Talk:Elizabeth Warren

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Good articleElizabeth Warren has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
November 2, 2011Good article nomineeListed
March 4, 2013Good article reassessmentKept
Current status: Good article

Should discussion of the controversy over her stated Native American ancestry be in its own subsection?[edit]

  • Yes. The issue needs a subsection. This is a huge part of Warren's public image. The criticism of her claim to be a racial minority/Native is persistently newsworthy. Almost everyone on the Right (not just Trump) criticizes her for it, but criticism is not limited to them. Trevor Noah, Think Progress and a liberal commentator at USA Today have also offered critical commentary lately. The discussion of the issue goes well beyond the 2012 campaign and belongs in a sub-section under "career" or "early life, education, and family." Steeletrap (talk) 03:37, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment - I have reworded the RFC question to make much more sense; not only is it more clearly worded, but it doesn't lead to the counterintuitive "no means yes" situation. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 03:55, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment - This not only lacks an {{rfc}} template but it is not in RfC format. Per WP:RFC, it is not an RfC, and I have removed "RfC:" from the heading. ―Mandruss  04:20, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes, of course, for all the reasons propounded above on this page. It's notable. YoPienso (talk) 07:47, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No Controversy sections are inherently bad style. Controversies should be presented where they occur, in this case in Warren's senatorial campaign and Trump's comments. We might however have a section about Warren and native Americans that explains both her claims to Indian ethnicity and her positions on native affairs. TFD (talk) 15:51, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
It may be your personal opinion that "controversy sections are inherently bad style," but we have over 20,000 articles with controversy or criticism sections, and the template page for tagging NPOV sections says:
"This template is meant for articles with Criticism, Controversy or similarly-titled sections that segregate a series of negative details into one section.
Note that criticism and controversy sections are not prohibited by policy, and the tag should only be used if there is a real concern that the criticism section and its contents are causing trouble with the article's neutrality." YoPienso (talk) 16:11, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
How many of them have good article status? "Not prohibited by policy" does not mean it's good style. The essay, Criticism explains the problems with using these sections. It's not how respected writers write. It doesn't seem to be necessary in the article about Charles Manson, although he attracted more criticism than Warren. We have to decide whether we want to write a neutral article or use it as a platform for scoring political points. TFD (talk) 17:04, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm not gonna search through 20,000 articles to see which have GA status. Andrew Jackson (not a GA) has "Planting career and controversy," and Richard Nixon, a FA, "Reelection, Watergate scandal, and resignation."
The essay "Criticism" is just opinion.
Charles Manson? Seriously? Apples to oranges. He is known solely for being evil. Warren is a U.S. senator who, being human, once did something controversial that opponents latched onto. That controversy continues to be an important part of her public image, and so merits naming and inclusion in this article.
Now, if you object to the sub-section title, "Controversy" or "Criticism," simply call it "Self-identity as Native American." YoPienso (talk) 19:43, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Again, YES, this article needs a sub-section over the controversy surrounding Warren's listing of herself as a member of an ethnic minority. We owe that to our casual readers who come here to find out what the fuss is about. YoPienso (talk) 19:43, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
My point is that criticism sections come across as agitprop that one would not expect to find in a well-written article. It gives the entire article the appearance of bias, so that readers would question its accuracy. And it shows the idiocy of American politics where the argument is about personal misdemeanors rather than issues. TFD (talk) 20:31, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No Just another right-wing effort to score partisan points through WikiControversy(tm).MarkBernstein (talk) 16:48, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes It's not a right-wing issue among Native American people; it concerns issues of self-representation and sovereignty: the rights of tribal peoples to define who does and doesn't have the right to claim Native identity, and who has the right to speak for Native peoples and issues. Here is another opinion piece from several Native journalists on the issue, this time on CNN: Warren should apologize to Native Americans. - CorbieV 19:26, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No - No showing of any need for a subsection. The questioning of her heritage by a political opponent (Scott Brown) and the racially charged "Pocahontas" disparagement (Trump) are already noted in the article, in proper context. Creation of a subsection is unnecessary and, in fact, poor style. (Also, the claim that this is somehow a "huge part of Warren's public image and notability" is laughable. Warren is notable as a U.S. Senator, as an advocate of banking regulation, and as the leading figure behind the creation of the CFPB. Not for Twitter-feed disparagement or failed campaign attacks.) Neutralitytalk 04:15, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps you're conflating Warren's achievements with her public image. YoPienso (talk) 11:55, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Do you have any empirical evidence showing that Warren's "public image" is dominated by this? Neutralitytalk 02:16, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
I wouldn't say her public image is dominated by or even a huge part of her public image, and much less of her notability. I said that the "controversy continues to be an important part of her public image." Now I would change "important" to "notable," and point out it was notable four years (one election cycle) before Pres. Trump nicknamed her "Pocahontas."
By "empirical evidence," I assume you mean if can I show by reliable sources that the controversy is notable enough to include in this article. Yes.
