Fauxcahontas Blows More Smoke Signals

Elizabeth Warren tries to bolster her 2020 résumé with more Native American claims and attacks on Trump.

Nate Jackson · Feb. 15, 2018

Fake Indian addresses real Native Americans, slams President Donald Trump for slandering Native Americans when he actually only criticized the fake one.

That’s essentially what happened Wednesday when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) addressed the National Congress of American Indians. “I’ve noticed that every time my name comes up, President Trump likes to talk about Pocahontas,” she said. “So I figured, let’s talk about Pocahontas.” She proceeded to recount the story of the historical figure, which we won’t get into here. The real fun happened when she argued that, by calling her “Pocahontas,” Trump was insulting all Native Americans. “Our country’s disrespect of Native people didn’t start with President Trump,” she pontificated. But “we have a president who can’t make it through a ceremony honoring Native American war heroes without reducing Native history, Native culture, Native people to the butt of a joke. The joke, I guess, is supposed to be on me.”

Yes, the joke is on her and not, as she asserts, on Native Americans in general. Warren is the one who has long made questionable claims of Native American heritage based on little more than family “lore” and that her grandfather “had high cheek bones like all of the Indians do.” During her successful 2012 Senate bid, she opined, “Being Native American has been part of my story, I guess, since the day I was born.” Maybe that’s why she contributed recipes to a book called Pow Wow Chow — recipes she copied from a newspaper. Moreover, for more than a decade in the ‘80s and '90s she used that claim of minority status to advance her academic career.

Once she reached Harvard Law School, she had at least partly dropped that charade, but the Boston Herald reported in 2012 that Harvard administrators “prominently touted Warren’s Native American background … in an effort to bolster their diversity hiring record in the '90s as the school came under heavy fire for a faculty that was then predominantly white and male.” She was also featured as Native American in The Harvard Crimson in 1996.

“You won’t find my family members on any rolls, and I’m not enrolled in a tribe,” she admitted Wednesday. Nevertheless, she insisted, “I never used my family tree to get a break or get ahead. I never used it to advance my career.” Beyond the demonstrably blatant lie, she’s still trying to cash in on her supposed minority heritage. And she has skillfully used any questions or jokes about her tenuous claims to likewise enhance her “victim” status as a persecuted minority woman, as well as to make all Native Americans feel slighted — not by her lies but by the people calling out her lies.

And that’s really the root of her petty speech Wednesday — bolstering her Warren 2020 résumé with a little more Village Victimitis.

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