Warren: Stories about roots passed down by family sufficient to prove heritage


In response to an Eagle editorial calling on Elizabeth Warren to put an end to questions about her Native American roots by taking a DNA test, the senior U.S. senator from Massachusetts said in a TV interview Friday that the stories about her heritage passed down through her family are sufficient.

"My brothers and I, we grew up in Oklahoma," Warren told Carrie Saldo, host of WGBY's "Connecting Point."

"We know our story from our mom and our dad and our grandmothers and our grandfather and from our aunts."

"And that's sufficient for you, the story?" Saldo pressed.

"It's been just fine for my brothers and me," Warren said.

On Tuesday, The Berkshire Eagle ran an editorial that referred to questions about whether Warren used a false claim of Native American heritage to further her academic career, being as her "Achilles' heel," and suggested that her political opponents will never let the issue fade until she either proves them wrong or admits an error.

During her campaign for Senate in 2012, incumbent Scott Brown questioned the veracity of her Native American heritage and questions have lingered ever since, now with President Donald Trump referring to her sarcastically as "Pocahontas."

"We cannot know whether this advocacy is an awkward attempt to identify with others of her heritage, or whether it is simply a socially-conscious politician's desire to right historical wrongs on the part of disadvantaged people," the editorial reads. "What we do know is that Sen. Warren has shown herself to be a fighter for social equality and for a capitalist system that floats all boats, not just yachts."

Eagle editorial staff said that DNA heritage-tracking test is a means to put an end to the ongoing debate.

If Warren tested positive for Native American DNA, it would permanently resolve the issue, the Eagle editorial staff wrote.

"Should the test come up negative, it would be an opportunity for the senator to perform an act rarely seen among politicians: an admission of her error and a full-throated apology to Native American tribes and anyone else offended by her spurious claim," the editorial reads.

But in her interview with Saldo, Warren appeared uninterested in taking the test.

"You know, the way I see it is, at the end of the day, what the people of Massachusetts said is, they cared a whole lot more about their families than they did about my background," Warren said.

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at horecchio@berkshireeagle.com, @HavenEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.


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