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Boston Globe unintentionally proves Elizabeth Warren’s ethnic fraud

Boston Globe unintentionally proves Elizabeth Warren’s ethnic fraud

Spends 3,000 words trying to cover for her, but facts revealed destroy her claim to be Native American

The Boston Globe ran a massive 3,000 word lead article this morning trying to excuse away Elizabeth Warren’s claim during her professional career to be minority and a woman of color based on supposed Native American ancestry.

The story, which had the cooperation of the Warren campaign, comes just days before the first debate in Massachusetts’ Senate race.  Clearly, the Warren campaign is worried after even Native Americans who are Democrats criticized Warren at the DNC in Charlotte, and is attempting to put its story out there through a friendly source.

The article is a masterpiece of distraction, weaving stories from people completely unrelated to Warren as to their own experiences with Native America family lore or growing up as Native American in the 1950’s and 1960’s with bits and pieces of Warren’s story.  The end result is an attempt to paint Warren as a victim of circumstance and the times she grew up in, as a means of explaining away the many inconsistencies in her story.

Yet when one digs down into the actual facts in the Globe story, it actually is quite devastating to Warren, proving that contrary to her many recent accounts, Native American ancestry was not central to her life at any time prior to the mid-1980s when she claimed “Minority Law Teacher” status in a national law faculty directory.

Despite all the verbiage, the following facts emerge from the story:

1.  Warren’s claim now is focused on a different family line than originally claimed.

When the story broke that Warren might be 1/32 Cherokee, it was based on supposed ancestry on Warren’s maternal grandmother’s side, the so-called Crawford line.  That 1/32 claim was completely debunked, and the Globe had to issue a retraction, although Warren being 1/32 Cherokee lives on in pop culture.

The Globe focuses its examination on the maternal grandfather’s lineage, the so-called Reed line, and it is that family line which appears in the story to be the focus of Warren’s campaign.

Warren’s story has switched sides.  Now it’s supposedly the Reed line which had the strong Native American connection.

Yet in its 3,000 words, the Globe never notes this switch, although to its credit the Globe did note that Warren’s family can’t keep its own story straight:

Warren said she was informed by others in the family that her mother’s mother “was a little bit Delaware, and her father was more Cherokee.” Told that her brother recalled the opposite, she added, “It might have been the other way around.” Her grandmother, she added, “always talked about PawPaw being a lot more Indian.”

2.  There is no genealogical proof that Warren has ANY Native American ancestry.

The image and text posted just below the headline to the Globe article are incredibly deceptive.  The image purports to be of Warren’s maternal grandfather, and has next to it the text “Harry Reed was part Indian, say descendants.”

The key wording is “says descendants.”  Because there actually is no evidence to support the claim, it’s just family lore, yet it is used to start off the story:

Those brothers — a team of carpenters named Harry and Everett Reed who plied their trade in the Indian Territory that would become the state of Oklahoma — are believed by some family members to have roots in the Delaware tribe.

“Believed to be by some family members”? No other evidence is presented.

It is not until deep down in the story that the Globe notes that the person it quotes in the first sentence of the story has no proof:

Warren’s family, including cousin Mapes, have no documentation of Native American affiliation, nor is there evidence that they are listed on any official tribal roll.

Twila Barnes, the Cherokee genealogist whose group has documented Warren’s lack of Native American ancestry and who has been harassed by Warren supporters as a result, already has researched the ancestry of Harry Reed in great detail, and published those findings with extensive documentation weeks ago:,

Ms.  Warren claims her mother, Pauline Reed Herring, was Native  American. When asked what made her mother’s family Native American, Ms. Warren  replied, “One side was Cherokee and the other side was  Delaware.”

We have already shown there is nothing to indicate American Indian ancestry through Pauline’s mother, Hannie Crawford. Now we will show you why there is good reason to believe there is none through Pauline’s father,  Harry Gunn Reed, either. We have shown the historical documents supporting the fact Harry G. Reed’s family was white and not Indian, but sometimes that just isn’t good enough for people, especially some Elizabeth Warren supporters….

