True Colors: Scott Brown Needs to Own Up To His Black Ancestry

29 Sep

by Mwalim DaPhunkeeProfessor

In the first debate between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown, Mr Brown skirts such the issues as education, social security, and health insurance to zone in on what really matters: questions about Elizabeth Warren’s ethnicity and claims to native ancestry. To me, and many other native people, Scott Brown demonstrated his stupidity with the comment, regarding Warren’s claims of native ancestry, “…you can look at her and see that she’s not…” Aside from it being a remarkably ignorant thing to say in this day and age, In American where many, ethnicities have mixed and mingled and few people look like their legally assigned racial group (btw, USA is one of three nations that have legal definitions of what race a person can claim to be); let’s look at the pragmatic fact that Scott Brown is running for re-election in a region that has two federally recognized tribe of the Wampanoag nation where many of the members DO NOT “look” like the stereotype of Indians.

To add more insult to injury, subsequent to Brown’s seemingly racist comment, you have members of Brown’s staff doing war yells and tomahawk chops; offering the weak explanation that this is not meant to insult all native people, just Elizabeth Warren. Great, Brown and his staff use racism to make fun of Warren. This reminds me of a time in college when a dorm-mate tried to explain that his use of the N-word was not directed at the Black students sitting near him in the cafeteria, but a single student who had upset him. It’s a good thing that Warren never claimed to have an Asian great- grandmother. They probably slanted their eyes and spoken in pigeon English; telling Asian voters that this was not to insult them. If she had said her great- grandmother was Jewish, they would be running around dressed like Orthodox Jews.

I understand that Brown has been calling the leadership of the local native communities to make sure that his campaigns racist attacks on Warren are not meant to insult them. I understand Brown called Cedric Cromwell, Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (who hung up the first time because he thought it was a prank call) to issue a weak apology/ explanation and was apparently fishing for an endorsement. WHAT??? Proof positive that this man is an idiot!!! Curiously, dogs, horses and Indians are required to have pedigree papers in order to prove that they are really what they claim to be, and like many native people or descendants of Native people and Dr Warren lacks hers. Dr Warren should have claimed that her great grandmother was a Freeman Cherokee, her ethnic background would never have come up for question.

Let us revisit Mr Brown’s ill-advised comments on how Dr Warren is not native based on her looks. If we are going to go by looks, When is Scott Brown seriously needs to own up to his obvious African American ancestry. The dead give away: Look at that nose and compare it to Michael Jackson after his first round of surgery, not to mention those eyes. I bet if you look behind his ears, you’d see that brownish mark that most Caucasoid – Africana mixed kids like him have. Not only does he share a last name with the Godfather of soul, but let’s face it: The Brown clan in New England has family lines in both the African American and Native American communities of New England. I mean, if we are going by what people look like, Mr. Brown’s high- yellow butt isn’t fooling anybody. Historically as well as in the present, many Black people have a relative or two who took advantage of their white looks and passed for white, taking full advantage of white privilege, just like Scott Brown and his family have. But you can’t fool us all, can you Scott? With your Black ass…  Why are you going to call out Elizabeth Warren for reaping some remarkably minor benefits for claiming her ancestry (from oral tradition) when you’ve been fooling people (including your in-laws) for years to get ahead… I say a genealogist needs to dig into his background and find all of those Black folks in the wood-pile of his family tree. Of course, as the uproarious anger of the descendants of Absalom Pierce and Carol Channing’s revelation (and subsequent disappearance from the spot light) reveals, this is a secret that I’m sure Mr Brown and his family would never want to get out. Remember, Mr Brown, according to the American legal definition of race, one drop makes you whole and that one-drop can create an endless line of ‘legally’ Black people.

A photo of Elizabeth Warren’s relatives, the smiths. Notice How “Indian” they look.
Marriage certificate for Warren’s grandparents, illustrating that her grandmother was from “Indian Territory”

2 Responses to “True Colors: Scott Brown Needs to Own Up To His Black Ancestry”

  1. Richard Bond September 30, 2012 at 12:57 am #

    The facts are that Elizabeth Warren has no Native American ancestry. She has ancestors who lived on the Cherokee Nation which was in Indian Territory. There was no requirement that to lease tribal land you had to be Native. There were also members of Elizabeth Warrens family of European descent who married Cherokee Natives. She has relatives who are federally registered tribal members this much is fact.

    There are Europeans with high cheek bones. If it is true that Elizabeth Warrens ancestors had high cheek bones so do Espero “Tony” Corti alias Iron Eyes and Pierre Brice. Corti was Italian and Pierre Brice is an actor of French descent.

    While at Harvard she sought to maintain good relations with Native students, faculty and staff. Had she used good scholarship she would have found out she was not Native herself.

    • DaPhunkee Professor October 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

      A nice red herring point, but the bottom line is that Brown’s comment about “… look at her…” was an ignorant thing to say given the socio- political reality of contemporary eastern native people. What you’ve failed to provide is proof that she has NO native ancestry. The tribal rolls and records of the Cherokee Nation are in fact skewed, including the recent political move to withdraw thousands of Freeman Cherokee from the rolls. Good scholarship is of little use when you’re dealing with a people who kept/ keep incomplete records.

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