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Elizabeth Warren apologized yesterday for her past claims of Native American heritage, including her ill-considered decision last year to take a DNA test after Donald Trump goaded her to with a promise that he'd pay a million dollars if she did. Instead of settling the matter, that DNA test offended quite a few Native leaders, who pointed out that tribal membership has nothing to do with genes and everything to do with enrollment. And Trump refused to pay anyway, because he insisted he'd never said any such thing, just like a common Stupidest Man on the Internet. (Here he is saying it, on video, at a rally. Probably the Deep State.) Not that his opinion matters, but Native folks' do.

So yesterday, at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa, Warren apologized, without qualification, because that's what grownups do when they realize that a bit of family lore has larger implications. She sounded like someone who has learned a lot about what Native people think -- and like someone who's put forward the most serious agenda we've seen for addressing the US government's history of neglect and hostility toward indigenous Americans.

Elizabeth Warren To Native American Leaders: 'I Am Sorry For Harm I Have Caused' | NBC News www.youtube.com

That, kids, is what a real apology looks like. No caveats or attempts to justify, just an acknowledgement of harm and an acceptance of responsibility, with an I'm sorry and I will do better.


Like anyone who's been honest with themselves, I know I have made mistakes. I am sorry for harm I have caused. I have listened and I have learned a lot, and I am grateful for the many conversations that we've had together. It is a great honor to be able to partner with Indian county, and that's what I have tried to do as a senator, and that's what I promise to do as president of the United States.

Warren's campaign website has also removed the video and other materials released after the DNA test; the issue will probably not go away, especially for Republicans who continue to think it's the funniest joke ever. But screw 'em -- the more important reaction may have been onstage, where Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) of Laguna Pueblo, introduced Warren, calling her "amazing, unstoppable" and "my sister." Haaland, you'll recall, is one of the first two Native women elected to Congress last year (the other is Sharice Davids of Kansas).

Haaland addressed the controversy even before Warren got to the apology, as Indian Country Today reports:

"Some media folks kept asking whether the criticisms of her regarding her ancestral background will hamper her ability to convey a clear campaign message," Haaland said. "Elizabeth knows she will be attacked. She's here to be an unwavering partner in our struggle because that is what a leader does."

The room erupted in applause.

The story says Warren was warmly received by most in the audience. Warren's segment of the forum had the highest attendance of any candidates. One attendee, Sheila Corbine, said, "I think it was pretty clear that [Warren] is relatively well-versed on many of the issues that Native people have," and said she was impressed that Warren has been working closely on Native issues with Haaland.

On the other hand, Republicans had their own takeaway from Warren's appearance at the conference: POCAHONTAS WOO-WOO HAW HAW HAW.


No, the linked article doesn't mention anything about Warren's policy proposal for Native America. Why would it do that? WOO-WOO-WOO TOMAHAWK CHOP! HURR-HURRHURR.

It's going to be a long 15 months no matter who wins the nomination.

[AP / Reuters / Indian Country Today]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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