'Pocahontas' Problem: Boston Globe Exposes Festering Fallout From Warren's Heritage Hoax

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Posted: Jan 23, 2018 4:01 PM
'Pocahontas' Problem: Boston Globe Exposes Festering Fallout From Warren's Heritage Hoax

We've never missed a chance to cover Sen. Elizabeth Warren's struggles over her shameless cultural appropriation scandal, wherein she baselessly claimed Native American ancestry for professional gain -- the polar opposite of "checking" her "white privilege," as the Social Justice Warrior ethos requires.  Initially, nearly all of the blowback from her cynical, self-serving hoax was generated on the political Right, with most leftists giving her a pass for her identity politics sins, or simply ignoring them.  Adherence to the, er, tribe's agenda was the paramount consideration.  But with the Woke Olympics in full swing, and amid intense competition among 'resistance'-pandering politicians to outflank potential 2020 rivals, Warren's vulnerability is starting to gain traction on the Left.  We told you about the Daily Show's pretty tough examination of the origins behind President Trump's infamous "Pocahontas" nickname.  In case you missed it, here it is -- and if you've seen it, the audience's awkward laughter is worth experiencing again:

Matt also wrote up an unsparing piece by an actual Cherokee woman, hammering Warren for her offensive betrayal and demanding an apology.  Perhaps most extraordinary is the fact that this essay was published at the left-wing website Think Progress.  A sample:

She is not from us. She does not represent us. She is not Cherokee...In defending her supposed Native identity, Warren has drawn from both racist stereotypes and easily refutable stories about her family. At a 2012 press conference Warren stated that her family knew her grandfather was “part” Cherokee because “he had high cheekbones like all of the Indians.” Cherokee genealogists have pored through her family history to find that “None of her direct line ancestors are ever shown to be anything other than white, dating back to long before the Trail of Tears.” To add insult to injury, despite Warren’s public claims of Native American heritage, she has decidedly avoided talking with Native leaders and, in 2012, refused to meet with a group of Cherokee women at the Democratic National Convention.

Which brings us to the front-page story that appeared in the Boston Globe over the weekend.  It runs through the ways in which Warren's ancestry fable has become a real and growing political liability for her among core pieces of the Democratic base.  The above-the-fold story even appeared right next to an article about the failed shutdown Warren advocated and voted to extend on Monday:

More telling, there’s also discomfort on the left and among some tribal leaders and activists that Warren has a political blind spot when it comes to the murkiness surrounding her story of her heritage, which blew up as an issue in her victorious 2012 Massachusetts Senate race...If Warren seeks to tackle the issue, there are no easy options. Some tribe members want her to apologize to Native Americans for claiming heritage without solid evidence. Tribes across America have spent centuries denouncing whites who claim Indian DNA without a clear basis, claims they find deeply offensive. Another path includes pursuing stronger outreach to the tribes with whom she claims to share kinship, a strategy that she’s begun to employ. This too is fraught, as some Native American leaders are resentful that she’s done, in their estimation, little to help tribes as a powerful senator. 'She’s not part of the Cherokee community,' said Chad Smith, who was the principal chief of the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation from 1999 to 2011. 'She hasn’t reached out. She hasn’t come here and participated much.'

...Warren also listed herself as a minority in a legal directory published by the Association of American Law Schools from 1986 to 1995. She’s never provided a clear answer on why she stopped self-identifying. She was also listed as a Native American in federal forms filed by the law schools at Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania where she worked. And in 1996, as Harvard Law School was being criticized for lacking diversity, a spokesman for the law school told the Harvard Crimson that Warren was Native American."

She stopped self-listing as a Native American after achieving tenure at Harvard Law, the zenith of her chosen career path. Also, the fact that "she hasn't reached out" to the real Cherokee community as a Senator shouldn't come as much of a surprise: Much of that community is actively angry with her, plus, she didn't do so while masquerading as a Native American while in Cambridge either.  That all seems rather -- what's the term? -- problematic.