Elizabeth Warren: Native to privilege

elizabeth warren

Elizabeth Warren: Native to privilege

Blackstonian Editorial
by: Jamarhl Crawford, Publisher/Editor

I can not debate the validity of Elizabeth Warren’s lineage and the presence or lack of any “Native” blood. Reportedly, she is of “Cherokee and Delaware” Tribal descent.  Recently, it was revealed by the Boston Herald that during her time teaching law at Harvard University in the nineties, a then Harvard Law spokesperson touted her as one of its minority faculty, listing her as the singular Native American.

Again, according to the Boston Herald, Warren listed herself from 1986 to 1995, “in the Association of American Law Schools’ annual directory of minority law teachers” and this is consistent with the claims of Harvard University in 1996 and 1998.

I am certainly no Skip Gates, nor do I aspire to be, but I can tell you from experience and history that you don’t need to take a DNA test to know that in America, Elizabeth Warren is viewed and treated as a white woman, with all its benefits. Membership has its privileges.  Blonde haired and blue eyed, Warren escapes America’s unofficial rule of not so long ago which requires only “One Drop” of any other blood for pure whiteness to be corrupted.

It has long been evidenced that white women have benefited the most from Affirmative Action gains.  The confusion around Elizabeth Warren’s ethnic identification when convenient is a poignant example of white privilege. This privilege is on par with Warren’s very entry into the race, effectively leap frogging African-American Newton Mayor Setti Warren, even with his experiences in the Clinton administration, FEMA and US Naval Intelligence. The common perception in the Black community has been that a white woman will always win preference in any societal situation over any imaginable configuration of minority counterpart, with the exceptions of basketball and hip-hop.

Warren’s recent appearance in Roxbury also had many in the community scratching their heads. At an event in Roxbury’s Hibernian Hall which was billed as a “Community Organizing Meeting” and scheduled to begin at 6pm, Warren sauntered in at 7:30pm, spoke briefly, took no questions, made her rounds in the room shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries and then, poof, she was gone. Several prominent members of the community viewed this as dismissive and some even described it as disrespectful. I myself took issue with the event being called a “Community Organizing Meeting” when clearly this was a campaign meeting and an attempt to garner “minority” support from real minorities.

Warren choosing to take no questions was an ill advised move which won her no new friends. More troubling is the lack of diversity on her campaign staff and the revelation that she was late to this meeting because she was meeting with the unions, you know, the really important people. One nice touch from the Hibernian Hall meeting, the Warren campaign was nice enough to provide snacks for the crowd by sprinkling tortilla chips on a table cloth for people to eat. Yes, you read it right, Tortilla chips were sprinkled directly onto a table covered only with a plastic tablecloth, no bowl, as if the Roxbury community is a flock of pigeons. In all fairness, maybe this is some sort of Native tradition, one in which no one with Native American blood that I know (including myself) has ever heard of.

Elizabeth Warren certainly has more in common with Scott Brown than she does with me. Her “I’m every woman” pitch will be a hard sell to communities struggling with poverty and unemployment given her recently released Tax returns. In 2011, Warren and her husband earned a paltry $616,000 compared to previous years of plenty 2010 $954,721 2009 $981,000 2008 $831,000. (From Boston Herald)

Warren also has raised record amounts in the first quarter of 2012, raking in $6.9 Million in just three months, none of which went into outreach for Black & Latino communities as the Hibernian Hall event was promoted with a badly xeroxed quarter page flyer distributed primarily by unpaid (and misguided) volunteers.  Thus far, in my view, the campaign of Elizabeth Warren has been a display of white privilege far more “native” to her than any distant tribal roots.  By no means does this indicate support for Scott Brown, in fact it highlights the sentiments of us “common folk” and “little people” that there is very little difference between the two.

White Women are the primary beneficiaries of Affirmative Action

“All economic indicators, higher education admissions’ practices, and corporate and law firm figures show that when it comes to leveling the playing field in the past 30 years, white women—not black men, black women or other persons of color—have gained the most ground.”

“The stark facts, according to a CNN Black in America 2 report, suggest that white women are the least negatively impacted by the struggling U.S. economy. The unemployment rate for white women is just 6.7 percent, compared with 9.1 percent—just below the national average—for white men, 11.1 percent for black and Latina women and 20 percent for black men.”

From The Root

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