Elizabeth Warren, the all-around statist Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts, climbed the career ladder in academia by claiming Cherokee ancestry. In 1997, a writer in the Fordham Law Review even called her the “first woman of color” to be hired at Harvard Law School.
I wonder if that writer had ever seen a picture of Warren:
There she is, Harvard Law’s “first woman of color.”
Warren has tried to defend herself, and someone apparently dug up a single document that supports her story. Satisfied, her campaign spokesman has called the focus on the issue “ridiculous” and the charges “already answered.”
Twila Barnes, a Cherokee genealogist, has a different take on the matter. On her blog, she recently published this open letter to Warren. Here’s an excerpt:
I am writing this letter in the hope it will help end the current situation you have found yourself in. It seems you are being ripped apart in the media because of your claim of Cherokee ancestry and you don’t like it. According to a recent article in the Boston Globe, you believe your opponent is “creating a distraction” by “ridiculously” attacking you “with questions that have already been answered.” It seems you would like the “attacks” against your claims of Cherokee ancestry to stop so I thought I would offer some advice on how to make it stop.
Tell the truth….
While you cling to a family story and the inaccurate report that ONE document was found that supports your claim, we real Cherokees understand that those things mean nothing. You see, we Cherokees have lots and lots and lots of documentation supporting our claims of our ancestry. Our Cherokee ancestors are found on every roll of the Cherokee Nation (30+ rolls!) dating back to before the removal and in all sorts of other documentation, including but not limited to claims against the US government for lost property; the Moravian missionary records; ration lists before and after the forced removal, etc…yet your ancestors are found in NONE of those records.
But, your ancestors are found in plenty of historical records, and every time, they are found living as white people among other white people. Never are your ancestors ever found living among the Cherokees. Never, never, never, never…….yet you claim they were Cherokee….
So, Ms. Warren, you see, it is not just your opponent who has questions. We Cherokees have questions too and those questions have yet to be answered by you. You see, for us Cherokees, this is not political. This is about the truth.
You have claimed something you had no right to claim — our history and our heritage and our identity. Those things belong to us, and us alone. These are not things we choose to embrace when they benefit us and then cast aside when we no longer need them, but that is what you seem to have done by “checking a box” for several years and then no longer “checking” it more recently, when apparently you no longer needed it.