By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) - Writer Mark Trahant guessed the situation was a first: campaign jabs that centered on a candidate's claim of Native American roots.
He was referring to the Senate race in Massachusetts that pits Harvard University law professor Elizabeth Warren against Republican Sen. Scott Brown.
There are many issues of contention in this hotly contested race, but one of them has become Warren's claim to Native American ancestry. After Brown accused her of taking advantage of minority status, Warren fired back in an ad that came out Monday.
"As a kid, I never asked my mom for documentation when she talked about our Native American heritage," Warren says in the spot. "What kid would? But I knew my father's family didn't like that she was part Cherokee and part Delaware, so they had to elope.
"Let me be clear: I never asked for or never got any benefit because of my heritage," she continues, addressing the central concern that Brown has brought up on the campaign trail and at the candidates' first debate last week. "The people who hired me have all said they didn't even know about it."
It's a bit more complicated, said Trahant, a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
"The usual standard is citizenship, being a member of a tribe. Elizabeth Warren does not meet that test," he said.
Who's Native American? It's complicated
"It's not right that she would use her self-recalled heritage for any academic advancement ... even if there are no academic standards that define who is legally a Native American (except the citizenship issue). On the other hand, when you see videos like this one, you cringe."
He was referring to a video that shows Brown staffers chanting war whoops and gesturing Tomahawk chops. It was posted Tuesday on YouTube by the liberal blog Blue Mass Group.
"I think Sen. Brown has some explaining to do about the nice guy, respectful tone that he sets in his office, and on his campaign," the blog said. "And maybe we can put this whole preposterous issue to bed once and for all."
Brown responded to CNN affiliate WCVB in Boston.
"It is certainly something that I don't condone," he said. "The real offense is that (Warren) said she was white and then checked the box saying she is Native American, and then she changed her profile in the law directory once she made her tenure."
The National Congress of American Indians said it was troublesome that Brown's staff members acted in such fashion. The rights organization urged Brown to take action.
It also blamed Warren was responsible for failing to speak up.
"She has every right to be proud of her family," the organization said. "However her campaign failed to educate a non-Native media and the public unfamiliar with federal tribal enrollment rules or about historic federal policies that make proving Native ancestry very difficult for some people."
Also at issue was Brown's reference during a televised debate to Warren's white skin color as proof that she was not Native American.
"Skin color or physical appearance has no bearing on one’s Native American heritage or status as an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe," the national congress said. "As a result, numerous national television programs and websites have irresponsibly echoed Senator Brown’s statements by referring to someone’s skin color as an indicator for Native American identity. These claims are false and Senator Brown should correct the record and retract his statement immediately."
Elizabeth Warren vs. Scott Brown: Priciest race this year
The debate about Warren has gone on since May, when Warren confirmed that she had described herself in faculty directories as having Native American blood. She said she did it to meet others like her.
But her explanation didn't sit well in some corners.
A website called Cherokees Demand Truth From Elizabeth Warren says Americans ought to care deeply about such claims.
"America should care because they care when someone falsely claims to be a decorated military veteran. They care when someone falsely claims to be a recovering drug addict in a book passed off as the truth. And they care when someone falsely claims to be a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust. America cares about these things because America cares about integrity, honesty and fair treatment.
"Elizabeth Warren has not just stolen an ethnic identity that does not belong to her, but she has also personally benefited from it and harmed the integrity of the American ethos of advancement based on quality of work, not color of skin."
The New England Historic Genealogical Society provided initial research that shows several members of Warren's maternal family claiming Cherokee heritage. Warren's great-great-great grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith, is said to be described as Cherokee in an 1894 marriage license application. The genealogical society gathered that information through a 2006 family newsletter and said the original application cannot be located.
Warren's critics were out in force Tuesday on Twitter, including the editor of the conservative Red Alerts Politics website.
When you have to release an ad explaining why you think you're a Native American, it's not good: shar.es/uMixg— Francesca Chambers (@fran_chambers) September 25, 2012
When you have to release an ad explaining why you think you're a Native American, it's not good: shar.es/uMixg
Blogger Donny Furguson posted:
.@DLoesch If Elizabeth Warren can fake four more identities she'll start touring as The Village People— Donny Ferguson (@DonnyFerguson) September 25, 2012
.@DLoesch If Elizabeth Warren can fake four more identities she'll start touring as The Village People
But Warren was not without her supporters.
Seroe Michaud commented on Native News Network's page:
"Good for you Elizabeth, I am 1/8 Blackfoot but am fair skinned and light haired, I am the only light one in the family. If like me your blood is part native on your mother's side and your heart is walking the red road, we will not be driven into the shadows. I hope that you win, you had my vote before I learned of your roots."
As Trahant said, it's complicated.
What makes someone "legitimately" Native American? And who gets to make the call? Our blog attempted to answer those questions when the Warren controversy erupted.
Julia Good Fox, professor of American Indian studies at Haskell Indian Nations University, said there's plenty of ignorance around Native American citizenship.
"It's all in past-tense, and we don’t get a sense of what an Indian today looks like," she said in May.
And that, she said, can be confusing.
She is the one who touted the "YOU DID'NT BUILD THAT" Liberal narrative and mantra. That is no different than anyone declaring the Olympic 400M runner with prosthetic legs should acknowledge ONLY the prosthetic leg manufacturer...NOT the Olympian. Liberals live in an alternate, parallel, Utopian universe where reality and economic laws do not exist.
The Pitifully UnUnited States of America
The good news? More people are declaring mixed heritage on their census forms....Yes, of course we've always admitted our Heinz57-ness to friends and family, just not in a crowd.
Truth is? We're ALL out of Africa, like it or not. Admit it or not.
My husband's grandfather was a full blood Cherokee, taken from his alcoholic father after his mother died and adopted by a white family. Although his sister had a tribal number, he didn't. Does that make my husbands 14 blood any less Native American? Of course not! He always checks his heritage box because he is proud of who he is. He never received any benefit or advantage because of it, and anyone who thinks you can get a perk just because you SAY you deserve it is very naive. If Elizabeth Warren says she is of native American heritage, she almost certainly is. There is no reason for her to claim it other than pride. By the way, although there was never any doubt of my husband's mother's Native American blood (based on looks), my husband was a blue eyed blond like his dutch grandmother and our 1/8 blood son is also a blue eyed blonde.
