Presumably, the reference in the title to Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) as a character he played on “Saturday Night Live” is also racist. Of course, my assumptions may be all wrong, since Franken singled out Donald Trump for ridiculing Warren’s fake Indian heritage, so maybe it’s only racist to call Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” when he does it.
Franken made his claim Sunday, as a guest of Jake Tapper on CNN. The transcript follows:
Tapper: Let me show you what President Trump said about her this week. He was meeting privately with ten senators at the White House and he told the Democrats in the room, “Pocahontas is now the face of your party.” That’s an obvious reference to the controversy over with Elizabeth Warren’s claim of a Native American heritage. What’s your response?…
Franken: I heard this from a couple of my colleagues who were there, and I–I would have said something.
Tapper: What would have you said?
Franken: “Mr. President, with all due respect, that’s racist. Don’t – please stop doing that. I’m on [the Committee for] Indian Affairs. This is completely unacceptable. You really should stop doing this. It doesn’t serve anybody.” Something like that.
The “controversy” Tapper is referring to is Warren’s claim to be 1/32 Cherokee.
According to The Boston Globe, back in 1984, Warren and members her family contributed recipes to a Native American cookbook, where she signed her name Elizabeth Warren, Cherokee. Then in 1986, Warren listed herself as a “minority” in the American Association of Law Schools’ directory of faculty, which is commonly used by recruiters. In the early 1990s, she was hired by Harvard as a law professor, and the university actually touted Warren’s phony ancestry. By 1995, once she had achieved tenure, Warren stopped listing herself as a minority.
Of course after being exposed, Warren claimed that she didn’t know Harvard had used her unconfirmed heritage to appear more diverse. Warren also denied that she ever used her unproven lineage to gain a professional advantage. Instead of coming clean in 2012 during the height of the controversy, Warren continued to spin her Indian fairy tale.
And here is the best part: She based her claims of Indian ancestry on high cheekbones.
I still have a picture on my mantel at home, and it’s a picture my mother had before that, a picture of my grandfather. And my Aunt Bea has walked by that picture at least 1,000 times, remarked that he … had high cheekbones like all of the Indians do, because that’s how she saw it. And she said, ‘And your mother got those same great cheekbones, and I didn’t.’
She seems to be overlooking her distinctly non-Indian features, which include blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin.
Here’s the bottom line. Anyone who considers calling Warren Pocahontas racist is either a political hack, an idiot … or Al Franken, but then I repeat myself.
Cross-posted at The Lid