Free Minds & Free Markets

The Complex, Childish Identity Politics of Elizabeth Warren’s Native Heritage: New at Reason

There’s nothing wrong with a little self-mythologizing when you’re young, but there comes a time to set aside childish things.

Michael A. McCoy/ZUMA Press/NewscomMichael A. McCoy/ZUMA Press/Newscom

In her latest piece for Reason, Nancy Rommelmann writes about how Elizabeth Warren is far from the only white person to engage in a little myth-making about her own Native ancestry:

There's a party trick my ex-husband, a member of the Creek Nation, told me about: The next time a white-looking person tells you they have Native American blood, look at them thoughtfully, maybe tilt their chin this way and that, and say, "I bet you're part Cherokee."

Nine times out of 10, the person will light up and say, "How did you know?"

At which point you can keep the trick going ("I see it in your profile…"), or chalk them up to being another member of the Wannabe tribe.

Photo Credit: Michael A. McCoy/ZUMA Press/Newscom


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online