There’s really nothing surprising about a successful man garnering the jealousy of others. Perhaps this is why every president that has ever served has found himself associated with wild conspiracy theories. Who could forget the ridiculous idea that George W. Bush was actually related to the Bin Ladens and they planned the September 11th attacks? Even the current president hasn’t been immune to outrageous conspiracy theories regarding his citizenship and his place of birth.
An Uncertified Birth
Barrack Obama is officially the first president born outside of the continental US. Perhaps there are people who are unwilling to accept Hawaii as a state or maybe they truly believe that Barrack was born in Kenya. His father was a Kenyan-born man who met his mother while studying at the University of Hawaii. The couple was married for a while, but the marriage didn’t last. Perhaps it’s the fact that Barrack Obama moved to Indonesia as a young man that has people doubting his citizenship. This overachiever also took a very non-traditional route to becoming president. Maybe his opponents can’t accept that a commoner rose from the people to become the leader of the free world. Either way, the conspiracy theory about Obama’s past has garnered a lot of followers. There’s even a Wikipedia page dedicated to the subject. What’s disturbing about the theory is the crippling misinformation people are spreading in an attempt to defame the 44th commander and chief.
It’s kind of amazing that people believe Barrack Obama was actually born in Kenya or some other foreign country. In the US, citizens can’t apply for food stamps without the proper paperwork so it’s laughable to think that a non-natural citizen could not only run for the highest office but get elected. Even after the White House posted a copy of Obama’s birth certificate online conspiracy theorists called it a forgery. The sad thing about this conspiracy is that it doesn’t offer insightful information like other conspiracy theories. If there was a second birth certificate or anything viable about the theory, it would be easier to believe. There’s no smoking gun, “stained dress” or another overwhelming artifact to make anyone truly believe Obama was born in Africa. In fact, the weak validity of the claim makes it a theory that’s only accepted by members of the Republican party. Republicans have never accepted losing well, and their negative view of the less fortunate is well documented. However, it wasn’t the Republicans or the Tea Party that started these rumors, but a bitter political rival from the left wing.
Same ol’ Dixiecrats
There was a time when Barrack Obama was behind Hillary Clinton and John Edwards for the Democratic primary. However, his message of hope and progress (and an endorsement by Ted Kennedy) saw him surpass the competition. This is where the rumor started when Hillary Clinton’s staff began to send mock emails questioning Obama’s presidential eligibility. It was the Democrats and not the Republicans that started this rumor which can just barely be classified as a conspiracy theory. In fact, a more interesting conspiracy theory may be the fact that this vicious rumor was started by members of Obama’s own party who have always been opposed to the advancement of people of color. It would seem that the Democratic party would have been proud to produce the first black president, but they instead attempted to sabotage their best chance of winning the 2008 presidential election. It’s the Republicans who continue to beat this dead horse, but the rumor was actually started by the Democrats within Clinton’s inner circle.
Racism? Not Quite
As a black writer, I’m sure that some of Barrack Obama’s opponents are fixated on his skin color. However, the Republican Colon Powell was actually ahead of George W. Bush in all the polls in 2000. He could have been a black president eight years before Barrack because people in America have come a long way. In fact, I would have been disappointed if no one would have introduced conspiracy theories about Obama the way they did about all the previous presidents. There was a rumor that the president was a Muslim who was going to sell nuclear secrets to all the Arabic nations. There was even a rumor that he was sworn into office on a Quran rather than a Bible. This type of thinking actually reveals the conspiracy theory that Americans are religiously tolerant of others.