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Elizabeth Warren and her Indian Ancestry
Democratic Candidate for Senate, Massachusetts

September,  2012

Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren and beyond: If race doesn’t mean anything, why does it mean so much?  9/27/2012 WaPo: "So, while serious political candidates sort out what a great advantage it is to be a racial minority in 2012 America, other Americans are fighting to make sure that members of minority groups can fully realize their right to vote."

Scott Brown’s campaign calls staffers’ tomahawk chops ‘unacceptable;’ Cherokee Nation leader denounces ‘offensive and racist’ behavior  9/26/2012 Boston Globe: "“The conduct of these individuals goes far beyond what is appropriate and proper in political discourse,” Bill John Baker, principal chief of Cherokee Nation, said in a statement. “The use of stereotypical ‘war whoop chants’ and ‘tomahawk chops’ are offensive and downright racist. It is those types of actions that perpetuate negative stereotypes and continue to minimize and degrade all native peoples.” "

Elizabeth Warren and Cherokee heritage: what is known about allegations  9/26/2012 CSM 

Elizabeth Warren and the Politics of Racial Passing  9/26/2012 Huff Post Black Voices: "But, if we're willing to get past the noise and listen to Warren, we may also find some answers. Answers to questions like: What are you? Who is most qualified to respond? What evidence can be considered? Warren's identity also provides a new answer to the old question about the definition of race. Is race real? Is it biological? Is it sociological? For Warren the answer is complicated. Race is clearly invisible -- a fact of life that may also be, to some degree, a fiction."

Scott Brown Supporters Mock Elizabeth Warren With Tomahawk Chop, War Cries  9/25/2012 Huff Post: "In the video, posted to YouTube by the BlueMassGroup2012 account, Brown supporters confront Warren backers at a rally near Eire Pub in Boston on Saturday, according to the video's caption. The Brown supporters laugh as they mimic Native American war cries and do the tomahawk chop in the face of Warren's crowd."

Scott Brown Staffers Mock Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Native Identity’ With ‘Tomahawk Chops’ on Video  9/25/2012 Indian Country: "The ugly side of this issue – racist imagery – has been with the campaign for months, just under the surface. This spring headlines included “Sitting Bull***” to “Pinocchio-hontas.” The Native American Journalists Association issued a statement that said: “NAJA is disappointed that coverage of U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren’s claimed Native heritage has resulted in a series of disrespectful headlines and puns that show disregard for Native Americans and our history.”"

Scott Brown channels Jesse Helms  9/25/2012 Salon: "Asked about it by reporters, Brown wouldn’t apologize for his boyos: “The apologies that need to be made and the offensiveness here is the fact that professor Warren took advantage of a claim, to be somebody — a Native American — and using that for an advantage, a tactical advantage.” Clearly Brown is sticking to his Jesse Helms strategy, updated for the 21st century."

Does This Man Pass the Scott Brown Test?  9/25/2012 TPM: "It’s not generally known that recently-murdered Amb. Chris Stevens was a full, registered Chinook. A great many Chinooks here in the NW can “pass” as white. You can verify this by checking w/ the Chinook Tribe."

Really, Scott Brown?  9/25/2012 TPM: "“As you know, I think what you’re referring to is the fact that professor Warren claimed she was a Native American, a person of color — And as you can see, she’s not.” Now that sounds like a great gotcha line. Unless, you know really anything about the modern Cherokee Nation. In colloquial terms at least, most Cherokees, certainly many, “look white.”"

Sen. Scott Brown staffers caught on video chanting Indian war whoops, making tomahawk chops  9/25/2012 WCVB: "Brown's Deputy Chief of Staff Greg Casey and Constituent Service Counsel Jack Richard, State Director Jerry McDer, special assistant Jennifer Franks and GOP operative Brad Garrett are pictured in the video, NewsCenter 5's Janet Wu confirmed."

Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Cherokee Heritage and Me…  9/22/2012 Brad Blog: "Native American communities are grappling with many deep, serious issues today. As a Senator, Scott Brown could have focused some of his time and attention on Capitol Hill working to assist these communities. Instead, he has chosen to opportunistically denigrate Native American heritage in a misguided attempt to score cheap political points. "

Democratic National Convention 2012: Blackface Runs Red  9/22/2012 Indian Country 

Scott Brown Rips Elizabeth Warren Over Native American Status  9/20/2012 ABC: [It does not get more racist:] "Elizabeth Warren said she was a Native American, a person of color," Brown said, gesturing toward Warren. "As you can see, she's not."

John McCain: Elizabeth Warren’s indian claims ’bizarre’  9/18/2012 Boston Herald: "“I’m entertained. I just think it’s bizarre,” McCain said of Warren’s purported Cherokee and Delaware tribal roots. “I know lots and lots of Native Americans, they have a very huge presence in my state and I’ve yet to meet one of them who claims to be related to Elizabeth Warren.”"

Boston Globe unintentionally proves Elizabeth Warren’s ethnic fraud  9/16/2012 Legal Insurrection: [What these racists don't seem to get is that, unlike the New England blue bloods who have ample documentation for their ancestry, most people of color do not.]

Elizabeth Warren’s family has mixed memories about heritage  9/15/2012 Boston Globe: "Warren’s extended family has mixed opinions on the Native American question. The stories shared by Mapes, as well as Warren’s brothers and a number of her cousins, echo Warren’s assertion. But other cousins, some of whom also do not know Warren, say they know nothing of Native American blood in the family. According to one family biography, on file at the California State University at Fullerton, one of Warren’s relatives once shot at an Indian. Months after the political flare-up, Warren and some of her family members remain unwilling to provide details on the subject. In a lengthy interview, Warren referred to stories about her roots that she says were frequently told at family gatherings in her native Oklahoma, but declined to share virtually any of them. “I knew it was part of our family,” Warren said. “It was part of what we talked about. . . . It was just part of who we were.”"

Indian delegates seek sit-down with Elizabeth Warren  9/4/2012 Boston Herald: "Harlyn Geronimo, the great-grandson of the legendary Apache warrior, said he didn’t know the details of Warren’s claims but wanted to make sure she didn’t try to “take advantage” of her Cherokee claims. Warren has offered no proof of her ancestry but says she is relying on “stories” relayed to her by her family. “I wouldn’t vote for anybody that is being dishonest, and it’s unfair to our people,” he said."

July,  2012

More Questions About Warren’s Native American Heritage Claims  7/3/2012 CBS: :I never sought nor gained personal benefit in school or job applications based on my heritage.All of the people involved in recruiting and hiring me for my teaching jobs including the person who headed my recruitment for Harvard Law – Charles Fried, a Republican who served as solicitor general and who supported Scott Brown for Senate in 2010 – have all said that they were not even aware of my Native American heritage when they recruited me and that it played no role in my hiring."

New document questions Elizabeth Warren's Native American ancestry  7/2/2012 Fox: [Continues the curious media fixation on documenting the undocumentable.]

June,  2012

Activists Seek to Reignite Debate Over Elizabeth Warren’s Ancestry  6/21/2012 ABC 

Liz Warren camp says Cherokee activists tied to senator  6/20/2012 Boston Herald: “The out-of-state group in question is being promoted and supported by a right-wing extremist who is on the record supporting and contributing money to Scott Brown,” said Warren spokeswoman Alethea Harney. “It is past time we moved on to the important issues facing middle-class families in Massachusetts — even if Scott Brown won’t.”

Cherokee women travel to Boston to confront Elizabeth Warren  6/19/2012 Boston Globe: "Three Cherokee women who traveled to Boston this week to confront US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren over her claims to Native American ancestry say that her campaign has not returned their calls."