So,  on we go, with more evidence to show Elizabeth Warren does not have Cherokee,  Delaware, American Indian, Native American, or whatever else you want to call  it, ancestry

The Globe also failed to note that Warren’s own adult nephew researched the Reed line, and in 2002 described claims of Native American ancestry as rumor.

The Globe did an incredibly shoddy job on the ancestry, failing to note not only that Warren’s story has changed, but also extensive evidence that there is no Native American ancestry, while building the story around what “descendants say.”

3.  Lack of proof becomes proof.

Much of the Globe article is devoted to proving that not all Native Americans can document their ancestry, so lack of proof doesn’t mean much.

I won’t bore you with all the stories from people unrelated to Warren recited in the Globe article.  But this is the heart of Warren’s defense on whether she actually has Native American ancestry, that because some real Native Americans can’t prove their ancestry, Warren not being able to prove her ancestry is proof she’s Native American.

Think about that.  The complete absence of any documentary evidence that Warren has Native American ancestry becomes the proof for Warren having Native American ancestry.

4.  Warren continues to hide evidence.

Warren still has not authorized the release of her employment files, and the Globe notes she will not authorize the release of tribal genealogical records or give details as to most of her supposed “family lore”:

Months after the political flare-up, Warren and some of her family members remain unwilling to provide details on the subject. In a lengthy interview, Warren referred to stories about her roots that she says were frequently told at family gatherings in her native Oklahoma, but declined to share virtually any of them. “I knew it was part of our family,” Warren said. “It was part of what we talked about. . . . It was just part of who we were.”….

The Cherokee Nation, like many tribes, will only release the names of those on its rolls to those claiming membership. While a spokeswoman for the Delaware Tribe of Bartlesville, Okla., one of several branches of the tribe, said that their roll includes a member with the name of Reed born around the turn of the century, she would not provide additional information. Warren’s campaign declined to request the information from either tribe.

5.  Warren grossly exaggerated her family lore.

Here is where the Globe works really hard to obfuscate, but ultimately reveals facts demonstrating what I always have believed about Warren, that there were rumors (her nephew’s word) and some family stories, but that Warren grossly exaggerated those rumors and stories when it suited her professional purposes later in her career.

Here are some excerpts from the story:

Warren’s extended family has mixed opinions on the Native American question. The stories shared by Mapes, as well as Warren’s brothers and a number of her cousins, echo Warren’s assertion. But other cousins, some of whom also do not know Warren, say they know nothing of Native American blood in the family. According to one family biography, on file at the California State University at Fullerton, one of Warren’s relatives once shot at an Indian….

The Globe does note that virtually none of her childhood classmates recalls her being Native American:

Forty years later, when the subject of Warren’s heritage erupted on the national airwaves, some of her former classmates smirked to hear her say that Native American blood was central to her identity. Few of them, certainly, had ever heard anything of it.

The Globe does quote one classmate, who presumably was identified to the Globe by Warren or her campaign, as follows (emphasis mine):

While Warren did not talk to many classmates about her heritage, she loosened up with her friend Katrina Cochran.

As the two drove in Warren’s white MG to the Charcoal Oven drive-in for lunch in their senior year, they would sometimes have a mock debate about who was more “Indian.”

She talked about her grandmother being a Cherokee, and I talked about how my aunt by marriage was a Choctaw,” said Cochran, an Oklahoma psychologist. “I was making a totally illogical argument, saying I was just as Indian as she was. It was ridiculous because she had the blood and I did not, but it made us laugh.”

When pressed to discuss conversations she may have had with classmates who had similar stories, Warren declined to elaborate. “It was a different time,” she said.

