Friday, December 18, 2009

Mombasa! Mombasa! Mombasa!

The Debunker's Guidebook to Birtherian Mythology defines the term Mombasa as follows:
—Main Entry: Mombasa

—Pronunciation: mäm-'bä-sə\

—Function: proper noun, geographical name

—Etymology: political Americana, Zanzibar; to misplace as in geographically or historically, to mistake as in badly: 1000 miles east + city of Mombasa/Mombasa Province + British colony of Zanzibar + prior to 1963 + Islamic stronghold

—Inflected form(s): plural mom-bos-sons \mäm-'bä-səns\

—Date: mid-2007?

1 : the name of Kenya's second most populous city, located on the coast of the Indian Ocean in the Mombasa District; prior to 1963, part of the British colonial state of Zanzibar which included the island of Zanzibar and the adjacent east African coastal region; located 1000 miles east of Nyanza Province, the ancestral home of President Obama's family

2 : a: often used pejoratively, i.e., inflected form, mombasanian, one who denies President Obama's natural-born status based on the belief that he was born in Mombasa, Kenya, which is 1000 miles east of the Nyanza Province, the ancestral home of President Obama's family b: a disciple of the Birthian sect of Mombasanism or an adherent of Mombasanism c: a person given to eccentric or ludicrous notions—synonym, crackpot, birther

Usage see city of Mombasa or Mombasa Province; also birther

mombasanism \mäm-'bä-sə-niz-əm\ noun

mombasanian \mäm-bä-'sā-nē-ən\ adjective/noun

mombasanally \ mäm-'bä-sə-n(ə-)lē\ adverb

This has always been a red flag for conspiracy theorists, so it deserves some explanation. Barack Obama Sr. was born and educated in Nyanza Province [or District], in southwestern Kenya, on Lake Victoria. This is the area where Obama's family lived and continues to live; Sarah Obama, the step-grandmother of the president, lives in Nyang'oma Kogelo, a small town in the province. But Mombasa is a city on the Indian Ocean, a thousand miles to the east. It didn't even have an international airport until 1979. And the city wasn't even part of Kenya when the future president was born. Mombasa was a part of Zanzibar until December 12, 1963, when it became part of the newly independent Kenya (" 'Birthers' Latch Onto Forged Kenyan Birth Certificate", David Wigel, The Washington Independent).

But all of this has been known by debunkers for months. In fact, it's the singularly greatest source of amusement for debunkers. It's a running joke, and by and large the average Birther still doesn't get it, as he continues to remain ignorant of the facts that (1) Nyanza Province, the ancestral home of President Obama's family, and the city of Mombasa in the present-day province of Mombasa, Kenya are separated by 1000 miles, and (2) regardless of when the Republic of Kenya was formally established as such, Mombasa Province was not part of Kenya in 1961, the year of Obama Jr.'s birth.1

The confusion is rooted in the soil of political shenanigans—an obvious ploy to link the province of Mombasa to Kenya, the only other country on earth where Obama Jr. might have conceivably been born if not in the United States. And now it bears repeating: Obama's ancestral roots are in Nyanza Province, a thousand miles away from Mombasa, the national soil of Zanzibar in 1961 when Obama was born. But in the minds of most Birthers, Mombasa has always been part of Kenya and the ancestral home of Obama's family. And while it is not entirely beyond the bounds of reason to postulate that Obama was born in Nyanza, it is preposterous to think for one second that he could have been born in Mombasa for a virtually infinite number of reasons.

As theories go, this one's loaded to the brim with fool's gold, a haul that was dumped on the heard mentality for a reason. And as counted on by some, those who pocketed the worthless rocks have never bothered to look at a map or check the historical record.

For the unwitting, Mombasanism is the unexamined premise owing to an obsessive need to establish Obama's birthplace in present-day Kenya's most prominent Islamic stronghold. For political operatives, it's the rumor they pulled out of the bag of political dirty tricks and spread across the Internet in order to heighten the association of bloodthirsty Islamic terrorists with Obama's name and his African-Muslim heritage on his father's side of the family. Initially, however, it wasn't so much Republicans as much as it was some of Obama's fellow Democrats who were behind the rumor mongering. If not for the glove of plausible deniability that separated her from her surrogates, Hillary Clinton's fingerprints would be all over it.

A Tail of Two Provinces: a Prince, a Witch and Some Boobs
by Michael Rawlings

An ambitious young man from Chicago
  made a run for the biggest political prize,
But his hide was a slightly lighter shade of black . . .
  and stamped with a funny name.
So a witch with an itch of her own stood up,
  and right before everyone's eyes,
She conjured up a humdinger of a scam—
  a farfetched, yet scintillating tale of shame.
It enraged the young prince from Chicago
  as it threatened to forever reduce the size
Of his most precious and vaunted possession,
  and he at some length began to surmise:
"Could it be, along with my balls,
Every last vestige of pride at the quick?"
For he so dearly wished to be president
  for years it appears, ever since it was a wee little wick.
But that's history now, and it didn't work,
  not the way the sorceress planned.
And though some might sorely wished that it had,
It wasn't so much as the sheep that bought it,
But conservatives who did, and that, my friends, is sad.
For conservatives should always know best, you see,
  when it comes to knowing knaves,
But clearly some have lost their minds somehow
  and buried their brains in graves,
Then jumped the fence onto the other side
  where idiots spout trash and spit
On the only things that really matter as they dig
  through piles of sh**.
Now these piles of sh** are putrid for sure—
  well-stoked, corn-fed, stacked high.
But beneath them there's really nothing at all to see—
  no smoking gun, no gotcha, no tie
To anything worthy of notice—no way!—not even
  a blade of grass.
There's only flies and fleas and mosquitoes aplenty
  and a trail of broken glass—
Remnants of shattered theories on the ground
  of an unbeknownst stretch of dirt—
Between the Prince's ancestral roots in Nyanza
  and Zanzibar's far-flung shirt.
Obama was not born in Mombassa—no how!—
  but in Hawaii the 50th state
Where he was shot out from the womb
  of a starry-eyed hippy and set out toward a glorious fate.
The Nyanza Province of Kenya is not Mombasa.
Hell no!
These are vastly different chunks of clay.
And the region out of which Obama's African family
  sprung is one-thousand miles away.
1Mombasa was part of the British colonial state of Zanzibar which gained its independence in December of 1963, becoming a constitutional monarchy. In that same month Zanzibar ceded its coastal region, including Mombasa, to Kenya. In April of 1964, following the Zanzibari Revolution, Zanzibar was reestablished as the Republic of Zanzibar. Soon it was united with Tanganyika, and the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar was born and then later renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

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