Sen. Elizabeth Warren Surrenders: No Need To Use DNA To Prove I’m Not A Native American

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Elizabeth Warren has been under fire for years for for her shuck and jive claim that she was an Indian, and has passed on the only way to prove it, DNA testing, saying she did not want to mess up her folklore belief that she has had since childhood.

In other-words, if she takes the test, it would undermine many on the beliefs that she has held from childhood as to who she is and where she comes from, and truth is irrelevant,

“That’s the story that my brothers and I all learned from our mom and our dad, from our grandparents,” Warren said. “It’s a part of me and nobody’s going to take that part of me away.”

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At least she concedes that it most likely is not true, and I can understand not wanting to obliterate the folklore that is in her mind.

“My mother and daddy were born and raised in Oklahoma,” Warren said. “My daddy first saw my mother when they were both teenagers. He fell in love with this tall, quiet girl who played the piano. Head over heels. But his family was bitterly opposed to their relationship because she was part Native American. They eventually eloped.”

The problem comes in that her folklore was used over the years to steal from others. Warren took benefits that belonged to others, essentially taking those benefits that someone else would have gotten. She has never apologized for that. How many times her claim has actually effected someone, no one knows. But to believe it never has would be insane.

Warren relied on family lore rather than official tribal documentation of Native American heritage in more than one instance, yet she still denies that ever happened. The problem is that there is documentation!

Elizabeth Warren is not a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Elizabeth Warren is not enrolled in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

And Elizabeth Warren is not one of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee.

Nor could she become one, even if she wanted to.

Warren says she grew up understanding that forebears in her mother’s family had Cherokee and Delaware blood. But examinations by genealogists of documents including birth, marriage, and death records have shown no conclusive proof of Native American ancestry.

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Warren’s central offense dates back to the mid 1980s.

She formally notified law school administrators that her family tree includes Native Americans. Warren said she grew up with family stories about both grandparents on her mother’s side having some Cherokee or Delaware blood.

She listed herself as a minority in a legal directory published by the Association of American Law Schools from 1986 to 1995.

She was also listed as a Native American in federal forms filed by the law schools at Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania where she worked.

And in 1996, as Harvard Law School was being criticized for lacking diversity, a spokesman for the law school told the Harvard Crimson that Warren was Native American.

There is no dispute that Warren formally notified officials at the University of Pennsylvania and then Harvard claiming Native American heritage. The Association of American Law Schools asks about minority status and prints a list.

Given the association’s process of sending the form to new faculty, it is possible that Warren filled out that form three times. Once in 1986 when she was at the University of Texas. In 1987 when she moved to the University of Pennsylvania. A third time when she spent a year as visiting faculty at Harvard in 1992. In 1995, when she moved to Harvard, she no longer appears in the minority teacher list.

What response does Warren give instead of an apology?

Well, she won her senate seat so the people decided the issue:

“These issues were extensively litigated in 2012 and I think the people of Massachusetts made their decision,” she said.

Since in the senate, Warren has not led any major legislative efforts for the Native American tribes.

Warren did push for a provision in an education bill that would require reporting on student performance by ethnicity. The bill included Native American students. But the the provision also tracks other minorities and isn’t specific to American Indians.

She also supported a provision in the 2013 re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. It let tribal law enforcement prosecute non-natives accused of abusing American Indian women on reservations.

But that, again was not specific.

Whether you believe Sen. Warren leveraged her heritage to advance her career. It has become a point of contention in politics that doesn’t do her any favors to keep bringing it up. It would be better if she apologized for ever claiming Native American heritage. Just admit that she was told as a child that her great-great-great-grandmother was part Cherokee. Admitting when you’re wrong is often the best way out of a situation like this.

 

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