Elizabeth Warren camp: Her great-great-great-grandmother was Cherokee

posted at 5:02 pm on May 1, 2012 by Allahpundit

Yesterday I thought this story was small potatoes but revealing as an insight into how far Warren might go to gild her resume with a diversity credential. After this, though, I’m honestly interested in hearing her address it. What’s the threshold of “minority” status in her mind? Are we back to the “one drop” rule or is 1/32 juuuuuuust enough for a shot of authenticity whereas 1/64 is a bridge too far? Actually, maybe those standards aren’t so different: When you’re talking about a great-great-great-grandparent, one drop is about all that’s left.

Ace notes that the premise behind diversity hiring is that a minority employee brings a perspective that whites simply can’t. Another premise, a la affirmative action, is that a minority employee deserves special consideration because he/she had to cope with cultural disadvantages that whites haven’t. Is Liz Warren claiming that she’s in either of those boats? Can’t wait for this press conference.

Desperately scrambling to validate Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage amid questions about whether she used her minority status to further her career, the Harvard Law professor’s campaign last night finally came up with what they claim is a Cherokee connection — her great-great-great-grandmother.

“She would be 1⁄32nd of Elizabeth Warren’s total ancestry,” noted genealogist Christopher Child said, referring to the candidate’s great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, who is listed on an Oklahoma marriage certificate as Cherokee. Smith is an ancestor on Warren’s mother’s side, Child said…

Meanwhile, Warren’s camp issued statements from five faculty members at the four universities where she’s taught, including Harvard Law School and University of Pennsylvania, to knock down any suggestion she used her Native American background to get hired.

“To suggest that she needed some special advantage to be hired here or anywhere is just silly. She was hired for her great abilities as a teacher and a scholar. Her family tree had nothing to do with it,” wrote Jay Westbrook, chairman of the business law school at the University of Texas at Austin, who hired Warren.

The same genealogist also discovered that one of Warren’s great-grandfathers, although white, did live for a time in Cherokee territory, which makes him … kind of minority, I guess? Good enough for her to claim 1.5/32 status?

Three lingering questions here. One, as noted yesterday: Why did Warren stop describing herself as minority circa 1995? What changed? Two: Why did she start describing herself as a minority circa 1986? If she didn’t have hard documentation until literally yesterday that she was part Native American, what evidence was she relying on to claim that distinction in the first place? “Grandma told me I might be part Cherokee” doesn’t cut it, I hope, when we’re talking about criteria that qualify as a competitive advantage in one’s profession. You need proof, or at least you should. Three, via Ann Althouse: Why does Warren’s campaign seem so impressed by the fact that her previous employers are willing to say her ancestry played no role in hiring her? Of course they’re going to say that. If they don’t, they know it’ll be interpreted by the public as an admission that she was graded on a curve in the hiring process. Either embrace diversity hiring as a glorious fair-minded policy or don’t, but don’t try to have it both ways.


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Her great-great-great-grandmother was Cherokee

Does this make her a Grand Cherokee?

faraway on May 1, 2012 at 5:04 PM

This reminds me of Dennis Hopper explaining to Christopher Walken’s Sicilian character in True Romance why he’s part black.

Doughboy on May 1, 2012 at 5:04 PM

OMG!

WOW!

AMAZING!

Good Lt on May 1, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Oh man.

The FUN Scott Brown could have with this ad wise if he had the balls…….

Opposite Day on May 1, 2012 at 5:05 PM

How can individuals have rights in this country when special groups are cherry picked for special treatment?

aniptofar on May 1, 2012 at 5:05 PM

So, she’s not a Cherokee princess?

Fallon on May 1, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Does that mean 1/32 of her is suing the other 31/32?

Red Cloud on May 1, 2012 at 5:07 PM

My great-great-great grandmother-I have no idea

gerrym51 on May 1, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Pitiful.

forest on May 1, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Who cares – really ?

Seriously?

FlaMurph on May 1, 2012 at 5:07 PM

War on Squaws?

faraway on May 1, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Ward Churchill was unavailable for comment.

.
…..BTW, whatever happened to that dude?

JPeterman on May 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM

The worst thing about a lie is that you too often have to lie again and again to get out of it.

Elizabeth Warren lied.

Living in Cherokee Territory did not make one a Cherokee.

Warren lied to get ahead.