Warren Rebuts Native American Controversy  6/14/2012 TPM: "Elizabeth Warren expertly swatted away questions about her Native American heritage Thursday, showing that she has a good handle on how to deal with the controversy that her Republican opponent continues to attack her with. While Republicans questioned Warren’s family heritage over the last month and a half, some Democrats expressed concern that Warren’s handling of the situation showed how green she was. In an appearance on “Morning Joe,” however, Warren argued that if she didn’t have a perfectly slick response, it’s because she’s not a career politician."

We Should Denounce the Conduct of Harvard and Elizabeth Warren  6/11/2012 Indian Country: "As an enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, 1981 alumna of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, veteran scholastic administrator, and lifelong Democrat, I am profoundly disturbed by the emergence of recent details concerning Harvard and one of its law school’s senior faculty members, Massachusetts senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. Over the course of the past month, facts have come to attention that leave little doubt that the HLS bureaucracy and Professor Warren perpetrated nothing less than ethnic fraud. The development of this saga has elicited a disappointing response from all parties involved and reflects not just a single offense of intellectual dishonesty but, rather, a broader and systemic racial masquerade rooted in egregious insensitivity. Media commentary from both polarities has failed to articulate the troubling implications involved in the deceit in which Harvard Law and one of its most prominent contemporary staffers have engaged for over a decade. I urge fellow Native alumni of Harvard, as well as all American Indians presently associated with any of the University’s schools, to denounce the conduct of HLS and Professor Warren."

Elizabeth Warren's Native American critics say they will continue fight despite candidate's latest statements  6/11/2012 Mass Live: "Ahead of the convention, the Native American controversy peaked with a group of Cherokees launching a website targeting Warren's heritage claims and vowing to protest in Springfield. The protest ended up being small, including only three people. But one of the self-identified Cherokee protesters said the Harvard Law School professor still has an obligation to apologize to Native Americans and admit she made a mistake."

Elizabeth Warren and the Ins and Outs of Indian Country  6/9/2012 Indian Country: "Fluent speaking 87-year-old Chukchansi Indian Ruby Cordero is out (i.e. disenrolled), while the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma enrolls someone who is 1/4,096 and they are in."

Elizabeth Warren and the Ins and Outs of Indian Country  6/9/2012 Indian Country: "Leahy doesn’t stop there. He says “it is more likely that O.C. Sarah Smith had no Cherokee heritage. Census records that listed O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford (her married name) as a resident of Tennessee in 1830, 1840, and 1860 classify her as white, not Indian.” That’s not surprising though, considering that a reference to Indian on the Census form didn’t start until 1880. The 1850 Census gave options for white, black or mulatto. “The U.S. Census records starting with 1880 included a reference to Indians, but may or may not be accurate. Earlier records sometimes regard Indians or mixed bloods as MU (mulatto) and again are not necessarily accurate,” said Myra Vanderpool Gormley, a certified genealogist specializing in Cherokee and Native American history. “There are various Indian rolls from about 1885 that identify Indians by tribe and name. Most of them pertain to Indians living on reservations and not in the general population."

Poll Shows Independents Care About Warren’s Native Fiasco  6/5/2012 Indian Country: "According to a University of New Hampshire poll conducted for The Boston Globe, the Warren controversy could be most damaging for her among independent voters—a bloc she needs to do well with to defeat Republican incumbent Scott Brown. In the poll, 43 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of independents who said they plan to vote for Brown indicated that the controversy has made them less likely to vote for Warren."

Ancestry isn't the issue in Warren race  6/4/2012 Concord Monitor: "Race in America is becoming, as inter-marriage statistics show, less and less important to young people. That's a good thing. Since she made no attempt to benefit from at times identifying herself as Native American, Massachusetts voters apparently aren't considering it a factor in her bid for the Senate and it shouldn't be. "

Elizabeth Warren: Cherokee Protest at Democratic Convention is a Waste of Time  6/3/2012 PolicyMic 

