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Shocking revelation: President Obama may be “white”

imageThis is not a spoof article. It’s literally true. You might think my headline is counterintuitive after looking at the photo of Barack Obama to the right, but bear with me for a minute and I think you will be convinced too.

First, we know exactly who Barack Obama’s father was, Barack Obama, Sr. This fact is verified by Obama’s book Dreams from My Father, his long and short form birth certificates, and verifications directly from the State of Hawaii.

Next, we know that Barack Obama, Sr. considered his own race to be “African.” Again, this is on the birth certificates and verifications from Hawaii.

New information from the US Office of Vital Statistics tells us what all this means. The long lost “Coding and Punching Geographical and Personal Particulars for Births Occurring in 1961” has been found thanks to blogger ladysforest. Here’s what it says about dealing with the parent’s race:

Determining race of parent. –Examine the information given for race of father and mother separately, and apply the following rules to determine the race classification for each parent:

(1) if the racial entry is a mixture of Hawaiian with any other race, consider the parent Part-Hawaiian.

(2) Where other racial combinations are involved …

(3) If the racial entry is "C," "Col.," "Black," "Brown," or "A.A.," "Afro-American," and the birthplace is the United States, consider the parent’s race as Negro [for the purposes of determining the child's race]. If the birthplace of parent is not in the United States code as other nonwhite.

(5)  If the racial entry of the parent is "Indian" …

(6) If the racial entry is "Yellow," Oriental," or "Mongolian," …

(7) If the racial entry for either parent is not clearly identifiable as one of the races in the code scheme, consult the supervisor.

We cannot be sure, but it is reasonable that the supervisor could not “clearly identify” what race Obama Sr. was based on the combination of “African” and “Kenya, East Africa.” After all, it was a British colony at the time and there were any number of white people in Kenya. That means that Obama Sr.’s race was likely coded as “unknown.”

In determining the race of the child, the rule says:

(5) If the racial entry for one parent is omitted or unknown, code race of child as the race given for other parent.

Barack Obama’s other parent is coded as “Caucasian” which is part of the list for “white.” So maybe the federal government in 1961 would have called President Obama white. Who knew?

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33 Responses to Shocking revelation: President Obama may be “white”

  1. avatar
    American Mzungu July 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    That would be the logic if the supervisor did not have any way of deciphering the meaning of “African” from Kenya for the father.

    For statistical purposes only? Is there any place on a birth document that the determination of the race of the child was listed? I don’t recall seeing any racial identifier for the child on the short or the long form.

  2. avatar
    Jamese777 July 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    That’s what happens when others get to determine which groups a person belongs in. It’s a good thing that on the US Census form, race is self-selected. And we know for a fact that Barack Obama chooses the “Black, African Am., Negro” category for his racial designation.

    In 2010 the options for US Census Form question 9: “What is the person’s race?” were: White; Black, African Am., Negro; American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian Indian; Chinese; Filipino; Other Asian; Japanese; Korean; Vietnamese; Native Hawaiian; Guamanian or Chamorro ; Samoan; Other Pacific Islander; some other race.

    There was also space to write in the name of an enrolled or principle Indian tribe or Alaskan community and space to write in some other Asian group or some other race.
    People filling out the Census Form were also not limited to choosing only one box.
    http://2010.census.gov/2010census/pdf/2010_Questionnaire_Info.pdf

  3. avatar
    Scientist July 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Jamese777: In 2010 the options for US Census Form question 9: “What is the person’s race?” were: White; Black, African Am., Negro; American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian Indian; Chinese; Filipino; Other Asian; Japanese; Korean; Vietnamese; Native Hawaiian; Guamanian or Chamorro ; Samoan; Other Pacific Islander; some other race.

    I have mentioned this here before-my wife filled in the form for our household and listed race for all of us as “human” (except for the dog)

  4. avatar
    US Citizen July 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    As a federal statistic it’s interesting, but in relation to birthers it will have little meaning or negative implications.
    I can see some now thinking this was part of the governments big conspiracy to install a president.

  5. avatar
    Rickey July 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    We cannot be sure, but it is reasonable that the supervisor could not “clearly identify” what race Obama Sr. was based on the combination of “African” and “Kenya, East Africa.” After all, it was a British colony at the time and there were any number of white people in Kenya.

