Tag Archives: native

Elizabeth Warren’s Native American Problem Isn’t Going Away

Elizabeth Warren’s Native American Problem Isn’t Going Away‘I have listened and I have learned,” said Elizabeth Warren at a forum of Native American voters in Iowa last month. “Like anyone who’s being honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes. I am sorry for the harm I have caused.” Did any reporter ask her what harm, specifically, she’d caused, or what, specifically, she’d learned? Did any reporter ask her if her “mistakes” were ones anyone could have made, or ones she believed any of her peers, either at Harvard or in the Senate, had also made?No, they did not.I suppose people think that the controversy over Warren’s past claims of Native American ancestry has been put to bed, with Warren rising in the polls because she has plans for everything, including for Native Americans. But in fact, the controversy has not been put to bed, and it shouldn’t be. It points to Elizabeth Warren’s ambitions and lack of integrity, and forces us to ponder whether the rules really apply to those who would make them.The media have certainly done their best to help Warren in putting the controversy to bed, though. The Boston Globe — in a story that briefly acknowledged that Warren's "political enemies have long pushed a narrative that her unsubstantiated claims of Native American heritage turbocharged her legal career" — gave ample space to her own much-more-charitable version of events. Her reporter-defenders have pointed out that until a certain time in her life, she declined to participate in affirmative-action programs, though even they have had to admit that the crucial leaps in her academic career — her landing a job at the University of Pennsylvania and then moving on to Harvard — occurred after she began listing herself as a racial minority. The year before Harvard Law School hired her — and trumpeted her as the first woman of color so hired — it had been subject to major, headline-grabbing protests for giving tenure to four white men.Of course, Warren could have been deluding herself as well. She claims that her belief in her Cherokee heritage came from longstanding family lore. But the fact that she participated in the now-cringe-inducing Pow Wow Chow cookbook and plagiarized her recipes from a French cookbook suggests a certain awareness that she was perpetrating a racial fraud. And then there is the fact that Cherokee Indian is not so much a "socially constructed" racial category as a specific, legally defined identity: You are a Cherokee when the Cherokee nation recognizes you as a member on its rolls. Surely someone who identified as a Native American academically and socially in the way Warren once claimed she did would have sought such official status. But she didn't.Warren has repeatedly claimed over the years that her parents’ marriage was rejected by racist grandparents because of her mother’s Cherokee ancestry. But Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes has said there’s simply no evidence of Cherokee genealogy in Warren’s family. Warren's mother was not some racial outcast, but the popular daughter of a prominent local family. And there’s no evidence of the romantic elopement, or racist animus on the part of her paternal grandfather, Grant Herring, who regularly played golf with Carnal Wheeling, a recognized Cherokee.The media haven’t really known how to handle this story. Like a Geiger counter in a North Korean nuclear-weapons lab, the reaction of the “smart set” on Twitter was wildly disconcerting when Elizabeth Warren announced the results of her spectacularly ill-conceived DNA test earlier this year. At first, the trace amounts of Native American heritage were held up as proof against Donald Trump’s attacks. Then, as geneticists and common sense intervened in the discussion, it became obvious that Warren’s Native American roots were negligible.As the social-climbing Warren begins to gain over actual socialist Bernie Sanders, I expect the Sandernistas to unload on the contradictions between the upwardly mobile Left’s hatred of cultural appropriation and the changing racial identity and falsified family history of its darling Warren. If she survives that and wins the nomination, she’ll face a general election in which the same basic problem remains.I predict that should she make it that far, everyone will just try to change the subject.



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Native American 2020 candidate aims to raise awareness of indigenous peoples

