WASHINGTON, December 4, 2017 – President Trump’s reference to Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as “Pocohantas,” at a recent ceremony honoring Navajo Code Talkers in Washington, recalls her questionable claim to having Native American ancestry. In response, Warren accused the president of using a “racial slur.”
Elizabeth’s Warren’s Ancestry Lie
In the case of Elizabeth Warren, she first started identifying herself as a Native American when she was a member of the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania and then Harvard Law School. In 2012, the New England Historic Genealogical Society found no proof that Ms. Warren had any Cherokee ancestry, as she claimed.
Death certificates on file in the state of Oklahoma indicate that her mother and her aunt were white, according to Cherokee Nation genealogist Twila Barnes.
Cornell University law professor William A. Jacobson told The Washington Times that,
“Elizabeth Warren needs to apologize and admit that she knowingly claimed an employment status she was not entitled to claim.”
Harvard and Warren’s Ancestry
While Harvard officials say that Warren’s heritage was not a factor in hiring her, she has been lauded as Harvard Law School’s “first woman of color.” Elizabeth Warren is no more a “woman of color” than Donald Trump is “a Swede.”
At least President Trump corrected his father’s claim, began for the expediency of his business.
Even liberal critics of President Trump, like Trevor Noah host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” mock Warren’s claims to Cherokee heritage; As well as the crab recipe she submitted to the 1984 Cherokee cookbook, “Pow Wow Chow.” The recipe Warren submitted allegedly taken from the New York Times Wire service.
Noah, who is of mixed race, with a black mother and white father, notes that,
“That would be like finding out I’m completely white, I have no African blood, and yet I wrote the book ‘Snacks for Blacks’…”
“Elizabeth Warren might never live down the charge of falsely claiming Native American roots. The controversy emerged during the Democrat’s successful Senate run in Massachusetts in 2012, and it continues to dog her.”
Those involved in our political life have long had a very ambiguous relationship with the truth. On her website, Melania Trump claims to have graduated from college, which she did not. In his 1987 presidential campaign, Joe Biden claimed he had finished in the top half of his class at Syracuse University College of Law.
Fred Trump’s Ancestry Lie
Ironically, the issue of making dubious claims concerning ancestry shows that Mr. Trump and Ms. Warren have a great deal in common. The fact is that for several generations, the Trump family created a fictional Swedish ancestry. In his 1987 book, “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” Donald Trump reports that his father came to America as a boy from his native Sweden.
In fact, Fred Trump came to America as a teenager from his native Germany. Trump’s mother’s family comes from Scotland.
In the biographies “The Trumps: Three Generations That Built An Empire” by Gwenda Blair, and “The Last Tycoon” by Henry Hunt, both authors show that the Swedish origins were the inventions of Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father.
The real Trump origins, German, in a post World War II environment, were problematic for the businessman.
“In the 1940s, people, especially in the real estate industry in New York, didn’t want to hear that somebody was German, so let’s get rid of that, let’s be Swedish,” said Glenda Blair.
However, the President was the grand marshal of the annual German-American Steuben Parade in New York City in 1999. In 2011 event, Trump touted his grandfather’s immigration story and recalled the earlier parade saying he was a proud German-American.
Biden, Blumenthal, Bill Clinton and the lies they told
In reality, he graduated 76th out of 85. Biden also admits to plagiarizing parts of a speech given during his Presidential bid.
In 2010, in a Connecticut senate race, Richard Blumenthal claimed that he served in Vietnam. While Blumenthal did serve in the Marine Corps, he never went to Vietnam. According to The New York Times, he took repeated steps to avoid being sent.
Bill Clinton, of course, “never had sex with that woman.” Hillary Clinton was under sniper fire while Secretary of State. And that never happened.
We could fill pages with examples like these.
It is too bad that truth and honesty are not held in higher esteem.
When Donald Trump misstates facts, not only about his family background but in a variety of other areas, too many Republicans find if possible to defend him.
When Elizabeth Warren falsely claims Native American background, Democrats find it easy to overlook.
Will the truth be told?
Do we only expect truth from those in the other party but are content with something less from those we consider our friends and allies? If so, this tells us more about ourselves than it does about our adversaries.
For democracy to work, we need truth on all sides. Donald Trump’s phony Swedish ancestry and Elizabeth Warren’s fabricated Native American background, may not mean much in the long run.
But our own disregard for holding those in political life to a standard of truth certainly will.
Lead Image: Donald Trump and Elizabeth Warren by DonkeyHotey for Flickr.com