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Why hasn’t Elizabeth Warren’s family backed her up on Cherokee claims?

Why hasn’t Elizabeth Warren’s family backed her up on Cherokee claims?

The question which has not been asked yet by the media, but needs to be.

Elizabeth Warren has no documentation that she is Cherokee, Delaware or any other Native American tribe.  The initial claim that Warren was 1/32 Cherokee was withdrawn by the New England Historic Genealogical Society as lacking evidence.  Census and other records prove that her parents and grandparents recorded themselves as white.  And so on, and so on.

Instead of the type of evidence normally drawn upon by genealogists, Warren recounts supposed family lore.

Yet prior to being called out for listing herself as Native American for professional purposes, Warren never publicly told such lore.  When Warren did give extensive interviews about her upbringing prior to this past May, she didn’t mention Native American family lore.  Yet now that alleged family lore was so much a part of Warren’s upbringing that she refuses to back away from it because it is such a fundamental part who she is and how she was raised.

Warren’s family lore consists of two stories.

First, Warren has told the story of her Aunt Bee commenting on how Warren’s ancestors had high cheekbones, supposedly just like “all the Indians do.”  Yet all evidence points to her Aunt Bee as being White, and Warren listed her Aunt Bee as White on her death certificate even though American Indian was a choice.

Second, Warren says, with increasing ferocity, that her parents had to elope because her father’s family did not approve of him marrying her mother because she was Native American.  The problem continued, according to Warren, throughout the marriage and even was an issue at Warren’s mother’s funeral in 1995.

Yet Warren’s mother was listed in censuses both prior and after the marriage as White, and also on her death certificate.  There is no evidence of the elopement or family problems other than Warren’s say so.

Warren has constructed a narrative of Native American family lore based on what she was told by people all of whom are dead.

There are other family members, however, who would have the same second-hand knowledge as Warren.

Yet not one of them has stepped forward to back her up.  To the contrary, in 2002 Warren’s own adult nephew, who would have been in a position to know about family heritage because he was researching Warren’s mother’s genealogy, described family claims of being Native American as rumor.

I realize that a substantial portion of the Massachusetts electorate seems not to care that Warren falsely described herself as Native American, perhaps believing that she was misled by her family lore.

But what if Warren has told a tall tale about that family lore?  What if Warren’s impassioned stories about her parents having to elope and there being problems at her mother’s funeral because her mother was Native American were false or exaggerated?

Did any of Warren’s relatives claim Native American status as she did?  Was Warren the only one in the family to report herself as Native American to the federal government?  Does Warren stand alone in her family in claiming that being Native American is a part of who she is?

Family lore wouldn’t make Elizabeth Warren Cherokee and wouldn’t justify her claim to be Native American for professional purposes at strategic times in her career.  But it is the explanation Warren has given, and it is an explanation as to which the people who know are dead, and the people who know second-hand aren’t talking.


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There is a growing bad taste of every thing about this woman. Yet like the Affordable Care Act the dems appear hell bent on shoving her down our.throat.

“Yet not one of them has stepped forward to back her up.”

Maybe they are honest? They say silence is golden.

Maybe someday they’ll spill their guts out – like Ted Kennedy’s cousin did to Leo Damore who wrote “Senatorial Privilege: The Chappaquiddick Coverup” [excellent read BTW].

Maybe, Prof., the family feels like the folks whose family member sings the wrong hymn at church…with gusto.

Sort of a mix of embarrassment, awkwardness, pathos, disgust (especially the teenagers), and a kind of perverse admiration that she’s “trying real hard”.

On the other hand, unlike the family in the church, they are not in the public eye, and may be too ashamed to come out and admit any relationship.

TrooperJohnSmith | July 25, 2012 at 10:24 am

Didn’t you mention here that her nephew has done extensive genealogical work and actually refutes her Indian claims?

