One of the worst things that Elizabeth Warren could have done was the claim that she was Native American. Whether she was trying to get closer to her roots or she wanted to get more voters, it was a big mistake – and she’s still paying for it. Her presidential campaign is struggling because of it, too.
The Massachusetts Senator’s campaign tour has been more of an apology tour than anything else. The false claims she made to say that she was part Cherokee are still haunting her. On Sunday, she will take steps to meet with tribal leaders in Oklahoma as a way to continue to mend some of those relationships.
Warren believed that she was Native American, making some exaggerated claims of her heritage. What turned out to be nothing more than just stories her family told her ended up destroying her reputation. What made it worse is that she took a DNA test – and found out that she’s only 1/1024 Native American.
40 federally-recognized tribes had representatives invited to Oklahoma for a roundtable meeting with Elizabeth Warren. She will meet with the tribal representatives in Tulsa and host a town hall meeting in Oklahoma City later in the day.
The agenda is to show that she is ready to work for the Native Americans and highlight some of the issues that are important to them. There have been at least a dozen tribes that have confirmed that they will be in attendance. Others are still determining whether they want to participate or not.
As NickyKay Michael says on behalf of the Delaware Tribe of Indians, the tribe is still undecided. No one is jumping up and down as they would be for someone who “was in their corner for a long time.”
The issue with Elizabeth Warren and the Native Americans across America have been going on for quite some time. She began identifying herself as a Native American in a variety of professional and academic settings since the 1980s. Even on the State Bar of Texas registration card in 1986, she identified herself as American Indian. On the Association of American Law schools directory, she is listed as a minority.
Could this be a case of mistaken identity? What she truly this unaware of the fact that she was not Native American? While teaching at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, she changed her race from white to Native American throughout the university records. While teaching at Harvard Law School, she also identified herself as Native American.
She received a significant amount of mockery from Donald Trump regarding her tribal claims. This is when she took a DNA test as an attempt to justify some of her claims. This is when tribal leaders really got upset with her.
They felt as though a DNA test wouldn’t actually prove anything. Across many tribes, you are not part of a tribe until the honor is bestowed upon you. Since she did not live on a reservation and did not have connections with any particular tribe, her claims meant nothing.
For the past year, Elizabeth Warren has been issuing apologies. She has spoken to a number of different tribes in order to clear the air and get them to forgive her. However, most of the tribes are not too quick to forgive. They want her to understand that what she did was offensive to their heritage. She has done all that she can in order to receive their apologies, though nothing has worked.
With the roundtable scheduled for Sunday, this will determine whether she is going to be able to clear the air once and for all with the tribal leaders or if they are going to continue to shun her. It may require several of the large communities to accept her before some of the smaller tribes do the same.
The question remains: if she cannot gain the respect of Native Americans, will they give her their vote? The answer is, most likely not. This means that they may vote for someone else – and losing the vote of Native Americans all across the country could be significantly detrimental to her platform.
No one wants to vote for someone who they believe mocked their entire heritage – and that’s how most of the Native Americans feel at this moment. She can continue on with her apology tour, but it doesn’t right all of the wrongs that have been committed.