Of Racists, Bigots, and Identity Politics

(Photo Credit: Associated Press)

Did I ever tell you that my great-great-great-great-great-great gramma was an Indian princess? No?

Let me ask you, what percentage “White” are you? And you “Blackness”? What percentage African-American are you?

On October 17, 2018, I logged into my Ancestry.com account and was met with an update:

Ireland and Scotland 71%
Increased by 9%
England, Wales & Northwestern Europe 17%
Increased by 13%
Eastern Europe and Russia 6%
Refined from:
Europe East 12%
Refined from:
Scandinavia 13%
The Baltic States 2%
Refined from:
Europe East 12%
European Jewish1%
Decreased by 2%


Woe! What happened?!?!?! Am I still “me”?

A pretty dumb question, isn’t it? Of course, I’m still me, right? I’m a product of my DNA, yes, but I just received my DNA results last year, and already the science has changed and revised the analysis. What’s more, there are numerous articles and lived experiences of that have shown differing results from Ancestry, 23andMe, and others. Go ahead, google “ancestry and 23andme different results” and be astounded.

I am a construct of my nurture, more than my nature. My mother said I’m Hungarian and English, so that’s how I’ve viewed myself. My dad says his side is a 100% Irish, so that’s how I’ve viewed myself. I believe I’m Irish, Hungarian, and English. And, as such, because I have an Irish surname, and grew up in a part of the country with a high Irish population, I have self-identified as Irish. And, yes, that is for both personal and social gain. Do I really want to go around telling people that I’m Hungarian and that my Hungarian surname is “Naczi”?

So, to the geriatric mumbling man that stopped me at the end of my presentation today, and told me that I should be ashamed of my self, I say to you, what percentage White-American are you? In my presentation, I said that Elizabeth Warren was 1/32 or something Native American and that it really didn’t matter because -before contact with Europeans, Native Americans did not define tribal membership by blood percentages, but by lived experiences. Some of the great Oglalas were not actually Oglala. All of this was lost on my aging white male critic. Why? Perhaps because the President of the United States tweeted and spoke about how ‘Pocahontas’ is only 1/1000th Native American? Because, My White Male friend, gets to determine the ethnic and racial identity of others? Isn’t that what Plessy v Ferguson was about? Go ahead, google “Homer Plessy” and tell me that he’s “Black”? Dear geriatric vanilla White Male who told me that I should be ashamed of myself, tell me, did you too believe as the White Jeffersons did, that there were no Black Jeffersons? What is this really about? What is the fear from?

President Nixon went to Ireland, and as Ireland does for any US President, the Office of Genealogy searched and searched but couldn’t find a connection to the Milhouse family that Nixon said was Irish, did geriatric WHite male then tell Nixon he could no longer call himself Irish?

Barack Obama, too Black, or not White enough? Born in Hawaii? Really, he doesn’t LOOK “American” – Let’s see his birth certificate! (So says the same man who questions Elizabeth Warren’s claim of being Native American.) And, it doesn’t matter, really, does it? What matters is what/who we think we are…  for better or worse…

Wait! But Elizabeth Warren used her claim to get a job!! Really? And, if I humored Angry White Male in this regard, how is that different from any other bloated resume like, say, I’m a self-made millionaire…. but I won’t show you the DNA of my taxes…

Why, why, are assimilated Europeans trying to compartmentalize and determine the racial and ethnic identities of others?

Warren is not Native American enough, but Brack Obama is too Black.

What percentage of whatever you say you are, are you really?

Don’t take my identity from me because you don’t understand Identity Construction, don’t take others’ away because you are an aging vanilla Caucasian who doesn’t even know what you are. Don’t tell me to be ashamed of myself; go to Charlottesville and join your needy, wanting, angry folks who have lost their identity and hide behind jingoistic labels of I’m an ‘American’. Join your watered down club of Johnsons, Smiths, and Joneses… There are no O’Reilly’s or Jaworski’s at United the Right rallies. Because you don’t know who you are, don’t judge those who have an identity. And, if you don’t think someone else is Black enough, or White enough, or Native enough, go ahead and join the KKK, Church of the Creator, or other sectarian organization, and stop claiming to be an American. Because that is not America. American is not, and has never been a White Nation. The hypocrisy of arguing to Make America Great Again, while undervaluing the diversity that has made America great, will forever doom you to the shadows of history, you, you, my geriatric old friend should be ashamed of yourself. I am a proud American, a proud Irish_American whether I be 62, or 71%, a proud Hungarian_American, whether I be 25%,  or 12%….

For fun:

Web results (Google | 10/17/2018 | 5:41 PM:

What to Make of Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test – The Atlantic

14 hours ago – After receiving a direct challenge from President Donald Trump to prove her Native American ancestry by submitting to a DNA test, Senator …

Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test: why the Cherokee Nation is mad about …

1 day ago – Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) release of a DNA test she took that “strongly” suggested she had Native American heritage has rankled the …

Elizabeth Warren: Cherokee Nation responds to DNA test – The …

1 day ago – Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s release of a DNA test that suggested a lineage to a distant Native American ancestor has roiled the Cherokee Nation …

Kelly Hayes and Jacqueline Keeler: Elizabeth Warren connected DNA …

6 hours ago – Elizabeth Warren DNA test: Hitting back at Trump’s racism, Warren connected DNA and Native American heritage. Here’s why that’s destructive …

Elizabeth Warren releases DNA test with ‘strong evidence’ of Native …

2 days ago – Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released the results of a DNA analysis showing she has distant Native American ancestry, in an apparent attempt to …

Elizabeth Warren might have actually made things worse with her …

16 hours ago – “Pocahontas (the bad version), sometimes referred to as Elizabeth Warren, is getting slammed,” tweeted Trump. “She took a bogus DNA test …

Elizabeth Warren Falls for Trump’s Trap—and Promotes Insidious …

By releasing a genetic test, Elizabeth Warren has allowed herself to be … to the video, Warren posted a geneticist’s report on her DNA test.

Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test: why so many Native Americans are …

On Monday afternoon, after a half day of debate over Elizabeth Warren’sannouncement (with a campaign-style video) that she had taken a …

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