    Not to be argumentative, but I seriously doubt that a white British subject born in Kenya would consider his or her race to be “African.” It is far more likely that a supervisor would assume that a man who called himself “African” would be a black man.

  6. avatar
    Jim July 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Well, come on now, he IS white! He’s just got a GREAT tan from growing up on them Hawaii beaches! But, here’s what drives the bigots crazy…we’re all PINK on the inside! :D

  7. avatar
    American Mzungu July 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Rickey: It is far more likely that a supervisor would assume that a man who called himself “African” would be a black man.

    It would also be reasonable to assume they had some reference materials available about the categories for “race” in other countries around the world.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    I’ve never seen child’s race on a birth certificate myself. It’s not on mine. I think probably that in the Old South of the United States at one time there was such a thing, but not in modern times.

    For one thing, it’s not important for health statistics. It is the race of the mother that has the correlation both biological and sociological to the outcome of the pregnancy. The race of the child is only important for legal purposes, and since racial discrimination became illegal, it doesn’t have legal relevance anymore.

    American Mzungu: Is there any place on a birth document that the determination of the race of the child was listed?

  9. avatar
    Jamese777 July 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Scientist: I have mentioned this here before-my wife filled in the form for our household and listedrace for all of us as “human” (except for the dog)

    I have a friend who wrote in “400 meter run.” It was his favorite race to run on our college track team.

  10. avatar
    Expelliarmus July 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    American Mzungu: It would also be reasonable to assume they had some reference materials available about the categories for “race” in other countries around the world.

    The instructions in the manual would seem to encourage coding the father as “other nonwhite”. See page 12, sub paragraph (3).

  11. avatar
    Potter, J. July 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    I think they would have ended up at “Other Non-White”, possibly after consulting supervisor!

    Hmm. If Obama is the “Other” Non-White President, then who is/was the other other “non-white” one?

    Michelle? bada-bing!

    I do understnad why these things are tracked from a governance standpoint, but I am with Scientist. Bipedal, humans, just people.

    A point that escapes the simple …. the whole deal is statistical artifice. Symbols on paper don’t alter genetics!

  12. avatar
    American Mzungu July 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    Expelliarmus: The instructions in the manual would seem to encourage coding the father as “other nonwhite”. See page 12, sub paragraph (3).

    Seems to encourage, yes. On the other hand, when I came back from a stay in Africa in the mid-60s, I did some coding for a very urbane sociology professor from Europe. It involved classifying conflict events between various racial groups throughout the world. I tried as tactfully as I could that he was clueless about racial groups in South and East Africa. He was very gracious and said, “Thanks. Fix it.” It taught me that very urbane people in the 1960s did not necessarily understand basics of “racial” or ethnic groups in Africa. I’m merely suggesting that a supervisor of coding in 1961 might not have a working understanding of Africa to make a quick call. Doc C may have a better “feel” for how much time a supervisor would devote to making a call. Quick and dirty or look it up? I don’t know.

    If you read my comments on the long thread, all I’m absolutely sure of is that Obama (Sr.) would have self-defined as “African”. All I know about coding his response is from reading stuff here.

  13. avatar
    gorefan July 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Rickey: It is far more likely that a supervisor would assume that a man who called himself “African” would be a black man.

    Under the section (6) “If the racial entry is “Yellow,” Oriental,” or “Mongolian…’ they would even look at the parents’ name to try and make a determination.

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    I would emphasize that the words “clearly identify” are used, not “assume.”

    Rickey: Not to be argumentative, but I seriously doubt that a white British subject born in Kenya would consider his or her race to be “African.” It is far more likely that a supervisor would assume that a man who called himself “African” would be a black man.

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 26, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    Given that I was 11 years old in 1961, I don’t claim any expertise. One might argue that it is easier to select “unknown” rather than to work out a complicated scheme. I mean, how does one quickly figure out in 1961 that Obama is an black African name and not an Irish one? Also, the use of surnames in the instructions was only applicable to certain Asian categories.

