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“Elizabeth Warren claimed she was a native American, a person of color, and as you can see she’s not.” - Scott Brown
It was an ugly, racist attack on Warren, who is part native American, whether or not you can “see” it.
I am part Cherokee. Do I "look" Cherokee? It's not a question that matters. The same is true of people all over this country, whether they be African American, Persian, Asian, or any of a host of the beautiful parts of our social and cultural tapestry.

But there are still some people like Scott Brown that think these things are decided by looking at a person's skin color and other physical features. And that is prejudice, pure and simple.

Is this man a "person of color," Scott Brown?

What about this man? What do YOU see, oh arbiter of skin tones and racial backgrounds?

What about this Senator from Florida?

Is this man's father Native American, as his biography states? What do you see, Scott Brown?

Is this woman so Native American she's actually recognized by her tribe? What say you?

Or what about this guy? What's his ancestry?

Scott Brown claims he can tell by looking at a person, at their skin color. As for me, I have no idea what the 100% correct, "certified," true answers to the above questions are. People hear a lot of things from their family about their ancestry. But what's more, I don't care.

It's none of my business, just like it's none of Scott Brown's business whether Elizabeth Warren's skin is dark enough or her features are defined enough for him to tell what her background is. Scott Brown is prejudiced. And he's petty. He has forfeited his right to say he belongs in the US Senate.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Of course, what Brown will tell you is (IOKIYAR) (12+ / 0-)

    He wasn't talking about her ethnicity.  He was talking about her honesty, and how she games the system (I'm pretty sure this is the spin the Brown campaign put on it). It's just like Boehner saying it's not for him to decide whether Obama was born in Hawaii.

    The British have a word for this: wanker.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent, and we are all Wisconsin.

    by Dave in Northridge on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 12:39:13 PM PDT

  •  I thought that question was out of line and (7+ / 0-)

    blame the smallness of the moderator.  That being said, Brown pounced on it and made an ass of himself.  It's like the moderator had thrown him a piece of red meat and he began to growl.  

  •  I thought I read intially that he compounded (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    his asininity by saying "Look at her!". Now, is that accurate or did he stop at the single sentence quoted here? I've looked for a transcript and can't locate one, but I'd appreciate it if someone could clear up this point.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 01:30:05 PM PDT

  •  I disagree with parts of this diary.... (0+ / 0-)

    I have a BIA number (unlike some of the folks in that photo gallery).

    Elizabeth Warren will make a better Senator than Scott Brown; however, I am not in a hypocritical fog.

    Her misrepresentation is not disqualifying but it is fair game and she must own it and deal with it.

    Resorting to fallacious arguments is not the way to counter Brown's petty, but legitimate, attacks.

    •  Excuse me, but exactly what did she (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      Think carefully -- this is a trap question.

      You can call it "class warfare" -- we call it "common sense"

      by kenlac on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 01:41:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought about it carefully: here is my response. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Dr. Warren is on record saying she is of Native American heritage in interviews, campaign statements, etc. In terms of misrepresentation, asserting that you are a Cherokee based on some family stories is more fanciful than it is fraudulent. But there is a line between "I might have some Native American blood" and "I am 1/32 Cherokee;" one is ambiguous and reductive and one is a quantifiable and provable declaration. Having "high cheekbones" is not enough.

        My CDIB lists my blood-quantum. That documentation is probably not required in order to list "Cherokee" after my name in a cookbook, but it is required for most prescribed benefits like hiring preference. That is one of the best pieces of evidence that Dr. Warren did not avail herself of affirmative action advantages due to status as a Native American. That is the relevant issue and Dr. Warren should put it to rest rather than inarticulately trying to dance around it.

        Cultural appropriation is a sensitive issue in the Indigenous community. That she claimed to be Native American in order to network with other people is not the same as doing it for direct career advancement based on Native preference. However, Native Americans are one of the most dispossessed and unheard minorities in America and one cannot blame them for desperately trying to hold on to the one thing that hasn't been taken from them; their cultural identity.

        I want to reiterate my support for Dr. Warren and my opposition to Scott Brown's attacks; I just think there are better ways to counteract them.  Dr. Warren has stumbled several times dealing with this issue and it will continue to provide Brown with a distracting avenue of attack. Being on the defensive about a fanciful family myth is unnecessarily diverting attention from the more important issue of focusing on Scott Brown's Senate record and keeping the Senate blue

        •  Doing a little further research for myself... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...I think I have to back off at least half my position here, as I was aware of the initial reports there was genealogical evidence of Cherokee heritage, but not the later reports throwing that evidence back into question.

