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Elizabeth Warren's trial of tears
POLITICIANS say the darndest things. Like Elizabeth Warren, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Among her many commendable accomplishments are her distinguished career as a law professor, her acumen in consumer finance, and her advocacy for the financially stressed middle class. Not included would be her "Native American ancestry."
Born in Oklahoma, Ms. Warren claimed Cherokee ancestry based largely on family lore. The claim was enough to give her minority status in her academic career: Harvard proudly pointed to her as part of its "diversity" commitment, portraying Ms. Warren as 1/32 Cherokee.
But these days in hotly contested political campaigns, all kinds of things get dug up, like the embarrassing fact that Ms. Warren's "Cherokee" great-great-great grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford, was no Cherokee at all. According to census reports, she was white.
The "Cherokee" bit originated in a descendant's hand-scrawled note in the margin of a birth certificate. Worse, it turns out that Grandma Crawford's husband was one of the men who drove Cherokees along the infamous "Trail of Tears."
Hard to say which is sillier, claiming spurious Native American ancestry or allowing affirmative-action credit on such a tenuous basis. May the Great Spirit henceforth grant Ms. Warren the wisdom not to trade in folly.