Today, after this business came out with Senator Warren and her registration with the Texas bar association years ago as an American Indian.....I sat pondered over this.
Imagine yourself standing there and needing some lawyer, and you walk into this private office area, and here are a couple of American Indian paintings, a picture of the Indian warrior gal with some chief, and a stamped certificate noting her Indian heritage. For most folks (at least from Alabama), this would have triggered you (the customer) to ask about this heritage.
Course, the lawyer gal would have told you some 3-line story about grandma such-and-such who was fifty-percent Cherokee, and how you were proud of the heritage. But then the Alabama in you....would gone on to ask how Grandma was 50-percent Cherokee. The 3-line piece simply wouldn't worked. You'd basically be asked for the two-page story, which Warren would not have prepared herself for that chat.
The problem here is that so many Americans are just plain gullible. You could make up some story that your Uncle 'Joe' ran off and joined the circus in the 1950s, and folks would believe it. You could make up a story that your dad was a Mennonite who escaped the family farm in the 1960s, and fought in Vietnam. You could make up a story about yourself, in that you took a month off in 1989....went to Alaska, and shot two grizzly bears. People are simply gullible enough to believe these stories.
In fact, the further you can take this....like in some university or US government job.....the more dramatic that the story can be. There are probably 350,000 guys walking around the US today and claiming that they earned a Medal of Honor (since the Revolutionary War, there's only been 3,522 people awarded the Medal).
You can go over to a major American public university and ask them to state how many American Indians are attending, and find out that at least 300 students from the University of Alabama.....are American Indians. Factual? It's doubtful.
But that's the thing about this whole business.....people are gullible enough to believe just about anything you make you make up. You could take two weeks of leave from the office....disappear totally, and show up in two weeks with bandages and wounds on yourself.....telling folks that you went on some safari to South Africa and got attacked by lions. Folks would be all driven to believe the story and ask you to relate the lion attack story.
There's a problem here, but we seem to really enjoy being entertained.