Here's one older RS: "Warren’s politics rooted in academe," in the Boston Globe, Aug. 19, 2012. It says: "Her unorthodox career trajectory has been scrutinized since she became a candidate for Senate, particularly after the revelation that for years she had listed herself as a Native American in a professional directory often used by law school recruiters." That scrutiny helped shape her public image. thoroughly examined and documented "Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Pocahontas’ Controversy."
PolitiFact researched and reported the controversy.
Warren herself reiterates her Native American heritage on p. 9 of A Fighting Chance, and discusses the controversy on pp. 239-42.
I could fill the page with RSs on this controversy, as I suppose you know. All we have to do is decide if the widespread coverage should be tucked away in the campaign section where it's not readily found, or put in its own section where the general public--who know nothing of talk pages--can quickly find accurate information. YoPienso (talk) 03:26, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes I have to think that a lot of readers come to this article looking for information regarding this issue (as I just did 5 minutes ago). Having the information hidden throughout the article rather than in its own section that is easily identifiable in the table of contents makes this article less usable for the reader. Rreagan007 (talk) 04:21, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No. Already in article and she hasn't claimed it in years. Cher and Loretta Lynn have claimed to be Cherokee numerous times, yet their pages don't have a separate section for their claims.Wikipedia has a neutral point of view and should not join the smear campaign. Yuchitown (talk) 16:35, 4 December 2017 (UTC)Yuchitown
No. The discussion is already in the article; it's well cited. She hasn't reiterated the claim. For this to be news, new developments would have to occur (like her claiming Delaware/Cherokee heritage again or for new research to emerge), not her political detractors bringing it up at every possible moment. I'm Native American and can clearly see this is a non-issue because she has stopped making her claims. Yuchitown (talk) 05:32, 6 December 2017 (UTC)Yuchitown
Did you see just above where I noted she reiterated the claim in her 2014 book? This was after the 2012 election brouhaha. And she mentioned it again on p. 224 of her 2017 book, This Fight is Our Fight. It's a more nuanced statement, referring to "what our family had told my brothers and me about our Native American ancestry." She cites it to pp. 230-42 of A Fighting Chance. No, Warren isn't caving to bullies. YoPienso (talk) 14:49, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Yuchitown, with all due respect and affection, I unbolded your second "no" because you !voted twice. Warren does reiterate her fake heritage claims, regularly, especially in her Massachusetts fundraising attempts. In the recent debacle after Trump insulted the Codetalkers, she brought it up yet again. Because she knows it works in MA. She has also had Rachel Maddow repeatedly claim on her behalf that Trump attacks Warren because Trump is "racist" against Warren, due to Warren's (fake) "heritage." (Trump's racism is a whole other issue. But Warren is white.) It is Warren who makes this an ongoing issue by exploiting blood myths while rejecting all dialogue with actual Native people. She continues to claim blood myths when they suit her, while not even using her platform to advocate for Indigenous issues like the pipeline fights, and she has never apologized to the Native people she's harmed and continues to harm by promoting colonial blood myths over indigenous sovereignty. - CorbieV 21:39, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No. Strong 'NO' because of policy on WP:WEIGHT and how to organize material between parent and child articles, as detailed in Wikipedia:Summary style. Material in that section is already overweight. It should be trimmed as the material is already treated in the daughter article United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 2012. Per policy, only a short summary should be left here. --LK (talk) 01:39, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No - It's not a significant current issue or part of her life, beyond a small fringe right-wing echo chamber that we're not obligated to give more space just because they're noisy. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 16:35, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Only current issues are allowed? I think policy and guidelines lean in exactly the opposite direction: notable historical issues are included; current issues not so much, per WP:NOTNEWS and WP:PERSISTENCE. It's a large enough part of her life that she's included it in at least two books. YoPienso (talk) 01:03, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Of course it's allowed in the encyclopedia - nobody is suggesting that all mention be removed. But the weight you believe should be put on the issue exceeds what I believe is due weight. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 06:13, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No Actually this section needs to be trimmed to a couple of sentences with further information included in the 2012 election article. As it is the Native American episode is almost as long or longer than any section discussing her career or accomplishments. I'd suggest an RfC to discuss removing most of the information to the election article if it's not there already. Gandydancer (talk) 15:46, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes Unfortunately the issue is a theme running through many aspects of here biography: Is it part of her identity? Did she benefit? Is it supported by genetics or just a family story? It is mentioned in relation to both her Senate campaign and political future. Trump may create the most buzz, but Native Americans are also unhappy with her claim, which she has not openly addressed. I am sure there are other opinions in addition to the Rebecca Nagle article already cited. Personally, I would also like to be able to dismiss this as right-wing bias, but cannot. I am not unfamiliar with the difficulties of addressing Native issues, having worked on many articles on the Native American mascot controversy, bringing two to GA status. I avoid BLP's as being even more problematical than political controversies, but came across Nagle's article in researching her participation in the Washington Redhawks and wondered if it had been addressed here.--WriterArtistDC (talk) 21:25, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
More Native opinions:

