After Donald Trump, one of the most prominent promoters of the so-called birther conspiracy theory, admitted publicly last September that he believed Barack Obama was born in the U.S and accused Hillary Clinton of being the originator of the conspiracy theory, Obama’s half-brother, Malik, attempted recently to revive the conspiracy theory by tweeting Obama’s “Kenyan birth certificate.”
Malik Obama, an outspoken Trump supporter, tweeted the image of a document he claimed to be Barack’s genuine birth certificate, which proves that the former U.S. president was not born in the U.S. but in Mombasa, Kenya.
The tweet has been retweeted thousands of times.
Malik, a Kenyan by birth, but a naturalized U.S. citizen, is known to have a strained relationship with his younger half-brother despite the fact that the two were best men at each other’s weddings.
He announced during the 2016 election campaign that he was supporting Trump because he “speaks from the heart,” presumably unlike his brother Obama who he accused of not doing enough to help his family.
Trump was so pleased with the endorsement from Malik Obama that he invited him as a guest to the final presidential debate held on October 19, 2016, at the University of Nevada, in Las Vegas.
The alleged valid birth certificate of Barack Obama claims that he was born in the “Coast Province General Hospital” in Mombasa, Kenya. The document bears the letterhead of the “Coast Province General Hospital” in Mombasa.
It also bears the name of Barack Obama and identifies the sex of the baby whose birth it documents as a male child born on August 4, 1961, Barack’s birthday. The document also identifies the parents as Barack Hussein Obama and Stanley Ann Obama (nee Dunham).
However, several observers immediately pointed out that the document looks like one circulated online in 2009 by Lucas Smith, a birther conspiracy theorist who offered the document on eBay for $1 million. The document was widely condemned as forgery and eBay eventually took it down because it violated its policy of not allowing users to sell documents alleged to be official government documents.
Others noted that it was not surprising that Malik would try to flog a dead horse because he is known to have a strained relationship with Barack and has also publicly supported Trump, one of the top proponents of the birther conspiracy theory when Barack was president.
However, Trump disavowed the conspiracy theory during his election campaign. But many supporters of the birther movement did not consider Trump’s disavowal of the conspiracy theory as a true reflection of his personal views. They claimed in multiple forum discussions that Trump disavowed the birth conspiracy theory publicly only as a matter of political expediency at a time he was running for president.
Obama’s political opponents focused on the birther conspiracy theory during his presidency because the U.S. Constitution does not allow anyone who is not a “natural-born citizen” to become president. This means that proof that Obama was born in Kenya automatically disqualifies him from becoming the U.S. president.
Obama eventually decided to release a copy of his long-from birth certificate in 2011 to douse the flames of wild speculation being promoted by right wing blogs.
The document showed that Barack was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961. Details of his birth were also published in the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper.
But some birther conspiracy theorists, including Joe Arpaio, the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, claimed that the long-form certificate was a forgery and that they could prove it.
Some tried to explain away the details of Barack’s birth published in the Honolulu Advertiser by arguing that it was not uncommon in the 1960s for parents of babies born outside the U.S. to fraudulently obtain a U.S. birth certificate and place an advertisement to make the claim look genuine.
Several far right wing websites and blogs were established and gained popularity among right wing readers by promoting bizarre theories about Obama and his mother. Besides allegations that he was born in Kenya, it was also claimed that he was secretly Muslim or that he had strong Muslim sympathies because of his background.
Others claimed that his father was not really the Kenyan technocrat Barack Hussein Obama Snr., but an African American intellectual Frank Marshall Davis.
[Featured Image by Karel Prinsloo/AP Images]