Isn’t it so cute? Reminiscing as the Birther Rumors Enter Their Pre-Teen Years

Since Barack Obama became a household name, there have been a number of people who have claimed that his birthplace is somewhere outside of the U.S.—thereby making him an illegitimate candidate to be president. This racist belief continued to be fairly popular throughout both his campaign and presidency, and it is widely known to have been held by current United States President Donald Trump. The support of this claim by notable individuals throughout the years led to numerous litigation attempts to illegitimatize Obama’s presidency.

Although there had been rumors surrounding Obama’s birth starting around 2008, in 2009, dentist/attorney Dr. Orly Taitz obtained pictures of a document that was purported to be Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate. The document, which was debunked within a short time, is just one of many false evidence ploys that was used to back up the claim. In 2017, Malik Obama, Trump supporter and half-brother to the former president, tweeted a picture of yet another fake birth certificate in an attempt to support the infamous conspiracy. Although Malik Obama may have appeared to have some sort of authority on the matter due to his family name, at that point the White House had already released copies of the president’s Hawaiian birth certificate years ago in 2011.

It seems as though the popularity of this belief may have been due to the large number of celebrities, campaigners and Republican figureheads that inevitably helped spread the rumors. The idea spread like a wildfire within the minds of people who were believed to be rational—in a manner that suggested that people simply fell victim various appeals to authority figures. Believers seemed to completely discount the thought of how hard it would be for a government official to make it that far up with an illegitimate citizenship.

Skeptics often found themselves within circles that supported their beliefs without evidence. Moreover, they succumbed to faulty thinking such as confirmation bias and post hoc rationalizations. Even in the face of images of the actual birth certificate, the rumors continued to flow. Instead of starting from the evidence and moving forward to come to a conclusion, a fair amount of people merely began with a conclusion and proceeded to try and rationalize it.

The use of fake documents helped make this topic one of the most popular presidential conspiracies in recent history, however it wouldn’t have been able to reach levels that it did without the biased thoughts of its supporters. In addition to the faulty thinking used by birthers, many believe that the rumors can be attributed to the racial prejudice that is held by all Americans. Given that we live in a majority white society, the first president to belong to the relative outgroup of Americans was almost destined to face some sort of prejudiced thinking. It’s entirely possible that the conspiracy was just a manifestation of the sort of thinking that is popular within our society. Nevertheless, the rumor proved to be one of many false conspiracy theories surrounding our government and the individuals within.



“FACT CHECK: Is This Barack Obama’s Kenyan Certified Registration of Birth?”,

New York Daily News. “Obama’s Critics Launch the Birth of a Nutty Nation.”, New York Daily News, 11 Jan. 2019,

“Obama’s Half-Brother Tweets Image of Debunked Kenya Birth Certificate.”,

Vergano, Dan. “Study: Racial Prejudice Plays Role in Obama Citizenship Views.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 27 Apr. 2011,


15 thoughts on “Isn’t it so cute? Reminiscing as the Birther Rumors Enter Their Pre-Teen Years

  1. I remember when all this was going on in the media. I found it shocking and almost comical the lengths that people would go to to try and illegitimate his presidency.

  2. I’ve heard this conspiracy pop up every few months, and it definitely became really popular again with Donald Trump. What I think is crazy is that Obama’s own half brother tried to get in on the conspiracy and show a birth certificate that supposedly “proves” that Obama was not born in the United States. In your research did it tell you at all why Obama’s own half brother tried to get in on this conspiracy, did they have a bad relationship?

  3. This post was so cool to read because it’s such a mind-blowing contemporary conspiracy that exemplifies the lengths people will go to in order to sabotage a side that differs from their own. With all of these birthplace rumors running around, it seemed to make it more difficult for those against the Obama administration to recognize all of the amiable, lucrative things he was doing for the country. These types of claims give non-supporters something to cling to in order to unite against a presidency.

  4. I find this amusing because Donald Trump’s wife was born and raised in Sevnica, Slovenia. Realistically it would be incredibly difficult to disprove where someone is born, and I am assuming it would be one of the first things that would be checked when someone decides to run for President, as it is a requirement for eligibility. I remember hearing rumors that Barack Obama changed his name from Barry as well for cryptic reasons, but I just looked it up and that story was fabricated as well. Once these rumors circulate, they only confirm these intrinsic motivations to berate how qualified Barack Obama was.

  5. Honestly, I think my favorite part about the whole birther conspiracy is that Obama himself started laughing (meme-ing?) about it after his presidency! But honestly, I wonder how many people actually believed that he wasn’t born in America? I know the media talked about it a lot, but I feel like the media doesn’t really care if they think something is “true” as long as it will get them views!

  6. Hello!
    This post drew my attention because I remember the controversy on the news! I too thought it would be wild for someone to make it so far in the political world and not have even been a citizen. There would have had to be a lot of secret help to pull this off and I would hope out government doesn’t operate like that. I definitely think politics brings out the worst in both parties and a lot of wild claims come out during elections. I think its interesting that people continue to believe things after evidence is presented as well!

