In the eyes of the modern Left, suffering is a virtue. For them, the greatest thing a human being can achieve is to be a victim.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that opportunistic leftists, hoping to achieve clout in their social circles doling out cachet to the downtrodden, have begun to embellish or outright lie about their victimhood status to gain attention and perks.
Take the story of Kay LeClaire, a white woman who was recently exposed as faking Native American ancestry in Madison, Wis.
LeClaire claimed a plethora of tribal identities alongside Cuban and Jewish roots, just to fill those last few spaces on the oppression bingo card. Oh, and she also identifies as nonbinary, because no modern leftist identity is complete without a silly new gender.
A co-founder of an LGBT Native American artists collective, LeClaire was given numerous artist’s stipends, her art was prominently displayed in galleries across the city, and she received a paid residency at the University of Wisconsin, all based on her claimed identity groups.
On top of leveraging her fake heritage for perks, LeClaire used her claimed Native American ancestry to harass the white owners of a local concert venue called the Winnebago.
LeClaire took offense at the name and bullied the owners for more than nine months to get the name changed. Eventually, the owners relented.
LeClaire claimed success in a 2020 op-ed for OurLivesWisconsin.com, writing, “I’m glad the owners have decided to no longer profit from the identities of Indigenous peoples. … I’m glad the name is going, but I’m not happy the institutions that allowed it to be stolen in the first place remain. For over 500 years, Indigenous Peoples have not controlled our narratives and representations.”
A white woman wearing a façade of Native American identity accusing others of stealing and profiting from American Indian identity is certainly peak irony.
But LeClaire is not the first white woman to pretend she’s Native American for profit.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., lied about being Cherokee for years, identifying herself as American Indian on several employment forms.
Warren claimed her supposed Native American ancestry offered her no benefits, but The Boston Globe reported that during her tenure at Harvard Law School, the university listed her as an American Indian on its federal affirmative action forms from 1995 to 2004.
As much as the Left would like to pretend that there’s no benefits to feigning American Indian heritage, the numbers tell a different story.
NPR reported that “the number of people who identify as Native American on the U.S. census has soared in recent years by 86% from 2010 to 2020.”
There is clearly motivation to claim Native American ancestry as that 86% can’t just be from American Indians having more kids.
The truth is that the Left has fostered a system in business, academia, and even everyday social interactions that rewards people based on nothing more than their race, so self-identification as Native American has risen to match.
Gone are the days where merit mattered. Now you need to have a certain kind or percentage of melanin to have a valid opinion, get a job, or get into college.
For example, The Hill reported back in 2021 that more than a third of white students seeking higher education lied about being a racial minority on their applications.
Per The Hill, “81 percent of students who faked minority status did so to improve their chances of getting accepted. Fifty percent of students who lied said they did it to get minority-focused financial aid.”
The Left likes to claim there’s “white privilege,” but it seems like many whites are eager to hide their race. And it works.
That Hill article revealed as much: “Most students, 48 percent, claimed to be Native American on their application,” adding: “Seventy-seven percent of white applicants who lied about their race on their application were accepted to those colleges.”
Circling back to LeClaire, the power that liars are given based on their identities is often quickly utilized to destroy individuals at the drop of a tomahawk.
LeClaire used her power to bully a small business. Why use your platform to help American Indians, who have the highest poverty rate in the country among nonwhites when you can be a jerk to white people instead?
It’s the terrible confluence of leftist hatred and identitarianism that defines the rise of the “Fauxcahontas,” or the white woman who claims Native American ancestry for social advancement.
The Left constantly claims to advocate for victims, the downtrodden, and the oppressed. But the Fauxcahontas is the inevitable result of myopic focus on victimhood; namely, people who aren’t victims claiming to be victims to get ahead.
It would be far better for oppressed peoples for the Left to help create and cultivate a narrative based on success and achievement. The Left should begin celebrating genuine American Indians who break the cycle of poverty and despair, and make something of themselves.
That’s the real recipe for advancement. Anything else is just smoke (virtue) signals.
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