--WriterArtistDC (talk) 16:38, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Comment: The holidays will likely mean there will be few additional votes until next year. Who decides that consensus has been reached? Who is drafting the new content?--WriterArtistDC (talk) 07:20, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes - Her claims based on blood myth are a direct threat on indigenous sovereignty. Her standing firm on debunked claims sets precedent for every other individual with disproven blood myths to carry on playing indian. Nevertheless she may have persisted but for goodness sake she had Greg Grey Cloud arrested for singing an honor song in the gallery (but the guy from Hamilton could belt out show tunes and not face arrest when he was lobbying for the Arts). This goes to she her lack of any connection or level of respect for the culture she claims. Besides, it's not who you claim, it's who claims you. If it were not for her ridiculous claims steeped in exoticism she would not have supplied her rivals with racist fodder. Indigenous girl (talk) 00:34, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes. I agree that the issue needs a subsection, in particular since her on-again, off-again claiming to be Native American jibes closely with her quest for professional advancement. The most thorough discussion online I've found is at, with the title, "Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Pocahontas’ Controversy." Far from being a political slam, the FactCheck article does offer exonerating testimony, so it is at least impartial, and is replete with cited sources. Wikipedia should do no less. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cfhosford (talkcontribs) 17:00, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes her heritage seems to be a big part of her public image, attracts lots of attention and publicity, it's big enough to have it's own section. The fact that in this case subject at hand just happened to be controversial does not mean anything nor should it be an argument against such section.--Nomad (talk) 07:44, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
  • No per Neutrality. It's discussed where it is relevant. It would be WP:UNDUE to cover it more simply because her political enemies promote the story relentlessly for partisan benefit. power~enwiki (π, ν) 07:49, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes the only reason I came to her article in the first place was to learn more about this controversy. It is extremely relevant and is routinely mentioned in mainstream news outlets. There are people are against it having a section because they support her and there are people who are for it because they are against her. But what about the people that are pursuing greater knowledge and understanding of a particular subject? Surely such a section could exist in an unbiased way that merely present the available facts without a partisan angle? I don't know much about Warren's controversy other than it is the only reason I even know who she is, and it is ridiculous that there is not a section about such a prominent aspect of the subject an article and its omission undermines the integrity of every other article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:41, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Absolutely - This issue has been raised, addressed, re-raised, re-addressed, and has had significant coverage in a variety of publications. Both anti- and pro-Warren politicos have chimed in about it. This certainly deserves its own subsection more than something like Barack Obama religion conspiracy theories deserves its own article. -- Veggies (talk) 14:34, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
  • No per policy. The material is already easily found and covered in the appropriate subsection (2012 election antics) of this article. (And it is already replicated in its own section yet again here.) Subsequent attempts to gin up controversy by regurgitating the old issue, as in the case of the bigoted name-calling in 2016, should likewise be covered in their appropriate subsections (2016 election antics, etc.), if at all. Transparent attempts to artificially inflate the matter even further with separate headers and sections is a violation of one of our core pillar policies. Xenophrenic (talk) 17:16, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Really? The exclusion of the section is itself a transparent attempt to obscure and downplay a highly relevant issue. I can only speculate as to motivation behind preventing a section dedicated to an objective and impartial analysis of the controversy, but it is likely that those biased towards Warren may fear the political consequences in the event the truth of the matter doesn't reaffirm their presuppositions - a violation of pillar two. However, I would suggest that those who think keeping this information fragmented and inaccessible will ultimately lead to the Streisand_effect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:30, 29 May 2018 (UTC)
Odd that you would cite "pillar two" to support your desire to convey "the truth of the matter", when pillar two explicitly instructs you to present "accurately and in context rather than as "the truth" or "the best view". […] Editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong. Maybe pay closer attention to the policy? Xenophrenic (talk) 17:14, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Odd that you would rely on a semantic dispute to support your position... oh wait, that isn't odd at all! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:58, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • NO - It goes against Wikipedia's policy! Always a liberal bias! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:02, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

