Sunday, March 7, 2010

Birther Mythbusting: Barack Obama was not born "White"

Conspiracism does not hold up consistency as a virtue. Every Birther is very familiar with the infamous Nordyke twins' birth certificates, issued in 1961 for girls born at Kapiolani Hospital within hours of Obama himself.

Birthers are also quite fond of arguing that Obama's hospital birth certificate might identify the newborn Obama's race as "white." To wit, "I read that Obama will not release his birth certificate. Have heard rumors it's because he is listed as white."

This is a patently foolish theory for at least two reasons. First, we've seen baby photos of Barack Obama, and it's hard to imagine anyone in 1961 looking at such a baby and declaring him "white."

Second, just look at the Nordyke certificate itself:

There are only two boxes for "Race" on the entire certificate, both of which I've marked above. One for the father's race, the other is for the mother's race. Both of these categories are repeated on the COLB. There is no box for the race of the newborn child.

Again, let me repeat that: a 1961 long-form Hawaiian birth certificate does not have any box for "Race of Child." Obama's long-form birth certificate does not say he was born "white" because it CAN'T say his race. There's no spot for it. It's a simple and outright impossibility. Simply looking at the Nordyke certificate should instantly tell you that the theory has no factual grounds to even start building on. You might as well speculate that his birth certificate claims that he was born "Communist" or "Handsome."

This should hardly be a surprise either, since modern American birth certificates almost never have a box for the race of the newborn. That's a judgment call that hospital staff have no business making.

So why does this canard continue to be repeated, seven months after the Nordyke certificates should have put this to rest forever? Because Birthers don't pay attention to evidence, and don't allow contrary evidence to affect their postitions.

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