Rightly so, I’m sure they could successfully argue. Others may offer a case for labeling me an optimist.
But just look at the name of this blog…
That’s why my real friends skip the argument altogether and just call me a grump.
And what’s got this grumpopatomus feeling reflective this morning?
Our dirtbag President, of course. The offending tweet:
Amongst friends who shared a respectfully snarky relationship, this would make me chuckle. From our Idiot in Chief, this is just more woman-hating vitriol.
Just like when he called her Pocahontas or Sacajawea in the first place. She had made a statement about having Native American ancestry, and possessing all the visual genetic characteristics of someone who’d “like to talk to the manager”, this claim left her open to attack.
No. Let’s call it what it was, given the source: bullying.
What was most bizarre about this to me – having become inured to our President’s shitty behavior – was the fire that Warren took from the actual Native American population. Well, spokespeople, at any rate.
Not only was it considered poor form for her to politicize this ancestry in the first place, using a commercial DNA kit to verify it was also a bad decision. Incidentally, a decision she made after months of bullying from Trump. The culmination of this bullying was Warren calling Trump on his pledge to donate $1 million to charity if she could prove her claim.
Maybe without really considering the full implications – or maybe just without foreseeing an objection from left field – she called out our petty blowhard of a President and took the test. I think this was more to prove the President wouldn’t honor his word than to prove her word was true.
Shocker. He didn’t.
But then the tribal spokespeople weighed in. Their point was that their tribal pride wasn’t based on a swab mailed off to a lab. That recreational DNA testing not only minimized their genealogical pride, it opened up the floodgates for potential abuse of the governmental benefits appropriated to Native Americans.
That I understood.
When I was in Junior High – ninth grade, just before going off to High School as a Sophomore – I was one of two students pulled aside and counseled on the scholarship benefits available to me as a Native American.
I’m not Native American, except that I was born in this country. Both of my parents could probably beat out Elizabeth Warren for looking Caucasian.
Well, my mom is slightly dark complected.
And I was a kid that loved running around the neighborhood and hanging out at the pool during the Summer while my parents played tennis at the club.
If you don’t like it, talk to the management.
But because my skin was a luscious sun kissed shade of brown, I was pulled aside and offered these potential benefits.
I’d like to say it was honor that made me reject the offer and the advice to talk to my parents “just to be sure”. But it wasn’t. In my mind, I was sure.
But in my mind, I was also scared.
It was Junior High, not exactly the time in life that kids are looking to stand out as different.
Well…there was that one boy that was always wearing a satiny scarf in the hallways.
In the 80s.
He was brave.
I was afraid of what would happen if I was a brave.
We had this librarian at my Junior High. His name was something like Mr. Rawlins. I know that’s not exactly right, but it’s important that it’s at least close for the point of this story. Anyway, he was a heavy smoker.
Yellowed hands, face nicotine-stained a dull brown and clothes filled with the noxious scent of an indoor smoker.
We kids were terrible to him. We likened his aroma to the smell of the dump our buses took us by on the way to school.
Rawlins smells like Rossman’s Landfill!
And chanting things like
B.O. Navajo Joe
over and over, passive-aggressively knowing he wasn’t out of earshot.
It makes me feel terrible to type those hateful things. I’m kind of misty-eyed as I remember how awful we were.
Of course, I was just a follower…because at that age, what kid wants to be different?
I think the meanest of us all was this little shit named Cory.
A) Totally rubbish name for a kid.
B) He was an adopted Korean (I think) orphan.
Both of which meant that he was compensating for all he was worth. What a mean kid. When he showed up one Fall wearing a distinct Polo shirt my mom had sold that Summer at a garage sale, I said nothing. That, I’d like to believe, was a kindness I offered him and not simply fear of what would happen if I embarrassed him.
So, yeah…it wasn’t a sense of honor or decency that prevented me from taking money that wasn’t mine, it was at best equal parts being a decent human being and scaredy cat.
Scared of being seen as different.
Scared of being perceived as poor or needy.
But here’s where I try and bring that ramble home…I sincerely don’t think E.W. was trying to cause an affront to anyone in her attempt to shut Trump’s bullying down – hopefully once and for all time.
I totally get the legitimate objections of Native Americans.
I can’t forgive someone who engages in bullying behaviors from the office of the President.
For my $.02, I think someone with Warren’s character should be able to claim a Native ancestry without the presumption that she’s staking a claim to the associated heritage that ancestry comes with.
I know, prepositions and dangling participles…
Nor, however, should it be assumed she’s pandering to a minority for political gain.
I’m going to choose to accept that she is an American that is proud of all parts of her genetic make up; good, bad or ugly. It’s what made her the person that Massachusetts sent to the Senate to represent them. That she knows that her very DNA is the DNA of America itself. Our strength as a country isn’t in the purity of our blood, rather it’s in the blending of our cultures that has created this Melting Pot that is America.
Even if there is currently a surge of off-key, Stupid American voices in the chorus of this little dinner theater drama that is our present day country.
That’s my moment of optimistic frustration…and probably why I should stay off the Twitter until our country gets a regime change.