    The playful title was primarily an introduction to the coding methodology in the 1961 book, although I think my result is plausible, except that the feds never coded Obama’s form in the first place because it is odd-numbered. That is, any controversy over my conclusion is not about what actually happened, but might have happened if the President’s certificate had an even number.

    American Mzungu: Doc C may have a better “feel” for how much time a supervisor would devote to making a call. Quick and dirty or look it up? I don’t know.

  16. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Except for a few genetic based-diseases, it’s not about genetics. It’s about disparities in health care accessibility between racial communities and differences in pregnancy outcomes.

    Race is a real factor. For example, in the period 1909-1961, the nonwhite fertility rate exceeded the white fertility every single year. For the period 1940-1961 nonwhites had significantly lower percentages of births in hospitals.

    Potter, J.: A point that escapes the simple …. the whole deal is statistical artifice. Symbols on paper don’t alter genetics!

  17. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Paragraph (3) is not applicable because “African” is not one of the listed values that invoke the rule. That paragraph cannot be used to code “African” at all.

    Expelliarmus: The instructions in the manual would seem to encourage coding the father as “other nonwhite”. See page 12, sub paragraph (3).

  18. avatar
    Whatever4 July 26, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    This discussion about coding reminds me of my grandmother, AKA “the Queen Mother.” When she visited us in the college town where we lived, her anti-black prejudice only applied to American blacks. African blacks weren’t the same at all. We could have African grad students over for dinner, but not the Americans. I thought it was just her. But she would agree with #3.

  19. avatar
    The Magic M July 27, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    > So maybe the federal government in 1961 would have called President Obama white.

    Actually there are birthers who believe this is the “smoking gun” on the “real BC” – “his race is listed as ‘white'” because they believe this would have any effect on his re-election chances (as in “look, he says he’s African-American, but that’s a lie, look what his BC says!”). As if anyone would consider Obama “white”, even if his BC said so (and of course we all know Hawaiian BC’s don’t list “race of child”).

  20. avatar
    foreigner July 27, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    maybe that’s why the certificate number was faked
    Obama wanted to be odd, since else he would be white ;-)

  21. avatar
    The Magic M July 27, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    But it’s a fringe group within the fringe group. I actually once read a birther on WND who claimed that Obama’s race “legally” would be that of his mother (I think the guy was mixing something up with being Jewish), therefore he was “white”.
    What level of delusion does it require for someone to believe that “according to …, Obama is white, therefore his claim to be African-American is a lie” would make even one Obama voter change his mind?
    Then again, if more birthers believed Obama was white, maybe they would drop out of the movement because their prime motive (“Cannot. Stomach. Black. President.”) would return to the sane side of the force. ;)

  22. avatar
    foreigner July 27, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    or :
    African ? What’s African ?
    Hmm, let me just make the number odd, so I needn’t ask the supervisor
    –> forgery

  23. avatar
    foreigner July 27, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    sorry, I was posting nonsense. Maryland can’t change the Hawaiian original.

  24. avatar
    justlw July 27, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    The Magic M: But it’s a fringe group within the fringe group.

    I’ve seen more than one person on HuffPo say, “But he’s not black! He’s half-white” with an air of “my work here is done.”

    They all seemed disappointed that no one understood what they were driving at at all; it seemed so crystal clear in their mind that once we all comprehended that very important point, there was no way anyone would consider voting for the guy.

  25. avatar
    Jim July 27, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    foreigner:
    or :
    African ? What’s African ?
    Hmm, let me just make the number odd, so I needn’t ask the supervisor
    –> forgery

    Or African? What’s African? Arab, Black, white? Let’s just make it “other” which fits all the possibilities. Then some conspiracy-driven, fly-by-night, amateur detectives who wouldn’t know real evidence can make up their own codes 50 years later to prove they know absolutely nothing.

  26. avatar
    Rickey July 27, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I’ve never seen child’s race on a birth certificate myself. It’s not on mine.

    Nor on mine. Mine doesn’t include the race of my parents, either.

    It may be on my LFBC, but I have never seen that.

  27. avatar
    Potter, J. July 27, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    Rickey: Nor on mine.

    It isn’t on anybodies. Why woujld it be? I had a birther insist that race of child was used to determine the race of the parents.

    Think about that one for a few. LOL!

