Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal, Beto O’Rourke — what’s up with all the ethnic play-acting? Isn’t cultural appropriation supposed to be a bad thing among progressives? Isn’t blackface (and brownface) supposed to be an unforgivable sin?
If a fraternity at a big state university had made the kind of mockery of Native Americans that Senator Warren has, it would be kicked off campus — and no pleas about a vague and mysterious “Cherokee princess” way back in the lost ages of the family history would save them.
Senator Warren is the main offender of the moment, a significantly-whiter-than-the-average-white-woman white woman who has for years been masquerading as a Native American, telling transparent bumfodder stories about how her parents had to elope because her mother was part Cherokee and part Delaware, an obvious attempt to claim some of that victimhood juice secondhand. She allowed herself to be advertised as a woman of color by Harvard, happy in the coincidence that “her major professional advances — to the University of Pennsylvania and then to Harvard — came after she began formally identifying as Native American, a distant descendant of Cherokee and Delaware tribes,” as the Boston Globe put it.
Warren, previously a mostly obscure academic and an author of dopey self-help books — The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan — needed a little extra kick to stand out from the crowd of sanctimonious white ladies who rest like a dollop of low-fat sour cream atop the nation’s educational institutions. And so she went all in on her fictitious Indian ancestry: You’ll remember the recipe for “Pow-Wow Chow” and other “Indian” dishes plagiarized from the New York Times....
Identity politics is generally goofy and often trivial, but this is no trivial thing: The Cherokee Nation is a separate sovereign nation, with the rights and dignity that implies. It deserves to be treated with respect, not used as a prop by an ambitious low-rent hustler from Oklahoma.
White people did some pretty rotten things to the Indians over the years. But making them take Elizabeth Warren on top of it? That’s just mean....
But Senator Warren has not dug into Cherokee history, language, or culture. She simply used the fiction of her Cherokee identity to get something she wanted — a little political leg up on the rest of the sanctimonious white ladies. That’s cheap, vulgar, and wrong — and the Cherokee are right to be annoyed by it. And if Texas Democrats really want a Hispanic name on the ballot to put up against Senator Cruz, then they might consider — here’s a radical thought! — nominating someone of Hispanic heritage as their candidate. As for Rachel Dolezal — my best guess is that being Rachel Dolezal is its own punishment.
Labels: Blackface, democrat scandals, Indian, Race, Warren