2020 White House hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) dodged the question of when she learned she is not Native American during a Friday interview on the popular radio show The Breakfast Club, floundering as co-host Charlamagne tha God took her to task for false claims about her heritage.
The painful exchange began with Charlamagne tha God asking Warren if she regretted taking the DNA test which revealed her genes only show evidence of 1/64 to 1/1024 Native American heritage. “Oh, I can’t go back,” Warren began. “I grew up in Oklahoma, I learned about my family the same way most people learn about there family, from there my momma, from my daddy, aunts and my uncles. And it’s what I believed.”
“I’m not a person of color,” she then conceded. “I’m not a citizen of a tribe and I shouldn’t have done it.”
Charlamagne, interrupting Warren, then asked if she would claim Native American heritage again if she could do it again.
“I can’t go back,” Warren repeated. “But, I shouldn’t. But what I do is try to be a good partner. And that’s what I do every day.”
Warren went on to name drop issues such as health care, student loan debt, and the housing crisis. However, the Breakfast Club hosts were unfazed by Warren’s attempt to pivot away from the controversial subject and continued to press her.
“So what? Your family told you were Native American,” DJ Envy asked.
“Yeah!” Warren exclaimed.
“How long did you hold on to that?” Charlamagne asked. “Because there were some reports that said you were Native American on your Texas Bar license and that you said you were Native American, also documents when you were a professor at Harvard–like, why did you do that?”
Warren repeated her initiation response, claiming that she learned of her now-debunked lineage from her family. She failed to provide any date and time on when exactly she found out about her true heritage.
Charlamagne’s next, key question went entirely unanswered: “When did you find out you weren’t?”
Warren sputtered, then replied: “I’m not a person of color. I’m not a citizen of a tribe and tribal citizenship is an important distinction, and not something I am. So…” She left that final sentence unfinished, waiting for another question.
“Was there any benefits to that?” Charlamagne tha God shot back.
“No,” she said, finding her footing again in a prepared line. “Boston Globe did a full investigation, it never affected anything about my family. It never affected any job I ever got.”
“It’s kind of like the original Rachel Dolezal a little bit,” Charlamagne quipped. “Rachel Dolezal is a white woman pretending to be black.”
“Well, this is what I learned from my family,” Warren replied, throwing her hands up.