Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Cab Driver, the Diplomat & the President's Birth Certificate

So on our way to a meeting at the main State Department building two other FPC-ers and myself jumped into a cab to head over to in Foggy Bottom. The group included a my diplomat mentor. The friendly, boisterous cab driver immediately sparked up a conversation, asking us what kind of "shin dig" we were heading over to at the State Department. (I tried to not take offense to his immediate assumption that two women and an African American couldn't possibly be actually just going to work at the State Department.) We explained we worked there to his surprised response, "Oh, it's like that," almost disappointed. He then asked us what we thought about this "whole Obama not being an American thing", to which of course we replied that he was in fact a citizen. The cabbie abruptly insisted "No he isn't.. you guys should know that, you work for the State Department." (uhhh.. ) He insisted that the Obama's grandmother even said he was born in Kenya. (She did? When did she say that?) Now what might not be well known- even if Obama was born in Kenya, (which he wasn't, hence the Hawaii birth certificate) he would still be an American because his mother was American. This is why McCain is a US citizen even though he was born in Panama (his father was stationed there at the time) because his mother is American. Another not so well known fact, most diplomats do their first tour in a visa office issuing passports, visas and confirming US citizenship, hundreds a day for 2-3 year. So they are trained very well in the laws for US citizenship. My diplomat mentor spent her first tour doing just that so she is well aware of the laws in this regard. ANYWAY, the cab driver wouldn't stop arguing with the diplomat that she didn't know the laws about this, that he wasn't American and then asked her how long she had been on the job, cuz she should know this stuff by now. (She did go into foreign service under the Bush administration, in case he was accusing her of being one of Obama's 'croonies'.) Rather than going back and forth with a very stubborn cab driver we all sat in awkward silence. All I could think to myself was, where do these people get these crazy misinformation. The cab driver turned up the radio to fill the silence.. and I heard the voice of Rush Limbaugh...




Want one of your own! Click here!

3 comments:

pathos said...

Stuff like this makes me so mad. You just can't even TALK to these people. A reported on NPR said that it's well known that just repeating a rumor tends to make it more "factual" to people who are hearing it. We just have to let this nonsense die without comment.

Katharine said...

ya, I keep thinking all the media coverage of this stuff just fuels it. If you let it die it will.

Digger said...

I have added a link to your blog to my blogroll at http://lifeafterjerusalem.blogspot.com