Thank You! Well put! It is about pride. And as far as Mr Brown's comment in the debate...I have a former coworker who is 1/2 Blackfoot and 1/2 Irish. She has red hair, pale/freckled skin and green eyes. She also has those sky high yet flat cheekbones. Of my Mom's full siblings (all 1/4 Cherokee), two were short redheads with blue/green eyes and pale skin...the other two were tall with black hair, brown eyes and dark skin. But all had the cheekbones and deep set eyes of the Cherokee. People are so ignorant in this country. I am embarrassed for them.
Only CNN would run an article like this.
It must be very insulting to true Native Americans
I'm no native...I was born here
Scott Brown is an ignorant man, a man who poses nude in a magazine..wow ..what brainpower that takes. He is a flip flopper and a puppet for the Republican pledge takers. Again, he is freaked by an intelligent, strong and lovely woman ....same old story folks. She did not get into Harvard and earn her degree(s) from checking a box...obviously most of you know nothing about Admissions...other than you do not like Elizabeth and are willing to trash her based upon Fox News.. you are one sad lot. Scott Brown....who is he...do you know what lurks in his background???? Ah hmmm is that what you cae about or do you care about this country and how the robber barons have you by the shorts?
The sad truth is that it is almost impossible to have a logical conversation about race in this country. It is very complex and people in this country don't seem to be able to have the conversation without it being reduced to insults and ignorant stereotypes. The truth is most Americans have a very diverse genetic background. This is particularly true with African Americans. Just because a person has fair skin and blue eyes does not mean they are pure Caucasian. I have seen biracial children that have the features of say Lenny Kravitz or Halle Berry, to other biracial children having features that resemble Brad Pitt. It depends on the DNA and nobody can really predict what will or won't be. But in this country if a person looks like they are Caucasian then that must be what they are. That's stupid. It is entirely possible that Elizabeth Warren is a descendant of Native Americans. Anybody who understands genetics knows how this is possible. The rest is racial stupidity and ignorance that has dominated this country for far too long. And furthermore I thought that this woman was running for elected office. How did we get off that topic and start talking about her race and ancestry? Typical political tactics for getting voters minds off what is really important.
You hit the nail squarely on its head.....again they all are coming out from under their rocks....we know who they are now don't we? Thanks for your post. Go Elizabeth...Brown is a classless, empty-headed fool.
Sounds to me like neither one of them is in the right. She for flip flopping on her ancestry when it seems to be convenient and him for outright ignorant bigoted comments.
And what comments would that be???
The woman built her career on receiving special privileges designed to give a helping hand to oppressed minorities.
Shameless. That's the only word to describe her.
If looks are what defines a minority for republicans as seems to be the case not only from the pretend seator but from all of the right wingnut posts here; Then perhaps you all would like to explain why the quitter governor and her promiscuous children get Native American Health benefits?
Ms. Warren should notify Scott Brown's campaign, he can have four racist staffers, or he can have 3 more debates...he doesn't get BOTH. he also has to make a public UNCONDITIONAL Apology to Ms. Warren and her family.
my great grandmother told her children that her mother was native American. That has been handed down ever since. It took ten years of research to find out that her mother was actually a scottish immigrant who tried to poison her husband to death and ran off with another guy. I told people all my life I was part Sioux Indian. And I absolutely believed it. Judge not lest ye be judged. Don't be so quick to call someone a liar and a fraud when you have absoultely no proof that number 1 that it is a fact that she is not Native American. And 2 that she didn't whole heartedly believe that she was. Her great grandmothers marriage book says her residence was Indian Territory which was a reservation in Missouri or Arkansas. Her ancesters census info list their race as white consistantly though. These two items of data leave it unresolved whether they were or were not native American. They neither confirm nor deny any conclusion about their ultimate family history.
I ask then why did she never publically or privately mention her native American heritage, juts use it to get two jobs. Do some research and look back at all of the article that were written months ago in Boston when this story first broke. You will see how much of a liar she is. She tried to deny it at first then changed her story several times. I don’t condone what Scott Brown did but this woman is a liar and doesn’t deserve to serve this country.
Wow, thats an amazing story. I'm sure you could write a best seller with that info.
1.) Use a spell-checker. 2.) No such thing as "Native" American. They all migrated across Beringia from the south-central steppes of Asia. "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever." Chief Joseph, Nez Perce (Credit goes to that apologist Howard Zinn for this one).
I once met a totally white blond woman who claimed that she was native american but utterly refused to consider that many Mexicans and Central Americans were in any way native american despite their obvious brown skin and straight black hair. This madness is caused by the fact that native american is an artificial designation created by the bureau of Indian affairs as a strategy to split apart the native american tribes and make them turn on each other in a fight over who is a 'real' indian and therefore deserving of federal assistance as pitifully small as that is. Frankly I don't care if her ancestors were native american, celtic, or vandal. She's going after the corporate bigwigs and their corruption and that's good enough for me. If her ancestors scalped enemies, ate their brains, or burned down their cities, as long as that bloodlust is directed towards the banking industry I'm fine with it.
America tried terminating all Native Americans and do not stick to treaties or care about them much even though they invaded us and tried to kill us all off. So why care if shes Native American if we are barely recognized anyway? Just cause she looks white doesnt mean shes Native American? What kind of crap is that. Im going to send her $10 and shame on Scott Brown for what his staff did, he wrongly portrayed Natives by doing war cries, how embarrassing and racist. If you want a real war cry be prepared for a Native rebellion against all this BS.
Let me start out by saying I'm not a scott brown fan, but this article is typical cnn, not even close to the facts. I live in Maine and followed this whole issue months ago it showed me how scary this women is, she will lie whenever needed. On two job applications she checked off native American and was hired as a minority. After the second job she drops it but it all came up during the election. She first she said she never made the claims, then decided she need to run with it and started to get caught in a lie every day for over a week. The heritage center looked into it and all they found was a family letter that mention a relative was listed as a native American on a marriage license in 18??. So she ran with this until the town where the license was supposed to be from stepped up and said that was about 50 years before they had marriage license. She then changed her story and said how he father had to run off to get married because of his native blood, but wrong they found his marriage license, he never ran off. Well you get the point, this went on for weeks yet no cares she lies all the time, and this is nothing if you look into her law clients and real estate deals over the last 15 yrs. Please don't vote for this woman.
