War­ren turn­ing Trump’s jibes into mi­nor­ity re­tort

Boston Herald - - NEWS - By KIM­BERLY ATKINS

WASH­ING­TON — U.S. Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren blasted Pres­i­dent Trump’s re­peated use of a slur to re­fer to her claim of Amer­i­can In­dian an­ces­try yes­ter­day while Repub­li­cans dou­bled down, en­sur­ing the is­sue will loom over her future cam­paigns.

“I’ve no­ticed that ev­ery time my name comes up, Pres­i­dent Trump likes to talk about Poc­a­hon­tas. So I fig­ured, let’s talk about Poc­a­hon­tas,” War­ren said in an unan­nounced ad­dress to the Na­tional Congress of Amer­i­can In­di­ans in Wash­ing­ton yes­ter­day.

War­ren ac­cused Trump of “re­duc­ing na­tive his­tory, na­tive cul­ture, na­tive peo­ple to the butt of a joke,” re­fer­ring to a White House event hon­or­ing Na­tive Amer­i­can veter­ans dur­ing which Trump called War­ren “Poc­a­hon­tas.”

Trump has re­peat­edly used the name to mock War­ren’s claim of Chero­kee her­itage, and Repub­li­cans have charged her with using it for pro­fes­sional gain — an ac­cu­sa­tion she flatly de­nied yes­ter­day. War­ren listed her­self as a mi­nor­ity in a na­tional law school directory in the 1980s and ‘90s, and was claimed as a Na­tive Amer­i­can by Har­vard Univer­sity. Ge­neal­o­gists found no con­clu­sive ev­i­dence to sup­port her claim.

“I never used my fam­ily tree to get a break or get ahead. I never used it to ad­vance my ca­reer,” War­ren said, telling the crowd that her mother’s Chero­kee an­ces­try led her par­ents to elope be­cause of her fa­ther’s fam­ily’s dis­ap­proval.

“So I’m here to­day to make a prom­ise: Ev­ery time some­one brings up my fam­ily’s story, I’m go­ing to use it to lift up the story of your fam­i­lies and your com­mu­ni­ties,” War­ren said.

“This is all about 2020 and Sen. War­ren’s pres­i­den­tial am­bi­tions,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Con­nell. “She knows that the 2020 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial pri­mary will likely re­sem­ble the Hunger Games and she is be­ing proac­tive about her po­lit­i­cal blind spots.”

War­ren’s state­ment did noth­ing to quell Repub­li­can crit­i­cism.

“She failed to apol­o­gize to the ac­tual Na­tive Amer­i­cans in the au­di­ence and con­tin­ued to in­sist that she re­ally is a Na­tive Amer­i­can, de­spite the long list of ev­i­dence that in­di­cates other­wise,” said Mike Reed, spokesman for the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee, which Tues­day re­ferred to War­ren as “Faux­c­a­hon­tas,”

But Ch­eryl An­drews-Mal­tais, chair­woman of the Wam­panoag

Tribe of Gay

Head, who in­tro­duced War­ren at the event, told the Her­ald that War­ren has been a strong ad­vo­cate of tribal com­mu­ni­ties, and com­pared GOP at­tacks to birtherism against for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

“Sen. War­ren isn’t claim­ing she’s an en­rolled mem­ber of the tribe,” An­drewsMal­tais said. “But you can­not dis­claim your her­itage.”

STAFF FILE PHOTO BY AN­GELA ROWL­INGS

MOCK DE­BATE: Bay State U.S. Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren told the Na­tional Congress of Amer­i­can In­di­ans yes­ter­day she’ll use Pres­i­dent Trump’s ‘Poc­a­hon­tas’ jibes to ‘lift up the story of your fam­i­lies and your com­mu­ni­ties.’

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