Posts tagged Cherokee
Posts tagged Cherokee
The New England Historic Genealogical Society quickly put out a statement standing by its research suggesting that Ms. Warren is 1/32 Native American.
The society said that particularly with Native American history, history is often passed down orally, and that full paper evidence and documents were often not kept or are incomplete. The society said its research had found records of “several family members who noted Cherokee Indian lineage via Elizabeth Warren’s 3rd great-grandmother.”
Well, Scott Brown is claiming Elizabeth Warren is 1.) not Native American or 2.) only pulls it out to advance her career. As far as career advancement, here’s an answer: Doesn’t look like it.
This tactic is straight from the Republican cookbook of fake controversy. First, you need a rarefied elected office typically occupied by a certain breed of privileged men. Both the Presidency and the Senate fit this bill. Second, add a bit of interracial intrigue. It could be Kenyan economists eloping with Midwestern anthropologists, or white frontiersmen pairing with indigenous women. Third, throw in some suspicion about their qualifications and ambitions. Last but not least, demand documentation of ancestry and be dissatisfied upon its receipt. Voila! You have a genuine birther movement.
The Republican approach to race is to feign that it is irrelevant — until it becomes politically advantageous to bring it up. Birthers question Obama’s state of origin (and implicitly his multiracial heritage) in efforts to disqualify him from the presidency. They characterize him as “other.” For Warren, Massachusetts Republicans place doubts on her racial claims to portray her as an opportunistic academic seeking special treatment. In both birther camps, opponents look to ancestral origins as the smoking gun, and ride the ambiguity for the duration.
Hence, the image above. It’s okay to use racist, photoshopped imagery to mock Elizabeth Warren BECAUSE SHE’S NOT REALLY AN INDIAN, YOU GUISE!! </sarcasm> Jim Wrenn goes further in the name of satire. Really:
In response to polling surges by her opponent (Republican incumbent Scott Brown) in the 2012 race for the Senate in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren-Tonto, noted Native American, Harvard Faculty Member, and Senate Candidate, said to her Lone Ranger sidekick: “It looks like they’ve got us,” to which her sidekick replied, “What you mean ‘us’ White-Eyes?” She replied, “You mean all 1/32nds?”
Why is this particularly terrible? Wrenn is using the 1/32nd Cherokee blood quantum as justification for racist “satire” — however, Warren has the same blood quantum as Bill John Baker, the principal chief of the Cherokee nation.
The perpetuation of slurs by commentators is the saddest part of all this non-troversy. As writer Navajo said on Native American Netroots:
The right-wing’s instant response regarding Warren’s claims of a Native heritage was to make fun of her by slurring Indians with a flurry of insults using stereotypes and calling her “Pinocchio-hontas,” “Faux-hontas,” “Chief Full-of-Lies,” “Running Joke” “Sacaja-whiner” and “Spreading Bull.” A name like Sitting Bull should be treated with respect. Why is this the first thing people think to do when they want to make fun of Indians?
The slurs reminded me of the same sad treatment I received as I was growing up.
When those on the right smear Elizabeth Warren, they smear more people than just Elizabeth Warren. It’s cheap, it’s racist, it’s not satire, and it’s an old, unoriginal canard from the days of slamming women and minorities for benefiting from affirmative action.
Wait… It’s NOT an old canard?