Obama was born in Hawaii, not Kenya

Claim: The picture on Barack Obama’s birth certificate shows that he was born in Kenya

Fake pictures of former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate have been circulating on social media for years, and one thing is again rampant.

A Facebook user shared a picture on September 22nd allegedly showing Obama’s birth certificate. At the top of the birth certificate are the words “Coast Province General Hospital” and “Mombasa, British Protectorate of Kenya,” which suggests that Obama was born in Kenya.

The image generated more than 70 stocks in less than a week.

“I never posted it as real, but as a meme,” the Facebook user told USA TODAY.

Experts say memes are often used to spread misinformation under the guise of humor or satire. But that doesn’t even apply in this case, as the post didn’t have any accompanying text or overlay that corresponds to a meme.

It’s just wrong.

The birth certificate shown in the picture is forged. Obama was born in Hawaii, not Kenya, according to his actual birth certificate, which was released by the White House during his presidency.

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“Birther” conspiracy theorists have long made false claims about where Obama was born. The false claim emerged in 2004 and continues today.

Obama’s real birth certificate

The birth certificate shared by the Facebook user claiming Obama was born in Kenya was the same one tweeted in 2017 by Malik Obama, the president’s half-brother, with the caption, “Sure. What’s this?”

According to Yahoo News, Malik has a strained relationship with his half-brother and also supports former President Donald Trump, one of the biggest voices in the “birth conspiracy” claiming that Barack Obama is not a US citizen.

But the birth certificate shown here is fake. Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961, according to his real birth certificate published by the White House. A long version of the birth certificate also published by the White House shows the Hawaii Department of Health certifying that this is an authentic printed copy at the bottom.

“In fact, the document posted on the campaign website is what Hawaiians use to get a driver’s license from the state, and the document is recognized by the federal government and the courts for all legal purposes,” said Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer the 2011 White House website. “That’s because it’s the birth certificate. This isn’t and shouldn’t be an open-ended question.”

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Obama also addressed the publication of his birth certificate in a speech on April 27, 2011.

“We have confirmed to every Hawaii official, Democrat and Republican, every news agency that has investigated this, that I was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961 at Kapiolani Hospital,” Obama said in his speech.

“Birther” conspiracy theory questions Obama’s eligibility

According to Politico, allegations about Obama’s birthplace began in 2004 when he was becoming more prominent on the national stage. Political opponents tried to spread falsehoods about Obama’s heritage and religion.

When Obama ran for president in 2008, the “birthday election” conspiracy theorists questioned his eligibility for office.

Some Hillary Clinton supporters questioned Obama’s citizenship during the Democratic campaign, but Clinton herself and her campaign were not part of those rumors, according to Politico. A National Review blogger urged the Obama campaign to publish his birth certificate to clarify questions about his origins.

The Obama campaign posted his birth certificate on its Fight the Smears website, which exposed false rumors, and gave it to Daily Kos, a liberal website, according to Politico.

FactCheck.org examined and photographed the original birth certificate and determined that it met all of the State Department’s requirements for proving US citizenship.

This didn’t stop people from distributing fake birth certificates online.

In 2009, PolitiFact unmasked another fake birth certificate dated February 17, 1964, which allegedly came from the Republic of Kenya. But Kenya only became a republic in December 1964.

Reuters also debunked a version of the Kenyan birth certificate that surfaced again in 2020.

Our rating: wrong

Based on our research, we rate the claim that a picture of Obama’s birth certificate shows that he was born in Kenya FALSE. Obama’s real birth certificate shows that he was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961.

Our fact check sources:

  • Politico, April 22, 2011, Birtherism: Where it all began
  • Politico, September 16, 2016, No, Clinton didn’t start with the birth thing. This guy has
  • New York Times, October 12, 2008, The man behind the Obama rumors
  • FactCheck.org, August 21, 2008, Born in the USA
  • PolitiFact, Aug 2, 2009, Birthers received a copy of Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate
  • Reuters, June 17, 2020, fact check: Old made-up Obama “birth certificate” reappears
  • Malik Obama, March 9, 2017, Tweet (archived)
  • Snopes, March 10, 2017, Obama’s half-brother tweeted a picture of the exposed Kenyan birth certificate
  • Yahoo News, March 10, 2017, Why did Barack Obama’s half-brother bring up childbirth again?
  • FactCheck.org, January 19, 2017, fact check: Eight years of trolling Obama
  • Obama White House via archives.gov, accessed September 30, birth certificate
  • Obama White House via archives.gov, accessed September 30, long-form birth certificate
  • The Obama White House via YouTube, April 27, 2011, President Obama on his birth certificate and America’s real problems
  • Obama White House via archives.gov, April 27, 2011, President Obama’s long birth certificate
  • The Florida-Times Union, August 8, 2010, fact check: No (again), this is not Obama’s birth certificate from Kenya
  • USA TODAY, April 29, fact check: Image falsely claims to show Harris and Pelosi asleep during Biden’s speech to Congress

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