President Barack Obama has been in office for more than two years, but some questions about him have still, amazingly, not been put to rest. The most common question concerns his birth: Was he really born in Hawaii?
It’s a question that has been asked continually by a certain segment of the population. These people are known as “birthers,” a term that was coined to describe Republicans and others who are seeking to prove, through a growing body of evidence, that they’re nutcases.
Not all of them are nuts, of course. Some are fruitcakes.
Talk to them and you’ll get statements like these:
— “Obama wuz not born in Hawaii, so as far as I’m concerned, he’s inedible to be president.”
— “If he wuz born in Hawaii, how come he don’t speak Hawaiian?”
— “I don’t believe he was born in Hawaii, but even if he was, should Hawaii really be considered part of America?”
Many of these people suspect that Obama was actually born in the land of his father, Kenya. It may seem like a far-fetched belief, but if you go to Kenya, you will find a similar group of people, also called “birthers,” who suspect that their president, Mwai Kibaki, was actually born in Hawaii.
I spoke to a “birther” in Kenya named George Mbacho.
Me: “Is the beer in Kenya really that strong?”
Mbacho: “What do you mean?”
Me: “I mean, do you really believe that President Kibaki was born in Hawaii?”
Mbacho: “Yes, we believe that Obama got Kibaki’s birth certificate and Kibaki got Obama’s.”
Me: “But Kibaki was born in 1931 and Obama was born in 1961.”
Mbacho: “You noticed that too? They are only one digit apart.”
Me: “What do you hope to achieve through your accusations? Do you want Kibaki to step down?”
Mbacho: “No, we are hoping for a trade. We’ll take Obama, let the Americans have Kibaki.”
Me: “What if Americans don’t want Kibaki?”
Mbacho: “They have to take him. He was born in Hawaii!!!”
It’s important to note that in 2008 Obama’s staff released an official ‘Certification of Live Birth’ from the State of Hawaii, which clearly states that Barack Hussein Obama II was born on Aug. 4, 1961, at 7:24 p.m. in the city of Honolulu, weighing 60 lbs, 8 oz.
Actually it doesn’t provide his weight or any of the other details that “birthers” are seeking. That’s what I gathered from a conversation with an outspoken “birther,” who has the apt name of Bertha.
Me: “Let me get this straight: you don’t believe the ‘Certification of Live Birth’ proves anything?”
Bertha: “Well, it proves that he didn’t come from an egg. That’s what it proves.”
Me: “So you agree that he’s a mammal?”
Bertha: “Well, I never suspected he was a reptile. My friend Gertrude did, but not me.”
Me: “What does the president need to do to prove once and for all that he was born in Hawaii?”
Bertha: “Well, if he wants us to believe him, he needs to release his long-form birth certificate, the one from the hospital, as well as signed statements from the doctor and nurse who delivered him, and also a photo of him wearing a Hawaiian print diaper.”
Me: “And if he provides all that, would you and others stop asking the question about his birth?”
Bertha: “Yes, we would stop asking that question. But then, there’s still the other question.”
Me: “What question is that?”
Bertha: “Is he a Muslim?”
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