Native American 2020 candidate aims to raise awareness of indigenous peoplesMark Charles knows his bid is a long shot but hopes to shed light on the historic abuse of Native Americans and other ethnicitiesMark Charles speaks on 20 August 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. Photograph: Stephen Maturen/Getty ImagesIn a video launching his presidential campaign, Mark Charles, hair tied in a tsiiyéeł, a Native American hair knot, introduces himself in the Navajo language.“Yá’ át’ ééh. Mark Charles yinishyé,” Charles says.“Tsin bikee dine’é nishłí. Dóó tó’aheedlíinii bá shíshchíín. Tsin bikee’ dine’é dashicheii. Dóó tódích’ íi’ nii dashinálí.”Roughly translated, Charles is explaining that his father was Navajo and his mother Dutch American. What doesn’t need explaining is that if Charles were elected in November 2020, he would become the first Native American president of the United States.It’s an extremely long-shot bid. But Charles is also aiming to use his campaign to raise awareness of the historic, and continuing, abuse of Native Americans and other ethnicities, hopefully resulting in an improved constitution that he believes would better reflect the modern-day US.“Do we want to be a nation where we the people actually means all the people?” Charles says.“Because if we do, then we have some foundational level work to do.”Native American people living on reservations, Charles says, have always been overlooked by politicians. The territory of the Navajo Nation covers 27,000 square miles alone – enough to make it the 48th largest state in the US. Despite that, Charles says, the territory of 350,000 people is rarely visited by politicians running for president.Charles is determined to change that with his campaign. He held his first campaign event on the Navajo Nation, at a chapter house – a communal meeting place – near Fort Defiance, north-east Arizona. His second event was at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and another at the Denver Indian Center.“Almost every state I go to I want my first contact to be with the indigenous nations, the indigenous peoples of that state,” Charles said.“I really want to connect with them again because I’m coming on to their land to campaign and I want them to know me and to understand who I am and, and why, why I’m there.”Charles believes he is the best person to lead the country as a whole, but he is also running with some ideas that would specifically help Native Americans, African Americans and other people of color. On the stump he talks a lot about creating a “common memory” – educating people on the atrocities committed in the past and the challenges different races face.Independent presidential candidate Mark Charles speaks on 20 August 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. Photograph: Stephen Maturen/Getty ImagesAt the center of Charles’s platform is the establishment of a “truth and conciliation commission”, which would work towards creating that memory. His idea is modeled on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up in South Africa, after the end of apartheid.“I don’t call ours truth and reconciliation because reconciliation implies a previous harmony, and if you know our history you know that’s not true.”In South Africa the Truth and Reconciliation committee hearings, which allowed both victims and perpetrators to explain their experiences, were broadcast live, in what has been described as the “gold standard” for how a divided society might deal with a violent past. Charles believes his committee could eventually lead to an at least partial rewriting of the US constitution.Charles said he had the idea for “that type of conversation years ago”.“But I did not know the best way to bring that proposal to the nation. And after observing several presidential campaigns, I realized every four years we have a dialogue about who we are and where we’re going: our presidential campaign cycle.“So I felt like this is an important enough of a proposal that it actually could very well be the center of a presidential campaign. So one of my motivations in running for president is to raise this issue of truth and conciliation to the national level.”Charles grew up in New Mexico, and went to university in California, before spending 11 years living in the Navajo Nation, which is spread across Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.Three of those years were spent on a remote sheep camp, where Charles and his young family lived in a one-room hogan, a traditional Navajo house, which had a dirt floor, no running water, no electricity and was six miles from the nearest paved road.Charles isn’t the first Native American to run for the White House. Russell Means, an activist from the Lakota tribe who died in 2012, ran for the Libertarian party nomination ahead of the 1988 election, but came second to the Texas congressman Ron Paul.In 2018 there was a breakthrough for Native American women in particular, when Sharice Davids, from Kansas, and Deb Haaland, from New Mexico, became the first Native American women to be elected to Congress. Both Davids and Haaland are Democrats. Charles says he has voted for both Democrats and Republicans in the past, but believes his best chance for office is to eschew both parties.“I don’t want people to think that becauseI’m running as an independent I’m not a serious candidate,” Charles said. He believes he would not clinch the Democratic or Republican nomination – aside from anything else, he isn’t a member of either party – but he plans to be on the ballot in all 50 states, and is committed to running all the way through to November.“If our country does not begin creating this common memory, and does not make a decision on whether we want to be a place where we the people means all the people,” Charles said, “We’re going to continue to face these deep racial divides that we’ve had in our country since its founding.”



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'Thank God we are alive': Bahamas native details surviving ferocious Hurricane Dorian

'Thank God we are alive': Bahamas native details surviving ferocious Hurricane DorianBrandisha Adderley, 29, and her two-year old daughter Mei-Lin, lived through Hurricane Dorian as it tore apart their home in the Bahamas



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Animal native to South American rainforests waits outside Florida man’s front door then barges in and repeatedly charges him

Animal native to South American rainforests waits outside Florida man’s front door then barges in and repeatedly charges himAn animal native to South America’s rainforests has attacked a man after invading his second-floor Florida apartment.The kinkajou – often known as a honey bear – ran into the home, in Lake Worth Beach, through an open door and launched itself at Michael Litersky’s legs, inflicting bites and scratches.



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Warren apologizes to Native Americans: 'I am sorry for harm I have caused'

Warren apologizes to Native Americans: 'I am sorry for harm I have caused'Appearing at the first-ever Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa, on Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren apologized for her previous claims of tribal ancestry.



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MAGA hat student sues Washington Post for $250m over coverage of confrontation with Native American man

MAGA hat student sues Washington Post for $  250m over coverage of confrontation with Native American manA student involved in a viral confrontation with a Native American man is suing the Washington Post for $ 250m (£191m) over its coverage of the incident. The defamation lawsuit, filed by Covington Catholic High School pupil Nick Sandmann, claims the newspaper “wrongfully targeted and bullied” him due to its “biased agenda” against Donald Trump. The 16-year-old was wearing one of the president’s signature Make America Great Again hats when he attended an anti-abortion rally in Washington in January along with classmates from his Kentucky school.



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Trump flaunts his concern for minorities. Native Americans need not apply.

Trump flaunts his concern for minorities. Native Americans need not apply.He did not offer to resign himself over a mocking reference to Native American genocide, or call out his son, Donald Jr., for applauding that remark.



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Trump appears to joke about Native American genocide in Elizabeth Warren 'Trail of Tears' tweet

Trump appears to joke about Native American genocide in Elizabeth Warren 'Trail of Tears' tweetDonald Trump appeared to make a joke about the Trail of Tears – the forced relocation of Native Americans leading to the deaths of thousands of people – as he mocked the launch of Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. The president tweeted about the senator for Massachusetts hours after she made her bid for the White House official on Saturday, deriding her claims at Native American ancestry by calling her “Pocahontas”. Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore?



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'An apology from the heart': Sen. Elizabeth Warren sorry for identifying as Native American

'An apology from the heart': Sen. Elizabeth Warren sorry for identifying as Native American"My apology is an apology for not having been more sensitive about tribal citizenship," Warren said. "Only tribes determine tribal citizenship."



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Elizabeth Warren apologises for calling herself Native American in bid to end ancestry controversy

Elizabeth Warren apologises for calling herself Native American in bid to end ancestry controversySenator Elizabeth Warren said on Tuesday she was sorry she identified herself as a Native American for almost two decades, reflecting her ongoing struggle to quiet a controversy that continues to haunt her as she prepares to formally announce a presidential bid. Ms Warren is on the cusp of formally announcing her presidential bid and will be vying to lead a party that has become far more mindful of non-white voters and their objections to misuse of their culture. “I can’t go back,” Ms Warren said in an interview with The Washington Post.



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