The Associated Press received a blockbuster quote from Elizabeth Warren, the embattled Democrat running for senate in Massachusetts who has not been able to prove her Native American ancestry despite having claimed it throughout her past, presumably to gain a professional advantage.
"I'm proud of my heritage," Warren told the Associated Press, whose stories get picked up by all national and regional outlets and is thus instrumental in setting the mainstream news narrative. When the wire service asked her "how she knew it included Native Americans,” Warren said, "Because my mother told me so."
AP could have used this quote, which the article is built around, to build a case, as Breitbart News has been doing for three weeks, that “because my mother told me so” is nowhere near sufficient enough for Warren to be able to claim Native American ancestry on official documents and forms and professional directories.
Instead, for the national audience which may not be familiar with the Warren case because the mainstream media has ignored and obfuscated the issue to protect their liberal darling, the AP decided, even with this mockable quote, to run even more interference for Warren.
Before introducing the nearly self-incriminating quote from Warren, the AP reporter conditions the reader to give Warren the benefit of the doubt.
“What, exactly, makes someone American Indian?” the AP writer asks. “Even Indians themselves don't agree as they debate the case of Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, whose disputed claim of Native American identity is shining a rare spotlight on the malleable nature of Indian heritage and the long history of murky claims to such ancestry.”
This is not true.
Soon after stories emerged about Warren’s genealogy, Twila Barnes, a Cherokee, who is also a Cherokee genealogist, wrote a blistering post that denounced Warren:
You 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.
And yet, the AP writes, in the article, “among Native Americans, the varying opinions demonstrate that Indian identity is subjective even among Indians themselves.”
Further, the AP quotes an essay in which the writer says, "An Indian identity is something someone claims for oneself; it is a matter of choice” and then adds “there are 566 federally recognized Native American tribes, each with its own rules for membership” and “some tribes require a ‘blood quantum’ measurement of as much as one-half or one-quarter Indian ancestry; others require a certain place of birth or residence.”
Then the AP quotes a professor who is married to a Najavo; the professor is quoted as saying, “I've asked them what defines a Navajo ... One said you have to speak the language. Another said you have to live within our sacred mountains. Another said no, you have to take part in ceremonial life. All this in one family!”
Except Warren claimed she was a member of the Cherokee Nation, not the Najavo Nation. But the AP writer is hoping his readers forget that convenient fact in trying to conflate what may be requirements for being a Najavo with those for being considered a Cherokee.
The article then does even more to befuddle the reader.
The reporter writes that though “Warren does not claim official Cherokee membership,” “many people have legitimate Cherokee ancestry but are not eligible for membership because their ancestors were not among those counted.”
The writer then quotes someone who says "some people falsely claim Native heritage simply out of ignorance ... They've been told for years that they had a great-grandmother (or something similar) who was a Cherokee princess and assume that it's true."
This quote serves to defend Warren’s statement that she is Native American because her mother told her so and her previous statements that she could also be Native American because her grandparents, as her Aunt Bea told her, had “high cheekbones" as all other Indians do.
Then the AP writer says, “even President Barack Obama has an Indian story, about his maternal grandmother, who was nicknamed ‘Toot.’”
Except, as Breitbart News reported, the president notoriously known and mocked for having creating fictional, composite characters, has also never shown prof that he has Native American heritage.
The AP then, if its readers were not confused enough already, then quotes people saying that even if someone were not an official member of a Native American tribe, they could become de-facto members if they give back to the Native American community. The quote serves to point out that Warren, as Breitbart News also reported, never did any work on behalf of Native American communities but it also, snidely, has a dual purpose of further confusing the reader as to what qualities can be used by someone to claim Native American status.
The purportedly objective AP could have written a story that objectively laid out all of the holes in Warren’s story about her Native American ancestry and used Warren’s quote about how she was a Native American “because my mother told me so” as another piece of evidence to cast doubt on her claims.
Instead, it just served to cast doubt on what properly is a Native American, leaving its readers enough reason to give Warren the benefit of the doubt she in no way deserves on this story.