Well! If she's a liar, all the more to vote for her because what politican is not a liar? Name one and I'll rob a bank and send you the cash. Not really, I'm just lying.
So they want us to not vote for Elizabeth Warren because she was in fact born in the United States?
Make up your minds, people!
She seems to think she's a lawyer too, but apparently not. More demo lies and deflection.
The Cherokee Nation has structured the requirements for citizenship to keep their numbers small and elite. If you do not have an ancestor on one of two rolls (one for the Trail of Tears forced migrants and one for those allowed to stay in the small reservation in Western Carolina), you can't be a member. That means that the far greater number of people with Cherokee ancestry, those whose forebears had married into White culture, can't join. Furthermore, they deride people like me as phonies! Ignore anything a Cherokee official says about who is and who is not Native American. They are exclusionary racists.
I know somebody who got into college by pretending to be 1/8th American Indian. This is not that uncommon, but it's rather difficult to get caught.
Let's get to the other issue......did she practice law without a license? Two questions that appear to indicate a lack of honesty on her part......
What's the freaking problem! If she wants make a claim to her total heritage that's her right. Brown needs to let us all know, what color he think an Indian actually is.
From the right angle; in the right light... yeah, she could be, a little-bit. Maybe.
Ok, now that is funny. We all need to lighten up a bit.
A good percentage of Americans whose ancestors have resided in the US for many generations carry some genes of Native Americans, African slaves, Mexican Americans, Jewish Americans, etc. However, they "pass" as descendants of European immigrants. Americans are much more diverse genetically than they often wish to acknowledge. Since "undesirable" genetic history was often hidden in the past due to racism, it's not surprising that someone like Senator George Allen (who called an East Indian American "macaca" during a 2006 campaign event) would later discover that he's part Jewish. According to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Elizabeth Warren's great-great-great grandmother is described as Cherokee in an 1894 marriage license application. So why are some people upset that Ms. Warren claims to be part Native American? Perhaps they find it disturbing that someone as blond and blue-eyed as Ms. Warren can be another ethnicity - partly. Perhaps, they fear that they themselves are not as genetically "pure" as they would like to believe. I know from personal experience that looks can be deceiving: My son, who's ethnically half Chinese, has hazel-green eyes and dirty blond hair.
Good post MHC. I'd been told that my family has French-Canadian Indian in our bloodline. Only a few of us are "swarthy" and have brown eyes, yet we haven't doubted that claim and really cannot prove it one way or the other. In the end, what does it matter? Isn't that why America is called a "melting pot"? Personally, I'm proud of being a "Heinz 57"...a little bit of many cultures.
It makes life far more interesting.
Let's be very careful how we critique this issue. Elizabeth Warren claims to have Native American heritage, not to be Native American. Thus Mark Trahant's critique is incorrect saying the definition is being in a tribe. Being in a tribe is the standard or definition for being Native American, not of Native American heritage. Many individuals have Native American ancestors and are not Native American. What the real focus here should be on Scott Brown's bigoted statement that she clearly does not Native American. Nowhere is their a white litmus test to whom is Native American and whom is not Native American. Once a politician stoops to a level of bigotry to appeal to voters, he or she is no longer qualified or fit to represent anyone whether they are of European descent, Asian descent, or even Native American descent. A decent person would resign following his statements. But, it appears the Massachusetts voters will have to do that for him.
This is bunch of malarkey. You're either Indian or you're not. This white woman in helping spread bigotry and misinformation. The tribe in question, her tribe, has no point of cutoff for Indian blood quantum. They go by descendancy. You can either trace yourself back to someone on the rolls or you can't. She can't. It got popular in the 80s for white students going to lawschool to check the Native American box to see if they could get something out of it. They didn't understand then nor do most white people apparantly understand today that it is possible to do the research. Or fail.
The Dawes rolls were filled out by racist Whites that placed Native Americans on the list based solely on outside appearances, fair skin. Members of the same family that were dark skinned were placed on the Freedman's roll that listed freed slaves. Who is a Native American can be determined only by DNA. It is funny that the Cherokee nation is adamantly against it.
@Marquise, you bring up a good point. I've always wondered by Elizabeth Warren would want to claim Cherokee anyway in a campaign headed by a black president. The Freedmen were slaves owned by the Cherokee. It was a big slap in the face for them to have to give up their large slaveholdings and cotton plantations. They were part of the Confederacy. They fought for the South. Long live Dixie Elizabeth Warren! And quit playing the victim.
Scott Brown may be a fine man (not so sure given the racist things his campaign has done) but he is not really the issue. The issue really is the Republican Party. If they have control of the Senate and the House, we are in serious trouble as a country. I would not vote for Ghandi if he were an American Republican....but we know they wouldnt like him at...he is anti war...
As our family’s unofficial genealogist, I can tell you that I have direct ancestors on three separate lines from the 1860s and earlier that were at least partly native American. This does not come from family lore, but from official records of the time; various census, tax, military and land records. The above records made no mention of my ancestors’ tribal affiliations, so I couldn’t tell you or make any attempt at tribal membership. In living memory, however I have nothing but blue-eyed, fair haired and fair skinned ancestors, with no one in my family before my research even aware of our native American roots. If a person has some pioneer stock in their ancestry in the US, the odds are pretty high that if they dig in official records, they could make a valid claim in the same manner as Elizabeth Warren has done to native American roots. It doesn't mean that she is claiming any advantage for benefit or employment purposes.
Elizabeth Warren is proud, rather than ashamed, that she is a product of America's melting pot.
Another alternative for her might have been to laugh and make fun of our country’s varied and vibrant heritages as some of Scott Brown’s juvenile supporters chose to do.
Which of these two actions you choose tells me quite a bit about you as an American. Are you realistic and inclusive, as well as respectful of all Americans, or are you bigoted and ignorant and hateful, ashamed to admit that America was never founded to be a pureblooded state?
