When I was a young child, my mother told me that her great grandmother, was part Native American. She said that although Grandma Hawkins' hair was by that time completely white, she styled it into two long braids, much like the the American Indians I had seen in the movies. I didn't ask my mother for any proof or documentation of this, I just thought it was cool.
Recently, I learned that Massachusetts Senatorial Candidate Elizabeth Warren had a similar experience, her mother told her that her some of her ancestors were Native Americans. I'm sure that like me, she took some pride in the knowledge, stored it in her mental rolodex and went on with life. It is further likely that later in life, when filling out a job application or a college entrance form, if there was a question asking if she had any Native American heritage, remembering the aforementioned factiod, she reflexively answered in the affirmative. Fast forward to September 20, 2012. Scott Brown, in a debate sponsored by WBZ-TV gave the following opening statement.
I think character is important. I think what you’re referring to is the fact that Professor Warren claimed that she was a Native American, a person of color, and as you can see, she’s not. That being said, she checked the box and she had an opportunity actually to make a decision throughout her career when she applied to Penn and Harvard and she checked the box claiming she was a Native American. And, you know, clearly she’s not. That being said, I don’t know and neither do the viewers know whether she got ahead as a result of that checking of the box, but the only way that we’ll be able to find that out is to have her release her personnel records, have Harvard release their personnel records to make sure that she did not have an advantage that others were entitled to. When you are a United States Senator you have to pass a test, and one of character and honesty and truthfulness. And I believe, and others believe, that she has failed that test.
Mr. Brown has furthermore run several campaign ads on this same subject, thereby defining this as the central issue of his campaign. Really Scott? Is that all you got? In case you don't recognize the tactic, this is the othering of Elizabeth Warren, but with a twist. You see, he's saying, she's not one of us, but she's not one of them either. It reinforces the "We have to take our country back" paradigm, and adds, you can't trust them, even to say that they are them. He's pointing the fickle finger of hate at affirmative action, and while not even asserting that the Professor has received any benefit there of, he wants you to be outraged that a White woman would even associate with the likes of those people, even though she aren't one.
Scott Brown offers no proof to the contrary, accept that he can tell by looking at her. But then isn't that the standard ultra right wing conservative hate speech tactic anyway. It says don't let the facts confuse you, there's a Black guy in the White House and she's a friend of his. Its the same logic that lets them believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim, but he's heavily influenced by Jeremiah Right. Its reminiscent of Herman Cain's admission, I don't have facts to back this up...
And oh, by the way, if you're talking about character, are we supposed to forget, Mr. Brown, that YOU are the naked centerfold posing cosmopolitan floozie. What's more important however, is you have been the Senator from Massachusetts for four years, so you must have a long and impressive list of your legislative accomplishments, you certainly can show the people of Massachusetts what your leadership has done for the Bay State, but instead, you lead with "She doesn't look like a Native American".
When you don't know what else to do, punt ... but I guess that's exactly what you've done.