Sunday, June 17, 2012

Appearances Can Be Deceiving....

First it appears that not only is Elizabeth Warren NOT a member of the Cherokee Nation, and that, in fact, an ancestor of hers, Jonathan Crawford was a member of the Tennessee Militia that rounded up Cherokee Indians from their family homes, but now Michelle Obama appears to share a slave-owning ancestor with her husband (,0,5765826.story)!

While Elizabeth Warren’s “Indian-killing” ancestor (I don’t see how that can be construed as a good reason for her to be denied preferences based on her self-proclaimed “Indian ancestry,” regardless of what the Cherokee Nation says”) has been hashed and rehashed, only recently have stories about Charles Shields, Michelle Obama’s great-great-great-grandfather a slave owner from Northern (Protestant) Ireland (

According to an Irish Central article, “Michelle Obama’s great-great-great-grandmother Melvinia was a slave who had children by Charles Shields, grandson of Andrew Shields, the Times reveals.

“One of those children, Dolphus Shields, born in 1859, was Michelle Obama’s direct ancestor.

“It is not known in Ireland where the Shields came from but it was likely Northern Ireland as the family was Protestant and there was considerable Scots Irish emigration to the American south at the time.

“This article in The New York Times
( is adapted from “American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama” by Rachel L. Swarns, a new book due out this week. Swarns used DNA technology to prove the links.”

Certainly Michelle Obama’s ancestry does NOT appear at all as fabricated nor as damning as Elizabeth Warren’s looking to callously and selfishly turn her “Indian-killing” ancestry into “Native-American preference” for herself.

Warren’s known ancestor, Jonathan Crawford apparently helped herd Cherokee Indians into government-built stockades at Ross's Landing, the starting point of the Trail of Tears, along which as many of 6,000 Native Americans died - in January 1837.

Jon Crawford was apparently part of a volunteer militia that served under Brigadier General R. G. Dunlap between 1835 and 1836.

Paul Reed, a Utah genealogist and a fellow at the American Genealogical Society, said primary documentation supports these claims.

'Jonathan H. Crawford did serve in the Indian wars,' Reed told the Boston Herald. 'He is listed as serving in the company that rounded up Cherokees.'

And unlike Barack Obama, whose maternal ancestor George Washington Overall, owned two slaves recorded in the 1850 census in Nelson County, Kentucky, and a great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Duvall, who also owned two slaves, Michelle Obama’s antecedents look to be the descendants of chattel rape. Still, it goes to highlight the complex and tortured history of chattel slavery’s story in the Americas.

Who has the claim to greater “victim’s status,” the descendent of Irish immigrants thrust into a Civil War ostensibly fought for the freedom of others, by those who’d never owned a slave and came from a race that had suffered a far more pernicious, destructive and debasing slave trade themselves, or the multi-racial descendents of former slave-owners?

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