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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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38 Responses

  1. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable April 27, 2011 at 11:21 am |

    lmao, my friend sent me this onion article.

  2. Nahida
    Nahida April 27, 2011 at 11:23 am |

    I have a question!

    Would it actually be that bad if he hadn’t been born here? (I know you can’t run for president unless you’re a naturalized citizen–but seriously? Do we still need this?)

  3. Nahida
    Nahida April 27, 2011 at 11:26 am |

    Like, what if you’ve been living in the US as a citizen since you were two years old or something, and then there’s someone who was born here but spent more than half xis lifetime in another country (but still enough years here to qualify them to run)?

    I mean, really? They can run but you can’t?

  4. Nahida
    Nahida April 27, 2011 at 11:31 am |

    Eek, yeah that’s what I meant. Sorry.

  5. Florence
    Florence April 27, 2011 at 11:35 am |

    The real issue is that we have a (a) black (b) Muslim in the White house. Also, it’s a pdf file and we know those didn’t exist in the 1960s.

    /snark

  6. gretel
    gretel April 27, 2011 at 11:35 am |

    I learned today that according to the birthers, I’m not a naturally born citizen because, despite my being born in New York City–once the capital of the United States–my dad had the gall to not be a U.S. citizen.

    Presidential dreams crushed! Crushed, I tell ya!

    @Nahida: Yeah, I know. It’s a ludicrous requirement as far as I’m concerned.

  7. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage April 27, 2011 at 11:42 am |

    Jill: Actually, if you’re a naturalized citizen, you can’t run for president — you have to be a natural-born citizen, which for the most part means you have to be born on U.S. soil.

    Curiously, this would have also made John McCain ineligible to be president.

    The legal standard for “natural-born” at this point seems to be having at least one parent who is an American citizen at the time of birth. Obama could have been born on the moon and still be eligible for the presidency.

  8. Ellie
    Ellie April 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm |

    I like that he didn’t bother to provide it before and didn’t bother humoring birthers, but once he determined it was getting to be too big a distraction said “There, there it is. Now shut up, let’s move on and do some politics.”

  9. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin April 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm |

    There are enough truly important, substantive issues we could be talking about, in all fairness. But, in my mind, he had no choice. It wasn’t Donald Trump’s doing, it was the realization that it had the possibility to grow larger and take on more of a life of it’s own. Lots of people don’t trust the government for many, well-founded reasons. This just fed into those suspicions.

  10. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla April 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm |

    Nahida:
    Like, what if you’ve been living in the US as a citizen since you were two years old or something, and then there’s someone who was born here but spent more than half xis lifetime in another country (but still enough years here to qualify them to run)?

    I mean, really? They can run but you can’t?

    Unfortunately, like Jill says, I don’t think the requirement that presidential candidates be born in the US will change anytime soon. But, boy, do I think that this requirement ought to get gone and the office of President be open to *any* US citizen, as it is a nexus for racism and xenophobia.

  11. gretel
    gretel April 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm |

    (Un)fun fact! There was also a birther conspiracy against Chester A. Arthur!
    http://www.genealogue.com/2005/06/our-canadian-president.html

  12. Lasciel
    Lasciel April 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm |

    Ellie:
    I like that he didn’t bother to provide it before and didn’t bother humoring birthers, but once he determined it was getting to be too big a distraction said “There, there it is. Now shut up, let’s move on and do some politics.”

    I do too. If he had humored them before it would only have encouraged them and gave credence to their bizarre conspiracies theories. God only knows what they would have come up with to replace it in the last couple years. Wonder what they’re cooking up now…

    I cannot even believe there are people out there who even care that much whether he was born in the US or not.

  13. Adoptee
    Adoptee April 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm |

    I think it’s interesting that the public can demand to see another person’s original birth certificate but 6 million people in the United States who also have amended birth certificates are denied the ability to see their OWN originals.

    *sigh*

  14. JSCOTT
    JSCOTT April 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm |

    YOU ARE AN IDIOT…A PDF FILE CAN BE CREATED BY SCANNNING A DOCUMENT TO A PDF FILE. DUH!!!!! Florence: The real issue is that we have a (a) black (b) Muslim in the White house. Also, it’s a pdf file and we know those didn’t exist in the 1960s./snark

  15. Florence
    Florence April 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm |

    Lulz.

  16. Roisin
    Roisin April 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm |

    JSCOTT:

    HAHA!

  17. Roxie
    Roxie April 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm |

    Hey, it’s 2011. A year in which white men can demand to a black man’s papers; President or no.