In doing so she disrespects all American Indians.

She has no one to blame but herself.

coldwarrior on May 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Ward Churchill was unavailable for comment.

.
…..BTW, whatever happened to that dude?

JPeterman on May 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Questions no one is asking.

Red Cloud on May 1, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Heap big pile of BS.

Dingbat63 on May 1, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Heap big pile of BS.

Dingbat63 on May 1, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Good description of Liz Warren on a regular basis.

Red Cloud on May 1, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Doughboy – That is OUTSTANDING!

Tom66 on May 1, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Beigefoot tribe here. 100% going back several generations. I’d make a claim for status but I have reservations.

DanMan on May 1, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Squaw speak with forked tongue

BobMbx on May 1, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Well it seems liz has about as much to run on as bho does getting ubl? What a crock on both!
L

letget on May 1, 2012 at 5:12 PM

At first I was all like this regarding this story, but this has the potential to emerge as a nice little disaster for the Warren campaign…

Gingotts on May 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

One of my great great great grandfathers was a Russian serf. One of my other ancestors was Increase Mather, Cotton Mather’s uncle My family are good old American mutts. Ms. Warren needs to get over her supposed ancestry, no one cares.

talking_mouse on May 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

How come every bogus claim of aboriginal american heritage is Cherokee? She like the “O” is a pathological liar. I don’t think they have any understanding of truth. They say whatever is needed for the moment. The trouble with a politicians is we don’t find him/her, the low life finds us.

StevC on May 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

faraway, you are funny.

nico on May 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

She stole the spot of a real Native American.

Ward Churchill comes to mind.

Schadenfreude on May 1, 2012 at 5:14 PM

To steal from Aaron McGruder, “the DNA results, which have a 2% margin of error, say she is 102% white.”

teke184 on May 1, 2012 at 5:15 PM

My husband’s great great grandmother was Cherokee (?), can’t remember exactly which tribe, but all of his relatives lived in Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Heck, way back in his family tree is Pocahontas, so he has a double dose of Indian blood. Let the benefits start rolling in.

bopbottle on May 1, 2012 at 5:16 PM

This is her Dukakis in a tank moment. She won’t recover, it’s too funny. Mass is blue, but full of wiseasses as well.

Little Boomer on May 1, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Even the 1/32 claim relies on the assumption that this great-great-great grandmother was a full blooded Cherokee. If she had any European blood then Warren’s got even less than 1/32.

Mark1971 on May 1, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Well there you have it. A full and transparent explanation. Kudos Elizabeth.

It only took you 35 years to come up with it, but hey, better late than never.

ironbill on May 1, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Does this make her a Grand Cherokee?

faraway on May 1, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Sister Margaret, we have a bingo!

ironbill on May 1, 2012 at 5:17 PM

And her parakeet is 1/10th bald eagle.

natasha333 on May 1, 2012 at 5:17 PM

“Grandma told me I might be part Cherokee” doesn’t cut it, I hope, when we’re talking about criteria that qualify as a competitive advantage in one’s profession. You need proof, or at least you should.

You need to show your birth certificate to be president, or at least you should.

imasoulman on May 1, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Warren is already on the ropes. Brown should finish her candidacy by raising questions about One Percent Warren’s role as a corporate textbook profiteer. College students hate textbook prices, the textbook industry which constantly issues new editions of textbooks to cut off used textbook sales, and the professors who require students to purchase the newest editions of the books for class. Warren has earned much of her wealth colluding with publishers to scalp students. I doubt the Occupiers and Young Democrats will be able to muster much enthusiasm for Warren if they learn how she earned her spot in “the 1%.”

Lawdawg86 on May 1, 2012 at 5:18 PM

faraway, you are funny.nico on May 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Yes he/she is. Grand Cherokee! Heh! Caused me to spew on keyboard…much wampum to fix.

Dingbat63 on May 1, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Elizabeth Warren camp: Her great-great-great-grandmother was Cherokee

So take that, Rethuglicans!

RINO in Name Only on May 1, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Think the natives would have let her live on the reservation with that 1/32 claim?

Bitter Clinger on May 1, 2012 at 5:20 PM

..BTW, whatever happened to that dude?

JPeterman on May 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Hopefully, he’s just finishing up his 3rd can of sterno before digging his lunch out of the dumpster in his favorite alley.