Note again the highlighted wording, back then Warren was claiming Cherokee lineage on her maternal grandmother’s side, now it’s supposed Delaware ancestry on her maternal grandfather’s side.

Getting back to classmates, the Globe could have noted that one such classmate who had no idea Warren claimed Native American ancestry was her debate partner, who has said he was “joined at the hip” with Warren for three years.  Yet we are supposed to believe that because of the times Warren kept her ancestry a secret from everyone, yet it was so fundamental a part of who she was?  This strains credulity.

6.  Warren’s immediate family backs her up but only in a general way

For the first time the Warren campaign has made Warren’s brothers available and had them issue a statement of support.  But look at the actual short statement and the interviews, and it is apparent that there is little there other than a general family lore.

David Herring of Norman, Okla., one of Warren’s three brothers, said in an interview that even when he was a child his relatives were reluctant to talk about the family’s Native American heritage because “it was not popular in my family.” Only when he begged his grandparents, said Herring, did they finally explain to him: “Your grandfather is part Delaware, a little bitty bit, way back, and your grandmother is part Cherokee. It was not the most popular thing to do in Oklahoma. [Indians] were degraded, looked down on.”

Warren’s brothers, Don, John, and David Herring, also issued a joint statement supporting their sister. “The people attacking Betsy and our family don’t know much about either. We grew up listening to our mother and grandmother and other relatives talk about our family’s Cherokee and Delaware heritage. They’ve passed away now, but they’d be angry if they were around today listening to all this.” …

Warren’s brother David, eight years her senior, calls the public controversy over the subject “a bunch of baloney.” He remembers relatives cautioning him when he played cowboys and Indians as a child. “My aunts said, ‘Be careful shooting the Indians because some of them are your relatives.’ ” But most shied away from the subject of the family’s heritage, Herring added, because “it wasn’t something you were proud of.”

Did any of her brothers claim to be Native American?  Did any of them “check the box” based on these vague stories which lack any proof?  The Globe doesn’t say.

The family account in the Globe story supports what never really was in doubt, that there were some family stories, but does not support the proposition that such stories justified Warren claiming minority status, as even the Globe admits:

In the absence of documentation, the family’s link to any Native American tribe is a matter of narrative inheritance or folklore, as Warren puts it. Even if Warren has some degree of Native American blood, it is unclear if it would meet conventional standards of what constitutes a minority.

(added) In fact, Harvard currently applies the standard two part test to claim to be Native American for employment purposes, proof of actual ancestry and proof of tribal affiliation or community recognition. Warren fails both parts of the test.

 7.  Warren never embraced her heritage except in a manner designed to help her professionally

Ultimately, Warren’s defense and the Globe story fall apart because of the timing of Warren’s use of her supposed ancestry in the mid-1980s in the law faculty directory (supposedly to meet other Native Americans), and then in reporting to U. Penn and Harvard Law Schools, and her appearance while auditioning for Harvard as a “Woman of Color in Legal Academia” in the Harvard Women’s Law Journal.

The Globe and Warren try to explain this away as a change in societal times, in which it finally became acceptable to disclose Native American ancestry.

Forty years later, when the subject of Warren’s heritage erupted on the national airwaves, some of her former classmates smirked to hear her say that Native American blood was central to her identity. Few of them, certainly, had ever heard anything of it. But to Cochran, the timing made sense.

“It did not surprise me one bit that Liz was in her adulthood . . . when she began to embrace her heritage,” said Cochran. “In the South of those days, these issues were just not discussed. We are the buckle of the Bible Belt down here.”

That meme, of course, is nonsense.  Assuming for the sake of argument there was an issue in the 1950s or 1960s, by the 1970s the American Indian movement was highly visible and affirmative action hiring in academia began to make it advantageous to claim minority status.

More important, there is nothing to suggest that Warren ever “began to embrace her heritage.”  She never sought membership in a tribe, affiliated herself with any Native American groups on or off campus, never advocated for Native American causes or helped Native Americans in any way.

