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I've been interested in the race between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown in Massachusetts. I couldn't believe my ears when, during their first debate, Brown accused Warren of falsely claiming Native American heritage--"just look at her." She appears to be purely northern European, he seems to be claiming.

If you were to look at me, you would see someone as northern European as it is possible to be. Or so you would think. But the deep, dark secret passed down from one woman in my family to another is that Grandma Myers (my great grandmother) had a youthful liaison with a Mohegan young man.

The baby was a girl, dusky of skin, dark straight hair, dark brown eyes, high cheekbones and hot tempered (so the family story goes). She held her head high and defied anybody to speak ill of her.

She married a poor backwoods hunter/farmer Connecticut yankee, and had a bunch of children. Some took after him; some after her.

And in each subsequent generation, there have been one or two descendants with the high hooked nose, darker skin, cheekbones, hair, eyes. My uncle Howard in my mother's generation and two of my first cousins in my generation could "pass" for Native American.

The rest of us look very white--in childhood, in fact, pictures show us to be blonde, almost white haired, and extremely fair skinned. As I was, before my hair darkened in later childhood. Now? Gray hair makes elders of us all.

I can easily accept that Elizabeth Warren has Native American ancestry, and Scott Brown is being racist to say she "doesn't look it."

'Funny, you don't look Jewish.' Sound familiar?

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