Elizabeth Warren Sticks to Her DNA Script in Iowa Campaign Stops

SIOUX CITY, IOWA - JANUARY 05: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to guests during an organizing event at the Orpheum Theater on January 5, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. Warren announced on December 31 that she was forming an exploratory committee for the 2020 presidential race. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty …
Scott Olson/Getty

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) stuck to her script during campaign stops in Iowa this weekend, blaming President Trump for the negative national reaction to her announcement in October that she has between 0.1 percent and 1.6 percent DNA in common with people from Peru, Colombia, and Mexico.

Warren announced on New Year’s Eve that she has formed a 2020 presidential campaign exploratory committee.

At an appearance in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday, Warren delivered this well rehearsed response to a carefully crafted question on the DNA announcement posed by a friendly supporter.

“My question to you: Why did you undergo the DNA testing and give Donald Trump more fodder to be a bully?” a woman in the audience asked Warren.

“Yeah, well, you know, I’m glad you asked that question. I genuinely am, and I’m glad for us to have a chance to talk about it,” Warren began in her response.

“Um, I am not a person of color. I am not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship, and I respect that difference,” Warren continued.

Though she now says she is “not a person of color,” Warren did nothing in 1993 when she was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School to correct an article published by the Harvard Women’s Law Journal that included her name as one approximately 250 “Women of Color” on law school faculties, as Breitbart News reported:

An article, “Women of Color in Legal Academia: A Biographic and Bibliographic Guide,” which was published by the Harvard Women’s Law Journal (since renamed the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender) in its Spring 1993 edition (Volume 16), lists Warren as one of approximately 250 “women of color” in legal academia.

Warren had several subsequent opportunities in the 1990s to correct the record and clarify that she is “not a person of color,” but took no action then either, as Breitbart News reported:

In 1995, an article in the Harvard Crimson celebrated Warren as “Native American.”

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.

In response to criticism of the current administration, Chmura pointed to “good progress in recent years.”

According to Chmura, of the 21 professors appointed since 1989, 10 were women or minorities. In addition, all three of last year’s appointees were women.

Then, a 1996 piece in Fordham Law Review celebrated Warren as Harvard Law School’s “first woman of color.”

On top of this, there is also a 1999 Affirmative Action Plan Book published by Harvard that appears to identify Warren as Native American. Her name is not listed, but it could not possibly be anyone else.

This document is important because, as Breitbart News reported at the time, “Harvard is considered a federal contractor, its employment practices fall under the regulation of the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).”

This compliance program “requires “a contractor, as a condition of having a federal contract, to engage in a self-analysis for the purpose of discovering any barriers to equal employment opportunity.”

A mere 13 years later, though, during her first run for the U.S. Senate, Warren claimed she had no idea she was being celebrated by her employers as the “first woman of color” or how in the world the school discovered she self-identified as “Native American.”

In her Sioux City speech on Saturday, Warren did not offer any explanation as to why–if she is “not a person of color,” as she says, and “not a citizen of a tribe”– she actively declared, beginning in 1985 and continuing until 1997, that she was a minority in the annual Association of American Law Schools directory, which was often used at the time as a hiring guide tool by law schools, or why, in 1989, she signed a personnel form submitted to her employer, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, actively asserting that she was Native American.

As Breitbart News reported, “Warren has yet to provide a single piece of documentary evidence to support that claim, and her purported DNA results fall far short of any standard that would have justified that claim based on genetic evidence.”

“I grew up out in Oklahoma, and like a lot of folks in Oklahoma, we heard the family stories of our ancestry. Um, when I first ran for public office, the first time was in 2012, and the Republicans honed in on this part of my history, and thought they could make a lot of hay out of it. A lot of racial slurs, and a lot of ugly stuff that went on. And so my decision was, I’m just going to put it all out there. It took a while, but just put it all out there. All my hiring records, including the DNA test, it’s out there. It’s there. It’s online. Anyone can look at it. It’s there,” Warren told the Sioux City audience on Saturday.

“Now, I can’t stop Donald Trump from what he’s going to do. I can’t stop him from hurling racial insults. I don’t have any power to do that,” the 69-year-old senator from Massachusetts added.

Warren’s assertion that President Trump has been “hurling racial insults” is apparently a reference to his frequent use of his favorite nickname for her: Pocahontas.

“Yes, you can,” an audience member shouted out, to applause from the crowd.

Warren paused for a moment, then continued.

“But what I can do, is stay in this fight for all of our families. Because ultimately what I think 2020 is going to be about is not about my family, it’s about tens of millions of families across this country who just want a level playing field, who just want a chance to build an America that doesn’t just work for a handful of folks at the top, but an America that works for all of us, and that’s why I’m in this fight,” she concluded.

With this concluding comment, Warren attempted to direct attention away from her own bad personal conduct in falsely claiming she had Native American ancestry during the 1980s and 1990s on employment related documents–at a time when all law schools and Harvard Law School in particular were desperately seeking more diverse faculties–and towards her “family.”
You can watch the question and answer in the video included in this tweet from TicToc by Bloomberg News:


Warren made additional Iowa campaign stops this weekend in Council Bluffs, Des Moines, and Storm Lake.

The choice of Storm Lake, located in Buena Vista County, as a campaign stop was a source of amusement to many of Warren’s critics and reason for consternation among her supporters.

Buena Vista County is bordered to the west by Cherokee County, and to the east by Pocahontas County.

The Pocahontas County website states that, “Pocahontas, who became famous for her heroic intercession to save the life of Captain John Smith during the early history of Virginia later married colonist John Rolfe in 1613 or 1614. The name of Pocahontas was suggested by Iowa Senator, John Howell of Jefferson County to Phineas M. Casady of Des Moines, who was a member of the Iowa Senate and was on the Senate Committee on New Counties.”

The Cherokee County website states that, “Cherokee County was one of the 49 divided from Indian Treaty lands by the Third Iowa Assembly in 1851. The lawmen picked names that had no connection with the area or with its history.”


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