Massachusetts Senator, Scott Brown is a great looking man, but looks aren’t everything. He’s also the darling of Wall Street, and while he has a relatively good record of not always towing the Republican party line, his motivation for breaking ranks has less to do with progressive thinking than with pandering to the liberal slant of his New England constituents. Brown’s heartfelt belief system is based more on getting reelected than representing the people of Massachusetts. He won the seat previously held by Teddy Kennedy, in a special election after the “Lion of the Senate” passed away. Perhaps some Massachusetts voters got confused by Scott Brown’s swarthy good looks and mistook him for a Kennedy.
Senator Brown is pitted against consumer advocate, Elizabeth Warren, who’d originally been Barack Obama’s pick for the head of the Consumer Protection Agency, which like nearly everything else Obama has proposed, was blocked by Republican obstructionism. Whatever anyone might say about Elizabeth Warren, she is in the race solely based on her beliefs, which are focused toward protecting the average citizen. If anything, Warren’s a reluctant candidate, running to bring about change in the way American consumers are treated by big business. Corporate America hates her, while Scott Brown is regarded by Wall Street as the most popular senator in Congress. That should tell you something right there….
During the Massachusetts debate last week, Ms. Warren, was constantly and condescendingly referred-to by Senator Brown as “Professor” Warren. She is a professor, but Brown’s insistence on calling her “professor” seemed like a transparent attempt at making Elizabeth Warren appear to be one of them-thar intellectual elites. We’re living in a time when “intellectual” achievement has been manipulated into a dirty word by Republicans who want voters to remain stupid and suspicious of anyone with an education. Intelligent, well educated people are not so easily led. That’s rule number one in the quest to manipulate the masses: Make people fear intellectuals – a goal well underway with the GOP for some time now.
However, the most egregious attack on Ms. Warren was Brown’s comments right out of the starting gate challenging claims about her Native American heritage. Brown tried to escape debating Ms. Warren by claiming he couldn’t attend due to an important vote taking place on the Senate floor. Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid didn’t feel that particular vote Brown was using as his “cloak of invisibility” was nearly as pressing as the gentleman from Massachusetts claimed; so Reid called the session to a close and dismissed all senators, leaving Scott Brown with no excuse that would prevent him from appearing at the debate as originally scheduled.
What’s so ignorant about Scott Brown’s comments over Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry, is the way he framed them, saying “she checked the box, claiming she was a Native American, and, you know, clearly she’s not.” Telling people to look at her color and features as if every Native American is supposed to look like the profile on the Buffalo Head Nickle. My Uncle Richard’s mother was half Cherokee, but you wouldn’t necessarily pick him out as having Native American background simply on appearances alone. My friend, Kevin’s grandmother told him he had Native American ancestors based purely on what her mother had told her when she was a little girl. Ms. Warren told the audience her mother was part Cherokee and part Delaware. Frankly that IS how those pieces of information about family lineage are passed along. There was, in the not so distant past, a stigma attached to being Native American. At points in our history being Native American put people’s lives in jeopardy, causing indigenous peoples to go “underground” for their own safety.
Americans are disinclined to focus on our failures or collective shame by deleting anything unpleasant from the history books. One of the most disgraceful chapters in our past, is how European settlers on the east coast of what is now the United States, methodically carried out one of the worse genocides in human history. The indigenous peoples who inhabited these lands long before shiploads of settlers came to America, welcomed our forefathers. In turn, we swindled them and slaughtered them by the scores. The ink was barely dry on the Penn Treaty before Caucasian settlers began mass-murdering what we flippantly refer to as American “Indians.” In the 18th century, Ben Franklin’s own newspaper, “The Pennsylvania Chronicle” called for the killings of all Lenape “Indians” over the age of eleven. The surviving children were then baptized and raised with as little knowledge of their own parental heritage as possible, but the truth has a way of prevailing. The Quakers, along with German immigrants were the only Western Europeans in the Delaware Valley to honor and adhere to the Penn Treaty, often giving safe haven to our aboriginal forebearers – including intermarrying with them to keep these people alive, along with what remained of their customs and traditions. Tragically, there are very few full-blooded Native Americans of any tribe left in modern America. The bloodlines that do survive, made it this far by mixing their blood with the families of settlers who accepted them and gave them sanctuary. Elizabeth Warren’s story is not at all an uncommon one. As a trained portrait painter, I study people’s facial features on a daily basis. I’m no anthropologist, but can see in the structure of her face, certain characteristics that could very well have their origin in Native American lineage.
I suspect Scott Brown’s knowledge of Native American history is confined to old TV reruns of “The Lone Ranger.” Being of Native American ancestry today doesn’t keep a person from having blond hair or being a redheaded. Nor does it dictate shades of skin color any more than it does broad or thin facial features. Native American ancestry doesn’t preclude anyone from being black or white. The vast majority of surviving indigenous tribal bloodlines are diluted with those of other races and nationalities, so the traditional visual stereotypes don’t necessarily apply. That said, Scott Brown still looks like a centerfold, and hopefully he will return to his god-given profession once he looses the race and gets the devil out of politics.