Yes This has been international news for at least two years now and still attracts a massive amount of interest. I dare say people will forever associate the Native American controversy with Senator Warren. There is a way to add a new section which is evenly balanced. Those voting 'no' need to search their conscience and ask themselves whether their bias is intruding. MicheleFloyd (talk) 18:12, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

Current list of involved editors with brief summaries of their stances

Current list of involved editors with brief summaries of their stances[edit]

Please read the arguments presented by the involved editors to find how logical they may be.
Please also see above, "Revisiting Native American section"
Please add to these lists as they develop. YoPienso (talk) 20:00, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

I'm attempting to add a brief summary of each argument. Please AGF and edit your argument if you feel I've misrepresented it. Thanks! YoPienso (talk) 02:17, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

Opposing adding a separate subsection to highlight the Native American controversy

  • Muboshgu--1. It's just a campaign issue. 2. "Wikipedia is not an extension of Donald Trump's Twitter feed."
  • TFD--"Controversy sections are inherently bad style."
  • Mark Bernstein--"Just another right-wing effort to score partisan points through WikiControversy(tm)."
  • Neutrality-- already included in article; subsection is unnecessary and poor style
  • Yuchitown — No. Read the archives: this has been hashed over and over.
  • Lawrencekhoo--against policy: WP:WEIGHT.
  • NorthBySouthBaranof--not a significant current issue
  • Power~enwiki--"per Neutrality"
I don't care for this summation of opinions and I've removed my name. Perhaps I've missed them, but isn't this an unusual addition to a RfC? Gandydancer (talk) 15:57, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
@Gandydancer: That's certainly your prerogative. Is this an RfC? Early on it was declared not to be and no one objected: *Comment - This not only lacks an {{rfc}} template but it is not in RfC format. Per WP:RFC, it is not an RfC, and I have removed "RfC:" from the heading. ―Mandruss ☎ 04:20, 1 December 2017 (UTC). I started this because I got lost in all the threads and comments and dialog and just wanted a simple summary. I thought other people might appreciate that, too. YoPienso (talk) 21:40, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Xenophrenic-- Every election season we can expect detractors to renew attempts to unduly highlight old "controversy" content in articles with additional headers, sub-headers and separate sections -- and no doubt neon lights and balloons, if Wikipedia supported them. It is already logically located and well-covered in multiple areas, so the efforts to inflate it are transparent. Xenophrenic (talk) 17:16, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

Supporting adding a separate subsection to highlight the Native American controversy