As a democrat in Massachusetts, I will be voting for Scott Brown, He has done a great job in the past 2 years and Warren just carries too much baggage. No alleged license to practice law in MA, representing Travelers insurance company against asbestos workers, her representing a steel company to prevent paying health benefits to retired steel workers, her high salary at Harvard when she claims college kids are getting shafted, flipping houses in Oklahoma from foreclosures of US military personnel, and even her involvement with her daughters non-profit agency which cost the MA tax payers over $100K to send out postage paid registration forms to welfare recipients. They recently ok'ed overtime pay for MA state welfare workers to handle all this.
I am 1/3 Navi, 1/3 African and 1/3 Aborigine. Vote for me!
That mix is called Milato.
I went to Florida State. That makes me a Seminole.
She doesn't look it. CNN prohibits me from saying what I thinks she looks like. Anyway, I suppose it's possible. There are a lot of us who probably have Native American connections somewhere along the line.
"The New England Historic Genealogical Society provided initial research that shows several members of Warren's maternal family claiming Cherokee heritage."
Good enough. Let's move on to something substantial.
Appearance has no bearing on whether or not an individual is Native American – if you've ever been to Oklahoma, many of the people there are Native, and appearance wise they run the gamut. You see everything from the "traditional" appearance of a Native American, to fair-skinned people you would never think of as anything but white visually. And this is people actively involved in their tribe.
That said – I think Warren's a faker, because she's not actively involved in any Native tribe or culture but tries to claim it. If you're something like 1/32nd Native but aren't active or a member at all...then you really shouldn't be claiming that blood, especially not for advancement.
It is entirely possible for someone to be white and have native ancestry as well, why would that be a big deal? I know a lot of people who are mixed white and native, why would it be a problem for anyone of that background to check the box that says native american? Even if they're not officially status indian or part of a tribe or band or nation? I'd assume people with native heritage would check that box out of trying to fill stuff out thoroughly and correctly, not from trying to get advancement. What a dumb argument.
You mean, alot of white people who *say* that they're Native American (probably Cherokee), on the authority of their parents and grandparents. How many of those people are correct? Not many.
Haaa... Us white skinned people who have legit native american links laugh at this one. I had some one say they were Cherokee once and their tribe was from New Mexico. I then pointed out, they were talking about a tribe of Apachie.
How does she handle her firewater?
If I had got into Harvard stating I was Native American and then they found out I would be stripped of my diploma. This is exactly what should happen to Warren. She is not a Native American and claiming ignorance has and never will be an excuse for anything. She is a downright shady person and any Mass residents that vote for her are really making a big mistake. Sounds like the same d-bags that vote for Obama. Screw Warren!
Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren is anything that it takes, as long as it gets a vote
Seriously... "I know what a Native American looks like"... Really? I think since 1970's "Cherokee Nation" every third person in America is 1/8th half Cherokee. Having had a lifetime of experience, I am coming at this from a position of humility telling these candidates that citizenship is a complex thing and that ancestry is more than cheekbones. It's demeaning and makes us all stupider for having participated in such a short-sighted conversation. I think Elizabeth Warren is being ignorant. She's not trying to be offensive, she just doesn't know. I think Scott Brown is being a jerk.
many tribal members in my area have strong ties to their community, she has none. She is not native american, DNA is selective and your predominant DNA is not from your great grandparents, in fact their DNA is impossible to trace. her pow wow chow cookbook is just an exploit. Why did she even bring this up?
No, it's not complicated, it's actually quite simple: don't stand there all blond haired and blue eyed and tell me you're a native American. See? Simple
You can have blond hair and blue eyes and claim native american. Just means you are not full blooded.
She is from Oklahoma where virtually everyone is part Native American even though we may not look it. I'm Choctaw, but no one would ever know.
Dang Irish sooners stealing the land and the dark skin from the children.
Maria Carvalho is not right!
Maria clearly didn't understand that native american isn't considered a race before she pulled the race card, shows you her level of intellect
Warren equals the Faker in Chief!
Warren is a faker only if she lied about her ancestry. I don't know if she did or she didn't, but I do know that many Americans with some Native American blood are not members of tribes. As for her appearance, it is irrelevant. When I was in the Navy, I served with two Lumbee cousins from North Carolina. One was very dark, with black hair and brown eyes. The other was light, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Their family photos showed similar differences within their nuclear families. I knew Mark Trahant in Blackfoot, Idaho, and in my opinion he doesn't "look Indian" either, and I have no doubt of his ethnicity.
I know of several Cherokee Indians that are blond and fair skinned. Why shouldn't they be as proud of their ethnic background as the rest of us? Nobody gives me crap when I tell them I am 1/4 German, ot give my kids crap when they confess to being 1/2 Chinese, even though that is by no means obvious.
who isn't cherokee? It's irrelevant and too commonly used as a way to be viewed as different and to appeal to minority groups.
The people who scream "WHO CARES" are also the same ones that would crucify a Republican if he/she ever made a dubious claim to native heritage.
OMG! Republicans haven't told the truth in about 50 years! Who do you think you are fooling?
Scott Brown has done absolutely ZERO for Massachussetts in Washington.
Just another GOP piece of cardboard taking up space.
Thank you such much for your highly enlightening comment!
Massachussets needs someone like Elizabeth Warren that will stand up for the middle-class.
You really buy that? What does it feel to be brainwashed??
$350K/year for teaching one class – and she's going to protect the middle class?
Better than $250 Million for teaching nobody.
Good luck Elizabeth.
This was an uncalled for, personally vicious, and desperate attack by Scott Brown..
I hate election campaigns, it's never about a politician's stance on issues it's more about how bad you can make the other person look. I have not followed these two people but if Elizabeth Warren just brought up her native heritage for the election then shame on her. If Elizabeth Warren has always been opened about it then I think that it's just fine for her to bring it up now. As for Scott Brown there is no excuse, he should just keep his mouth shut about this and maybe talk about his stance on some of the key issues if he has any.
She will be Massachusetts' next senator, racist remarks notwithstanding, because she is the best candidate for the job. Scott Brown's personal attacks against her make him look like a coward. Why not talk about the real issues, Scott? Afraid of an intelligent woman? Soooooooooooooo last centrury and sooooooooooooo GOP!
My granddad's granddad was white. But i am African American. If I checked a box that says I have European heritage does that make me a liar too?
No, it does not make you a liar. But checking a box stating you are white, when you've identified yourself as black in the past, would make you a liar.
