Karen Geronimo, a member of the Mescalero Apache tribe in town for the Democratic convention, knows what she wants from Elizabeth Warren, the Senate candidate from Massachusetts: a blood sample.VIDEO CREDIT: Legal Insurrection.
“Someone needs to make her take a DNA test,” said Ms. Geronimo, whose husband, Harlyn Geronimo, is the great-grandson of the legendary warrior Geronimo.
The still-simmering controversy over Ms. Warren’s self-proclaimed American Indian heritage has chased her from the campaign trail in Massachusetts to the convention hall, resonating with a small but vocal constituency: American Indian Democrats.
During her academic career, Ms. Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, identified herself as a minority, citing her one thirty-second Cherokee blood, a fact that Republicans pounced on to try to portray her as an opportunist and a fraud. The line on her résumé does not seem to set well with some Indian members of her own party.
“If you’re going to be Native, don’t just be Native on paper,” said Lexie LaMere, a Nebraska delegate and member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. “What’s troubling is that she’s shown nothing in her history of being involved in Native American issues.”
Mr. Geronimo, wearing a “Native Americans for Obama” button, said he was disappointed when he first heard of Ms. Warren’s claim.
“She needed leverage to further her career and started digging,” he said. Ms. Warren brushed aside reporters who asked about the concerns on Wednesday, saying: “I’ve answered those questions. I’m here to talk about what’s happening to America’s working-class families. That’s my job. It’s my full-time job.”
Still, she may want to avoid bumping into Indians around the hall. Jim La Pointe, the great-grandnephew of Crazy Horse and a member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, had a test in mind for Ms. Warren.
“I’d like to hear her speak her native language,” he said with a sly smile.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
At the New York Times, "For Warren, Bad Blood Over Ethnic Claims":