Elizabeth Warren's ancestor traced back to Trail of Tears! ...On the side holding the guns.

Yeah, when’s that primary in Massachusetts, again? Because the general election is going to be a trip:

…the most stunning discovery about the life of O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford is that her husband, Ms. Warren’s great-great-great grandfather, was apparently a member of the Tennessee Militia who rounded up Cherokees from their family homes in the Southeastern United States and herded them into government-built stockades in what was then called Ross’s Landing (now Chattanooga), Tennessee—the point of origin for the horrific Trail of Tears, which began in January, 1837.


In case you were wondering: O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford is Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Cherokee’ ancestor; and by ‘Cherokee’ I mean ‘actually probably Swedish.’ See AoSHQ for more. Also, see Legal Insurrection for the original revelation.

The question is, of course, whether bringing all of this up is actually transcendentally mean of me. For example: it’s not Elizabeth Warren’s fault that one of her ancestors was involved in ethnic cleansing; deeply ironic, since he was displacing the very people that his descendant bragged about being a member of, but genealogy is like that. And its certainly true that the attitudes of that time period are mostly of historical interest today. Distasteful historical interest, at that. Lastly: it is simply not fair that I am comfortably able to kick Elizabeth Warren in the shins over this, given that (according to my family’s oral tradition) my own ancestors: a, almost all came over to America in the Twentieth Century and b, were extremely careful to use a variety of aliases when filling out the paperwork – which effectively means that potentially embarrassing revelations of this nature are not really likely to occur for me.

Still. Don’t identity politics suck, at least when one is on the receiving end? Maybe now Elizabeth Warren will finally get why hyper-awareness of one’s ethnic origins is sometimes not an optimal way of interacting with the world… oh, who am I kidding? She’s a liberal academic: it’ll take more than this to pierce her epistemic closure bubble…


Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Just for the record, though: it is not unfair to kick Elizabeth Warren in the shins a few times and see how she responds. Every national candidate (not named Barack Obama, at least*) of recent memory has been subjected to this fun-house meat grinder: if Elizabeth ‘Fauxcahontis’ Warren is handling it badly then that’s really her fault, not ours.

What’s that? This is why normal** people don’t go into politics? Yeah, sure, whatever, those grapes probably are sour anyway.

*And he’s almost as bad at handling being smacked around as Warren is.

**Astoundingly, there really are folks out there who think that a Harvard law professor and professional policy irritant qualifies as a ‘normal person.’



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