I have Native American ancestors, but I cannot claim to be Native American on a job application, school enrollment form, or any form for that matter.
affarmative action doesn't benefit white people, so please check the European heritage it won't bother anyone
I am an enrolled member and Im not sure what benefits you think so many people are receiving? Not every minority is getting paychecks. easy does it.
Affirmative Action only benefits one minority group but it can not be discussed even in 'candid conversations about race in America
a marriage license in 1894 would most likely be the great-great grandmother, not three. If Elizabeth's parents were married in the late 1940's/Early 50's, having a great grandmother who Cherokee would have been more than enough by some people's standards to reject her mom as "not white" (Just like 1 drop of black blood in those days). The difference in standards now has changed because now that is considered a help, not a "half-blood". It has to do with prejudice, then and now.
I need to make a correction. Native American heritage indicates 3 extensions on their first molar rather than 2 as people with European ancestry have. My husband's great grandmother was Lenni Lenape(Delaware). We had no absolute proof either until one of our adult children went to a dentist who knew.
Why is Scott Brown and Co. trying to make a big deal over this? If he has some proof that she is in fact NOT part Native American Indian then show it, otherwise he's just another politician wasting time on baseless accusations over pointless stuff while 10's of millions of people are unemployed.
Scott Brown, how about you focus on doing your job and drafting a JOB's bill or two and submitting them for a vote by Monday, OR you could instead continue wasting everyone's time with more nonsense, your call I guess.
GET TO WORK!
If she is an" Indian", then I'm the "Man in the Moon"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Being an Indian does that mean she's from India?
is being the man on the moon the same as dumb as a rock?
She's not saying that she's a member of a tribe, just that she has Native American heritage. Why are people trying to mix the two? They are not the same thing. I have Shoshone and Cherokee ancestry, but I'm not claiming to be a member of either tribe. Some tribes, you don't even have to have ancestry to be members. They are two completely different things.
Because she used it on job applications and was listed as a minority professor. You wouldn't mention it on forms if you didn't want to use it to get ahead somehow.
My great X 3 grandfather was a duke but I don't claim that on anything. Mentioned it just now because of the context of the article, but can honestly say that I've never mentioned it to any of my friends.
Ray please work on your facts. Elizabeth Warren listed her native American roots on faculty directories so that would already mean that she was a faculty member. In other words, a directory can be described as a internal Phone Book. I'm having trouble seeing what benefits she may of obtained. BTW – I'm also having trouble locating where or what she applied for jobs as a Native American..... This is a smoke screen by Scott Brown because he is afraid & classless.
too bad...sounds like you are keeping the most interesting part of you a secret
She a liar. That's all there is to it.
She is the farthest thing from a liar. This is a made up issued to distract the clueless voters from the issues, aka the republican election plan every election.
I have never seen a picture of Elizabeth Warren before, but when I saw this picture I have no doubt that somewhere in her background she is Native American. I live in So. Oregon and we have many tribes here, so I know what a Native American basically looks like. Enough of this c-r-a-p and let's get on with politics, not personal put-downs.
The people of Massachusetts are all robots who would vote for Jack the Ripper if he was a Democrat so why not a made up Native American. There is no political diversity in Massachusetts, they all think alike. Scott Brown was an anomaly in this goose-stepping National Socialist Republic.
Well JC, they did vote for someone several times who was a gutless coward more interested in saving his career than helping a poor girl clawing (forensics showed the claw marks) her way out of a car. Just sayin'
But then who was the silly columnist that claimed the poor girl would be happy knowing her horrible death helped forge the gutless man-child's commitment to helping people?
Uh... while I'm not saying he's not a mindless drone and an idiot, Mitt Romney was both republican and a governor of Massachusetts. As was Bill Weld. In my central MA town, two of five elected town selectmen are conservative republicans. Maybe they are all democrats by your standards, but they at least self-identify as republicans. Though, I guess given this conversation, that doesn't matter.
Like how Romney was voted Governor here?
Warren is a liar and CNN will give her a pass because she's a Liberal. CNN is so blatantly biased it's disgusting.
How is CNN giving her a "pass" while questioning the authenticity of her statement through this article????
Whether you are recognized by the tribe or whatever your outward physical features, if you are part or all native it doesn't matter what others say. It won't take away your native blood.
Identifying with the tribe is another matter. That depends upon how you were raised. You can outwardly look native but not identify with the tribe and vice versa.
Whether the tribe acknowledges you is a totally other matter. I know in the Cherokee and Choctaw tribes, if your direct ancestor is not on the rolls and were "renegade," you can be full-blood and not be acknowledged.
She can prove she's not lying by a trip to the dentist. If there's just 3 extensions rather than 4 on the bottom of a particular tooth, that indicates Native American heritage.
not if it was five generations back
It would be an issue if Elizabeth Warren had tried to use minority status to obtain any kind of benefit. She did not. And that is the only time when citizenship must be proven – which is what Trahant is talking about. I identify myself as partly Irish and partly Welsh – due in large part because of the very same kind of family stories that Ms. Warren heard as a child. I also have relatives that came over in 1622 and have proof they were in Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War. We believe we had relatives fight in that Revolution based on family lore. But unless I apply for membership in the DAR, I don't feel the need to do the research necessary to prove it. So, am I evil to believe these things about my ancestry? Have I no integrity by being proud of my heritage and learning to sing Irish folk songs? NO!
Kate, there is an implied benefit to someone. You (nor I for that matter) can prove she did it to receive a benefit. If, however, there was NO benefit to anyone, why have a place to indicate it on an application? If she didn't benefit then Harvard did by showing a supposed interest in diversity. I have zero proof as to her intent but lets stop pretending there is no benefit simply because she says there wasn't any or if Harvard says there wasn't any benefit to her. If there was no benefit they wouldn't have listed her as a part of the statistics showing a commitment to diversity.
If Romney claimed he didn't doing anything wrong with his taxes, why won't you believe him?
Lets see, we should believe, on the strength of her word, that she didn't cheat on applications. Romney however, should not be believed that he paid all the taxes he owed. For him, a different standard.
If she says she is, then she is. That seems to be the standard nowadays. You should see some of the local tribal members around here. they look more european than anything else.
Again, we should believe, on the strength of her word, that she didn't cheat on applications. Romney however, should not be believed that he paid all the taxes he owed. For him, a different standard.
