The temple of postmodern liberalism was rocked these last few weeks, as a number of supporting columns and buttresses simply crashed, leaving the entire edifice wobbling.
Fake but Accurate Identities?
The trivial Elizabeth Warren “high cheekbones” fraud nonetheless offered a draw-back-the-curtain look into the gears and levers of our national race industry. The real story is not that the multimillionaire liberal (and one-percenter) Warren fabricated a Cherokee identity for over a decade (to the delight of her quota-thirsty universities), but rather the notion that if a pink blond at Harvard can get away with faking a career-enhancing minority identity, then anyone, anywhere, can—or rather often has.
Give Ward Churchill his due: he worked at it—unlike Warren, who junked her supposed great, great, great grandparent once she got tenure and being “Indian” was a drag at Cambridge cocktail parties. At least, like the proverbial chameleon on the leaf, Churchill tried to alter his appearance with buckskin, beads, and braids to find an edge his otherwise mediocre talents and white male status would not supply. In contrast, Warren simply by fiat claimed high cheekbones—no beads, no trips to the reservation, no buckskin, no Churchillian effort. Note the connivance of Harvard, which hand-in-glove used Warren’s pseudo-identity to pad its “diversity” goals, which enable a mostly white yuppie left-wing faculty to, well, not feel too guilty about remaining a mostly white yuppie left-wing faculty.
Anyone who has taught in a university has come across the “Cherokee” con, especially given the Oklahoma diaspora in California. By the time I retired from CSU, I was exhausted with “1/16th” Cherokee students, who claimed success with their gambits. This was a world of Provost Liz Smith-Lopezes, José Beckers, Simba Bavuals, and all the other attempts to traffic in victimized identities.
Still, Warren, as no other recent examples, reminds us of the bald fakery in America these days. “Van” Jones was not born Van Jones. Louis (note the Jehmu Greene bowtie) Farrakhan was not born Farrakhan (yet just try to be a cool black racist as the Caribbean Louie Wolcott, aka Calypso Gene). In his twenties, Barry Dunham Obama went from Barry (a not very useful preppie suburbanite-sounding name) to Barack Obama. In the La La lands of academia, high journalism, and big government (though not in the landscaping business, farming, or short-order cookery), we sometimes wear identities in America as we do clothes, a different outfit as the occasion demands, given that our present-day Jim Crow racialists are busy figuring out to what degree pigment, ethnic ancestry, nomenclature, or assumed identity “counts.”
Cross the border and you in theory can go from an impoverished Mexican national that lived a wretched material existence thanks to grandees in Mexico City to a “minority” with vicarious claims against the American system who is suddenly eligible for oppression-based, affirmative action recompense. But if your family came from Egypt in 1950, you apparently qualify for very little reparations, even if you are darker than the recent Jalisco arrival. Yet again, score 1600 on the SAT and achieve a 4.5 GPA in high school, and if both Asian and wanting to go to Berkeley or Stanford, well then, who cares about the Japanese interment, the Chinese coolie labor of the 1850s, or the exclusionary acts of the 1920s? Too many Asians doing too well is not diversity at all, so we go into the reverse quota mode of exclusion. Warren reminded us that we will soon need DNA badges to certify the exploding ethnic, racial, and gender claims against society. And just as there are too few young these days to support the retiring Baby Boom generation on Social Security, so too we have too few oppressors left to pay out subsidies and recompense for the growing legion of Warren-like victims.
Isn’t It the Economy, Stupid?
We have had 38 months of 8% plus unemployment. We are setting records in the numbers of Americans not working and the percentage of the adult population not employed. GDP growth was a pathetic 1.7%. The borrowing hit $5 trillion under Obama, who between golf outings and campaign hit-ups of wealthy people, adds $1 trillion plus each year in more debt. To question how to pay it back is to pollute the air or abandon the children. In 2005, Paul Krugman was writing why Bush’s spending was going to crash the economy; in 2012, Paul Krugman is writing why Obama’s far greater deficit spending, on top of Bush’s debts, is not going to crash the economy, given that we need to borrow far more than our paltry $3 or $4 billion a day.