High Cheek Bones
I don't know how many people outside of Massachusetts have been following the Elizabeth Warren story, but it's an entertaining one. Beats most political stories for entertainment, too. Warren is running for U.S. Senate against Scott Brown the republican who (how dare he) won the seat that many believe the Kennedys own. But the buzz is not about that or any real issue.
It's about Warren's being a Cherokee Indian. Her mother told her it is so because some of her relatives have or had high cheek bones. Her own cheek bones don't look all that high. Hey, I knew a woman with beautifully high cheek bones and the only thing we knew about her was that she was born in Florida. Must have been those Seminoles. Anyway, it would just be another family story (we all have them) except that it appears Warren's been trading on her high cheek bone heritage for a long time.
She's a professor at Harvard and apparently casually included the high-cheek-bone-must-be-a-Cherokee theory in her application. Might have used it before that, too. That was o.k. with Harvard because they used the information to claim diversity within its faculty. After all, not only does it generate grants and stuff and produce jobs for some people, but the government - the source of all goodness and wisdom, not to mention a lot of coerced money - says this is right and GOOD.
I'm envious, I guess. My family hid the fact that they were mostly Irish rather than just English. The English don't like the Irish, and definitely vice-versa. I guess it was embarrassment or something - kind of a sordid tale anyway. That was one side of the family. The other, as far as we can tell, was pretty much Scottish. Scotts kind of ran things, but the Irish were the dregs of the dregs. Definitely a discriminated minority in certain places at one time. No one cared apparently to offer any hands-up and my family chose to hide the fact. Maybe Warren's family would have done they same thing if they lived out west.
Anyway, now-a-days the system is set up for such bizarre declarations. It's a way of life following the civil rights movement which was designed to remedy the government's overt discrimination against African-Americans. The problem is that everyone who considered themselves outsiders wanted to get in on the act. It moved the African-Americans to the back of the bus, or, at least to being just one of many, many discriminated against people.
There was an interesting op-ed piece about this written in July of 2010 by U.S. Senator Jim Webb, Democrat from Virgina, former Secretary of the Navy, decorated and wounded Vietnam war hero, married to a Vietnamese woman. Webb, who supports many liberal causes, wrote that " government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future."
He went on to argue that these broad diversity programs have harmed the African-American community and divided the country. These programs, other than one designed to help African-Americans, he said should be discontinued. " Our government," he wrote, " should be in the business of enabling opportunity for all, not in picking winners." Interestingly, he seemed to miss that Indians were victim of the U.S. government policies, but Elizabeth Warren certainly makes his point for him. She could have declared a member of any non-white (when do you become non-white?) nationality to get favored attention.
It really makes for entertaining reading and its absurdity would be a good subject for a satirical play. Coincidentally, I've been reading a couple of satirical plays by Vclav Havel, poet, writer, former president of the Czech Republic. Those plays and other writing, mocking the communist government, ultimately brought down the communist regime. The Elizabeth Warren story would have been right down his alley.