We have become a nation where the ends justify the means. It's a useful tool for the ultra-ambitious, as you must be in order to become a successful politician these days. But it's also been the rationale of every great bad man in history. While claiming to be something you're not may seem like a trifle, I can't help but think the next instance might carry a little more consequences and come a little easier.
Make it simple. Let her DNA speak for itself. Swab the cheeks, and get a Mitochondrial DNA and get a Family Finder Test done..
You and a few others are the ONLY one's that make any sense . Geez.. what is happening to the use of SCIENCE in America, as a tool of knowledge.
23andMe.com provides genetic testing that includes a component showing whether you have Native American genetic material from within the past 5 generations. If anyone is interested in finding out about themselves...
You and a few others are the ONLY one's that make any sense . Geez.. what is happening to the use of SCIENCE in America, as a tool of knowledge.
When I was a kid my parents took me down to the tribal office and got me enrolled because we were ACTUALLY INDIAN. There isn't any "controversy" about getting enrolled but you have to be ACTUALLY INDIAN. Every Indian I know just goes and gets their kids enrolled, that's all. Its simple if you are ACTUALLY INDIAN!
she did not claim to be an actual indian...she is not trying to collect actual indian welfare...she said she had roots. period
What a bigoted response, that ACTUAL INDIANS would necessarily by definition have to be on welfare. Elizabeth Warren is just some ol white lady helping to promote racism. Obama needs to disavow her publicly. And I am, by the way, an ACTUAL INDIAN FROM A REAL INDIAN FAMILY WHO KNOW WHO WE ARE. not a bunch of stumbling, stuttering fakes that keep putting our foot in our mouths when asked about our heritage like Elizabeth Warren.
it was an purposely racist reply to a racist and ignorant statement made by you
That's crazy. Something like 20% of Oklahomans claim Native ancestry. My own family here in Mass was told that we were part Native American, going back to my great-grandfather. All of us believed it – I have no idea if any ever claimed it on a form, but if they did, they did so in good faith. It's what we were told.
Recently a cousin went on a genealogical hunt...we were wrong. All of us. in fact, we don't even know our actual family name on my Mother's side, as my grandfather, it turns out, was adopted when the Catholics were kicked out of Canada...
Yeah, that easy. Again, my ancestors never surrendered. We have no surrender record, ie. original "rolls" registration. Yet I've participated in more inipi's, temazcali's, and sundances than most of your "real indians". Don't be so ignorant, especially toward your own race. Some of us aren't federally recognized and never will be. happily so i might add.
Once again: No. One. Cares.
It's unbelievable to me that CNN is even trying to show Scott Brown's tactics as being reasonable , what he is doing is no different than what Jesse Helms did in North Carolina in the 80's. I agree with Ronny Pudding ....shame on you CNN!
I am so confused by this issue, are you saying that even though some of her ancestors were native american the percentage isn't enough for to celebrate her heritage? that's ridiculous
What get's me is all the liberals who have no problem defending Warren, but yet could care less about a football team with the name Redskins. I swear they just want us to stay on our reservations and keep quiet.
I have yet to hear of anyone naming their team the "Snotnoses" , "Wussies", "Ninnies", or any other condescending or unflattering name. I , honestly, am offended at the "idea" that naming your team was meant as an insult( especially since you would be insulting your team and yourself)
"America should care because they care when someone falsely claims to be a decorated military veteran... America cares about these things because America cares about integrity, honesty and fair treatment."
Many of us care deeply about these issues, but our politicians couldn't care less about integrity. If it brings them power and money, then everything else is secondary.
I remember when my mother told me that her family was descended from adopted half-breed eastern woodland indians. I definitely went through a period where I was proud of that, and I toitally get the path that Warren took in the academic environment. We can't belong to a tribe, because there is no way to know how much survives genetically (yet). But Brown needs to get off a subject he apparently knows little about.
Thanks for minimizing the issue to a such trite cliche'.
It's nice that the future of this country hangs on campaigns like this where the voters have a choice between a candidate who completely lacks legislative experience and integrity but may win based almost completely on gender, versus someone who's campaign is almost focused on such a non-issue and can find few positive things to brag about after being in office for two years.
When Warren try's to portray herself as a Native American to get into Harvard that's just pitiful. Wonder if she consider's indian tacos real native food? Maybe I'll catch her at this years Pow Wow or Stomp Dance?
You do know there were well over 200 different and distinct native peoples across North America, right? Tell me, what to you is "real" native food?
don't worry about facts...obviously you do not even know that warren did not attend harvard (and never claimed to be indian to get in)...ms warren was a visiting professor
Weren't tacos created by native Mexicans(i.e.- Indians)?
It's fun to watch the GOP so desperate in soooooooooo many ways. Smear is what they do and it's just that they are out a bit early in this cycle with four Senatorial races so close.
Fact of the matter it that she would be an incredible Senator for the state of Massachusetts and a real
voice not heard since the passing of the "Lion." Oh I do so want to see the face of Richard Shelby (R) Alabama the day she wins....:-) Oh Dear! If the people of Mass. were really smart they would send her to Washington and let the
let the guy with the Barn Jacket and the pick-up truck go back to his DUI law practice and posing for Cosmo.
What is that? Her medicine woman stance?
You know what the tomahawk chop means in Florida? Go Seminoles!
You know what the tomahawk chop means in Atlanta? Go Braves!
You know what the tomahawk chop means in Chicago? 1st and 10 MINNESOTA!
In this context it just means racism. And, honestly, I lived in OK for 14 years and I never met a single Okie who didn't have some native blood in them.
I think this whole issue of color and race is senseless. Who is Ideal ,core American citizen is a question yet to be answered. All I can say is that if you have immigrant blood, you are immigrant,if you have landowners' blood you are a first class citizen. Color has nothing to do with who is real American citizen because color categorization people stems from racial inferiorization tendencies. If white is what it is really is, and black, yellow, red, brown etc are what they are, I am yet to see people who qualify to be categorized with white,black,brown,even purple.
Politicians lie to people to get into the office.Once, they are there, they join "the gang of rich men protectors". People of Massachusetts must not allow themselves to be deceived by color arguments. I don't know why some people think that they are whiter than others.
You're right, it's not about color, it's about her lieing!
