Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) probably expected her appearance on “The Breakfast Club,” Charlamagne tha God’s radio show, to be an easy, quick way to pander to mostly black audiences. Instead, the hosts pulled no punches, essentially doing the job the mainstream media should be doing, but isn’t.
Watch @cthagod grill @ewarren on her heritage. "When did you find out that you weren't [Native American]?" "Were there any benefits to that?" "You sound like the original Rachel Dolezal a little bit" @breakfastclubam pic.twitter.com/GFzH8JqSqN
— Sarah Dolan Schneider (@sarahedolan) May 31, 2019
“I learned about my family the same way most people learned about their family … and [being Native American] it’s what I believed. But I’m not a person of color, I’m not a citizen of a tribe, and I shouldn’t have done it,” she said, referring to her weird decision back in October 2018 to release DNA results proving she had Native American ancestry six to 10 generations ago.
“What I can do is try to be a good partner.” A new word for ally! “What I want to see us do in education is get rid of the student loan debt and make an investment in the historically black colleges and universities. I want to see us in housing, hit redlining head on.”
“I see you talk about reparations as well,” a host chimed in, throwing Pandering Warren a bone. “So wait, your family told you you were Native American? Charlamagne tells me I’m Dominican, but I don’t believe him,” interjected another host.
“Yeah, you are,” added Charlamagne, who grilled Warren further. “How long did you hold on to that? Because there was some report that said you were Native American on your Texas bar license, and then said you were Native American on some documents when you were a professor at Harvard, so why you’d do that?”
“So it’s what I believed, you know, that’s, like I said, it’s what I learned from my family.”
“When did you find out that you weren’t?” Charlamagne pressed. “Well … 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,” said Warren.
“Were there any benefits to that?”
“No! Boston Globe did a full investigation, it never affected nothin’ about my family, never affected any job I ever got.” Warren channels a bit of predecessor Hillary, here, making her word choice just a bit folksy despite being an insanely well-educated person who’s been living in Massachusetts for many years.
“You’re kinda like the original Rachel Dolezal a little bit—a white woman pretending to be black,” Charlamagne shot back.
“Well, this is what I learned from my family,” Warren countered, softly.
Warren’s claims are absurd and disingenuous. Warren’s DNA test (which has been widely scrutinized, given that tribal membership is the relevant detail here, not DNA) turned back results saying she was somewhere in the range of 1/64th to 1/1024th Native American. She did, in fact, use her mostly phony Native American identity to get ahead. Her State Bar of Texas registration card from 1986 shows she listed her race as “American Indian.”
She has since apologized for her various indiscretions, but one can’t help but think her apology was insincere if she’s now claiming her truth-twisting never affected her professionally. Wouldn’t it be hard for her to know that for sure?
As Washington Post reported, back in February: “The Texas bar registration card is significant, among other reasons, because it removes any doubt that Warren directly claimed the identity. In other instances Warren has declined to say whether she or an assistant filled out forms.”
Now, perhaps it’s silly to fixate on Warren’s dishonesty and sliminess when this is one of the great uniting qualities of pretty much all politicians for all time. Still, we can’t help but be grateful to Charlamagne for coining the best new phrase of this election cycle—”the original Rachel Dolezal.”