Also, as I see it, Warren has a potent nuclear option as a last-stand defense strategy. She can claim that all those listings of “white” on census forms, death certificates and so on have a perfectly logical, albeit embarrassing explanation:

“Because of internal strife within my family and owing to the myriad of complex societal issues within the Native Community that causes them to shun their own identity in the ‘white’ world, my family was guilty of passing as white.

As much as that pains me to admit, because of our lighter complexion, we consciously separated ourselves from our Native identity. This was learned behavior on my part. It was only when I came to these tolerant, understanding and welcoming institutions of learning did I put aside my shame and embrace who I truly was as a Native American!”

Okay. Now, when the wacky b!tch plays that card, it’s here for the world to see beforehand!

Lizzy Warren, the Reformed Native American, appearing at a Political Kabuki Theater Near You!

BannedbytheGuardian | July 25, 2012 at 10:26 am

She scalped them.

2nd Ammendment Mother | July 25, 2012 at 11:36 am

The problem is that
1. She’s slandered her father’s family as being bigots publicly – so, I doubt you’ll see any support there

2. Stories like elopements because of bigotry that end up in long successful marriages are local legends – everyone in town knows them – yet, like Obama’s classmates at Columbia – no one else has heard of them.

DavidJackSmith | July 25, 2012 at 11:43 am

Elizabeth Warren: You didn’t build that Tee-Pee!

Somebody else build that Tee-Pee. Probably a real Indian.

I’m not planning on paying for a place to stay the next time I go to England. Although what records survive show my family as Ashkenazim all the way down, our family lore is that we are related to the royal family. So I’ll just let Cousin Liz know I’m in town and I think she usually has an extra bedroom.

What is really appalling about this–and I don’t think it’s gotten much attention–is the assumption by many that if Warren were 1/32 Cherokee that would mean something. I’d have thought the idea was a parody of diversity.

Anyway, it may be late but here’s my suggestion for a Warren campaign theme song:

stevewhitemd | July 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm

The rest of the family is comfortable with their cultural identity and don’t fee the need to engage in ethnic fraud.

In the future she will be the ancestor who will be viewed as the batty aunt who thought she was an Indian.

    Cassie in reply to gasper. | July 25, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Crazy like a fox, you mean. By telling this strategic lie about her ancestry, our batty aunt got herself a minority set-aside tenured job at Harvard Law and now makes a base salary of $350,000 per year.

Shhhhhh! The rest of her family have been “passing” as white for generations–they’re ready to scalp Princess Running Bare. [sarcasm off]

Henry Hawkins | July 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Ah’ll tell ye whut she is, she’s one o’ them thar confabulators, that’s whut she is, alright. A confabulator!

2. (Psychiatry) Psychiatry to replace the gaps left by a disorder of the memory with imaginary remembered experiences consistently believed to be true See also paramnesia

[from Latin confābulārī, from fābulārī to talk, from fābula a story; see fable]


I could easily accept that Warren uncritically accepted the family lore, even if proffered by only one or two family ancestors, because people find it easier to accept as factual the more interesting or flattering details about ourselves, especially when we are young, and many willfully ignore facts to the contrary to keep up the pleasing or consoling belief (credo consolans). Conversely, people routinely refuse to believe (willfully ignore) damaging or unflattering details about ourselves, even despite considerable evidence of its factual accuracy.

What Warren is doing is wholly different. She clearly rejected and never repeated this bit of lore about Native American ancestry, trotting it out only when it served her career needs, and even then placing it back on the bullshit shelf whenever it could not serve her needs. The existing timeline is best explained by this hypothesis of her actions and their motivations. It is a character issue – Warren is calculatingly dishonest and selfishly indifferent to its effect on others.

Elizabeth “Tall Tale Teller” Warren should go down in history as a heap big liar but the dumbed down MA public just ain’t smart enough to realize that truth should be part of the fabric on any public servant.

Well… That’s the way I see it anyway..

[…] She was none of that. A Government that understands that jobs come from growth and a vibrant and vital system of free enterprise. ~ Bill Clinton […]

I’d be sort of speechless if I found out that someone successful in my family had got there by claiming to have some kind of exotic heritage… how does one react to something like that.