Snort of the Day: Trump claim about Swedish ancestry is like Liz Warren’s Fauxcahontas claims, or something

Snort of the Day: Trump claim about Swedish ancestry is like Liz Warren’s Fauxcahontas claims, or something
Elizabeth Warren caricatured as a Native American. Donald Trump, for comparison, caricatured as a Swede.

BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski will no doubt be gratified to learn that he has launched a whole new recurring feature at Liberty Unyielding.

We make no promises as to frequency or periodicity.  But some things just make you, well, snort.  And we’re going to commemorate the ones that strike us, here at LU.

Kaczynski has devoted 624 words to this post, in which he points out that although Trump has mocked Elizabeth Warren for her claims about having Native American ancestry, The Donald himself inaccurately claimed in his autobiography to be descended from Swedes.

Kaczynski didn’t leave it at mere words, however.  He also dug up online images of the U.S. Census, and an image of Trump’s grandfather’s passport.  These documents show that the Trumps came from Germany.

According to Kaczynski:

In his biography of Trump, The Lost Tycoon, Henry Hurt alleges Trump made the anecdote up to deceive Jewish tenants in his buildings.

“In his first book Donald implies that his paternal ancestors were of Swedish descent. That was another big white lie presumably designed to deceive the many Jewish tenants who occupied Trump-owned apartment complexes,” wrote Hurt. “Fred Trump’s father, who was also named Fred Trump, was German born in 1870.”

Similarly, the 1999 New York Times obituary of Fred C. Trump’s death states The Donald’s father made the claim for a similar reason.

“Frederick Christ (pronounced Krist) Trump was born in New York City in 1905,” reads the obituary. “From World War II until the 1980’s, Mr. Trump would tell friends and acquaintances that he was of Swedish origin, although both his parents were born in Germany.”

Well, the Trumps certainly hadn’t orta have done that.  But we all know why there will be no outcry over the Trumps, as opposed to the scorn that’s been heaped on Elizabeth Warren.

And it’s not so much that there’s still a sizable number of people who understand obscuring your national or ethnic origins in order to avoid social difficulty.

No, it’s because there’s no preferential treatment to be obtained, from institutions or governments, by virtue of being Swedish.  In terms of hiring preferences and immunity from the rigors of professional standards — that is, in being unable to lay claim to these benefits — a Swede in the U.S. might as well be a German.  And both might as well be English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch, French, Belgian, etc.

Elizabeth Warren is derided not because she appears to have made an inaccurate claim about her ancestry — a lot of people do that, for reasons worthy and unworthy — but because her particular inaccurate claim was so perfectly designed and timed to give her preference points for an appointment at Harvard.

People can tell the difference.  Get back to us, Mr. Kaczynski, if Donald Trump suddenly starts claiming to have a family tradition of being descended from a Mayan tax collector.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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