Daughter of Slaves Won't Be Recognized as Oldest Woman
Rebecca Lanier celebrated her 119th birthday this week. Born to parents who were former slaves, she believes she's the oldest person in the world, and her family has documentation to back up the claim, in the form of a letter from the Social Security Administration.
But the U.K.'s Daily Mail reports that because she was born in the 1890s, when it was commonplace for African-American babies not to be issued birth certificates, she doesn't have the documentation Guinness World Records requires to be honored for her record-setting life. So they refuse to acknowledge her.
Lanier has witnessed more than 20 presidents and lived through two world wars. She's outlived her husband and daughters. And after all this, she's still suffering residual effects of the racial inequality that existed more than a century ago, when she was born.
"It's quite a rigorous process that you go through because the birth certificate is a crucial matter," a Guinness World Records spokesman told MailOnline, explaining why Lanier's age won't be recognized.
We're all for having standards to prove record-setting claims, but there must be other options here. Or, if Guinness World Records is going to insist upon measures that mean entire groups of people are disqualified because of the historical circumstances of their birth, perhaps they should consider a name change to Guinness White American Records.
Read more at the Daily Mail.
In other news: Poll: 2012 Looks Good for Obama.