Hallelujah! In the old racist America, we had quadroons and octoroons. But in the new post-racial America, we have — hang on, let me get out my calculator — duoettrigintaroons! Martin Luther King dreamed of a day when men would be judged not on the color of their skin but on the content of their great-great-great-grandmother’s wedding-license application. And now it’s here! You can read all about it in Elizabeth Warren’s memoir of her struggles to come to terms with her racial identity, Dreams from My Great-Great-Great-Grandmother.
Alas, the actual original marriage license does not list Great-Great-Great-Gran’ma as Cherokee, but let’s cut Elizabeth Fauxcahontas Crockagawea Warren some slack here. She couldn’t be black. She would if she could, but she couldn’t. But she could be 1/32nd Cherokee, and maybe get invited to a luncheon with others of her kind — “people who are like I am,” 31/32nds white, and they can all sit around celebrating their diversity together. She is a testament to America’s melting pot, composite pot, composting pot, whatever.
Just in case you’re having difficulty keeping up with all these Composite Americans, George Zimmerman, the son of a Peruvian mestiza, is the embodiment of endemic white racism and the reincarnation of Bull Connor, but Elizabeth Warren, the great-great-great-granddaughter of someone who might possibly have been listed as Cherokee on an application for a marriage license, is a heartwarming testimony to how minorities are shattering the glass ceiling in Harvard Yard. George Zimmerman, redneck; Elizabeth Warren, redskin. Under the Third Reich’s Nuremberg Laws, Ms. Warren would have been classified as Aryan and Mr. Zimmerman as non-Aryan. Now it’s the other way round. Progress!
Coincidentally, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission last week issued an “Enforcement Guidance” limiting the rights of employers to take into account the criminal convictions and arrest records of job applicants because of the “disparate impact” the consideration of such matters might have on minorities. That’s great news, isn’t it? So Harvard Law School can’t ask Elizabeth Warren if she’s ever held up a liquor store because, if they did, the faculty might be even less Cherokee than it is.
My colleague Jonah Goldberg wrote the other day about Chris Mooney, author of The Republican Brain, and other scientific chaps who argue that conservatives suffer from a genetic cognitive impairment that causes us to favor small government. In other words, we’re born stupid. So, thanks to gene sequencing, we now know why conservatives aren’t as smart as, say, Pete Stark, the nigh-on-half-a-century Democratic congressman who believes that Solyndra, which is based in his district, is an automobile manufacturer: “I wish I had a big enough expense allowance to get one of those new ‘S’s’ that Solyndra’s going to make down there, the electric car,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle this week. “My 10 year old is after me. He no longer wants a Porsche. He wants dad to have an ‘S’ sedan.” Pete sounds so out of it, you have to wonder if maybe he’s 1/32nd Republican on his great-great-great-grandmother’s side.
But, if conservatives are simply born that way, shouldn’t they be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission?
Aw, don’t waste your time. Elizabeth Warren will be ahead of you checking the “right-wing madman” box on the grounds that she gets her high cheekbones and minimal facial hair from Genghis Khan. And “Julia” will be saying she was born conservative but thanks to Obama’s new Headcase Start program was able to get ideological reassignment surgery. And Barack’s imaginary girlfriend will be telling him that she’d be left if she could, but she’s right so she can’t, but she’d love to be left. So he left her.
Good thing the smart guys are running the joint.
— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. © 2012 Mark Steyn