settled) by various European nations over time, but there is no historical documentation of Americans taking up residence there. While there were indeed white people there until 1963, it was a small, segregated minority and if a white woman were to birth a mixed race child there, whitey would go batshit. There would absolutely be a record from someone who would remember such an event, not to mention a paper trail of some sort. Also, look at Kenya itself. A fraction of one percent of the population has ANY European ancestry whatsoever. If a man took up marriage with a white woman, it would cause an uproar amongst his fellow Africans. Also, Kenyan government is not exactly the backwater that people believe. They have a complex government, education, and birth records. Someone would indeed have recollection of Barack II's birth had it been within the white or black communities as Papa Obama was an educated man.
Moreover, let's look at the USA here. If a biracial couple or a single white woman were to bring a minor child into the US in the early 1960's, it would be remembered. Not only that but there would be INS records, citizenship documents, and the like. If such things were in existence, one could quite easily acquire them. And somebody would have before Mr.Obama became a senator let alone elected to the highest office in the Land.
Even IF Mr.Obama were to be adopted there would be records detailing such things.
There are a few claims that Obama may not be a mixed-race person at all, and that either his mother or father is not the real deal. It is clear to anyone with eyesight that Mr. Obama is of mixed ethnic heritage. Have you seen what a person from that part of Africa LOOKS like? I know several people from the region and none of them resemble Barack - they are extremely dark pigmented people. They're not brown, they are BLACK. These are the folks that have essentially stayed put since days of yore and have evolved to have features that suit the climate. I'm not trying to sound like a bigot here, but Mr. President would get a serious sunburn if he hung around in Kenya for more than an hour without a shirt or sunscreen.
The final piece of evidence I'll tackle here is the Kenya Sunday Standard article dated June 27, 2004. The headline boasts of a Kenyan-born senatorial candidate with no references to where he was born, when, his tribal affiliations, or background. The article doesn't seem to be signed, and is more concerned with former Senator Ryan than Barack, whose name is misspelled. They do not publish a Kenyan birth after the election or even after the obscure article . This appears to be the lone article that people are clinging to as fact. The problem is that the AP quoted at the bottom of the article NEVER published such a tale, and Snopes confirms that it is not the AP article HERE. it The Kenyan government does have a day honouring Mr. Obama's patrilineal ancestry, but has never made a claim on him as truly theirs. Duped folks, including some esteemed members of the CoCC have quoted this as proof. In reality, they have been FOOLED by something as real as the "Richard Gere gerbil legend".
Like many tales, people believe it because they desperately crave for it to be true, whether it be the Kenyan who altered the AP release or the person who wants Obama dismissed from his job.
Essentially, people are permitted to believe whatever they wish, but the world does indeed suffer when falsehoods are spread to a hungry public that cannot be bothered to research the basis for what they have been told. Propaganda has been utilized to further societies and governments of all stripes, but it is just that. I do not wish to break anyone's heart here or make anyone feel stupid, but you have been deluded into believing something so untrue that TMZ would run from it. You are free to like or dislike Barack Obama, argue for or against his policies, and voice your opinion. You have the freedom to question your president, and you will be doing so as a fellow American.