BigWyo on May 1, 2012 at 5:20 PM

I guess that fall under the one drop of blood business so she’s safe.
When’s she getting her own casino?

vityas on May 1, 2012 at 5:20 PM

PinnochioHontas got minority status for 1/32 native American bloodline?

ObamatheMessiah on May 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Good lord. I’m from Mexican ancestry. I probably have way more Native American blood than her.

terryannonline on May 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM

For a political party that’s all about equality, they certainly go out of their way to make sure they’re different from everybody else.

Nethicus on May 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM

She should get a sweet advertising deal with that genealogy website – DiscoverHowMuchMinorityBloodYouHave.com

St Gaudens on May 1, 2012 at 5:22 PM

“I’m made of 40% Cherokee”

-Bender Bending Rodriguez

vinceautmorire on May 1, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Zimmerman is waaaaaaay more black than Warren is Cherokee.

Wigglesworth on May 1, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Maybe if she loses, she can open an Indian Casino

txdoc on May 1, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Warren can split hairs all she wants. However, she was not a poverty-stricken child living a hardscrabble existence on a dusty, desolate Indian Reservation. She was a rich kid: rich enough to be a bleeding-heart Socialist dilettante.

Also, her 1/32 claim depends on her ancestor being a full-blooded Indian. If the ancestor was herself only part Indian, Warren’s claim is much, much more attenuated.

HeatSeeker2011 on May 1, 2012 at 5:25 PM

She’s less Indian than G. K Butterfield is black.

blammm on May 1, 2012 at 5:26 PM

We should call her Chief Warren.

When she loses maybe she will start a ca$in0 in her state.

slickwillie2001 on May 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Either embrace diversity hiring as a glorious fair-minded policy or don’t, but don’t try to have it both ways.

Yeah, I love how this is such a necessity yet Lizzy doesn’t want it to seem she needed it.

Bitter Clinger on May 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

How do they know that Sarah Smith was a full-blooded Cherokee (to make Warren 1/32nd Cherokee)? Was Smith a common Cherokee name how many years ago.

Harvard touted her minority status with no proof other than her say-so:

“Of 71 current Law School professors and assistant professors, 11 are women, five are black, one is Native American and one is Hispanic,” The Harvard Crimson quotes then-Law School spokesman Mike Chmura as saying in a 1996 article. The Crimson added that 83 percent of the Law School’s students believed the number of minority women on staff was inadequate.

“Although the conventional wisdom among students and faculty is that the Law School faculty includes no minority women, Chmura said professor of law Elizabeth Warren is Native American,” the Crimson wrote.

The Crimson noted Warren’s heritage again in 1998 when Lani Guinier became the first black woman tenured at the law school, mentioning that Warren was “the first woman with a minority background to be tenured.”

Fallon on May 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Good lord. I’m from Mexican ancestry. I probably have way more Native American blood than her. an inheritance coming from a drug lord.

terryannonline on May 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM

BobMbx on May 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Either embrace diversity hiring as a glorious fair-minded policy or don’t, but don’t try to have it both ways.

Trying to have it both ways is an essential element of being a liberal.

Socratease on May 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Next thing you know they’ll be calling Obama black.

The Rogue Tomato on May 1, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Quotes fail…

Fallon on May 1, 2012 at 5:28 PM

PinnochioHontas got minority status for 1/32 native American bloodline?

ObamatheMessiah on May 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Not possible. This wasn’t known until today or yesterday. Which means she just made it up years ago.

BobMbx on May 1, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Professor Sitting Horseface’s campaign staff also noted she has some black bloodline in her if you trace her roots to the dawn of man.

galtani on May 1, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Slightly OT, but I would love to hear someone (Scalia?) bring this up in the fall during the oral arguments in Fisher v. U of Texas, the affirmative action case before the Supreme Court.

I imagine we’d have another choke, although it would be the university’s lawyer, not Verrilli.

Wethal on May 1, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Well they want us to pay reparations for something our great great grandfathers did and theyre trying to paint Mitt as some kind of cultist for something his great great grandfather did so why not?

ldbgcoleman on May 1, 2012 at 5:30 PM

She’s a White Cherokee, no?

