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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Elizabeth Warren, Cherokee?

Hillary Chabot writes at The Boston Herald:
Desperately scrambling to validate Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage amid questions about whether she used her minority status to further her career, the Harvard Law professor’s campaign last night finally came up with what they claim is a Cherokee connection — her great-great-great-grandmother.
“She would be 1⁄32nd of Elizabeth Warren’s total ancestry,” noted genealogist Christopher Child said, referring to the candidate’s great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, who is listed on an Oklahoma marriage certificate as Cherokee. Smith is an ancestor on Warren’s mother’s side, Child said.
The missing link comes after Warren’s embattled campaign faced sharp questions about her Native American background in the wake of Herald stories that showed both Harvard Law School and Warren herself had touted her tribal lineage and claimed she was a member of a minority for years.
Warren’s shaken campaign faced another crisis yesterday when it was revealed that beginning in 1986 and continuing through 1995, Warren had listed herself as a minority professor in the Association of American Law Schools desk book, a directory of law professors from participating schools.
Warren had flatly denied that she ever touted her Native American background professionally. 
The flap recalls a scene from The Sopranos.

In episode 42, members of the Soprano crime family meet Chief Doug Smith, a sleazy casino operator.
SIL:  No offense, chief, but, uh... you don't look much like an Indian.
SMITH:  Frankly I passed most of my life as white, until I had a racial awakening and discovered my Mohonk blood. My grandmother on my father's side, her mother was a quarter Mohonk.
TONY:  And all this happened when the casino bill got passed, right?
SMITH:  Better late than never.