Things are not going well for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren after a new revelation by The Washington Post further inflamed the already potentially campaign-killing issue of her repeated claims to Native American ancestry. If her interview with reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday is any indication, Warren's headaches over her intersectional claims of being an "American Indian" aren't going away anytime soon.
Warren's current racial woes are of her own making. Amid constant mockery from President Trump, "Pocahontas" Warren decided just a few weeks ahead of the 2018 election to release the results from a DNA analysis revealing that she has as little as 1,024th Native American blood. On Tuesday, The Washington Post revealed a document never before seen by the public: Warren's 1986 registration form for the State Bar of Texas in which she described herself in her own hand as "American Indian."
"The Texas bar registration card is significant, among other reasons, because it removes any doubt that Warren directly claimed the identity," the Post reported. "In other instances, Warren has declined to say whether she or an assistant filled out forms."
In an interview with reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday reported by Politico, Warren defended identifying herself as Native American in the past and suggested that other forms from that period might contain the same "American Indian" description.
"Look, this is who I grew up believing with my brothers," the Massachussetts senator told reporters. "This is our family’s story, and it’s all consistent from that point in time. But as I said, it’s important to note I’m not a tribal citizen and I should have been more mindful of the distinction."
Politico notes that when she was asked whether we should expect more forms listing her as "American Indian" to come to light, Warren suggested that might be the case, stating that she filled out her paperwork during that period with the belief that she was Native American.
"So all I know is during this time period, this is consistent with what I did because it was based on my understanding from my family's stories," she said, before stressing again that racial heritage isn't the same as "tribal citizenship."
Asked if she is going to drop out of the presidential race, Warren said, "Thank you," and simply "walked away," Politico notes.
Warren's comment about tribal citizenship comes after Cherokee Nation issued a strong public rebuke of her attempt to use the DNA test to "prove" that she was correct in claiming during her career in academia that she was part Cherokee.
"A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship," Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr. said in a statement issued shortly after Warren released her much-maligned DNA test results. "Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person's ancestors were indigenous to North or South America. Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is prove."