A Cherokee professor from Stony Brook University claimed that a staffer from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) campaign dismissed his concerns that Warren had not done enough to “right the harm she has caused” by falsely claiming Cherokee heritage for years, and added that the staffer’s claim – that Trump will be re-elected if he does not support Warren – is “profoundly colonial.”
The professor and member of Cherokee Nation, Joseph Pierce, said on Twitter Saturday that Warren staffers attempted to persuade him to vote for the presidential hopeful during a campaign drive. Pierce told one staffer that he was not happy with the way Warren falsely claimed Native American heritage, and noted that she had not “done enough to right the harm she has caused.”
The staffer told Pierce that he would get him in touch with someone “who could get the word to Elizabeth” and brought him to another staffer, whom Pierce described as a “white guy with a beard.” The professor told the staffer that he was Cherokee, but the conversation was seemingly cut short after the staffer asked for Pierce’s number so he could “make real time” for him.
“I say, ‘this really pisses me off.’ And then things change: he can see that I’m upset, and then tries to figure out if I am worth talking to after all,” Pierce wrote on Twitter, adding that the staffer ultimately said, “I’m not sure there is anything I can do for you.”
Pierce said he told the staffer, “Tell her, tell someone, that what she has done is not enough.”
He noted the fact that the staffer was not as interested in talking to him once he realized he had passionate thoughts on the issue.
“I mean, bro, just one second earlier you were willing to ‘make real time for me,’ and when you saw that I actually have thoughts about this, you no longer have that willingness or that time,” Pierce wrote. “That, my friend, is exactly the problem.”
Pierce added that the staffer told him that, by not voting for Warren, Trump would be re-elected. He called the staffer’s assertion “profoundly colonial.”
“This is the position they are putting us in, and it is profoundly colonial,” he assessed. “Profoundly”:
the guy said that he would take me to someone "who could get the word to Elizabeth." Intrigued, I go with him, and its a white guy with a beard, and we interrupt his conversation, because its important, and I say, "I'm Cherokee" and he nods…
— Joseph M. Pierce (@PepePierce) October 5, 2019
He says, "I'm not sure there is anything I can do for you". And it dawns on me, yes, I am upset, perhaps I'm not willing to have this conversation, perhaps I just want to yell. So I say, "tell her, tell someone, that what she has done is not enough."
— Joseph M. Pierce (@PepePierce) October 5, 2019
And he had the gall to say that if I didn’t vote for her it was going to get Trump re-elected. This is the position they are putting us in, and it is profoundly colonial. Profoundly.
— Joseph M. Pierce (@PepePierce) October 6, 2019
Pierce blasted the “apology” Warren offered at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum in August, calling it “woefully inadequate”:
So, I didn’t expect Warren to spell out the complex history of Cherokee identity, the background of the allotment era and the theft of Indian land, identity, language, and culture by white settlers—including members of her own family. I didn’t expect her to be nuanced. But I hoped she might actually say, simply, that she is not and never has been Cherokee. That was my hope. And I was disappointed.
Warren vaguely admitted wrongdoing. But she did not say what she did or why, quickly pivoting to her strong suit, public policy. This is a good strategy for courting people who wanted to hear her admit something. However, it doesn’t address the central issue at stake—Cherokee sovereignty.
“Like anyone who’s been honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes,” Warren told the crowd at the forum. “I am sorry for harm I have caused”:
Warren – who identified as a minority professor and listed herself as an “American Indian” on her Texas Bar registration card – has failed to go into detail on her false claims to Native American heritage, offering vague apologies and largely avoiding the subject. The results of Warren’s DNA test released last year revealed the presidential hopeful’s lack of Native American heritage.
As Breitbart News reported:
Warren has tried to put her claims of Native American heritage behind her, but a DNA test – taken last year – revealed that Warren had between 1/64th and 1/1,024 Native American ancestry. The results followed years of Warren’s claims of Native American heritage, citing her high cheekbones as physical proof. Additionally, the DNA results indicated an association with individuals from Colombia, Mexico, and Peru– not Native American tribes in the United States, further debunking her claims of Cherokee heritage, specifically.
A recently resurfaced video from Warren’s 2012 senatorial bid shows the lawmaker claiming to have “plenty of pictures” reflecting her Native American heritage but ultimately refusing to show them to the reporter.
“I have plenty of pictures,” Warren said. “They’re not for you.”