What the Elizabeth Warren Cherokee campaign is really all about  6/3/2012 South Coast Today: "Day after day the Brown campaign and the state's largest tabloid have pounded Elizabeth Warren to 'fess up about the truth of her half-breedness.' They want to know whether Warren is a true half-breed or just a 1/32nd half breed. And they want to know whether Warren can prove that 1/32nd half-breedness. And they want to know whether Warren used that 1/32nd half-breedness to get her jobs as a law professor at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. It's all very serious. Much more serious than debating the merits of Warren's proposal's to reform Wall Street investment banks. Much more serious than debating the huge amount of campaign money Scott Brown has taken from those banks. And certainly much more serious than talking about whether the American economy has become constitutionally incapable of producing large numbers of jobs. Why, the Warren Cherokee scandal is even more important than the fact that Sen. Brown managed to spend nearly 30 years in the National Guard before getting assigned to a war zone."

Scott Brown Campaign: Elizabeth Warren Should Reach Out to Natives  6/1/2012 Indian Country: "The campaign of U.S. Senator Scott Brown, Republican of Massachusetts, has done something that Elizabeth Warren, his main Democratic challenger for his seat in Congress, has failed to do for the past month as a major controversy has swirled over her self-reported Cherokee ancestry: it responded to inquiries from the American Indian press."

Native Americans threaten protest against Elizabeth Warren  6/1/2012 WCVB: "On Saturday, they will protest at the Democratic state convention in Springfield, according to the Boston Herald."

May,  2012

Warren says she told schools of heritage  5/31/2012 Boston Globe: "Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren acknowledged for the first time late Wednesday night that she told Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania that she was Native American, but she continued to insist that race played no role in her recruitment. “At some point after I was hired by them, I … provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard,’’ she said in a statement issued by her campaign. “My Native American heritage is part of who I am, I’m proud of it and I have been open about it.’’

To Explain Our Purpose, Goals and Who We Are  5/31/2012 Cherokees Demand Truth from Elizabeth Warren: Stresses the importanmce of federal recognition of tribal identity.

Elizabeth Warren Avoids American Indian Media  5/31/2012 Indian Country 

Anger at Elizabeth Warren spreads to non-Cherokee American Indians  5/31/2012 Legal Insurrection 

Cherokees launch website targeting Elizabeth Warren over Native American heritage claims  5/30/2012 Mass Live: "The latest wave in the ocean of controversy over Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's heritage claims involves a group of Cherokees who have launched a website and Facebook group calling the Harvard Law School professor's claims of Native American lineage "harmful and offensive."

Cherokee freedmen controversy  5/29/2012 Wikipedia: "The Cherokee Freedmen Controversy is an ongoing political and tribal dispute between the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen regarding tribal citizenship. During the American Civil War, the Cherokee who supported the Union abolished the practice of African slavery by act of the Cherokee National Council in 1863. The Cherokee Freedmen became citizens of the Cherokee Nation in accordance with a treaty made with the United States government a year after the Civil War ended. In the early 1980s, the Cherokee Nation administration amended citizenship rules to require direct descent from an ancestor listed in the "Cherokee By Blood" section of the Dawes Rolls. The change stripped descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen of citizenship and voting rights unless they satisfied this new criterion."

Elizabeth Warren's cheekbones  5/27/2012 LA Times: "As for me, I see the Warren fracas as a paradigm of the pitfalls inherent in defining people by race. That's because by the standards that Warren has invoked — family lore, high cheekbones — I'm an Indian too. I'm half-Latino, with a mother born in Lima, Peru. Nearly all Latin Americans have at least a little — often a lot — of Native American blood. Even though I'm even fairer of complexion than Warren (thanks to my father's Irish-Scottish lineage), I've got a brunet sister and far darker-skinned uncles, aunts and cousins, living and dead. I can remember sitting at the dining-room table years ago with my mother and some of her relatives. They were recalling a Spanish proverb observing that all Spaniards, especially those from Andalusia, whence my maternal great-grandfather emigrated, are cuarto moro, cuarto judío — that is, one-fourth Moorish and one-fourth Jewish. Someone joked, "And with Latinos, it's cuarto indio." That's the family lore. As for high cheekbones, in profile I look like Chief Pontiac on the old GM hood ornament."