  28. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny July 28, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Rickey:
    We cannot be sure, but it is reasonable that the supervisor could not “clearly identify” what race Obama Sr. was based on the combination of “African” and “Kenya, East Africa.” After all, it was a British colony at the time and there were any number of white people in Kenya.

    Not to be argumentative, but I seriously doubt that a white British subject born in Kenya would consider his or her race to be “African.” It is far more likely that a supervisor would assume that a man who called himself “African” would be a black man.

    That would mean the supervisor would know Kenya from Morocco or South Africa. There are many people in those two countries who proudly call themselves Africans and who would nevertheless not stand out in a crowd in Madrid or Rome.

    How well does the average US civil servant know the geography of Africa – apart from knowing the fact that there is a lot of racial mixture at both ends, North and South, and some Asian influence in the East of the continent?

    The point is that the one who had to do the interpretation, could not know for sure. The name was not much help. If Google had been around at the time, the name would have come up as both African and … Japanese. A little knowledge is always a dangerous thing.

  29. avatar
    The Magic M July 30, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    justlw: I’ve seen more than one person on HuffPo say, “But he’s not black! He’s half-white” with an air of “my work here is done.”

    Those are the racists trying to justify their racism (or to have their motives not appear racist) as in “can I hatez his white half pleeze?”.

    I always cringe when I read the contortions that racists go through to somehow justify themselves – “but I have black friends, so I can’t be a racist”, “he is not 100% black, so it’s not racist to hate him for being different” or my personal favourite “how do you know I’m white?” (as if a racist comment about someone non-white would magically turn into being OK when coming from someone who’s non-white, too – I suppose that comes from some twisted misunderstanding of “it’s OK if a black guy calls another black guy the n-word”).

  30. avatar
    JPotter July 30, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    justlw: I’ve seen more than one person on HuffPo say, “But he’s not black! He’s half-white” with an air of “my work here is done.”

    The same rotten chestnut pops up on Amazon now and again. Whoever floats it gets ridicule and a referral to 1-drop rules and other expressions of “racial purity”. Jefferson’s musings on how many generation it took to “breed out” negro blood … the race classifications at NCHS, etc.

    Twits float this in a futile attempt to deny that the first black President was elected. They don’t want to give the guy credit for anything, not even who he is.

  31. avatar
    justlw July 30, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    JPotter: Twits float this in a futile attempt to deny that the first black President was elected.

    Many of them also seem to truly believe that people voted for Obama “only because he was black,” and this is their attempt to point out how deluded everyone was for believing he was.

    When I ask if that were true, what happened to presidents Keyes, Jackson, and Sharpton, it predictably makes no dent at all.

    (Personally, I voted for him only because of his name. I mean, that was the master conspirators’ plan all along, right? Get a “can’t lose” name like “Barack Hussein Obama” on the ballot?)

  32. avatar
    Scientist July 31, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Doc’s headline may be out of date, as it has now been proposed that the President may have black ancestry on his mother’s side as well as his father’s. In fact he may be descended from the first African enslaved in America, John Punch, who was brought to Virginia in 1640 as an indentured servant, but who was enslaved for life as punishment for escaping..

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/164354796.html

    In addition, on his father’s side, East Africa has had thousands of years of contact with Arabia and India and even Malaysia and China through the Indian Ocean trade networks. So, on his father’s side, he probably has white and Asian ancestry, as well as black.

    The fact is that there are no pure races. There are black genes in people whose ancestors all trace to England, very possibly from Africans who served with the Roman legions and remained behind when the Romans left. For a good discussion, I recommend “DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America” by Brian Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics at Oxford. Very readable book.

  33. avatar
    The Magic M July 31, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    justlw: I mean, that was the master conspirators’ plan all along, right? Get a “can’t lose” name like “Barack Hussein Obama” on the ballot?

    The typical conspiracy believer’s answer to this common sense argument is “they did it to show us (= the enlightened few) that they can get away with anything”.
    Y’know, like some truthers claiming the 9/11 site being called Ground Zero “proves” the conspiracy detonated a nuclear device in the basement of the WTC.

    Hey, it’s consistent with “the almighty conspiracy couldn’t even forge a simple document”. ;)