Steve- Illinois. Im confused by your comment. By checking a box that indicates a person IS Native American. How is that a lie if in fact she is Native American ? wouldn't Not checking the box be the lie. ?
LOL. I know Lying isn't spelled lieing. Doh ! wen i went to school repubs were in charje of edukation so me riting skills are week.. Laughs like a mad scientist
It depends on how much of a line you people are gullible enough to swallow. She's 1/32 Indian, and her grandparents were such bigots her parents had to elope because Mother was 1/16th Indian! LOL!!!
Oh, and let's not forget, she only checked the box because she wanted to meet people like her???
This is a college professor and that's the best she can come up with?
how is being 1/3 indian bad. ? how can you place judgement on someone for what someone else did.? her grandfather. and whats wrong with wanting to meet people like ones self.. this whole story isnt about miss warren. its about Scott Brown being a racist republican who lowered himself because he's up against a person far superior then himself.
Oh wait. Im explaining this to a racist republican.. Never mind. You wont get this at all. Your dismissed.
She is 100% bed-wetting communist.
Citizen. Can you explain with facts and not with hearsay of how Elizabeth Warren is Communist. your comment makes absolutely no sense. Im not even going to bother asking where you get bed wetting from. Shrugs.. lol
David The only thing I can figure out is The Citizen must be Allen West
I hope u get Hit by a car , in front of your children.
well that was wonderful
There are many of us with Indian blood that are not registered with Cherokee and Choctaw nation. My ancestors did not go to Oklahoma but instead went to Texas. They were never registered in the Choctaw rolls but my ancestors lived the Indian way of life. Who are you to judge our ancestors? What's wrong with being proud of your Indian ancestry and heritage. You need to get over yourselves. Who are to judge who I am? I'm proud of my Indian ancestry and I don't need to be on your rolls or recognized by your political tribe. If she believes in her heart that she is American Indian I believe her.
Slick, is that all it takes? A belief in her heart? If Mitt Romney believes he paid enough in taxes and doesn't show you all his returns are you okay with that? In her heart. LOL. You're okay with it because you agree with her positions. You don't agree with what is in Mitt's heart because you disagree with his positions.
But okay, you are fine with her. The real question (and we don't know for sure) is whether she truly lied or was mistaken.
Hey n222s, maybe she is telling the truth!!! Sen Brown has done a grea job as Senetor and E Warren has done a great job as a consumer advicate. It is unfortunate that the issues are not being addressed.
OTF, you are correct she may be telling the truth. I'm simply saying it is not wrong for Brown to ask her about it. We should know her response (as we do) and the people can judge for themselves whether they believe her.
that's all it takes..I am for Romney and I have no ideas what her beliefs are. What is your heritage? What if you are Irish or Italian heritage and that is what you claim then who am I to say you are a liar. That's all I'm trying to say. Your GGG Grandfather may be Irish and you still feel that you have strong Irish blood and you feel this in your heart and feel special on Saint Patty's day who am I to call you a fake Irish man and a liar. You may feel it in your heart...that's all I'm saying... .
During genealogical research, I discovered that one of my ancestors survived an attack by Mohawks. She was raped and gave birth to a girl – described by her relatives as half-indian. Now, no one can be proud of such a crime, but my ancestor survived! And her daughter was half Native American. I do have a Native American heritage, associated with the Mohawks and Joseph Brand. Do I claim any sort of membership? Of course not! But this is my heritage and we all should be able to look at our family stories (oral histories) and genealogies without fearing judgement from others. Back off – heritage is reflected in your family, membership is an affiliation within a tribe. Different things!
Many people that look "white" have Native American ancestors. This is nothing new. My wife is 1/4 cherokee and she just passes as "white."
If I remember correctly. Native American Indians were here in this country long before our then barely established government slaughter them. Then gathered up the ones they didn't slaughter and put them in designated areas. Hitler did the same thing but he killed everyone AFTER he imprisoned them. Not before like our Government did .. So whats the issue here. The real issue here is the GOP is racist and losing AGAIN to the democrats. They are desperate for any foothold they can..... MAKE UP
In Canada the word "Indian" is very offensive. I was shocked travelling through the U.S. that the word is still used. It is basically the same as calling a black person the "N" word or a Pakistani a "Paki". First Nations or Aboriginals are the politically correct terms used in Canada.
Yeah, but that's a long word for white trash to spell.
Well, we're NOT in cananda...are we.
So what, pray tell, do Canadians call Indians, that is politically correct? "Frenchy?"
Boz...how are the Rockets doin'?
I agree with you except for one thing, Hitler killed 9 million and we killed 20 million. That is a big difference and we had no war crimes.
Not to argue. Just my opinion. There was war crimes against the Indians. the entire war was the crime. it was 100% wrong. Many many people will argue that by saying "survival of the fittest". I challenge anyone to say that what we did was right after I come and kick their door down at their home, slaughter half of their family, lock them up in a cage and take over all of their assets.
My friends say I'm oreo because I have tinted windows on my car and listen to rap music sometimes. Which box do I check?
That would be the KKK box!
You're cracking me up here!!!!
So what if she's Cherokee or part Cherokee? The GOT already has has an intrinsic disdain for 47% of the American people anyway.
Genocide attempts to erase a people from the earth. If you had Native "blood" you either hid it (if fair skin let you) or faced the full onslaught of racism and genocide. Assimilation is often the "offer" one gets to save yourself or your family. I know of a few families who have Native heritage but were "raised white". And it is not the same as bearing the full brunt of racism for Native people who are targeted by racism.
The racism that is showing in this campaign (stereotyped gestures and a white guy deciding he can tell who is Native by skin color) is self evident.
However, using what many white working class people have been manipulated into believing (that "affirmative action" is what is holding us down) is a lousy strategy to win a political contest. I think that is the key issue here.
Please don't vote for Dances with Marxists.
Probably you thought that was witty. Let me disabuse you of that notion. It's not witty or even remotely clever.
Oh come ON Linda! It was a little witty and a little clever.
I thought it was HYSTERICAL and completely spot-on.
Hey Doug, it seems that Linda, like other liberals, has no sense of humor. I thought that was pretty clever irony. Linda would probably just call it "racist" and move on with her miserable existence.
although I personally feel conservatives are humorless ...this election has made me question that since your candidate is mitt romney
I'd bet my bottom dollar you have a Rebel Flag in you bedroom,and that you have no clue what a Marxist or Socialist is!!!
