Liz’s an­ces­try claims still pack of lies

Re­marks to Na­tive Amer­i­can group prove noth­ing

Boston Herald - - OPINION - Michael Gra­ham is a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to the Bos­ton Her­ald. His daily pod­cast is avail­able at www.michael­gra­

For­get the cheap shots and the #Fau­c­a­hon­tas jokes, and ask your­self: Why does Liz War­ren keep ly­ing?

Why, after the waste of way too many hours by ge­neal­o­gists and jour­nal­ists prov­ing that El­iz­a­beth War­ren has no Na­tive Amer­i­can her­itage — why does she keep telling the same lies?

Yes­ter­day, in a last-sec­ond, sur­prise speech to the Na­tional Congress of Amer­i­can In­di­ans, she re­peated the bo­gus story yet again: “My mother’s fam­ily was part Na­tive Amer­i­can. And my daddy’s par­ents were bit­terly op­posed to their re­la­tion­ship. So, in 1932, when Mother was 19 and Daddy had just turned 20, they eloped.”

Amaz­ingly, ex­cept for the date noth­ing in that state­ment can with­stand scru­tiny. No, her mother’s fam­ily is not Na­tive Amer­i­can. No, her grand­par­ents were not the racists she claims they were, forc­ing their son to marry in se­cret. The wedding of Pauline Reed and Don­ald Her­ring (War­ren’s par­ents) was con­ducted by a prom­i­nent Methodist min­is­ter (he helped found South­ern Methodist Univer­sity) and an­nounced with great fan­fare in the lo­cal pa­per.

And most im­por­tant of all, no — Liz War­ren’s fam­ily never suf­fered a sin­gle set­back or even a mo­ment of dis­crim­i­na­tion due to fam­ily lore about their her­itage. Liz War­ren never lived one minute of her life as a mi­nor­ity. The en­tire premise of her claim is lu­di­crous on its face — with or with­out the high cheek­bones.

So why the hell did she list her­self as a mi­nor­ity in the As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­i­can Law Schools directory?

“Here we are again,” Twila Barnes said when I spoke to her yes­ter­day. Barnes is a Chero­kee In­dian and ge­neal­o­gist who runs the web­site PollysGrand­daugh­ — named after three Chero­kee an­ces­tors all named Polly (in­clud­ing my fa­vorite, “Polly Tad­pole”). More than any other per­son, her re­search helped de­bunk War­ren’s an­ces­try claims when the story first broke in 2012.

“There’s just noth­ing there,” Barnes said. “There is no Na­tive Amer­i­can an­ces­try on her mother’s side at all. On her mother’s mother’s side, a news­pa­per ar­ti­cle re­ferred to her grandpa as ‘a white man’ who shot an ‘In­dian.’”

“As for the elope­ment, if the mar­riage was viewed as such a bad thing [for be­ing mixed race], why did they rush home from the next town over to cel­e­brate?” None of this is news to War­ren ob­servers or, pre­sum­ably, to War­ren her­self. So why is she flog­ging this false story yet again? Does she think it’s smart pol­i­tics? Her op­po­nents cer­tainly like it: “El­iz­a­beth War­ren’s speech to­day dis­tracts from an is­sue she has never ad­dressed: Did she claim to be a mem­ber of a Na­tive Amer­i­can tribe in or­der to ob­tain pref­er­en­tial con­sid­er­a­tion for em­ploy­ment?” asks John Kingston, one of three GOP can­di­dates for U.S. Se­nate in Mas­sachusetts this year. “She has never an­swered that ques­tion be­yond a rea­son­able doubt, and she didn’t an­swer it to­day.”

An­other Repub­li­can in the race, state Sen. Ge­off Diehl, weighed in, too: “This is an­other me­dia stunt by War­ren to gain na­tional ex­po­sure for her pres­i­den­tial run. It doesn’t ex­cuse her for wrong­fully claim­ing mi­nor­ity sta­tus.”

Her op­po­nents love this is­sue. So the po­lit­i­cal up­side is — what? That she fights? Even when she’s wrong? Hey, I know a cer­tain Repub­li­can pres­i­dent who does the same thing ...

As much as War­ren fans might hate to hear it, she’s sound­ing aw­fully Trumpian. Mak­ing claims con­trary to facts, re­fus­ing to back down, at­tack­ing her crit­ics as haters? How long be­fore Liz dons a #FakeNews Tshirt? (Or for the full-Trump ef­fect, a buck­skin dress.)

War­ren con­cluded her speech with an at­tack on Trump: “It is deeply of­fen­sive that this pres­i­dent keeps a por­trait of An­drew Jack­son hang­ing in the Oval Of­fice, hon­or­ing a man who did his best to wipe out Na­tive peo­ple,” War­ren said.

It’s also highly ironic given that there is some ev­i­dence to sug­gest one of War­ren’s an­ces­tors may have helped round up In­di­ans for the “Trail of Tears” forced march. And for Brian Kilmeade, Fox News an­chor and au­thor of “An­drew Jack­son and the Miracle of New Or­leans,” it’s highly ou­tra­geous:

“Lin­coln, Teddy Roo­sevelt, FDR — they all looked up to Jack­son. Pres­i­dent Tru­man kept a fig­urine of Jack­son on his desk,” Kilmeade told me yes­ter­day. “If Liz War­ren, a pro­fes­sor with a ques­tion­able back­ground, feels she’s made more of an im­pact on Amer­ica, she’s delu­sional.”

She’s some­thing all right. And what­ever it is — it’s not Chero­kee.

WAR­REN: Her speech suc­ceeded mostly in fir­ing up Repub­li­cans.


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