Michael Tomasky on the Media’s Foolish Elizabeth Warren Witch Hunt  5/26/2012 Daily Beast 

What's an American Indian? Warren case stirs query  5/25/2012 AP: "According to census figures provided by the BIA, an estimated 4.5 million people identify themselves as American Indians or Alaska Natives, including those who say they are more than one race. But in a 2005 report, the most recent available, the BIA counted just 2 million enrolled tribal members -- which means that fewer than half of all people claiming Indian heritage are recognized by a tribe."

Liz Warren blasts Scott Brown’s Harvard request  5/25/2012 Boston Herald: “Over the past month Elizabeth has answered countless questions openly while the people who recruited her have made it clear it was because of her extraordinary skill as a teacher and a groundbreaking scholar. “She is proud of her family and her heritage, and it is something that her family talked about often when she was growing up. The fact that Elizabeth noted her heritage in a professional publication has been made public and addressed by Elizabeth on multiple occasions. It’s time to focus on the important issues facing Massachusetts. Republican Senator Scott Brown is trying to distract people from his record voting for Wall Street, big oil and big increases in student loans. There are real issues middle class families are dealing with every day and that’s where Elizabeth is focused,” the statement from press secretary Alethea Harney states."

Brown calls on Harvard to 'correct record' on Elizabeth Warren's heritage  5/25/2012 CSM 

Brown: Harvard may have violated fed guidelines  5/25/2012 NECN: "For the second time in recent weeks, Brown personally weighed in on the controversy surrounding Warren’s Native American ancestry. "It comes down to just telling the truth," said Brown. Elizabeth Warren has said she is part Cherokee. In the 1980s and 90s, she listed herself as a minority in a legal directory, often used to make diversity friendly hires, according to the Boston Globe. And over the years, Harvard has described her as both a Native American and a minority professor."

Poll: Elizabeth Warren unscathed by Cherokee flap  5/23/2012 Politico: "The survey shows the Massachusetts Democrat trailing GOP Sen. Scott Brown by a single percentage point, with Brown netting 48 percent to Warren’s 47 percent. The result marks a measurable shift toward Warren since the last Suffolk poll in February, which had Brown up 9 points, 49 percent to 40 percent."

Is Elizabeth Warren Native American or What?  5/20/2012 Atlantic: "The best argument she's got in her defense is that, based on the public evidence so far, she doesn't appear to have used her claim of Native American ancestry to gain access to anything much more significant than a cookbook; in 1984 she contributed five recipes to the Pow Wow Chow cookbook published by the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee, signing the items, "Elizabeth Warren -- Cherokee." Warren, who graduated from the University of Houston in 1970 and got her law degree from Rutgers University in 1976, did not seek to take advantage of affirmative action policies during her education, according documents obtained by the Associated Press and The Boston Globe. On the application to Rutgers Law School she was asked, "Are you interested in applying for admission under the Program for Minority Group Students?'' "No," she replied. While a teacher at the University of Texas, she listed herself as "white." But between 1986 and 1995, she listed herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Faculty; the University of Pennsylvania in a 2005 "minority equity report" also listed her as one of the minority professors who had taught at its law school. The head of the committee that brought Warren to Harvard Law School said talk of Native American ties was not a factor in recruiting her to the prestigious institution. Reported the Boston Herald in April in its first story on Warren's ancestry claim: "Harvard Law professor Charles Fried, a former U.S. Solicitor General who served under Ronald Reagan, sat on the appointing committee that recommended Warren for hire in 1995. He said he didn't recall her Native American heritage ever coming up during the hiring process. "'It simply played no role in the appointments process. It was not mentioned and I didn't mention it to the faculty,' he said."

Native American professorship endowed: Law School establishes Oneida Indian Nation Chair  5/20/2012 Harvard University Gazette: Published 1/23/03. The Chair has yet to be filled.