Curtiss on May 1, 2012 at 5:30 PM

BobMbx on May 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Ok. You’re fixed quote was stereotyping but I got to admit it was kind of funny. LOL!

terryannonline on May 1, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Obviously conservatives hate grandparents who are Cherokee women and they hate women who are descendants of old Cherokee women as part of their continuing war on women in general.

stefano1 on May 1, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Geez, I did not realize that I was considered an Native American Indian, just because my Great, Great Grandmother’s cousin was Cherokee. Seriously, she was, but using such a distant ancestral link to claim minority status is ridiculous! Is there no end to what liberals will do to bum something off of the rest of us? Disgusting.

Susanboo on May 1, 2012 at 5:32 PM

There is no Indian blood in this guy, but I was in a Blackfoot Indian girl.

Do I get any special federal benefits?

HeatSeeker2011 on May 1, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Elizabeth Warren camp: Her great-great-great-grandmother was Cherokee

Heh. Wonder why people never run around claiming that they’re 1/1000% black?

:P

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 1, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Of course, she has to use Paul Revere & the Raiders’ song as her campaign theme

Wethal on May 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Beat me to it:)
That song has been in my head since yesterdays post.

My ancestry is from a German Princess who married a Russian Czaz.
Does it make me a royalty or a commie….

MontanaMmmm on May 1, 2012 at 5:34 PM

She’s whiter than I am and I’ve never used my native bloodline to garner extra points.

southsideironworks on May 1, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Elizabeth “Sh*tting Bull” Warren

Lawdawg86 on May 1, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Can I go around saying I’m Swedish. I have brown eyes and brown hair and I’m tanned. But if Elizabeth Warren can claim she’s Indian….why can’t I claim I’m Swedish?

terryannonline on May 1, 2012 at 5:36 PM

PinnochioHontas got minority status for 1/32 native American bloodline?

ObamatheMessiah on May 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Perfect.

This name has got to stick.

Red Cloud on May 1, 2012 at 5:36 PM

My ancestry is from a German Princess who married a Russian Czaz.
Does it make me a royalty or a commie….

MontanaMmmm on May 1, 2012 at 5:34 PM

That makes you a royal commie.

JPeterman on May 1, 2012 at 5:37 PM

How can individuals have rights in this country when special groups are cherry picked for special treatment?

aniptofar on May 1, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Therein lies the crux of the whole matter. By birth (WTF?) white have always had special treatment.

As a Polish, Pacific Islander, Rhodesian, Romulan, Lithuanian, Bolivian Appalachian Navajo, I am still waiting…..

98ZJUSMC on May 1, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Elizabeth “Sh*tting Bull” Warren

Lawdawg86 on May 1, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Or this.

Red Cloud on May 1, 2012 at 5:37 PM

I can directly trace my ancestry to Adam and Eve. As original sinners they are a unique minority class.

wraithby on May 1, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Elizabeth “Sh*tting Bull” Warren

Lawdawg86 on May 1, 2012 at 5:35 PM

We might just have a thread winner here.

Bitter Clinger on May 1, 2012 at 5:37 PM

So, what about the information so far dug up that shows no such designation on that marriage license?

The one we looked at in the headline thread doesn’t list the race of the mother.

ButterflyDragon on May 1, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Yeah? So what? What’s the point? Trying to get the MA native American vote? Is that a large voting block?

On a related note, Zimmerman’s great grandfather was Peruvian-Africa and his mother was Peruvian. But that doesn’t seem to matter to libs, Lefties, and blacks.

So how is being 1/32nd Cherokee supposed to matter to anyone?

farsighted on May 1, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Does this make her a Grand Cherokee?

faraway on May 1, 2012 at 5:04 PM

….with a bad transmission!
…ewww wait!…that’s not transmission fluid she keeps leaking!

KOOLAID2 on May 1, 2012 at 5:38 PM

To suggest that she needed some special advantage to be hired here or anywhere is just silly. She was hired for her great abilities as a teacher and a scholar. Her family tree had nothing to do with it,” wrote Jay Westbrook, chairman of the business law school at the University of Texas at Austin, who hired Warren.

UT has a law school, and a business school, but not a business law school.
Westbrook is a law professor, not the dean, so how could have hired Warren or anyone else? He did, apparently, write an article with Warren, so they are probably friends.

LASue on May 1, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Reminds me of the Richard Pryor “You mean I’m not White???” skit. If SNL had any courage they could make a funny out of Lizzy’s dilemma.

hoosiermama on May 1, 2012 at 5:40 PM

And if she didn’t pluck she could run as the bearded Marxist.

