Por QueEstelle Gonzales Walgreen
The Need to Embrace Elizabeth Warren as a Minority
Photo: Elizabeth Warren as Cherokee
Yesterday, a self-proclaimed Cherokee by the name of Elizabeth Warren won the Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts and will face Republican incumbent Scott Brown.
Absent in Warren’s celebration were the expected cheers by Native Americans and the community of color extolling the accomplishments of one of their own.
Instead there have been accusations that a ‘Fauxcahontas’ claimed a disadvantage to get an advantage to teach at Harvard and launch an incredible career in consumer credit activism. Warren is most identified as the person who almost single-handedly took on financial institutions and their unfair, deceptive and abusive practices. If she would of been allowed under President Obama’s administration to completely clean up the banking industry then she would have a rightful claim to be called God not just a Cherokee.
Did Warren claim this ancestry to get the job at Harvard Law School and before that University of Pennsylvania Law School?
Doubtful. Her professional CV doesn’t speak of someone who is looking for a shortcut, from teacher to lawyer to law professor to author to banking expert to political candidate – she is impressive. If she was really a ‘heritage whore’ you would think she would of kicked back a bit and not bothered writing nine books and obtaining multiple degrees.
She does not appear to have snuck into Harvard to be a sloth and the type of affirmative action hire that leads someone to wonder what the hell is she doing there. You know, like Justice Clarence Thomas who is enjoying 20-years of near silence on the Supreme Court and his fans grateful this job-for-life comes without performance reviews.
Why then all the criticism and most of it coming from the Cherokee themselves?
They need to lighten up! The Comanche Nation recently adopted Johnny Depp as one of their own, just because he is going to play Tonto in an upcoming movie and in spite of doing “Dark Shadows”. Isn’t the fact Warren took on Wall Street bankers and got our credit card and over draft fees reduced, enough to make her at least an honorary Cherokee? If the Inuit people haven’t removed the Palin’s from their membership roster, the Cherokee can find it in themselves to embrace Warren.
Apparently Warren’s mother told her she had wee bits of Cherokee in her, approximately 1/32, and she went with it and so did Harvard claiming her as one of the first woman of color to be hired. No proof asked for, none given or needed except now as she is seeking to be the next Senator from Massachusetts.
Why can the likes of Chuck Norris and Cameron Diaz self-identify as Cherokee with no proof required when Warren can’t? You would think the Cherokee nation would have kicked Norris out of the tribe after watching one of his Bowflex infomercials. They have even allowed President Obama to be a self-proclaimed Cherokee that can’t prove his Indian blood probably too busy proving he’s not a foreign-born Muslim.
Certain elements of the Cherokee nation have even asked Elizabeth to recant her claims and apologize to them for falsely claiming to be one of them. Apparently Warren’s ancestry claim based on folklore isn’t enough to make her a legit Native American.
Her critics should be grateful she didn’t take her Native American heritage and buy a casino with it or apply for contract set-asides to build bridges to nowhere.
Is the real reason the minority community isn’t embracing her as one of their own, her blond hair and blue-eyes. Granted, except for those ‘Cherokee cheekbones’ she is not what we expect a Cherokee to look like. Is she not brown enough, not ethnic enough, too assimilated or too far removed from her heritage to earn their acceptance, I wonder?
No one likes when someone links themselves to an ethic group for gain however I am all for an ethnic group latching on to someone for their gain and that is what I think Native Americans should do.
Claim this incredibly talented woman as one of your own now otherwise the Latinos will claim she is a long lost Aztec princess, grateful that she has helped them access fair credit, made getting credit more transparent and helped others stay in their foreclosed homes.