Hawaii's New Governor: Birthers Are 'Disrespectful'

They irk Neil Abercrombie so much, he's seeking ways to change state policy so that he can take them on.

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Gov. Neil Abercrombie, center (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty)

The "Birthers" who insist that President Barack Obama was not born a U.S. citizen so incense Hawaii's new governor that he's looking for ways to change state policy so that he can release additional proof that the president was born in Honolulu in 1961. The matter is personal for Neil Abercrombie because he knew President Obama's parents when they were all college students in Hawaii.

"It's an insult to his mother and to his father, and I knew his mother and father; they were my friends, and I have an emotional interest in that," Governor Abercrombie said in a telephone interview late Thursday. "It's an emotional insult. It is disrespectful to the president; it is disrespectful to the office."

The governor, a Democrat and former congressman, said he has initiated conversations with the state's attorney general and the chief of its Health Department about how he can release more explicit documentation of Mr. Obama’s birth on Aug. 4, 1961, at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital. He said he has done so of his own accord, without consulting the White House, which declined to comment.

"He's a big boy; he can take sticks and stones. But there's no reason on earth to have the memory of his parents insulted by people whose motivation is solely political," Mr. Abercrombie said. "Let's put this particular canard to rest."

Unfortunately, when you're dealing with Birthers, you aren't dealing with rational folk. No amount of proof will change their minds, it seems. To those who fear change, President Obama will always be a Manchurian candidate whose election spelled doom for the country. But we appreciate Abercrombie for trying.

Sheryl Huggins Salomon is senior editor-at-large of The Root. Follow her on Twitter.

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