The only way that Warren embraced her heritage was in a very sneaky way meant to juice her appeal to prospective employers by putting her in the desirable employment categories of “minority” and “woman of color.”  When she reached the top rung of the law professor ladder, a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School, Warren abandoned her tactical “embrace” of her Native American heritage.

When first confronted by the Boston Herald in late April, Warren claimed not to know why Harvard was touting her as a Native American hire.  It was only later as others dug up facts as to the law faculty directory and her employment reporting that Warren’s story changed and being Native American became a fundamental part of who she was.

We don’t know if Warren gained an actual advantage from taking family rumors and stories and using them only for professional purposes.  We do know that Warren tried to gain an advantage, and it is that attempt which the Globe article obscures.

Warren’s attempt to rig the system by attempting to gain an ethnic advantage she did not deserve is the real story, a story which hopefully will come out at the debates.


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Lyin’ Lizzy could make all this disappear…

by donating…on camera…her DNA for testing.

Maybe one of the testers could be her Haaaaavid colleague, Skip Gates.

I have to laugh and laugh at Professional Hispanic Eva Longoria (who is MOSTLY white) when Skip breaks the news…

    Lyin’ Lizzy could make all this disappear…

    by donating…on camera…her DNA for testing.

    Rags & EBL, at least three possibilities come to mind:

         1. Betty has had the tests done secretly and they came back negative.

         2. Betty has had the tests done secretly and they came back positive. She is saving the information for an October surprise.

         3. Betty has had the tests done secretly by personnel who understand the importance of sending President in Waiting Elizabeth Warren to the Senate. The results will be spun favorably with as little or as much detail as is expeditious. The results will be released too late to check or debunk.

    Maybe the Brown campaign should pick out a reputable lab and offer to pay for the test, but that’s risky because absence of evidence (so far) is not necessarily evidence of absence.

    (Maybe Brown should have himself tested. Now that could give an October surprise!)

    AmandaFitz in reply to Ragspierre. | September 17, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Well worth watching this video. I found it fascinating to watch Eva Longoria’s crestfallen reaction- and the African American “Studies” professor- classic!

A DNA test would certainly show if she has gene markers consistent with being Native American. Why not do that Elizabeth?

There is nothing in the world as telling as a newspaper writer (isn’t the term ‘journalist’ unusable now??) or collection of writers going to incredible lengths to support their chosen/preferred candidate. Given the partisan divides I doubt anyone expects true objectivity any more. But to produce something as shallow and lengthy as this simply proves that there isn’t any shame in overt exaggeration or overkill in the support of candidates now.

Over course, Sally Jacobs left off at least one other in the string of dubious rationales – aren’t we all really now native (lower case) Americans, especially if we have a a few successive generations of family here. Perhaps this weak point could also be entangled with the fact that she grew up in a region where ‘native’ consciousness was high. See, you only need to pull out a few random items of fact and tie them together in order to make them work……

    ArnoldLayne in reply to casualobserver. | September 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Hey Casual, according the EEOC “American Indian or Alaskan Native. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America, and who maintain their culture through a tribe or community.”
    So tell us how Liz and her family have met that standard.
    Just the facts please, we know that democrats are the party of science and therefore facts.

      casualobserver in reply to ArnoldLayne. | September 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      Reading the entire piece by Ms. Jacobs, I suspect she might say your demand for facts is quaint. In modern progressive analysis, my impression is that you have to build upon facts with ‘intelligent’ supposition and culture inferences. The cultural inferences are my takeaway given the writers’ views of “The South” and race. So, I wouldn’t be surprised to find another rationalization to excuse Warren’s behavior could be built upon redefining ‘native’. Hey, throw in a little subtle white-power references and most of the progressives will buy the analysis in total. You know, something along the lines of: “In Oklahoma, where white supremacy splinter groups still exist to this day, some feel the term ‘native’ is often used to distinguish native whites from….blah, blah, blah. A good deal of her article follows this kind of irrational study where everything is ‘contextualized within the culture’, or some such nonsense.