  18. On That News That I Don’t Even Want To Acknowledge (because, fuckery): PWB (Presidenting While Black) « The Rambling Feminist

    [...] via feministe: Obviously it is a fake. Obama says he was born in Hawaii. But we’ve all seen the show LOST, which [...]

  19. Palin-Trump-2012
    Palin-Trump-2012 April 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm |

    Even if he was born in Hawaii it was not a state ansd not US soil – its volcanic ash any way like Saraha Palin said.

  20. Kari
    Kari April 27, 2011 at 8:22 pm |

    Well, since you have to be born on American soil to run for president, I’ll just carry around a jar of dirt from Detroit the next time I decide to have a baby in a foreign country…

  21. Laurie
    Laurie April 27, 2011 at 8:55 pm |

    But isn’t the meaning of the term “natural born citizen” open for debate? It hasn’t been defined anywhere, has it? If I’m right, that means that the question of who is a “natural born citizen” is a novel question for the courts.

    One interpretation might be that “natural born citizens” are people who are considered to be citizens from birth, as opposed to being naturalized later. You can be a citizen from birth under certain circumstances even if you are born overseas. Thus Obama might qualify even if he WAS born in Kenya (although he obviously was born in Hawaii so I am really just nerding out here).

    But here is where it gets tricky. When Obama was born, the relevant statute provided that a person, even if born outside the U.S., is considered a citizen from birth, as long as one parent was a U.S. citizen provided that parent lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years after turning 14. But Obama’s mother was only 18 years old so she couldn’t meet that requirement. However, the statute was later revised to state that a person born overseas is a U.S. citizen from birth if one parent was a U.S. citizen having lived in the U.S. for FOUR years after turning 14. That change applied retroactively, I believe, and therefore Obama would be considered a citizen from birth regardless of where he was born.

    I am not an immigration law nerd — more of an immigraton law nerd wanna-be — so I am willing to be corrected if I am getting any of this wrong. But I get a kick out of the fact that Obama probably would qualify even if there were any truth to the conspiracy theories. We’re all taking it for granted that his Presidency would be illegal if he was born in Kenya, but that’s not necessarily true.

    P.S. I was born in Europe to two U.S. citizens and still harbor Presidential ambitions!

  22. Macha
    Macha April 27, 2011 at 8:56 pm |

    auditorydamage:The legal standard for “natural-born” at this point seems to be having at least one parent who is an American citizen at the time of birth. Obama could have been born on the moon and still be eligible for the presidency.

    My best friend was born in Belgium. His parents are both citizens. But nobody would question him running for President, because he’s white. Of course.

  23. Laurie
    Laurie April 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm |

    Also, to compound my nerdiness, I will ‘fess up to having read all of Orly Taitz’s crazy ass pleadings in her California birther lawsuit, which was ultimately dismissed for lack of standing. These people will never be satisfied. She was arguing that even if Obama was born in Hawaii, he doesn’t qualify as a natural born citizen because his father was Kenyan. A very thin argument since, under that rule, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and probably several other U.S. Presidents weren’t qualified since their parents weren’t U.S. citizens either.

  24. zuzu
    zuzu April 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm |

    auditorydamage: Curiously, this would have also made John McCain ineligible to be president.

    No, because both his parents were US citizens. IIRC, it’s when you have only one parent who’s a US citizen and you’re born abroad that things get tricky.

    The “born on US soil” thing in the 14th Amendment was intended to overrule the odious Dred Scott decision and ensure that former slaves weren’t denied citizenship based on some bullshit reason like their parentage, or “previous condition of servitude” (as it’s put in the 15th Amendment).

    So, you know, extra-special that the birthers are going after the first black President on this basis.

  25. zuzu
    zuzu April 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm |

    Laurie: But here is where it gets tricky. When Obama was born, the relevant statute provided that a person, even if born outside the U.S., is considered a citizen from birth, as long as one parent was a U.S. citizen provided that parent lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years after turning 14. But Obama’s mother was only 18 years old so she couldn’t meet that requirement. However, the statute was later revised to state that a person born overseas is a U.S. citizen from birth if one parent was a U.S. citizen having lived in the U.S. for FOUR years after turning 14. That change applied retroactively, I believe, and therefore Obama would be considered a citizen from birth regardless of where he was born.

