Identity politics is deeply anti-American, pitting people against one another based on largely arbitrary lines and definitions and putting the content of people’s character secondary to inherent racial and ethnic characteristics. But identity politics has become the means by which Democrats pursue and hold power. Identity politics powers much of the decision making on the left in its approach to politics, and in academia regarding tenure, hiring and firing, and the makeup of student bodies. Identity politics drives our attorney general’s decision to stop Florida from doing what it is legally obligated to do in cleaning up its voter rolls.
Elizabeth Warren may be the best living example of identity politics’ core hollowness. Her unverified claims to be of Cherokee heritage have now devolved to, essentially, “because we have a family story that says I am.” Facts, if we’re to go by her latest interview, don’t matter at all.
Her family is not known to have an official affiliation or any registration with an Indian tribe, and any sparse indications that a great-great-great grandmother had Cherokee blood would fall short of federal guidelines that would grant Warren minority status. Warren was born and raised in Oklahoma.
“In the 1930s, when my parents got married, these were hard issues,’’ Warren said. “My father’s family so objected to my mother’s Native American heritage that my mother told me they had to elope.
“As kids, my brothers and I knew about that. We knew about the differences between our two families. And we knew how important my mother’s heritage was to her. This was real in my life. I can’t deny my heritage. I can’t and I won’t. That would be denying who my mother was, who my family was, how we lived, and I won’t do it.’’
Her parents “eloped” to a church in the county seat 14 miles from the town they lived in. Their two families don’t seem to have morphed into the Hatfields and McCoys. She did not grow up connected to the Cherokee in any way. The only hard evidence connecting Warren to the Cherokee places one of her ancestors on the Trail of Tears, it’s true: He was among the forces who rounded the Indians up and forced them to Oklahoma, the state where she grew up. Is that part of who Elizabeth Warren is, too? It certainly isn’t part of the narrative she chooses to tell.
The evidence suggests that Warren claimed, without any evidence in support, that she was Cherokee so that she could get preferred hiring treatment at politically correct universities where blood “diversity” trumps any diversity of thoughts or ideas. She may have started this innocently enough, using some unverified family mythology of the kind nearly every family has banging around the attic somewhere to justify checking a little box, thinking “What’s the harm?” It worked to her favor and she rode that faux warpath as long as she could, ditching it once she got tenure and didn’t need it anymore. The universities didn’t ask for any evidence because claiming any sort of “diverse” heritage is enough to satisfy them. They don’t want the proof; the claim is proof enough to show your devotion to diversity and tolerance. Ward Churchill pulled the same racial scam for years, and probably thousands of university faculty are pulling the same scam right now. Most will never become as notorious as Ward Churchill or run for office like Elizabeth Warren. They’ll be fake Indians or whatever to the day they retire in obscurity, at which time they’ll begin to collect their taxpayer funded pensions and laugh all the way to the bank.
At least a couple of them have been caught out, though, and humiliated by the identity politics they expected to carry them through life. It’s one thing to throw around the phrase “hoist by your own petard,” but much more satisfying to see said hoisting in action. The Cherokee aren’t amused by any of Fauxcahontas’ claims. They’re protesting her appearance at the state Democrat convention this weekend.