    AmandaFitz in reply to casualobserver. | September 17, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Great point re. “journalist”- I’ll not use the term again.

It is amazing how technological developments in gel and Kevlar have enabled classically trained professional journalists with the highest ethical standards to custom fit their knee pads to limit damage to their knee joints while still carrying out their day to day tasks.

Prof: Thanks for the time you put into analyzing the facts and separating the relevant from the irrelevant. That is not an easy task, but it is important when “journalists” attempt to bury readers in BS.

GAWD Professor , Once again you step up to wash away the clumsily slathered coat of whitewash with the abrasion of wheres the truth! Good job! . . To me the money pull of the article is the shadowy appearance of a certain ancestral “Harry Reed” which suggests a strain of Pederasty in the family gene pool. Hey , why not ? Theres as much proof for that as there is for alot of the rest of the family lore!

You know, I just don’t buy this “we didn’t talk about it because it was somehow shameful” meme. My grandmother often told us we had at least one Mohawk ancestor, and it was obviously out of *pride* not shame. “Hey look how cool we are, we haz Native American blood”. It makes our family trees seem more sexy and colorful (no pun intended). Now perhaps I don’t understand Oklahoma life and culture in mid 20th century, but I find it difficult to believe people who often refer to their state as the “Red man’s red land (okla-humma)” (I have visited central Oklahoma several times, had friends there), who seem to take great pride in the Native American heritage of their state, would ever be *reluctant* to boast of such ancestry.

Obviously critics of Warren don’t give a flip whether she has such ancestry or not. If she does, cool, if not, whatever. The issue is whether she *lied* about this, and to her advantage. And to be honest since when does 1/32 anything make you a “person of color”? That’s just silly.

For a poetic exploration of Warren the Pretend Indian:


As a lawyer, Liz was “fair”,
But to be “Prof” she had to share
MINORITY traits that just weren’t there.
Oh, poor Lizzy.

And then she had a wicked dream,
She’d steal a “Cherokee Nation” theme,
Theft of a race was her crazy scheme,
Crazy, crazy Lizzy.

Harvard bought the lie real fast,
And Liz kept lying to the last!
She could deceive with stunning class!
Dirty, dirty Lizzy.

Now Cherokees kept perfect lists,
Of their descendants in our midst,
And Lizzy’s name did not exist!
Oh, oh Lizzy.

In fact the TRUTH was stranger still,
LIZ’ forebears, like George Custer, killed,
The Cherokees who were living still!

But when confronted by her fraud,
Liz attacked–she wasn’t awed
By truth, or even Indian Gods
Danger, danger Lizzy!

Now Massachusetts must decide,
If Liz, with BO right at her side,
Can mock both state and indian pride.
No way, Lizzy.


What I would like to know is what documentation Warren provided to Harvard and any other institution to advanced herself by claiming she was a woman of color. And, lacking any verifiable documentation, I would like Harvard and any other institution to re-pay us, American tax payer (aka patsys), for what ever benefits they accrued by furthering the deception – plus interest.

According to recipe archives, Liz Warren is Jewish:

“Liz Warren’s Authentic Cherokee Gefilte Fish”

Folks, there is a reason Michael Graham, Boston talk radio personality, refers to the “Boston Globe” as the “Boston Globe-Democrat”.

TrooperJohnSmith | September 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm

As my father (who was of verifiable Cherokee, Choctaw, Kiowa and Sac and Fox heritage) used to say, “When you find yourself in a hole, it’s best to stop diggin’.”

At this rate, the hard-digging Lizzy Warren will soon pop out of the ground, by my best guess, somewhere in southern Hunan province.

The latest poll has Warren up by 6. (The poll before that had Brown up by 5.)