1/32nd just shows how despicable leftist’s are when they abuse the same affirmative action programs they support.

Speakup on May 1, 2012 at 5:41 PM

My grandmother was 100% navajo, does that give me the appropriate Harvard Affirmative Action credentials? I wish our representatives had the cojones to make this point. She is only where she is because of, not in spite of.

canditaylor68 on May 1, 2012 at 5:41 PM

I used to think I was 100% Irish…but:

I’ve snowboarded countless times in Northern AZ on Indian owned land, my Uncle was married to a Black woman for 12 years, my best friend is half Mexican, and I drink Russian vodka from time to time. The next census is going to be really confusing for me…

nextgen_repub on May 1, 2012 at 5:42 PM

One of my great great great grandfathers was a Russian serf. One of my other ancestors was Increase Mather, Cotton Mather’s uncle My family are good old American mutts. Ms. Warren needs to get over her supposed ancestry, no one cares.

talking_mouse on May 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

I’m related to Robert E. Lee, so does that make me slave owner? As a matter of fact, he was on the same side of the family as my Cherokee ancestors. An Indian slave owner?
This geneology thing could get really complicated….

Susanboo on May 1, 2012 at 5:42 PM

That makes you a royal commie.

JPeterman on May 1, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Ba dump dump, goin out to get some pathchouli oil and join an OWS protest./

MontanaMmmm on May 1, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Why did she start describing herself as a minority circa 1986?

Maybe she was a C. Thomas Howell fan.

Soul Man (1986)

tommylotto on May 1, 2012 at 5:42 PM

I’ve snowboarded countless times in Northern AZ on Indian owned land, my Uncle was married to a Black woman for 12 years, my best friend is half Mexican, and I drink Russian vodka from time to time. The next census is going to be really confusing for me…

nextgen_repub on May 1, 2012 at 5:42 PM

LOL! Dude you’re a Black-Irish-Mexican-Russian-American. What a mix!

terryannonline on May 1, 2012 at 5:43 PM

PinnochioHontas got minority status for 1/32 native American bloodline?

ObamatheMessiah on May 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Threadwinner!!!

For her next trick, Warren will trot out Cher during a fundraiser to sing “Halfbreed”.

Steve Z on May 1, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Will she make that song by Cher her Campaign theme?

listens2glenn on May 1, 2012 at 5:44 PM

If a campaign had to respond to the now widespread mocking of its candidate with this weak claim, it is in trouble.

galtani on May 1, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Three, via Ann Althouse: Why does Warren’s campaign seem so impressed by the fact that her previous employers are willing to say her ancestry played no role in hiring her?

Yet they all list her as a minority. They can’t make this assertion now. Even Harvard touted her as a Native American.

BTW a couple of HA posters researched this. They posted to the earlier headline thread that Warren probably has no Native American ancestry at all and that the genealogist is likely in error

dogsoldier on May 1, 2012 at 5:46 PM

I’ve snowboarded countless times in Northern AZ on Indian owned land, my Uncle was married to a Black woman for 12 years, my best friend is half Mexican, and I drink Russian vodka from time to time. The next census is going to be really confusing for me…

nextgen_repub on May 1, 2012 at 5:42 PM

The Russian vodka dilutes and clears everything else out.

JPeterman on May 1, 2012 at 5:46 PM

One of my great x 10 grandmothers was raped by a Cossack.I hope that doesn’t make me a Russian.She was from my Dads side.

docflash on May 1, 2012 at 5:46 PM

It’s a much smaller ratio than just 1/32 of her “total ancestry” though, no? Her ancestry didn’t begin with her great-great-great-grandmother’s generation, it goes back millions of years.

Maybe I can start claiming that I’m 1/bazillionth Neanderthal and start getting minority perks. (At least I act the part ;)

WhatSlushfund on May 1, 2012 at 5:47 PM

I’m claiming Lakota tribe status because I spent a few nights in the North Dakota Fighting Sioux’s home arena as a Gopher fan. I have suffered. OH, HOW I HAVE SUFFERED!!!

El Dillo on May 1, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Blow your mind: Envision Warren in Cher’s “Half Breed” costume.

Mutnodjmet on May 1, 2012 at 5:48 PM

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