The Massachusetts Indian War of 2012
The race for
The contest pits two highly qualified candidates --
If any election could be counted on to maintain a high-minded tone and stick to important issues, it's this one.
Instead, Topic A is Warren's facial features -- or, to be more specific, whether there is any way this woman could have had Cherokee ancestors, as she once claimed. Are her cheekbones high enough? The controversy has even earned Warren the epithet "Fauxcahontas."
Warren, the charge goes, is an affirmative action poser. Yet
Nevertheless, the press keeps dredging up new "evidence" to keep this scandal alive. The latest is a cookbook. Seriously. Warren reportedly contributed five recipes to "Pow Wow Chow," a collection of family cooking lore compiled by her cousin and published in 1984 by the
It seems that Warren may be guilty of a crime millions of Americans routinely commit: claiming, with no actual proof, that some ancestor back in the misty past was a Cherokee. Many families perpetuate these myths, perhaps to make their humdrum antecedents seem more exotic, perhaps just to share in the romance of all things Indian.
From a campaign standpoint, Warren hasn't done much to end this silly brouhaha. She ought to either offer documented proof of her lineage or fess up to indulging uncritically in family lore.
But that's not what this is really about. It never is when people imply that someone isn't really a "true" minority.
This is the coward's way of smearing Warren as unqualified. Her critics are insinuating that she couldn't possibly have been hired by Harvard on merit, and that calls into question her fitness to serve in the
Here's the thing with Warren, though: Her list of accomplishments is very, very long. She came to national prominence as the highly effective chair of the
A November profile of Warren in Vanity Fair -- titled "The Woman Who Knew Too Much" -- details the way Warren managed to tick off politicians on both sides of the aisle. Financiers and heads of industry don't like how she called them to account for their part in the
She's still on the warpath. In the past few days, she has called for
I don't think it's unfair to
And that's why Brown is calling for Warren to release her Harvard personnel records. As a candidate, he's outclassed. As a politician, he's got a chance, and perpetuating the Fauxcahontas story is it.
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