Day: May 7, 2012

Policing Native Identity

Apparently there’s been a big to-do over the fact that Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat vying for Scott Brown’s U.S. Senate seat, has Cherokee and Delaware Indian ancestry, and that ancestry was reflected in her listing as a minority law professor. People are mad! People are mad because Warren isn’t “really” Native American — she’s only 1/32, which is not enough Native American blood to count as “real,” I guess. Of course, as Sarah Burris points out, white-lady clubs like the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Colonial Dames of America don’t have percentage rules for their bloodlines — you’ve just gotta have one relative who fit the bill. And if being 1/32 Native American isn’t enough to make you “really” Native American, someone should probably tell the current chief of the Cherokee Tribe.