The headline “Boston Globe unintentionally proves Elizabeth Warren’s ethnic fraud” is not justified by William A. Jacobson writings. This article is nothing but an intentional political attack.

    It is justified. While most commenters, I included, have not focused on Bill’s main point, his last two paragraphs are:

    We don’t know if Warren gained an actual advantage from taking family rumors and stories and using them only for professional purposes. We do know that Warren tried to gain an advantage, and it is that attempt which the Globe article obscures.

    Warren’s attempt to rig the system by attempting to gain an ethnic advantage she did not deserve is the real story, a story which hopefully will come out at the debates.

    The gravamen, as I understand it, is that Warren knowingly misused family anecdotes which are flimsy evidence at best.

    Btw, Warren is a lawyer. She knows what evidence is. As does Harvard Law School. (HLS of course cannot acknowledge that the Warren hire has become an embarrassment, but they may well be pleased to see her leave “with honor”.)

      ArnoldLayne in reply to gs. | September 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      And Liz herself declared, at DNC, “the system is riggeg” – my, my, she must have been speaking based on personal experience.

      Bruno Lesky in reply to gs. | September 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Maybe read the first sentence in Jan Twiest’s post as ironic. Perhaps the emphasis is on the “unintentional” not the “justified.”

Note to self:

If engaged in legal battle with William Jacobson, capitulate.

What an epic smackdown! 😀

This article show that there is a big, big difference between being a legitimate and meritorious graduate of the Harvard Law School and an affirmative action hire of the Harvard Law School.

And I commend Professor Jacobson for his gallant bravery in actually reading the Globe.

I’m at a loss as to why it even matters. There’s no way to vindicate her for enaaging in professional fraud. Being 1/32nd of anything barely qualifies as a boring cocktail party anecdote.

    casualobserver in reply to Abe Froman. | September 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    It clearly matters to Sally Jacobs, and perhaps the editorial staff at large for the Globe. They put a great deal of effort into building their version of a counter-case. They must feel it is a weakness for her.

Cherokee AND Delaware? Proven Not a shred of Cherokee by genealogists. Delaware moved to then merged as subtribe on Cherokee Reservation land. Delaware has 2 tribes that were/are covered by Cherokee Roll census, other Delaware keep own Roll call census(~10k) NO WARREN ANCESTOR APPEARS.

The Warren Campaign FRAUD continues…

[…] PROF. JACOBSON: Boston Globe unintentionally proves Elizabeth Warren’s ethnic fraud. […]

yankeehotelfoxtrot | September 16, 2012 at 10:56 pm


Warren would have more success claiming that she was a descendant of Tom Sawyer.

his relatives were reluctant to talk about the family’s Native American heritage because

It was bs?

Constitution First | September 17, 2012 at 9:37 am

What do expect from the ‘grandmother’ of Occupy?

[…] professor’s Senate campaign to produce the story, in which Jacobson finds seven major flaws. According to Legal Insurrection: When the story broke that Warren might be 1/32 Cherokee, it was based on supposed ancestry on […]

[…] But it’s the same old Crockagawea: The Boston Globe ran a massive 3,000 word lead article this morning [Sunday] trying to excuse away Elizabeth Warren’s claim during her professional career to be minority and a woman of color based on supposed Native American ancestry. […]

Captain Obvious | September 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm

The real truth is painfully obvious. Little Lizzy used to play politically incorrect cowboys and injuns with her parents and grandparents; some days they were Cherokee, some days they were Delaware, depending on what was on the Lone Ranger that week. Now she just can’t admit being such a racially insensitive toddler.

    Captain Obvious in reply to Captain Obvious. | September 17, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    All this broohaha was just exacerbated by her inability to distinguish childhood fantasy from reality, which is pretty much a party requirement for MA Democrats.

[…] by the way, inadvertently destroys those claims. This entry was posted in Media by Mitch Berg. Bookmark the […]