    Of course, you’d also have to believe that an 18-year-old, middle-class college student first-time mother in a failing marriage would spend the equivalent of a year’s salary (or two years’, if BHO Sr. came along) on a long, arduous flight to Kenya while heavily pregnant (and would also have to believe that Pan Am would even let her on the plane) in order to give birth in a third-world country, in a remote village, surrounded by her becoming-estranged husband’s family (including his other wife and their children) and then bring the baby back without anyone noticing a white mother and biracial child on the flight in order to plant phony birth announcements in the local paper, all as part of your master plan, conceived in 1961, to have your biracial, noncitizen child become President in 47 years.

    Which is much, much more logical than, you know, that that same 18-year-old first-time college-student mother might want to have her baby at the modern hospital just up the road and close to her own parents, and that the local paper might just do what local papers all over the place did and go to the hospital, collect information on births there in the past week, and publish them as notices.

  26. Mike Crichton
    Mike Crichton April 27, 2011 at 11:19 pm |

    Palin-Trump-2012: I’m going to assume for the moment you’re not a troll, just ignorant: for purposes of being a “natural-born citizen”, It doesn’t matter whether someone is born in a “state”, per se. What matters is that they are born in territory under the jurisdiction of the USA. By your logic, anyone born in DC wouldn’t be eligible either.

    Laurie : Huh. So the children of most teenage mothers are screwed, then, if their mom is on vacation overseas when they’re born.

  27. A lynch
    A lynch April 27, 2011 at 11:31 pm |

    Laurie:
    But isn’t the meaning of the term “natural born citizen” open for debate?It hasn’t been defined anywhere, has it?If I’m right, that means that the question of who is a “natural born citizen” is a novel question for the courts.

    One interpretation might be that “natural born citizens” are people who are considered to be citizens from birth, as opposed to being naturalized later.You can be a citizen from birth under certain circumstances even if you are born overseas.Thus Obama might qualify even if he WAS born in Kenya (although he obviously was born in Hawaii so I am really just nerding out here).

    But here is where it gets tricky.When Obama was born, the relevant statute provided that a person, even if born outside the U.S., is considered a citizen from birth, as long as one parent was a U.S. citizen provided that parent lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years after turning 14.But Obama’s mother was only 18 years old so she couldn’t meet that requirement.However, the statute was later revised to state that a person born overseas is a U.S. citizen from birth if one parent was a U.S. citizen having lived in the U.S. for FOUR years after turning 14.That change applied retroactively, I believe, and therefore Obama would be considered a citizen from birth regardless of where he was born.

    I am not an immigration law nerd — more of an immigraton law nerd wanna-be — so I am willing to be corrected if I am getting any of this wrong.But I get a kick out of the fact that Obama probably would qualify even if there were any truth to the conspiracy theories.We’re all taking it for granted that his Presidency would be illegal if he was born in Kenya, but that’s not necessarily true.

    P.S. I was born in Europe to two U.S. citizens and still harbor Presidential ambitions!

    Wow. I was just arguing this point earlier today. I only wish I could have said it as well.

    Laurie:
    But isn’t the meaning of the term “natural born citizen” open for debate?It hasn’t been defined anywhere, has it?If I’m right, that means that the question of who is a “natural born citizen” is a novel question for the courts.

    One interpretation might be that “natural born citizens” are people who are considered to be citizens from birth, as opposed to being naturalized later.You can be a citizen from birth under certain circumstances even if you are born overseas.Thus Obama might qualify even if he WAS born in Kenya (although he obviously was born in Hawaii so I am really just nerding out here).

    But here is where it gets tricky.When Obama was born, the relevant statute provided that a person, even if born outside the U.S., is considered a citizen from birth, as long as one parent was a U.S. citizen provided that parent lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years after turning 14.But Obama’s mother was only 18 years old so she couldn’t meet that requirement.However, the statute was later revised to state that a person born overseas is a U.S. citizen from birth if one parent was a U.S. citizen having lived in the U.S. for FOUR years after turning 14.That change applied retroactively, I believe, and therefore Obama would be considered a citizen from birth regardless of where he was born.

    I am not an immigration law nerd — more of an immigraton law nerd wanna-be — so I am willing to be corrected if I am getting any of this wrong.But I get a kick out of the fact that Obama probably would qualify even if there were any truth to the conspiracy theories.We’re all taking it for granted that his Presidency would be illegal if he was born in Kenya, but that’s not necessarily true.

    P.S. I was born in Europe to two U.S. citizens and still harbor Presidential ambitions!

    Wow, I was just arguing this today. I only wish I could have expressed it as as well.

  28. Laurie
    Laurie April 28, 2011 at 5:37 am |

    Zuzu, Too true! The whole thing is just crazy with the capital “C.”

