In Elizabeth Warren’s efforts to get voters and to get people to identify with her, she took things a little too far. She listened to stories growing up where she had Native American roots. Somehow, this translated to the idea of claiming that she was Native American – something that Native American chiefs have since shaken their fists at.
The dear Pocahontas has gone on a bit of an apology tour in order to try to make amends. However, Native American voters aren’t ready to forgive and forget. It seems as though every time Warren speaks, they are reminded of her trying to claim that she is one of them – and it’s making it hard for her to move on.
Although Warren is making serious progress in the 2020 polls, even jumping ahead of Sanders, there’s still a significant amount of controversy regarding her “ancestry.” Quite a number of people within the Native American communities aren’t satisfied with her apologies, therefore, they don’t want to see her progress in the polls. The Cherokee Nation is at the top of the list in terms of not being a fan of the Massachusetts senator.
Warren doesn’t know how to let things go, either. She seems to be digging a hole deeper for herself – one that the Native Americans seem happy to push her into. Over the span of a week, she created a 9000-word plan to create tribal rights. She has also taken down a video regarding her family’s ancestral history. She also offered a high-profile apology at the first presidential form that centered around Native Americans.
That is not enough for the Native Americans, however. And, because Warren is desperate to get people to like her, she has continued to make apologies and do everything she can in order to make things right with the Native American community.
Warren has admitted to making mistakes. She has apologized for the harm and she has done her best in order to listen. Although Warren was received warmly by the audience as well as the native leaders that were on stage, there are still quite a few prominent Native Americans who want Warren to have a more public dialogue.
Additionally, there are some Native Americans who have had an issue with her long before she announced her plans to run for president. Her first Senate run in 2012 lead to a number of controversies, and the critics within the Native American community have identified that they wouldn’t vote for her as Sen. and they certainly don’t plan on voting for her in the primary or the general election.
Joseph Pierce, a Cherokee citizen, and educator has identified that Warren has a good strategy in terms of making amends. However, he is focusing on the central issue of Cherokee sovereignty. She has an identified how she’s going to repair the harm caused and she has an admitted what the harm is, identifying that maybe, in fact, she doesn’t “get it.”
As Rebecca Nagle, a Cherokee journalist tweeted, she provided some words that Warren should have said. This includes admitting that she and her family are white and she never questioned what her parents told her. She would like to see Warren admit that she falsely claimed native identity and that it undermines the sovereignty fight that many Native Americans struggle with every day.
Warren is making serious mistakes – and although she has apologized privately to Cherokee leaders, she isn’t doing so publicly. She wanted to claim Cherokee heritage specifically, which is why the Cherokee nation has such an issue with her. Tribal citizens say that the senator needs to make more public rectification – and they want the opportunity to sit down with Warren in order to have a back-and-forth and air their grievances.
The question becomes: does warn truly understand the impact that she had with her false claims? Only tribal nations can determine citizenship, so the blood test that Warren took was a slap in the face of every Native American nation. You would think that someone in her political campaign would tell the senator that she needs to stop apologizing without knowing exactly what she is apologizing for.
Until Warren truly understands the harm that she has done by trying to claim Native American roots, the Native American communities are going to continue to be harsh on her. It doesn’t matter what policy she creates for the Native Americans – she has created a great insult, and until she pays her penance, they aren’t going to let anything go without a fight.