I want to mythbust an email that is circulating that deals with a topic I’ve researched in depth. The version of the email that I received says “4 Simple Questions” in the subject box. Below are these 4 questions along with my comments.
1. Back in 1961 people of color were called ‘Negroes.’ So how can the Obama ‘birth certificate’ state he [Obama’s father] is ‘African-American’ when the term wasn’t even used at that time?
CtH: The birth certificates (both long and short) list Obama Senior’s race as AFRICAN, not African-American. Whoever wrote the email was really sloppy on this point. Barack Obama Sr. was a British citizen from the Kenya Colony in East Africa. He was only here to go to school.
However, the basic point is valid. “African” was not a recognized racial category in 1961. An American filling out the form might be expected to use one of the current categories listed in the 1960 Census of U.S. citizens, which asked: “Is this person – White, Negro, American Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Part Hawaiian, Aleut, Eskimo, (etc.)?” http://usa.ipums.org/usa/voliii/items1960.shtml
But Obama Sr. was not a U.S. citizen. If he had any input into what was put on the original birth certificate in August 1961, it seems likely he’d use the ethnic, tribal or racial category he used at home. At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Kenya, it says the 2009 Kenyan census lists Kikuyu 17%, Luhya 14%, Kalenjin 13%, Luo 10%, Kamba 10%, Kisii 6%, Mijikenda 5%, Meru 4%, Turkana 2.5%, Maasai 2.1%. About 9% of population consist of smaller indigenous group below 1% each, and Non-African groups (Arabs, Indians and Europeans) are estimated to total to about 1%.
Lots of possibilities, none of which is AFRICAN. Still, it’s not that big a quibble. It was a big deal in Hawaii at that time for a foreign student from anywhere in Africa to be attending the university. Ann or her mom could have filled out the form and chosen to write African in the race box.
2. The birth certificate that the White House released lists Obama’s birth as August 4, 1961 and that Obama’s father was born in “Kenya, East Africa.” Kenya did not even exist until 1963, two whole years after Obama’s birth. How could Obama’s father have been born in a country that did not yet exist? Up and until Kenya was formed in1963, it was known as the “British East Africa Protectorate.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenya
CtH: This is wrong and it says so at the very URL provided: “The British Empire established the East Africa Protectorate in 1895, known from 1920 as the Kenya Colony. The independent Republic of Kenya was founded in December 1963.”
3. On the birth certificate released by the White House, the listed place of birth is “Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital.” This cannot be, because the hospital(s) in question in 1961 were called “KauiKeolani Children’s Hospital” and “Kapi’olani Maternity Home”, respectively. The name did not change to Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital until 1978, when these two hospitals merged. http://www.kapiolani.org/women-and-children/about-us/default.aspx
CtH: This is also wrong and, again, it says so at the URL provided. “Kapi‘olani Maternity Home [opened] in 1890. … Kauikeolani Children’s Hospital opened [in 1909]. … The two hospitals joined in 1978 to become Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children.”
At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapiolani_Medical_Center_for_Women_and_Children, it says that Kapi‘olani Maternity Home changed its name to Kapiʻolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in 1931.
4. Why hasn’t this been discussed in the major media? Perhaps a clue comes from Obama’s book. He states how proud he is of his father fighting in WWII, when his father was three years old!
CtH: The major media has been pimping for Democrats for as long as I can remember. Back in 2008, the unvetted problems in Obama’s life narrative were available for anyone who cared to investigate them, but the official news gatherers were much too busy digging through the Palin family trash to bother.
I don’t know if “my father fought in WWII” appears in Obama’s book, but he definitely said it on the campaign trail in 2008. It’s likely he just misspoke. His grandfather served in WWII. I don’t think this is a big deal. Campaigns are long and hard; candidates get tired.
I’m not saying Barack Obama isn’t a chronic liar. He is and I can demonstrate it. But I try to stick to things he’s published, put into campaign ads, read off a teleprompter, or said exactly the same way in multiple settings.
For the record, I am certain both of the birth documents released by the Obamas are forgeries.