Elizabeth Warren is manipulating Native Americans again for her own benefit.
Throughout her adult professional life, Elizabeth Warren has manipulated Native Americans.
When Warren was in her mid-30s, and a law professor, she for the first time asserted that she was Native American. She didn’t do it by joining Native American groups, by bringing lawsuits to help Native Americans, or by helping Native American students. Never in her life did she do any of those things.
Instead, beginning in the mid-1980s, Warren asserted her Native American claim in the information provided to a law professor directory widely used for hiring purposes. That claim to be Native American landed Warren on a short list of “Minority Law Teachers.” Warren’s supposed Native American status was not disclosed in the directory, only that she was a minority.
It was a particularly devious maneuver, enabling Warren to seek the benefit of being a minority at a time when there was an intense push to diversify faculty, without having to justify her claim to be Native American. Warren would maintain that stealth status in the law directory when she was hired as a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School in the early 1990s, and it was noticed. The Harvard Women’s Law Journal listed Warren on its short list of “Women of Color in Legal Academia.”
Warren stopped filling out the law professor directory as Native American when she gained a full-time tenured job at Harvard Law School in the mid-1990s. At that point, being Native American and a supposed-minority no longer was needed, Warren had reached the top rung of the law professor ladder. While Warren asserts that she never actually gained an advantage from claiming to be Native American and a minority, there is no doubt that she tried to gain an advantage. When that need for advantage was over, she dropped the designation.
Warren used Native Americans when she needed them professionally, then dropped them.
When Warren’s claim to be Native American was discovered in April 2012, during the Senate campaign, Warren defended her claims with dubious family lore stories. That defense would continue throughout the 2012 Senate campaign, and for six more years whenever Warren was confronted on the issue. Yet as a Senator, Warren did little to nothing to help Native Americans.
That all changed when Warren started gearing up for a presidential run. Warren started reaching out to Native American groups and laying the foundation to defend her false claim to be Native American.
Warren even went so far as to roll out a DNA test showing, at best, a tiny fraction of potential Native American DNA. That DNA rollout was met with fury from Native American leaders, who asserted that Warren was doing substantial damage to Native Americans by focusing on DNA. Even then, Warren initially defended her claims and her DNA test, until the problems came close to killing her nascent presidential campaign.
As part of salvaging her presidential campaign, Warren intensified her outreach to Native American leaders and groups. This was not for the benefit of Native Americans, but for the benefit of Elizabeth Warren.
Warren’s Native American salvage operation has now reached a new level. After several months of intense campaign outreach to Native American politicians, Warren has rolled out a plan to help Native Americans.
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on Friday laid out a collection of policy proposals intended to help Native Americans, pledging to protect tribal lands and to bolster funding for programs that serve Native people.
In releasing the proposals, Ms. Warren is drawing attention to Native American issues after months of largely refraining from doing so in the wake of a controversy over her ancestry. Ms. Warren put out the plans ahead of a scheduled appearance on Monday at a presidential forum in Sioux City, Iowa, that is dedicated to Native American issues.
Among the proposals, Ms. Warren said that if elected president, she would revoke the permits for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, two projects that have been opposed by many Native Americans. No energy project significantly affecting tribal lands should go ahead, she said, “without the free, prior and informed consent of the tribal nation concerned.”
She also called for expanding the ability of tribes to prosecute non-Native Americans for crimes committed on tribal land, and she proposed creating a nationwide alert system for missing indigenous women.
Note the timing — right before a Native American presidential forum.
Timing is everything, and Warren waited almost 35 years since first claiming to be Native American, and seven years after becoming Senator, to propose a plan to help Native Americans. She waited until the moment it would help her presidential campaign the most.
The timing has caught the attention of independent Native Americans such as Twila Barnes, the Cherokee genealogist who did as much as anyone in documenting Warren’s lack of Native American ancestors. Barnes tweeted:
When she no longer needs us, she will forget we exist. She had 6 years to work on these things while she was a Senator. They only became important when she decided to run for POTUS and only then because she has the fake claim/DNA problem.
Brett Chapman, a Native American attorney, tweeted how this fit into Warren’s political strategy of creating positive media:
As we move to closer to 2020, every story about Warren and Indians will be positive, declaring her a friend of Indians and the controversy over. All who identify with the political left who chastised her over this will fall in line. It’s all driven solely by partisan politics
The plan Elizabeth Warren just rolled out may help Native Americans, but that is not its purpose. The purpose of Elizabeth Warren’s Native American Plan is to help Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign.
Once again, Warren is manipulating Native Americans for her own benefit.
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