An old and venerable joke goes:
Lone Ranger: “Tonto! There are Indians everywhere. We’re surrounded! What should we do?”
Tonto: “What you mean ‘we’ paleface?”
I have, upon occasion, mentioned Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and not in a favorable light. As most doubtless know, she has, for years, traded on a claim to be Indian, despite being whiter than Ivory Soap. “Fauxcohontas” is but one of the names coined because of her stubborn clinging to an obvious lie. “But I have high cheekbones,” she cries. President Trump, delighted at the possibility of facing her in the 2020 election, calls her ‘Pocohontas,” and has finally gotten to her, as Breitbart reports:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) launched a bizarre Twitter rant late Monday afternoon following the disastrous rollout of DNA results that further debunked her decades-long claim to American Indian ancestry.
Warren’s thread of 20-plus (and counting) tweets began at about 5:30 p.m. ET, where she attempted to both insult President Trump and defend herself.
In her first tweet, and without any evidence, Warren made the outlandish claim that Trump ‘makes creepy physical threats about me.’ The truth is that all Trump has ever done is ridicule her false claims about being Cherokee.
The Boston Herald, a stanch defender of Warren, trumpeted her claims, and ended up making multiple corrections:
President Trump was not impressed:
Is President Trump right, or is he a racist, as Warren hysterically claims:
Buried in the Boston Globe story is this bombshell: ‘To make up for the dearth of Native American DNA, Bustamante [The Stanford Scientist that analyzed Warren’s DNA] used samples from Mexico, Peru, and Colombia to stand in for Native American.’ So all the test proved is that Warren might be 1/64 to 1/1024 Mexican, Peruvian, or Colombian — which again makes her no different than the average white American.
Warren’s rambling Twitter thread continued with a link to the Boston Globe, a far-left outlet desperate to protect Warren from this Cherokee controversy. The Globe article argues that Warren’s false claim of Indian ancestry had nothing to do with her success in academia.
Between 1987 and 1995, Warren identified herself as ‘Native American’ while she was teaching law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Harvard. The latter used Warren’s false Cherokee identity to brag about the school’s racial diversity.
Warren is obviously looking for a way to regain her footing after the disastrous rollout of her DNA test, which not only proved she has no claim whatsoever to any sort of Indian ancestry, but that she lacks the judgment and poise to run for president.
A variety of high-ranking Democrats are so upset with Warren’s timing—it’s so close to the Mid-term elections–they’re making their complaints public. And the Cherokee Nation, Warren’s claimed tribe, is equally less than impressed:
A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,’ Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr. said. ‘Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.
Gee, Warren sounds kind of–racist.
According to Warren’s own DNA test, she has, at best, 1/64th Native American ancestry, but it could also be as low as 1/1,024. Percentage-wise, she can claim somewhere between 0.1 percent to 1.56 percent Native lineage.
The minimum requirement to claim membership in most Native American tribes ranges from 1/8 (12.5 percent) to 1/2 (50 percent). A few tribes have a minimum requirement of 1/16 (six percent).
That’s not exactly conclusive science…
However, [Boston Globe reporter Annie] Linsky admits, Warren changed her ethnicity from ‘white’ to ‘Native American’ both at University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she taught from 1987 to 1995, and at Harvard Law School, where she had tenure starting in 1995.
Assuming this DNA test is accurate, Warren can still make no claim to membership in a Cherokee tribe. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has a minimum threshold of 1/16 ‘blood quantum,’ and the United Keetowah Band’s threshold is 1/4 blood quantum. The Cherokee Nationdoes not have any minimum threshold for ancestry, but for membership, it does require that an individual ‘provide documents that connect you to a direct ancestor listed on one of the Dawes Final Rolls of Citizens of the Cherokee Nation.’ The Dawes Rolls do not include any of Warren’s ancestors.
I’ll explain more about tribal membership issues shortly.
Much of Warren’s claim to American Indian heritage was debunked in 2014 when official documents, including a marriage certificate, appeared to prove that Warren’s story about her parents being forced to elope due to her mother’s Indian heritage was not true.
In 2012, Warren told the Boston Globe, ‘My father’s family so objected to my mother’s Native American heritage that my mother told me they had to elope.’ But there appears to be a marriage certificate and contemporaneous press accounts of Warren’s parents having a Methodist wedding in 1932 — which would mean there was no elopement.
This would also suggest Warren’s claim about what her mother told her is likewise false.
Warren has also claimed her great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, was part American Indian. The Boston Globe, however, reports that Smith ‘identified as white in historical documents.’
As previously noted, Warren’s claim is based not on American Indian DNA, but that of Mexicans, Peruvians and Columbians. Scott Johnson at Powerline adds context:
It seems to me that Warren’s target audience for this production is the Democratic Party’s media adjunct. There her confidence in the stupidity of her audience is fully warrented (misspelling intended).
James Freeman provides useful context to Warren’s test results. His columnis worthwhile in its entirety. Freeman turns to ‘our shared heritage’ as suggested by Carl Zimmer’s account of the biggest genetic profile of the United States to date. Freeman quotes Zimmer:
The researchers found that European-Americans had genomes that were on average 98.6 percent European, .19 percent African, and .18 Native American.
These broad estimates masked wide variation among individuals. Based on their sample, the researchers estimated that over six million European-Americans have some African ancestry. As many as five million have genomes that are at least 1 percent Native American in origin.
Freeman comments: ‘At least according to the report from Professor Bustamante, it’s possible that Sen. Warren has far less than one percent Native American ancestry, and that her genetic makeup is perhaps similar to that of the average white person in the U.S.
Sen. Orrin Hatch had a bit of well-deserved fun with Warren:
I worked for many years as a police officer in a town with a large American Indian population, primarily Lakota Sioux. Early on, I tried calling them ”Native Americans,” thinking myself sensitive. To a man and woman, they asked “Why you callin’ me that?” I asked what they preferred to be called, and they replied: “I’m an Indian!” And so they were. None of them looked like Elizabeth Warren. No one had any trouble telling who had genuinely Indian blood, and they had no time for fake Indians.
In a case like this, one should believe the Indians, who are quite clearly saying: “what you mean ‘we’ paleface?”