Another Pretendian

It pays to be a minority, especially a Native American. That is the only possible explanation why so many people, especially academics, adopt fake Indian identities. There is even a word for it: Pretendian. And it seems as though the more militant the academic, the more likely he actually isn’t Native at all.

One more case in point: University of Kansas professor Kent Blansett. The Dakota Scout reports:

University of Kansas history professor Kent Blansett is the scheduled keynote speaker at the Northern Great Plains History Conference in September. The content of his speech centers on the political history of the 1973 Wounded Knee occupation. Blansett’s academic biography asserts he is a descendant of five Native American tribes: the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Shawnee and Potawatomi.

But Blansett has been the subject of a website that exposes academics whose claims of Native ancestry aren’t supported by genealogical records. The latest post on featuring Blansett came in June.
In Blansett’s case, researchers built out a family tree that included more than 2,000 descendants, [Jacqueline Keeler, a Native American activist] said. It went as far back as the 1600s, with main ancestors French and an English ancestor born in Barbados who was employed in the slave trade.

“This is just a white family,” Keeler said.

Does the University of Kansas care? Apparently not:

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, a spokeswoman for the University of Kansas, said the issue did not involve the university.

“This is not a university matter — i.e. an employee’s self-identified ancestry has nothing to do with their employment,” she said in an email to The Dakota Scout.

But Blansett is the university’s Langston Hughes Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies and US History. I may be off base here, but Hughes was a famous black writer who lived for a time in Kansas. One speculates that the university intends for the Langston Hughes Associate Professor, teaching Indigenous Studies, to be a minority.

This, though, is my favorite part of the story:

Blansett is author of the book “A Journey to Freedom: Richard Oakes, Alcatraz, and the Red Power Movement.” In the book’s forward, Blansett dedicated it to his father, Jewell.

“Despite coming of age in the Jim Crow south, my dad persevered against overwhelming obstacles as an Indigenous man. In ways that I will never fully know or understand, he developed a unique outlook on life during his years living in the southern Ozarks,” Blansett wrote.

An obituary for Jewell Blansett, who died in 2014, says that he served as an executive vice president of a bank in Camdenton, Missouri until his retirement in 2001.

You can’t make this stuff up. I am hopeful that the entire superstructure of identity politics and woke nonsense will crumble under the weight of ceaseless ridicule to which it is now being subjected.

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