Blogger Bernie Quigly at The Hill, in what now is a classic, raises a novel defense, Elizabeth Warren’s true American lineage:
Elizabeth Warren might be excused for wanting to be Native American. She can claim an old American soul, going back generations in Oklahoma. In the heartland it is almost universal for those who have been there for a few generations to claim Indian blood; that is, to wish it were there even if it isn’t. It is not so much a lie as it is the acculturation of personal and regional American myth; the fabric of old-soul American consciousness. “Our spirit will walk among you,” said Chief Joseph. Indeed it does….
So Warren’s claim to be “part Indian” is correct in mythical terms. Every old-school white Oklahoman is in this regard even if this in nominally not true. But it is not a lie to want to be Indian and to imagine your ancestors were. It is to be free of Europeanism.
As much laughter as the blog post has garnered, isn’t it really the heart of Warren’s defense? She didn’t lie, she believed what people (allegedly) had told her about her heritage.
Did she ever check? Did she have doubts? Why would she form her ethnic persona based on family lore, when she had provable non-Indian ancestry?
To whom did she represent that she was Native American, and what did she tell them about it, as she was building her career. (wink, wink)
Does the truth even matter, or is it simply what Elizabeth Warren believed to be true?