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By Careen Shannon

What to do when people you respect denounce a new book or movie? Do you read the book or see the movie to judge for yourself, but thereby line the pockets of someone whose work or behavior might be objectionable? Or do you join the boycott in solidarity with your ideological comrades, but perhaps miss the chance to appreciate a work of some value? And how can you either laud or condemn a book without reading it?

This was the dilemma I faced when Jeanine Cummins’ American Dirt was released earlier this year amid much fanfare, both…


The focus on Elizabeth Warren’s Cherokee heritage — or lack thereof — is a red herring, meant to distract voters from the important issues. Don’t get distracted!

Like Senator Elizabeth Warren, I grew up hearing family stories about a Cherokee ancestor — stories I happily shared with peers when I was a child. Later genetic testing indicated I may be approximately two percent Native American. Does this make me a Cherokee? No. Does it make me a liar? Also no. The same is true of Senator Warren.

My mother’s mother, Flora Rogers, was born in the Texas Panhandle in 1904…

Careen Shannon

Careen Shannon is a lawyer and writer living in Brooklyn, New York.

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