• Daniel Ethan Finneran

Audacious or Spurious: An Ancestral Claim

October 2018


Biology, rationality, decency—all of these words have been rendered politically useless by the left. Yet claiming them merely useless would be for them too merciful a fate. More appropriately, the three have been anathematized and replaced in the leftist’s vocabulary full scale. Placed in their stead are three different terms of a discomfiting type. The new lexicon of the left, such as it reads, will include the following words: pugnacity, mendacity, and—most important or all—intersectionality.


Of the three, Senator Elizabeth Warren of the state of Massachusetts has clung to but two. Known not to be a fighter in the literal sense, one wouldn’t deem her pugnacious—a bespectacled congresswoman and sometime brawler. What she’s become, however, is mendacious and an adherent to an all-devouring intersectional creed. Picture her now, a liar and an identity politician of the worst and most desperate sort.


In pursuing her increasingly tenuous claim to intersectionality, Warren has employed the very worst and the most galling form of mendacity. For years, the Democratic Party’s best-hope to defeat President Trump has celebrated her ancestral and putatively tribal past. Flanked by sepia toned photographs of her gaunt father and her stoic mother and the chaste subtlety of their embrace, Warren has never thought a situation ill-fit for the re-telling of their tale.

Continuously, if not always sentimentally, she’s repeated the story of her parents’ unusual union to anyone whose hearing might advantage her in the short or long term. Such audiences have been varied yet reliably captivated by her evocative tale. They’ve included colleagues, constituents, voters, and employers everywhere from the hallowed towers of Harvard, to the banks of the city of Boston, to the lofty steps of Capitol Hill.


Told in her words, Warren’s father was an Oklahoman of a purely, and by extension and by assumption, a privileged Caucasian ilk. Her mother, on the other hand, though seemingly as Anglican as he, was actually of a native stock. As Warren has proclaimed time and again, her mother was of legitimate Native American extraction and so affiliated with the Cherokee tribe. Thus, by that matrilineal logic, so too is she.


The Cherokee, you’ll recall, were one of the five so-called “civilized tribes” who lived in the American Southeast. The tribe’s four distinguished, though now essentially extinguished neighbors included the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, and Creek. Of the five, none had quite absorbed the Protestant Ethic of the American east (a sure mark of civility if ever there was one to be had), but they did embrace agriculture beyond a hunter-gatherer’s passing idea. By this metric alone were they unwillingly designated a rather “civilized” than barbarous race.


Yet for all of civility’s worth, these “Americanized” tribes were treated with the most arrant barbarity and disrespect of whose heights we still struggle to conceive. Excepting a small cadre of furtive, resourceful, sub-tropical Floridian Seminoles (of whom a resilient fraction still lives as legendary ghosts in the Everglades), the others were pushed toward their death. They were forcibly moved to Georgia, then to Mississippi, then to Oklahoma, and finally to obscurity. Civilization, in this way, summoned not only their discontent, but their eventual disappearance as well. We have to thank for this shameful atrocity the acquisitiveness and disregard of a new nation beginning fully to stretch its limbs.


It was because of this government-imposed plight that Warren’s mother’s ancestors arrived where they did. It was also for this reason that her mother and father would later be in a place where they could meet, fall in love, and stir up an age-old though now uniquely American romantic controversy.


Like Dustbowl Montagues and Capulets, their illicit, culture-crossing love was from the outset forbidden. Her father’s family harbored no qualms nor mysteries about its endorsement of bigotry. It objected fiercely and openly to their engagement, as the family was white and she was incompatibly red. Such was the benighted attitude of the day, when miscegenation posed not only a mortal, but a spiritual threat. Red and white, all were covered in the ugly darkness of ignorance.


Yet those Shakespearean-American youths cared not. Undeterred by his family’s admonitions and biases, they went ahead and broke the customs and the rules governing the day. Choosing the unifying beauty of happiness through mutual and soon-to-be matrimonial love, they were betrothed while their families were torn apart. Their eventual marriage aroused a familial discord the likes of which only racism and the theater can produce.


Nevertheless, they persisted, as only the strength of love allows a besieged couple to do. Chastened by the assaults from without, the young family’s strength in its identity grew from within. Upon raising young Elizabeth, they made certain to recount to her this romantic and inspiring tale. Ostensibly, they hammered into the psyche of this precocious future Harvard Law professor and U.S. senator to-be the idea that she was of recent Native extraction. It proved a useful origin story for a woman who knew precisely where it was she wanted to end up in a society, as composed by the left, that’s become incapable of looking more deeply than skin-deep.


It was upon this story’s wings she flew to the uppermost heights of the national political scene. After all, her claim to Native American ancestry was the only thing that afforded her intersectional legitimacy—so vital in today’s political life. Otherwise, had it not been for that, she wouldn’t have been considered sufficiently interesting, curiously ethnic, and thus politically unappetizing for the left’s base. If not an Indian-American woman, as ostensibly she claimed to be, what was she in the mind of the anti-hierarchical and multi-colored left? An elite, white, Ivy-League professor of law and epitome of the kind of privilege so roundly loathed? In the increasingly identitarian Democratic Party of today, that combination simply wouldn’t do. A tincture of a tribal past in her blood would be vital if she hoped to succeed.

Yet not even that was to be found; nary a drop was to be discovered dancing in her bones. Senator Warren, at perhaps the most disadvantageous time of the year, announced in a mawkish video reminiscent of a sentimental campaign stump the results of a recent DNA test. Entrusting her saliva to a friendly and ubiquitously renowned geneticist at Stanford University, it was revealed that hardly an electron of a Native atom existed in her all-Euro-American blood. At the very best, she contains within her genetic imprint 1/1024th of Indian-American DNA, but surely no more. But even that is a bit ambiguous.


Being understandably leery of governmental archives in matters biologic, Natives of the North American continent have very little genetic material on offer. The cataloged specimens to which the ambitious geneticist might refer are therefore quite scant. It’s for this reason that the genetic-reference to which Warren’s was compared came from a combination of Meso-American peoples all the way from Mexico to the top of the South American continent. This broad swath of reference should’ve worked in her favor, increasing her odds of familial relations over a larger population. One would think it would spread the net and widen the possibility for a shared inheritance to make itself known. Surprisingly, it did not. Even with such a generous reach, her closest Indian relative may have existed a whole ten generations ago. Long before the Indian Removal Act, this would situate her closest ancestor prior to the Revolutionary War.


Once simply audacious, now clearly spurious, this claim of her Native American past should be brought to rest. On that vein, so too should she be brought into disrepute. Whether or not this will be the case, only time and political expediency will tell. What’s certain is this: in the final tally, biology—that study of life and sometimes man—has won out over mendacity, as well it should. Science, after all, should never fall prey to deceit. So too has rationality conquered intersectionality. The former is ancient and wise, the latter newfangled and dull. We must now judge the good senator rather on her ideas than her identity.


That with which we’re left, then, is decency and pugnacity. We can hope that Warren doesn’t go down swinging with this lie. To do so would be to injure not only herself, but the tribe to which she so fantastically claims a lineage. As far as decency goes, out of this mess, we might return to respecting the Native Americans of this land—an historically exploited and pillaged people, whose assault and expropriation continues to this day.

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