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Elizabeth Warren fans accusing Native Americans of tribalism when they are understandably pissed at her for her latest stunt is pretty rich. It’s also pretty racist.

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  • @arush What’s the latest stunt? Her response to this week’s open letter? She’s apologized multiple times and apologized again this week—the whole thing feels like special expectations for her.

    Joe Biden said this week that he was arrested when visiting Nelson Mandela in prison. Which never happened. Yet Warren’s poor handling of Trump’s* constant attacks is still a bigger story?

    * She didn’t bring her ancestry up out of the blue; Trump had been calling her “Pocahontas” for years. Yet somehow all the criticism is directed at her?

  • @Bruce They’re not asking for another apology. They’re asking her to use her platform to address the ongoing harm she’s caused Native Americans. An apology, however eloquent and however well-footnoted, doesn’t do that. Yes, Joe Biden is lying about being arrested for visiting Nelson Mandela. Whataboutism doesn’t fix the problems though. And this is a big story because it should be. Native Americans have been asking for this to be addressed for years, wrote an open letter asking for specific things, and someone who is capable of coming up with detailed plans for everything from healthcare to taxation should be able to come up with a plan for addressing this properly. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to demonstrate that there’s been some progress on this issue, and frankly she’s the perfect person to address the harm that gets caused every time a white person decides to make a claim of Native American heritage merely to impress their friends or their significant other or to gain benefits. If she and her supporters would confront this head-on, with no excuses or whatabouts, they’d also be the perfect people to tell Trump supporters who obviously only care about this to the extent they can use it for political points to sit this one out.

  • @arush The letter asks for three things:

    State that you do not qualify for citizenship is not enough; the truth is that you and your ancestors are white.
    We ask you to explain that only tribal affiliation and kinship determine Native identity, and that equating Native identity with race and biology erodes the foundation of Indigenous sovereignty.
    Clearly state that Native people are the sole authority on who—and who is not—Native.
    In her 12 page response, she said:

    “I am not a person of color; I am a white woman, and that is how I identify.”
    “I have said very publicly—and will continue to say—that DNA does not determine tribal citizenship.”
    “I am not a tribal citizen. Tribal Nations—and only Tribal Nations—determine tribal citizenship. It’s their right as a matter of sovereignty, and they exercise that in the ways they choose to exercise it.
    Working with Congresswoman Deb Haaland, she’s released a detailed plan for the federal government to comprehensively live up to its obligations and make amends for its past failures. She’s also consistently sponsored and pushed legislation supported by Native American tribes.

    The sticking point for these letter writers seems to be that she has not explicitly said that her family stories were false. I can understand not wanting to outright state that one’s dead mother was a liar.

    While that sticking point is enough of a reason for the letter writers to not forgive Warren, is their individual dissatisfaction reason enough to make this a national story? And for those stories to not mention the many Native American individual and groups that have begun to forgive her and think that she is doing the work to make up for her errors?

    Why would we expect every Cherokee and every other Native Americans to forgive Warren? And why is the fact that these 200 have not a major news story?

    Would 200 African Americans writing another letter to Biden about his friendship with segregationist Senators receive the same coverage?

    And I don’t think asking that question is wrong, it’s completely possible for both Warren causing a lot of harm and the news media being sexist to be true. It feels off to allow the former to completely overshadow the latter.

  • @Bruce You wrote: <blockquote>The sticking point for these letter writers seems to be that she has not explicitly said that her family stories were false. I can understand not wanting to outright state that one’s dead mother was a liar.
    While that sticking point is enough of a reason for the letter writers to not forgive Warren, is their individual dissatisfaction reason enough to make this a national story? And for those stories to not mention the many Native American individual and groups that have begun to forgive her and think that she is doing the work to make up for her errors?</blockquote> Yes, it’s a reason for this to be a national story because she’s running for the highest office in this country, and right now we have a president in office who is absolutely a racist. Those of us on the left have spent the last six years criticizing the president and his supporters over this kind of thing, and we owe it to ourselves and our country to not give one of our own a pass simply because she’s a woman and not Trump and because she’s offered an apology while at the same time refusing to deal with the very thing that was the problem in the first place. YOu further wrote: <blockquote>Would 200 African Americans writing another letter to Biden about his friendship with segregationist Senators receive the same coverage?</blockquote> At this point, it likely would, and it definitely would in African-American owned press outlets. See, for example, the coverage Pete B. received over his plans to address African-American issues. If it didn’t receive this same amount of coverage, then we’d have something to agree on. But the event we’re talking about is a hypothetical that hasn’t happened. You finally wrote: <blockquote>And I don’t think asking that question is wrong, it’s completely possible for both Warren causing a lot of harm and the news media being sexist to be true. It feels off to allow the former to completely overshadow the latter.</blockquote> Holding Warren accountable for failing to address the actual problem when she’s been asked to do so for years and she’s running for the highest office in the country isn’t sexist, it’s the media’s job, and it’s our job. She doesn’t get a pass just because she’s a woman, and we shouldn’t be giving her one just because we’d rather focus on the things we like about her, (she’s incredibly smart, has paid a lot of attention to detail when it comes to planning, and is ten times better and more qualified than Trump in any category), and we’d rather look away from the things that are problematic.

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