Much of the discussion in the media regarding Elizabeth Warren is about whether it is appropriate for someone who is 1/32 Cherokee to claim Native American status.
There are numerous articles about what it means to be Native American, and who gets to define ethnicity. That percentage question also is evolving into a bigger question of affirmative action.
Put aside that it is not proven that Warren’s great-great-great grandmother was Cherokee.
Even if Warren’s great-great-great grandmother were Cherokee, it’s irrelevant to Warren’s motivation to self-identify as Native American for a law faculty directory, which resulted in her being listed as “minority,” because Warren was not aware of the alleged 1/32 connection at the time she filled out the forms.
As her campaign press secretary told me on April 30, just before the alleged 1/32 connection was discovered, Warren based her entries and claim to Native American status solely on family “lore.”
Yet the possible but unproven 1/32 connection, discovered decades later, now forms the basis for Warren’s media narrative to defend Warren against suggestions she tried to game the system.
It’s a little but big point, because Warren’s motivations in claiming Native American status, and her bizarre explanation that she did it to meet other Native Americans, have nothing to do with the alleged 1/32 connection.
And it’s those motivations and evasive explanations that go to whether Warren should be elected to the Senate, not the percentage — if any — of her blood that is Cherokee.