Birtherism —also known as the Birther Movement— was started by Donald J.Trump by persistently questioning and denying that former President Barack Obama is a natural-born citizen of the United States of America. This conspiracy theory implied Obama was ineligible to serve as President.
In 2011, Trump began openly questioning President Obama’s birthplace in multiple television interviews, as well as on social media.
The truth of the matter is that there was never any credible evidence that suggested Obama was not born in the United States of America.
Nevertheless, Trump continued publicly feeding and divulging the conspiracy theory for 5 years, trying to undermine the legitimacy of the country’s first African-American president.
Is it a coincidence that the first president to face persistent questions about his birthplace is not only black but also has a foreign-sounding name? Studies have confirmed that racial resentment is a major driving force behind birtherism.
Hence, it comes as no surprise that birtherism claims and the entirety of the birther movement are considered racist.
Obama released his official Hawaiian birth certificate in 2008 before the elections. The Hawaii Department of Health confirmed the legitimacy of Obama’s US birth certificate based on the original birth certificate that remains on file.
Years later, in 2011, a certified copy of Obama’s original Certificate of Live Birth (or long-form birth certificate) was publicly released. Nevertheless, Trump continued making these false claims until as late as 2015.
A number of Republican members of Congress, as well as Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich affirmed that Obama might face attempts to remove him from office due to purportedly impeachable activity.
False allegations that Obama was born outside the United States, amongst others were used as reasons for possible impeachment. Nevertheless, no list of articles of impeachment was ever submitted to the Judiciary Committee and a number of prominent Republicans rejected calls for impeachment.
In 2016, Trump finally declared that “President Barack Obama was born in the United States”.
What is a "birther"?
A birther is a citizen that believes in the conspiracy theory that former United States President Barack Obama —who governed from 2009 to 2017— was not born in the USA. If he were indeed not a US-born citizen, this would make him ineligible for the presidency according to national law.