Joseph M. Pierce
Op-Ed on Elizabeth Warren at Protean Mag
Updated: May 26, 2020
I live-tweeted the recent Native American Presidential Forum, and after receiving numerous press inquiries–including for this piece in the Times–I decided to put some of my thoughts together in a more cohesive and personal way. Here is an op-ed on Warren’s almost-apology that Protean Mag published.
The title that I wanted to go with, actually, was “Apology Not Accepted”. But I’m glad we went with something more descriptive. For more information on Warren’s race-shifting and false claims to Cherokee heritage, see the syllabus I worked on with Cherokee activist/writers Rebecca Nagle and Adrienne Keane, published by Critical Ethnic Studies.
From the op-ed:
Warren vaguely admitted wrongdoing. But she did not say what she did or why, quickly pivoting to her strong suit, public policy. This is a good strategy for courting people who wanted to hear her admit something. However, it doesn’t address the central issue at stake—Cherokee sovereignty.
Despite having put forward a broad structural plan for honoring trust and treaty obligations, she has yet to understand how she is situated within the structures of white supremacy from which she has benefited—and yet to demonstrate that she can be trusted. Trust comes with daring to put the ethical obligations of mutual respect before politics. This is what being in good relations means. As a Cherokee, that is what matters to me. I cannot help but ask if Elizabeth Warren is actually demonstrating that she is in good relations with us.
Photo by Lorie Shaull