  29. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 April 28, 2011 at 5:47 am |

    I’m not a giant supporter of Obama and his administration. But I have to agree that this shit has been taken too far. He has more important things to concentrate on. So, I hope this puts an end to the nonsense–even though I know better.

  30. Carrie
    Carrie April 28, 2011 at 8:56 am |

    If Trump doesn’t like the ‘official’ Hawaiian birth certificate, then he’d shudder at mine. I was born in D.C. in a hospital that no longer exists and my birth certificate is the size of a business card. My mom and my sisters are Danish green card holders, my father a citizen of the US, so this whole birther movement scares the hell out of me.

    The fact is that if we can do this to a sitting president, we can call citizenship foul on people like me; Those with one or both non-citizen parents are potentially in danger. Especially when the media fails to point out that a natural born citizen is one with a direct blood tie to this country OR born on American soil. Doesn’t matter where you are born– if one of your parents is a citizen, you are citizen. Until you are 22, you can hold dual citizenship, but at 22, you have to pick one. At least, that what I learned in civics and through my own research of figuring out my own citizenship.

    By not officially renouncing this country, I’m a US citizen. According to Denmark, I don’t have to choose. Anytime I’m ready, they’ll take me into their bosom as a natural born citizen. The two countries have two different policies that have nothing to do with each other, really.

    I think its sickening that there is a lack of understanding of basic civics by our leaders, wanna-be leaders, and the Tea Party-birther folks. That ignorance leads to this bither thing. Next thing you know, when we piss someone off, they’ll cry illegal citizenship and we’ll have to prove we belong here with an outrageous sorts of documentation. I don’t have a baptismal record. I don’t have a birth announcement. I don’t know who my mom’s OB was or even if he’s alive or if the records still exist (my guess is no because the hospital is gone).

    For me, its gone beyond way beyond laughable. This ignorance, if not nipped in the bud soon, is going to set a dangerous precedent where paranoia and hysteria is the norm and a state or federal ID will have be presented along with other papers.

  31. View Obamas Birth Certificate | Detroit Travel And Transportation Michigan

    [...] Barack Obama’s birth certificate could kill off Donald Trump’s ambitions â€.. Regarding the Obama Birth Certificate — Feministe Obama’s Birth Certificate Release: Twitter Responds | WebProNews Is Obama’s Birth [...]

  32. Raja
    Raja April 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm |

    Donald Trump just needs to quit trolling and shut the fuck up. godamn cracker

  33. Schmorgluck
    Schmorgluck April 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

    There’s actually one comment that’s not completely uninteresting, in the article linked:

    How can you say obama is an African American? He is the offspring of an EAST African and a Caucasian. His ancestry is not from west Africans. He did not grow up in this country. He has no part of the African American heritage. Neither he nor his family lived through the civil rights upheaval. How does he meet in any measure the right to claim he is African American?

    I striked through the part that is utter bullshit. The rest is, IMHO, open to debate. When he’s been elected, it’s been commented (at least in Europe and Africa) that Mr Obama isn’t an African American, strictly speaking. At least if we consider the definition of “African American” as “offspring of the population of Africans that used to be enslaved in the USA”. He’s definitely not that. By the way, I’m not sure he ever called himself “African-American”.
    His connection to this story is not, however, null, but as he stated himself he only discovered it as a teen. His personal story made him discover it, but from an unusual standpoint, from an original perspective. Many think that it’s been key to his success: not being bound by the usual thought processes.
    And ultimately, there’s his wife Michelle, who’s definitely an African-American, by every conceivable definition of the term.

  34. AnonForThis
    AnonForThis April 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

    Uh, but since when do we define “African American” that way? Maybe I’ve missed something, but I’ve never heard of that. “African American,” from what I’ve heard, is defined as someone who is an American and of African descent. Same as “Asian American” or “Indian American” or whathaveyou.

    “African American” can mean a lot of things. A big part of what it means in the American discourse is “someone born in the United States who is descended from southern slaves.” There is a cultural component, an identity, a shared experience embedded in that sign that simply isn’t embedded in other signs. More than that, there is some tension between recent African (and Caribbean and South American) immigrants and more established African American communities.

    I think that part of that distinction is why we’re having the discussion we are today. People are talking about Obama being not an American citizen, they’re questioning his parentage and the circumstances of his birth. Its disgusting and foolish but its disgusting and foolish in ways that I think are materially different than the kinds of disgusting and foolish attacks a brown President who grew up Compton or Harlem would face.

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