Based upon family lore, Senator Elizabeth Warren has identified herself as part Native American on various occasions.  When she was challenged on it, her certainty seemed to waiver and she was accused of lying (that’s the climate of today’s politics – you can’t simply be mistaken due to stories which had survived generations of a family’s history – you have to be lying if you’re in politics).

Every family has it’s lore.  I’m told that I’m a direct descendant of Leif Erikson.  It’s been told in my Danish family dating back as far as any living relative can recall their great grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc. speaking about it.

I have no idea if it’s true.

I’m also told that the Kirks in my family moved to Denmark because they chose the Catholic side of the Rose Wars in Scotland and ended up fleeing.  There is more evidence to support this, given that Kirk is in fact a Scottish name, there are three strands of Kirks in Denmark (unfortunately I’m not from the strand which invented Leggos) and they all date back pretty much to that time period.   I suspect the story is true, but one thing is clear – the Catholicism did not endure for very long in Denmark.  By the latter part of the 19th century the family had become part of a millenialist religion (by the timing I suspect they were Moodyites) and when the rapture didn’t happen, as the story goes the adults all because alcoholics and the kids grew up to be communists.

This is supported by the fact that my first cousin twice removed Hans Kirk who wrote The Fishermen, the most popular 20th century novel in Denmark, was in fact a communist along with many of the fishermen who participated in helping 7000 Jews over to Sweden with the Nazi invasion.

It is also kind of embodied in my own family line – my grandfather Kris Kirk’s family ran out of money following the 1929 crash and so he could not attend school.  Not wanting to stay on the farm he took a shipping job and liked San Francisco so much he jumped ship into the Bay, swam to the Fort Point shore as the Golden Gate Bridge was being constructed and made his entry as an illegal immigrant.  He would obtain his citizenship by participating in the invasion of Italy during World War II and only after he was confirmed did he reveal his communism.

These are all stories I have been told.  I have not taken steps to verify them.  But I assume them to be mostly true because there is no reason to lie about them.

Senator Warren was repeating a story in the same spirit.  And when took up political causes and received attention from the right wing noise machine she found herself in a tough spot defending a story she had always heard, but for which she had no hard evidence.  She simply assumed them to be true, or mostly true.

She has underwent a DNA test which in fact verifies not just her ancestry, but the timing of it according to her family’s lore.   She called Trump’s bluff.  He had promised to pay a million dollars to her favorite charity if she did the test.  Now he’s lying to get out of it.