Elizabeth Warren and 1/32nd Identity Politics

Chicagoboyz community member John Wolfsberger, Jr. emails:

I actually feel some sympathy for Elizabeth Warren. She was a law professor, unfairly besieged by the republican War on Women (TM), apparently sitting alone in the faculty lounge. In an effort to meet new people and make some friends, she decided to make herself more interesting by revealing her Native American Ancestry. She really did nothing wrong.
However, the incident has led me to an interesting insight. Ms. Warren tells us she is 1/32 Native American based on her great, great, great grandmother being Cherokee. For simplicity sake, let’s refer to her as the g3 grandmother. It occurred to me that if two of her g4 grandparents had been Cherokee, but parents of different g3 grandparents, Ms. Warren could still be considered 1/32 Native American. Furthermore, if 4 of Ms. Warrens g5 grandparents had been Native American, and parents of different g4 grandparents, Ms. Warren would still be 1/32 Native American. And so on.
That insight led me to a bit of research. Homo ergaster, the forerunner of Homo Sapiens (which is all of us) left Africa between 1.8 and 1.3 million years ago. Taking the nominal value as 1.5 million years, and assuming 20 years per generation, that means my (roughly) g75,000 grandparents were ALL African. True, more recent ancestors lived in Bavaria, the Vorarlberg and Ireland, but they were ALL African as well, by THEIR (roughly) g74,997 grandparents.
Since every single one of my ancestors was African, shouldn’t I be able, a la Ms. Warren, to claim minority status as an African American? And if I can, shouldn’t everyone else in the United States be able to as well, regardless of where their more recent ancestors resided for a time?
This seems eminently reasonable. There is only one issue to resolve: if we all belong to the exact same Victim Group (TM), who’s the oppressor group?

26 thoughts on “Elizabeth Warren and 1/32nd Identity Politics”

  1. That is great!

    I actually believe that she claimed Native American status not to meet Native Americans as she maintains, but to get some of that Indian Tribal Casino money.

  2. I’ve always wondered why all so many people that I met who claimed Indian ancestry were blue-eyed blonds, but I just assumed that identifiable Indian physical traits were recessive, or something.

  3. To quote comedian Dennis Miller, Ms. Warren’s Indian name is “Spreading Bull.”

  4. Jason – that is hilarious! On my way home from work Hugh Hewitt was talking about this – and most likely she was claiming this to get that coveted Harvard professorship – and – and Hugh mentioned – had this happened to a conservative Republican the press would have hounded him until he quit –

    But I gotta remember that “African angle” we are all “African Americans!”

  5. God, what a depressing, tedious, meaningless farce politics in this country has become.

    Who are these people, and, more importantly, what delusional syndrome gives them the idea they represent any normal, ordinary citizen in any way, shape, manner, or form?

    One of the great civilizations in world history is being led off a cliff by a bunch of deceitful, demented twits.

    Eliot was right.

  6. I was under the impression that the Indian tribes are pretty careful and controlling as to who gets to officially consider themselves a member. Wonder if Warren ever actually applied to the Cherokee Nation for formal recognition?

  7. @David – they are – with the advent of Indian Casinos everyone and their brother wants to be in a tribe ;-)

    A neighbor of my parents is in a tribe and she gets a check for $30,000 every month. The casino in my town is the most profitable in the country.

    No misprint.

    Harvard apparently doesn’t scrutinize as hard ;-)

    And as of this evening I’ve heard that she can’t even prove her “1/32”

    It is easier, thanks to John’s thoughtful analysis, for me to prove my African ancestry!

    As someone mentioned it shows you how stupid “Identity Politics” has become – to the Left….

  8. This is exactly why the reparations movement is so stupid. How on earth do you qualify someone to be in the victim class?

    @Dan –

    If someone can prove that he was a slave up to the year 1865, he is eligible for the reparations….;-)

  9. Apparently there is only one other Ivy League law school professor who comes from a lower rated law school than Warren’s Rutgers.

  10. Academia is an ethical cesspool. Generally speaking, of course. I never understand why certain academics feel the need to preach to others without first cleaning up house.

    – Madhu

  11. Elizabeth Warren is just another European who stole a faculty job at Harvard that belonged to an indian. People like Warren came to America and burned our villages, stole our land, killed our children, raped our women and hunted us down. Somewhere there is a starving indian family headed by a wise Indian shaman whose job was stolen by Warren. White woman Elizabeth Warren speak with forked tongue.

  12. I think the Indians on “F Troop” have a more authentic claim to tribal ancestry than Elizabeth Warren.

    (Jason in LA, I saw another wag on the Internet referring to her as “Fauxcahontas”…)

  13. “…who’s the oppressor group?”

    Might I submit-the “Lawyers” .
    Appologize’s(sp) to any and all 0-)

  14. The number one rule about Indian tribal identity is no tribal number, no Indian identity.

    That is quite literally Federal law.

    How Harvard Yard was ignorant of what is common knowledge in Oklahoma is beyond me.

  15. Trent, places like Oklahoma are flyover states filled with bitter clingers. It is thus not worthy of the notice of Harvard Yard.

  16. I didn’t know about the “tribal number.” That such a thing exists, on the surface, seems very creepy.

    Then again, if you want to see governmental social engineering in full bloom, look at what it’s done for the American Indians.

  17. Then again, if you want to see governmental social engineering in full bloom, look at what it’s done for the American Indians.

    Remember Percy they are only here to help!

  18. Sgt. Mom
    I’ve always wondered why all so many people that I met who claimed Indian ancestry were blue-eyed blonds, but I just assumed that identifiable Indian physical traits were recessive, or something.

    Not recessive, just not a high percentage.

    On my father’s side, there is Indian ancestry from the 18th century, which would make me 1/512 Indian. With such a small percentage, I have never checked a box for Native American. My two maternal aunts by marriage were 1/8 Indian, so half my cousins are 1/16 Indian. In only one of my 1/16 Indian cousins can you see any trace- the high cheekbones. She was also a blonde in her younger years. As their parents didn’t make a big deal of Indian ancestry, my cousins didn’t.

    I imagine that a very high percentage of Americans who can trace ancestors to being in the US by the 18th century have some Indian ancestry- especially from flyover country.

  19. I’m half Italian. My paternal GGF was an Illinois-born (1870) WASP, and, when I was brought to his door in swaddling clothes for my GGM to see, said, “You’re not bringing that n***-baby in my house.”

    And my GGM reluctantly shut the door in my mother’s face (he passed away before I was old enough to “meet” him. And I don’t recall ever hearing anything negative my GGM had to say about my ancestry.

    Just wondering: Does this mean I’m half negro for hiring purposes? Do we have to use modern standards, or is it more related to the standards applicable when you were born? Y’know, kinda like optionally getting to graduate from college using the criteria/requirements applicable when you started…?


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