May 17, 2012

Natives question Warren's claims

Elizabeth Warren: Box-Checking for Fun and Profit

By Steve RussellI’m puzzled by the way the question has been addressed, and Ms. Warren is not helping with her imbecilic remarks about “high cheekbones.” As in the cases of Ward Churchill and Andrea Smith, the most common way of looking at the question is genealogy, the quest for a Cherokee in the woodpile, as it were.

Pray tell, in what sense is somebody Indian if they have to hire a genealogist to prove it?

I was born and raised in the Creek Nation, and some of our customs are remarkably similar. We share the history of removal to Indian Territory and the abrogation of our treaties to create the State of Oklahoma. We produced the most effective organizers against the Dawes Act abomination in the Cherokee Redbird Smith and the Creek Chitto Harjo. But I never, ever, thought I was the same as a Creek. Different language, different stories, different traditions of governing—let’s face it, different peoples.

How can you maintain a tribal identity without knowing at least some of what that identity means?
And:If Elizabeth Warren listed herself in the Harvard faculty directory as Indian hoping to meet others of like descent, there’s no harm and no foul. Can you imagine how hard it must be to promote a stickball game on the Harvard Quad?

If she was making herself available to mentor Indian students, that would be commendable. I expect the Indian students would have said so by now.

There’s no question Harvard has used Elizabeth Warren to hoist the flag of diversity. Harvard is flying a false flag and it’s reprehensible.

The question, to me, is whether Elizabeth Warren was a box checker, seeking personal advantage on the backs of people who lived their lives with the down side of being Indian? The answer is on her employment application. If she’s guilty, it’s some evidence of a character flaw and a tragedy for the 99%.
A Letter to Elizabeth Warren

By Polly's GranddaughterYou see, Ms. Warren, some of us have independently done our own research and we know you have no documentation supporting your claim of Cherokee ancestry.* We wonder why you believe you have the right to claim Cherokee ancestry and to call yourself a Native American when you have no evidence to support your claim. 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.
And: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.

Of course, you say you only "checked the box" in an attempt to meet others like you, but that doesn't make sense. If one is claiming to be Cherokee and wants to meet other Cherokees, they don't "check a box" on a job application or in a directory for their profession! They go to where Cherokees are.

You are from Oklahoma!

If you wanted to meet "other" Cherokees, you should have known you could go there to meet them, so stop with the "I only wanted to meet others like me" BS. You disrespect us by saying things like that and we don't appreciate it!
For more on Elizabeth Warren, see Warren's Pow Wow Chow Cookbook and Warren Has No Firsthand Evidence.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

"Of course, you say you only "checked the box" in an attempt to meet others like you, but that doesn't make sense."

Has she ever been to a pow-wow? Or either of the two actual Cherokee reservations?