  7. With presidency there are always going to be people who are heavily against the president. These individuals will go through any length to convince people that this person should not be in office. And everything that happens is there fault. I remember reading once that there were people who actually believed that Michelle Obama is actually a man. This conspiracy is so ridiculous and it makes you wonder why people spread such rumors. However, the Obama had the most trouble with acceptance as the first black family and everything they did was going to be criticized.

  8. Rumors that spread during presidential campaigns are always interesting because people say they pay such a close eye on the candidates. However, if you don’t like someone and you hear something bad about them then you’ll just believe it and spread it. Some people know that these rumors are fake but will continue to promote them as being real because they want to not have this person in office. People just fall into influence by a community that supports their beliefs and are really not paying close attention to the candidates.

  9. The post is really interesting. I think this rumor is aiming to illegitimate Obama’s presidency and denied what he did in eight years. This conspiracy becomes popular with Donald Trump become president, so I think the rumor is ridiculous. Obama’s identity should already have been examined before he became presidents, and it’s really funny that this rumor is spreading quickly in the period of presidential campaigns. Even now, a lot of people still believe this rediculous rumor.

  10. Barack Obama has refused to release his name change records (BARRY SOETORO to Barack Obama)), adoption records, records of his and his mother’s repatriation as U.S. citizens from Indonesia, baptism records, Noelani Elementary School records, Punahou School financial aid or school records, Occidental College financial aid records, Harvard Law School records, Columbia senior thesis, records with the Illinois State Bar Association, files from his terms as an Illinois state senator, his law client list, medical records and passport records; and the many anomalies in his back dated Selective Service Registration card have not been addressed.

    But Obama isn’t totally responsible for his wickedness. Americans, left, right and center, have allowed it.

    Example: Obama has not explained why he uses a Social Security Number, 042-68-4425, that was issued to a person living in Connecticut in March of 1977. This is known because the first three digits in an SSN identifies the state where the recipient resided when the card and number was issued. In the Obama SSN, the first three digits are 042, which in 1977 meant Connecticut. So, how did Obama, who in March of 1977, was a 15-year-old high school Sophomore living in Hawaii with his grand-parents, obtain that number and why is he using it today? These numbers are only issued one time. They are never reissued or reused unless they are stolen or lost and used by a criminal who obtained the number illegally.

    The many anomalies found in the LFBC (Long Form Birth Certificate) include the dispersal of “9-separate links and layers” that should not exist in a normal scanned paper document. There are 3 different letter fonts typed onto a document allegedly typed in 1961 on a manual typewriter. There is erratic word, line spacing and alignments inconsistent with the 1961 era manual typewriter on which the original document would have been typed. There is the “white halo effect,” (a sign of manipulation); the absence of “chromatic aberration” that should be on the documents if it were scanned by a copier/printer; and the use of the word “African” as a race identifier for Obama’s father. In 1961 the correct identifier was Negro. African would not have been accepted and would require correction.

    Lord Christopher Moncton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, an author, game designer, scientific advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, mathematician, and internationally known critic of climate change, performed an analysis of the document using Probability Theory (The branch of mathematics that deals with quantities having random distributions) proclaimed in a sworn affidavit that the odds of Obama’s birth certificate being genuine were “on the order of 1 in 75 sextillion.” That is 1 in 75,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

    Reed Hayes is a court qualified forensic document examiner who examined Obama’s LFBC. Hayes is a Democrat who voted for Obama, and has worked as an expert for Perkins Coie, the law firm that has represented Obama in eligibility cases all over the country, and who sits on the board of the Scientific Association of Forensic Examiners, stated:

    “based on my observations and findings, it is clear that the Certificate of Live Birth I examined is not a scan of an original paper birth certificate, but a digitally manufactured document created by utilizing material from various sources.”

  11. There are always rumors for presidents. This one uses good tricks to cover its absurd essence which tries to deny Obama’s contribution by where he was born. Surely this belief might concern with political things, but more likely made by racists.

  12. Considered the particular theme of this belief, I tend to believe it comes from the opponent party used to attack the president Obama. I think it’s kind of display of the confirmation bias. It’s because they already have distrust of Obama that they would find anything to demonstrate their former idea. Especially for public figures like presidents, these bias would evolve into more severer level. For example, just like Argumentum ad hominem, they would try to prove the person is not worthy to believe because his birthplace.

  13. I am very surprised that some people, ehem^^^ still believe that Obama was not born in the United States. I think this belief stems from hatred/ racism or just plain distrust in the government.

  14. Reading this has me thinking of the unfalsifiability of this claim and how there really isn’t a good way to combat it. I almost guarantee that during one of the White House Correspondents’ dinners, when Obama showed a “video of his birth” ( that the people that believed in this theory began to take it as proof or look for secret codes that proved that he was not born in Hawaii. (Hint: he played a lion king clip)

  15. Due to Obama’s race, he was socially attacked and his legitimacy as a United States citizen was called into question. Republicans who had lost the house to Democrats clearly sought to remove Obama from office especially with the fear of change considering the religion and race of Obama. The media appealed to a sensitive subject in America regarding “the race war” and used it to fuel their hunt for some form of evidence that Obama was illegitimately a citizen.

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