Democratic opponent criticizes Elizabeth Warren’s response on Native American issue  5/18/2012 Boston Globe: “Come on, you have to look like a person of color,” she said. “You actually have to be a person of color.”

Elizabeth Warren and the Politics of Being Indian  5/14/2012 Critical Mass Progress: "As with most cases of Indians in the news, the loudest voices in this controversy have been patently misguided and often racist. To begin with, anyone who still believes blood quantum is a true measure of identity is living in the 19th century. Blood quantum, the measure by which the government determines one’s degree of Indian ancestry, has got to be one of the most plainly hypocritical logics the American government has ever used to disenfranchise people. At the same time America was using the “one drop” rule to categorize as many people with African ancestry as slaves as possible, they were using a reverse “one drop” rule on Indians in order to categorize them as white in the hopes this would loosen ties to the communally held land settlers desperately wanted."

The Racist Assault on Elizabeth Warren  5/7/2012 Care 2: "Many Native Americans are angry at the GOP assault on Elizabeth Warren for, Republicans claim, misusing her ancestry to advance her career."

Elizabeth Warren Finally Teaches a Lesson on Native Identity  5/7/2012 Indian Country: "To turn things around, Good Fox says Warren could initiate a meaningful dialogue with the Cherokee Nation. “There are plenty of politically savvy Cherokee individuals who could help her out with her Senate campaign,” she says. “Her good-faith efforts would help her campaign, and certainly would assist her if she is elected. And other politicians and candidates ought to take note of this controversy so they can learn lessons from it, too."

"Elizabeth Warren says she's Native American. So she is.  5/4/2012 WaPo: "An Indian identity is something someone claims for oneself; it is a matter of choice. It is not legally defined and entails no legal benefits. Being an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe, however, is a legal status that has nothing to do with identity and everything to do with blood quantum. Members must meet requirements set by the tribe in consultation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. (Elizabeth Warren is not enrolled in a tribe and doesn’t seem to have sought such status. She doesn’t claim an Indian identity, just Indian ancestry.) Indians who are not enrolled in a tribe aren’t eligible for the aforementioned programs and benefits, including casino profits, education assistance, hunting privileges and housing."

Elizabeth Warren says she’s Native American. So she is.  5/4/2012 WaPo: "From the mid-19th century, the beginning of the reservation period, up through the early 20th century, regardless of how people identified themselves, being classified by the U.S. government as an American Indian automatically curtailed one’s rights. These included the right to travel, practice religion, and pursue liberty and happiness — by happiness I mean living in step with Indian cultures. This official and de facto persecution persisted through the 1940s, to the extent that my grandfather, who couldn’t have been mistaken for anything other than Indian, put down “white” on his enlistment forms when he volunteered for the Army in 1943. Being white, on paper at least, meant he would have more opportunities."

April,  2012

Genealogist says Warren may be able to claim Cherokee heritage; Brown and Warren campaigns continue to trade barbs  4/30/2012 Boston Globe: "A record unearthed Monday shows that Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has a great-great-great grandmother listed in an 1894 document as a Cherokee, said a genealogist at the New England Historic and Genealogy Society. The shred of evidence could validate her claim that she has Native American ancestry, making her 1/32 American Indian, but may not put an end to the questions swirling around the subject."

August,  2011

'This is 21st Century racism and apartheid': Cherokee Indian tribe expels all slave descendants  8/25/2011 Daily Mail: "The nation's second-largest Indian tribe formally booted from membership thousands of descendants of black slaves who were brought to Oklahoma more than 170 years ago by Native American owners. The Cherokee nation voted after the Civil War to admit the slave descendants to the tribe. But on Monday, the tribe's Supreme Court ruled that a 2007 tribal decision to kick the so-called 'Freedmen' out of the tribe could be upheld."

March,  2007

Cherokees accused of racist plot as descendants of black slaves are cast out  3/5/2007 CARD 

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