Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced she will “take a hard look” at running for president in 2020. While progressive feminists certainly welcome such a prospect, a Native American activist has denounced the female senator’s proposed run due to her past claims of Native American ancestry, which may have earned her a job at Harvard.
Writing for HuffPo, of all places, Rebecca Nagle, who describes herself as a “Cherokee Nation citizen and a proud Two Spirit woman,” essentially calls Warren a habitual liar regarding her false ancestry and demands she recant.
“As a registered Democrat, I agree with a wide range of Warren’s policies,” writes Nagle. “But as a Cherokee woman, I cannot support her until she rescinds her false claims of Cherokee and Delaware heritage.”
Nagle accepts no excuses or apologetics for Warren’s claims, which have since shifted from being a proud Native American to being a woman “with Native heritage.” Though the senator has changed some of her story, she “has never stopped claiming her family is Cherokee and Delaware, despite having an enormous amount of evidence that says otherwise.”
Warren openly admits you won’t find her family “on any rolls” — a line that raises red flags only for the very small sector of society that is knowledgeable about Cherokee genealogy. The widespread myth that scores of Cherokee were simply left off records whitewashes a brutally violent history.
The issue with Warren is not that she isn’t on any rolls, that her nonexistent blood quantum is too low, that she can’t pass a DNA test or that we lack information about her family. The issue is that she claims to have a Native ancestor when there are none.
Some reports say that Warren is 1/32 Native American through her great-great-great-grandmother, who was described as Cherokee on her marriage license application. But the original application and marriage license have never been found to corroborate this story told in Warren’s family.
Her family history is not a mystery; her genealogy has been traced back to before the Trail of Tears to Revolutionary America, and no evidence of Native ancestry has been found. Her family is completely absent from over 45 records and rolls of Cherokee people from 1817 to 1914. In the same period, before Cherokees were citizens, her relatives appear in multiple U.S. censuses as white.
Translation: Warren has not one scintilla of evidence to support her claims. Nothing.
Nagle rightly notes that any other person claiming to be something or someone they are not would be labeled a kook, but for some reason that excludes people who falsely claim Native American ancestry for career advancement.
Not that Nagle has completely shut the door on Warren 2020. In fact, the author gives her a way out: admit her sins and apologize.
“If Warren could simply state, ‘Like many non-Native Americans, I grew up with stories that my family was part Cherokee and Delaware. After reviewing extensive research on my genealogy going back over 150 years, I now know these stories are not true. I am sorry for any harm my mistaken claims have caused,’ I would publicly support her,” exclaims Nagle. “Such a move would not only be moral and brave but would also serve as a great teaching moment for many Americans who do not understand why false claims to Native identity undermine Native rights.”
Nagle concludes that Warren will lose her vote and support in 2020 if she continues to ignore the fact that she lied.