We need to be careful who we drag along with Elizabeth Warren's condemnation besides her, which is unacceptable and vicious, in my view. Discovering MORE about the past, who we are, what courses through our blood is important for many reasons regardless of whether "you" personally care or not. Many people don't care about the past and that's ok, but it is not ok to condemn others that do and not realize it is why we have historical dialog in the first place. It also represents a white dominate past that many cannot see, viewed through white eyes, as anything but racist, with a valid point.
Yes, there are reasons to fight this past, but it is there and cannot be erased. I am not a racist purely decided because I have predominantly Irish and British heritage, BUT there are many things I have been allowed to be oblivious of because of my whiteness and privilege. There were many white people much more privileged than I as well. My immigrants were poor Irish, Scottish, not so poor-not so rich British, German, Swiss, etc...
Many families, including mine and my wife's were a huge melting pot of culture, and suppressed culture. My step-dad from the age of 6 on was Mexican, my twin sisters 1/2 Mexican, my wife 1/2 Vietnamese, born in Vietnam. My nephews 1/2 black, 1/4 Vietnamese. Who the hell are we all?? Does my embrace of bloodline discoveries demonize other "legitimate" populations? Why? These are valid questions that don't have definitive answers.
Sally Hemmings had children with Thomas Jefferson proven through extensive research, AND DNA. That is important to history. Documentation aided by DNA testing can be very important tools. Diluting this by trying to say her descendants can't claim blackness or whiteness is a silly argument. Elizabeth Warren will probably be able to find the exact grandfather or mother, in time, who was full blood indigenous, it may prove to be Mexican indigenous, Cherokee indigenous or many of the other tribes that were forced into Oklahoma by white settlers, but not all whites. It's a messed up stew to make huge generalities. What is White? That term is a slippery slop.
How much blood is enough? DNA is a starting point to lead to more documentation, not a diffinitive test like all the testing sites claim it to be. They were in the business of selling kits with bad marketing ideas. We are all paying for this greed.
How do we meld all the good intentions together without demagoguing individuals with good intentions? I have lots of questions, while everyone around me seems to have deep opinions that don't answer these questions. At least, not in ways that speak to a large swath of the population that is trying to understand this and not loose more connections to people.
I understand we are dealing with a hugely, enormous problem with a disparaged indigenous population that is on reservations. We are also dealing with people who want to use ethnic cleansing using this info for harm. I'm not going to say "so and so" is an expert on all of this, because quite frankly it could not be more complicated for experts as well. But, we do need to listen. All we have that is genuine and human is intent. Does a person intend harm with claiming a heritage ever so distant? We can call a person on their mistakes and ask for a dialog about what this brings up. BUT, what has happened here is the ugliest form of tribalism from all sides. I hate joining clubs, religions, social groups.
I have many reasons based on "heritage" to belong to soldier groups from the most prestigious to common ones among big wars. I come from a long line of warrior patriots that were very white. I don't need to join an exclusive club to honor them because they had
What we need is MORE space to be authentic to our experiences, not less.
Thank you, Joseph, for sharing your experiences. I'm hoping to spread your authenticity a little further. Cheers!
Joseph M. Pierce"In the end, I am writing this to attempt to be authentic