          Sadly, the intertubes being what they are, I'm forced to sort my way through a tide of wingnut search results trying to bring myself up to speed on the debate. So far the most neutral reporting I've found is here (the summary of which I'm sure you're already aware of).

          Absent that evidence, I can only state the other half of my position, which is that at no time did Warren claim Cherokee identity. (Unless you count that cookbook thing, which seems specious at best.)

          I take the point of your third paragraph most assuredly and without any argument whatsoever.

          So as it turns out we're probably just having a minor quibble over the characterization implied by the word "misrepresent". Did she "represent" herself as Cherokee? One would probably have to be a direct Brown supporter to stretch things to that extent, but it now seems clear to me that's not what you were driving at. And I apologize for jumping on you for it.

          Racial and cultural identity can be a very tricky (and obviously tremendously sensitive) thing. It's those very ambiguities and sensitivities that Scott Brown is cynically trying to take advantage of, and it reveals a tremendous amount about his own character, as well as the character of his supporters, as well as makes people far more misinformed and insensitive to those realities.

          You can call it "class warfare" -- we call it "common sense"

          by kenlac on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:33:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree, Scott Brown is "cynically trying to... (0+ / 0-)

            take advantage" and I think Dr. Warren can shut down his line of attack by addressing the heart of the issue: did she benefit from her questionable claim of Native American ancestry? The voluminous evidence says "no, she didn't." So how does she best accomplish this task?

            Scott Brown has no character, or what little character he has is nasty, narcissistic, and opportunist. His own wild overstatements make him the least credible person to call Dr. Warren's overstatements into question. He resorted to a standard Republican method of debate; invoke a "you do it too" fallacy then extrapolate a minor inconsistency into absurd accusations and ad hominem attacks. As a result, it feeds the false equivalence monster the corporate media is so keen to deploy.

            The Paul Ryan marathon overstatement is a recent and glaring example of how exaggeration can lead to questions about character. Hypocrisy is an albatross we must securely attach to the GOP, but in order to effectively do so we must guard against committing it ourselves lest the debate gets sidetracked by these avoidable distractions. Dr. Warren is vulnerable on this issue: although it isn't fair, her mild overstatement blunts the criticism she can level against Brown's gross overstatements.

            I appreciate the apology but there is really no need: we are both on the same team and I feel no antipathy toward you or the diarist regarding this issue. I feel the best way to disarm Scott Brown and Republican candidates in general is by preempting the media-enabled false equivalence by owning our statements. That way we can characterize our statements instead of letting them characterize us.

    •  BIA number good for establishing benefits BUT (0+ / 0-)

      fer chrissakes, I can rightfully claim to be of Irish descent and no one is going to ask for a DNA test!  She isn't asking for tribe-related benefits.  Your analysis is much too legalistic and bureaucratic and obscures the point that Brown's statement is incredibly clueless, arrogant and racist.

      And the BIA?  Please.  Ask me to see if the Crown can find records of how my ancestors' lands were confiscated by the British under Cromwell.

      In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act--Orwell

      by jhannon on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:17:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It was such a telling comment in so many (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mali muso

    ways. It was completely offensive. As a mother of a mixed ethnicity child, I had more than a few people comment to me when he was a baby that " you can't even tell he's yours " WTF? I think the look they got conveyed more than words ever could have.

    Brown would probably be among those who treat my husband and me as separate parties at the hostess stand in a restaurant or in line at a store because "do we look like we go together".


    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book. @PortiaMcGonagal on Twitter

    by Vita Brevis on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 01:52:20 PM PDT

  •  great white father make snap judgement... (0+ / 0-)

    lose big november

    Colorado has a much higher GDP than Utah because it is culturally superior

    by memofromturner on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 02:57:28 PM PDT

  •  My ex husband is an enrolled Choctaw (0+ / 0-)

    He is one-quarter Choctaw and one-eighth Chickasaw and his grandmother grew up on the reservation. His sister looks quite native American, but he is so white that no one would ever guess his background. My sons are one-sixteenth Choctaw and one-32nd Cherokee (I am one-sixteenth) and none of us look it. But our heritage is real and largely verifiable. The Cherokee heritage a little less so, because we only have family records supporting that. My great grandfather and his brother, like many native American children at that time, were taken from their Cherokee mother and placed in an orphanage. However, they still knew their family. My dad was darker, but everyone thought he was Mexican. His brother hss the same genes and was blonde.

    So you cannot tell if someone is Native American by looking at them, especially if they are descended from the five civilized tribes, which intermarried with white settlers fairly early on and adopted whites' dress and many of their behaviors.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 03:12:13 PM PDT

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