Years ago when Barack Obama was just a senator from Illinois and a presidential hopeful, the rumor mill, fueled by opponents, was spinning.
But even after the man has been in office for two years, the speculations have not stopped. Is the president a citizen? Does he despise this country so much he won’t even say the pledge? And what has he really done so far? Today, Presidents Day, we dispel and clear up many myths about our 44thpresident.
MYTH: Obama is unpatriotic. He won’t say the pledge of allegiance and refuses to place his hand over his heart.
FACT: Back in 2007 an email chain pictured Senator Obama in front of an American flag with his hands clasped together in front of him. He surrounded by people with hands over their hearts. The claim was that Obama refused to put his hand over his heart or recite the Pledge of Allegiance, when in fact the picture was taken during the singing of the national anthem. President Obama has been reciting the Pledge of Allegiance (with hand over heart) since he was a toddler, when his WWII veteran grandfather taught it to him at the age of two.
MYTH: He is ineligible to be president because he is not an American citizen.
FACT: Well, besides the fact that he IS the 44th president of the United States, President Obama’s birth certificate has been put on display by countless websites and news organizations to debunk this myth, including this one. Click here to view his birth certificate. When he was born, Obama held dual citizenship, United States and Kenyan, because his father was a citizen of Kenya. However, the Kenyan constitution does not allow dual citizenship for adults and Obama lost his Kenyan citizenship at the age of 23, because he did not take any action to renounce his other (United States) citizenship.
MYTH: Obama is a Muslim.
FACT: While Obama’s father AND stepfather were of the Muslim faith, our president does not hold those religious beliefs. In his book, "Dreams of My Father," he explains that as a child, he spent two years at a Muslim school and two years at Catholic school. “But that didn’t change how I felt inside.” And wasn’t it just a few years ago everyone was up in arms about his radical pastor?
MYTH: He’s done nothing while in office.
FACT: Obama’s campaign promised “Change” but that doesn’t happen overnight. While we are still waiting for Obama to fulfill some promises such as bringing our troops back home, the man has only been in office 2 years and inherited a heavy load from his predecessor. He has executed many policies and changes such as health care reform, expanding Pell Grants to low-income students, signing into law equal pay for women, pulling the economy out of a recession, and repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” For more on what Obama has done in office, visit What the Heck has Obama Done So Far?
MYTH: Obama hates white people.
FACT: Many of the thoughts behind this myth come from Obama’s literary works. However, many quotes from his books have been manipulated or taken out of context to insinuate a hate for whites. An example includes this quote from Dreams of My Father: ‘There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white.’
In full context this quote reads: He offered to start me off at ten thousand dollars the first year, with a two-thousand-dollar travel allowance to buy a car; the salary would go up if things worked out. After he was gone, I took the long way home, along the East River promenade, and tried to figure out what to make of the man. He was smart, I decided. He seemed committed to his work. Still, there was something about him that made me wary. A little too sure of himself, maybe. And white—he’d said himself that that was a problem [Page 142].
MYTH: Obama could care less about American military.
FACT: Obama has much respect for the American military as his grandfather was a World War II veteran. He has provided funds for military families to travel to Dover Air Force Base when the remains of a soldier return from war. Obama as also funded the Department of Veterans Affairs with more than $1.4 billion to aide in American Veteran services.
MYTH: Michelle Obama was videotaped using the racial slur “whitey”
FACT: This rumor was created by Rush Limbaugh. There is no videotape evidence of the First Lady using such language.
MYTH: Obama wants to raise taxes on everything, even your house and water.
FACT: When Obama took office, he inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit that needs to be paid off. While some taxes are created to help pay off this deficit, Obama is far from taxing “everything.”
Obama does however want to end the Bush Tax Cuts, something John McCain agreed with the last 7 years. McCain voted against the Bush Tax Cuts twice and has been a strong opponent to them over the years, that is until he started running for President in 2007. McCain in the past has even said: "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief." (May 2001).
In fact, Obama wants to grant a $1,000 tax credit for middle-class families and eliminate income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000.
MYTH: Obama doesn’t support the NRA and wants to take away your guns.
FACT: Obama supports the rights of hunters, collectors and sportsmen to own guns. But considering his experience raising a family in Chicago (Murder Capital of the World) no wonder he wants tighter gun laws. President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have said they believe reducing the gun flow through North America would help to alleviate drug violence. But that hardly means they're planning to take guns away from Americans. His rhetoric on the issue has been noticeably conciliatory, with a focus on tightening the enforcement of existing laws.