The latest dust-up between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown in regard to Elizabeth's claim that she has Native American Indian ancestry, brings up an interesting topic of discussion.
An important topic because (IMO) if you were to line every person in America up in a straight line and tell everyone to take one step to their left if they have Native American Indian ancestry in their bloodline, I happen to believe half of the nation would make that move. It matters not if you are "White" or "Black" - "Hispanic" or "Asian" it appears to me that almost all Americans claim to be a portion Indian.
As a Black person, I know it to be true that a lot of Black people claim to have Indian in their blood to avoid saying they are part White. Millions and millions of Black people are walking around saying they are part Indian (to account for light complexions in their family) and will gladly and succinctly offer up this excuse without the slightest proof to back it up. For some Blacks it is emotionally easier to believe that their Black ancestors somehow met and fell in love with a Native American, than it is to believe they are the offspring of a White slave master that raped their female ancestor. What many Black people fail to realize is the warm and fuzzy fantasy of a strong, handsome Indian male falling hopelessly for a dark, exotic African woman, is less likely than they would believe. Indians owned African slaves. So if a Black person does have Indian blood, it probably happened because of slavery.
For those of other ethnicity's that claim Indian ancestry, (IMO) I think it may be a case of what Black people are living with in reverse. That aunt that has unusually curly hair compared to everyone else in the family....that great great grandfather that always tanned easier than others and had a more full lip and nose....this may be due to a Black relative in the family tree. However it is more palatable to say the ancestry and the presence of darker skin is a result of Native American Indian in the bloodline. Even the most bigoted among us hold Native Americans in high regard as a race of people.
Beyond the beauty of how they look, their traditions and customs are respected by many. I'm no historian, far from it. However, what I do know is the sheer vastness of American Indians "hooking up" with so many people from so many ethnicity's doesn't pass the smell test. 30 years from now when people speak of their family tree, such as Barack and Michelle's daughters, they will speak proudly of their White grandparents and African ancestors.....and no one will bat an eye. Millions of biracial people will speak of the roots of their family tree and they will include Black, Irish, German and Polish and it won't be a cause for raised eyebrows.
But that is in the future, that is not now. Now we have 40-50+ year old White Americans that may indeed have African in their bloodline and they don't want to admit it. They may not even know it to be true because just as their parents, and their parents parents, this fact was altered or even buried. Never to be spoke of. And Blacks (such as my own family tree) that have French blood derived in the ugliest manner unfortunately, accept it for what it is. It makes up a part of who I am, albeit in a very diluted manner.
I have heard people raise the argument how we define ourselves (for census data) makes this subject relevant. A part of me agrees with that. You see my photo in that avatar? That photo was taken a few months ago. I define myself as Black. What if I were to start defining myself as Hispanic because I may have a trace of Hispanic in my bloodline. Is that being honest? I say no. It is the equivalent of Barack Obama indicating he is White on the census. Or his daughters claiming they are White to get into a certain school or university.
So, is Elizabeth Warren telling the truth about being part Native American Indian?
Who is Scott Brown, me, you or anyone else to stand in judgement. We can only speculate. As I have done in this article, I can only speculate who has what blood running through their family tree. And in the final analysis in my opinion, yours and everyone else's doesn't really matter in the end.