Thank you Elizabeth for pointing out the hypocrisy that exists in the Federally recognized tribes. Unless you are on their roles in 1900's you are a nothing and a nobody. That infuriates me that my grand mother cannot claim her heritage. I pray for the day that DNA testing well be so accurate they can tell what tribe your from Then let the lawsuits begin. This foolishness has went on long enough. I can trace my heritage back 5 generations of Cherokee. The truth is it's all about the money.
It sure is about the money, and now that your "herirage" includes poker chips, and slot machines, you want your share.
You are one pathetic soul steve. Why are you so concerned about who gets someone elses money. I'm sure you would be in there like a old lady at a 90% off sale if you thought you could get some money yourself.
Did you see how scared Scott was during the debates? He looked like a school bully getting his butt kicked!! I'd put all my lunch money on that smart smart Lady looking out for the common American!!! Your boy seems dishonest,sold,scared!!
Who cares. Scott Brown went to a not top tier law school stripping for the camera and Elizabeth Warren went to a less than top tier law school saying she was part American Indian. What matters is, Elizabeth Warren became a law professor at Harvard not because of ethnicity but because she worked hard and was very, very bright. Scott Brown have you nothing better to tell voters? You are sad boy if that is all you can come up with.
she is not trying to build a casino...she only says she has roots. she is n't saying half or quarter
Elizabeth Warren is about an American as they come,that's all that matters when it comes to this job,plus all of her beliefs that may help all Americans move forward.The only reason this comes up is because the GOP politcians have finally reared their racist heads.A smart,true,American will always see through all this hate, ,for what it really is.This is why I'm very confident the people of Mass.,will give her a huge victory!! GIVE'M HELL LIZ!!!!!
Shame on CNN for covering this total BS diversion from what's really at stake. Since when did CNN become so right wing?
Ha hah That's a laugh. I have heard CNN called lots of things but right wing isn't one of them.
This is what they argue over in Massachusetts? What a bunch of mass holes. No wonder Romney was a governor there.
Being fair, Scott Brown brought this issue up. No one else. You are right about one thing....Scott Brown is a hole.
Pitdownman: yes, we focus on issues like integrity in MA. Apparently, that's not something you understand or concern yourself with.
As for jbloe ... the issue wasn't brought up by Brown – the media broke the story. Warren has been engaged in the attack ads – she did it first, and she's only recently repositioned her ads away fro attacks – because she's more willing to attack others than to be responsible about her own behavior.
I'm 30% Vulcan.
I am Mexican and lost a Directors job years ago for which I was very qualified and an minimally qualified Anglo was hired. When I questioned the cultural difference and job experience disparity I was told he was Mexican. I asked on what basis and was told all you have to do is claim it!
I personally support her regardless of her background
You're a liar is what you are.
Scott Brown should take a DNA test to prove he's a white man.
I am dark-skinned, dark-haired, dark-eyed, and my last name is Italian. You would never, ever guess that I have 25% Scottish ancestry. Looks mean nothing in determining someone's ancestry. Except to Brown and his ilk, to whom being a Native American means something derogatory, apparently. Especially in light of his campaign people dancing around and hooting and doing the "tomahawk chop" out in public. Talk about asinine.
Are you dense? Nothing has ever been said about her looks. What the issue is her taking advantage of the system for her own benefit. She is trying to "game the system" with her claim.
People like you KeninTexas and BostonSteve don't get it do you?
People like Lindsey will NEVER get the point. She doesn't WANT TO understand the issue.
If she made any effort to do that she might be forced to realize that someone she decided to
support as a result of _________ (pick one; she's a woman, she's a Democrat) isn't what she
says she is.
Lyndsey is a lost cause.
You obviously do not understand the issue. The issue is about Warrens character and her claiming to be someone she is not. It has nothing to do with Native Americans. Please get off your high horse like you have never made a racial remark before. I understand all politicians are BS artists but this woman takes the cake (I'm sure she has a recipe in her American Indian cookbook).
We do the tomahawk chop every time there is a first down/touchdown.
Thank God no one gives us any grief
Warren has pretended to be Native American for years.
She, and her supporters who want to overlook this nonsense, can rationalize away just about anything.
Ms. Warren stated that her family has Native American heritage. Modestly intelligent people are able to discern the difference.
You're right Nativist and Fredo's wrong.
Elizabeth Warren hasn't pretended to be Native American for years. She only pretended to be of Native
American ancestry when she realized it would help her get her job at Harvard. Prior to that she never
made any such claim.
Hence the discussion.
Don, unless you can provide some evidence that Ms. Warren "checked the box" on her employment application, you are being purposefully deceitful.
Otherwise known as lying.
Warren has admitted to checking the box because she was under the impression that the inquiry into her past could go no further. This is usually true unless you are running for politics, where everything an anything is fair game.
E Warren has proven to be nothing more than a two faced opportunist. She was practicing law in MA without a license, defended a steel company against having to pay the pensions of retired workers, and travelers insurance against paying asbestos claims.
I have Native predecessors (a great grandmother, Maliseet), but wouldn't ever cop to it as I was never raised in a Native manner and don't appear Native at all. However, I cannot vote for Scott Brown- he's a slippery, pandering, egotistical stuffed suit- zero substance, all 'GOP-branding'.
What happened? Did your mother come to do laundry and wake you up?
The reality is that Scott Brown has lost much of his GOP support, primarily the hard liners,
over the last two years because he doesn't follow the party line often enough.
Scott Brown was positioned, groomed and branded by the Mass. GOP as an outsider and non-partisan, because it was deemed difficult to elect a Republican in this state, especially to Ted Kennedy's old seat. It's a farce and purely a ruse. Personal insults cheapen your argument, Don. I own my business and work tirelessly at it. And I do my own laundry, thank you, just like Scott Brown.
Are you part of a tribe? No? Then don't refer to yourself as being Native American. You may have Native American ancestry, and I do as well, but neither she nor I are members of a tribe and have no right to claim that we're Native American.
Bob, I am half German but have not affiliation with the German tribe. Am I still half-German. I certainly don't act German, at least not too often. I like soccer, but not lederhosen (Bavarian). Actually, I'm half-Bavarian. Not teasing you. Just conversing.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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