  • Steeletrap--It's "newsworthy--as measured by RS." It's "a genuine controversy."
  • SunCrow--It's "a huge part of Warren's public image and notability."
  • E.M.Gregory--1. "Massive . . . news coverage" 2. We need to provide the info for readers. 3. It's not just a campaign issue, but "has now resurfaced many times."
  • IP Australian seeks/requests more info--Notes that it's OK to omit POTUS's insults while reporting on the issue.
  • Marteau--"It either makes us look we're trying to hide the issue from interested readers, or it makes us look incompetent."
  • YoPienso--I said for all those reasons, and reiterated that it's notable. Added Dec. 4: The controversy long predates Trump's insults.
  • CorbieVreccan--refuting Mark Bernstein's assertion that the issue is "right wing". Issue is not partisan. It concerns issues of Native American rights to self-representation and the broader issue of Indigenous Sovereignty, as explained in Rebecca Nagle's "I am a Cherokee woman. Elizabeth Warren is not." and the background pieces linked therein.
  • Rreagan007--like the IP, he came here to find info, and argues that "information hidden throughout the article . . . makes this article less usable for the reader."
  • WriterArtistDC--it cannot be dismissed as right-wing bias.
  • Indigenous girl--Warren continues to make the claim of Native ancestry when it benefits her, but does not support Native causes.

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The OP has been topic banned from this article and from any mentions of Warren for six months as an AE action.
At present, implementing the OP's proposal would violate WP:OR, WP:SYNTH, and WP:BLP.
Thus, the proposal cannot be implemented without new reliable sources being published that explicitly support the OP's belief.
As an uninvolved editor, I am closing and collapsing the discussion as pointless.
EdChem (talk) 05:52, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Should this article be filed under Category:Impostors? It has been well-documented—by the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Boston Herald, and The Atlantic, among others—that Sen. Warren, on more than one occasion, made unsubstantiated claims of Native American heritage.[1][2][3][4][5][6] These sources, varyingly, have demonstrated that Warren:

  • claimed to be "white" at one university, while claiming to be a minority at other universities
  • self-identified as "Cherokee" for a book that was published in 1984, while she was simultaneously claiming to be "white" at the university where she worked at the time
  • has cousins who don't recall any stories of Native American ancestors from their parents
  • has based her claims on flimsy, speculative conjecture
  • has failed to provide actual Cherokees with any proof of her supposed Cherokee heritage, despite requests from the tribe to do so
  • has never had her Native American claims proven, not even by reliable methods used by respected genealogical societies

Now in fairness to Warren, there is no evidence that she ever posed as Native American for the purposes of gaining employment or promotions, nor am I implying that her intent was to exploit her supposed heritage for personal gain. But that's beside the point. Whether or not she unfairly benefited from her claims is irrelevant; the point is that she has publicly made controversial assertions about herself that she hasn't been able to substantiate. And based on the reports from the above-named sources, it seems clear that, by definition, Elizabeth Warren is indeed an impostor, for the same reasons that Rachel Dolezal is an impostor.

It should also be noted, BTW, that even to this date, she has yet to have her DNA tested for Native American ancestry, to settle the questions once and for all. And if she has been tested, why hasn't anybody heard about it? Greggens (talk) 21:09, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

She should not be put in that category, but the sourced stuff you mentioned should be added to the article if it is not already present. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 21:15, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Just for the record, those sources are already present in the article. Greggens (talk) 22:01, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

What you are engaging in here is classic original synthesis. You apparently strongly believe that the article subject is an "impostor." Unfortunately for you, you can't find any reliable source (much less a clear consensus of reliable sources, as would be required to state such an accusation as a fact) which state that she is an "impostor." So you have written a lengthy discourse about how you believe all these accusations make her an "impostor." Totally irrelevant. We do not write articles based on what we believe, we write articles based upon reliable sources. We have many sources which describe the dispute, and we discuss the dispute here. None of those sources describe her, as a factual matter, as an "impostor." That is the end of the story as far as we are concerned. So no, the category is totally inappropriate and cannot be included here. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 21:19, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Wrong. Not the end of the story. Her being an "impostor" isn't dependent on the words that the media uses to describe her, nor for that matter does it depend on what I believe. Neither my belief nor the media's belief has anything to do with it. Either one is an impostor or one is not. In this case, she clearly fits the definition of impostor. Why can't we call a ♠ a "spade?" Or, as the old saying goes, "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then chances are, it's probably...a duck!" Greggens (talk) 22:01, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
No source cited in this article states, as a factual conclusion, that Warren is misrepresenting her ancestry. The sources discuss numerous questions about her ancestry, and unsettled debates, and unknown answers, and suggest that it's probably impossible to tell for certain one way or the other. There is no proof she is right and no proof she is wrong. We factually describe the dispute in some detail. No reliable source here calls her an impostor. The end. Either one is an impostor or one is not and as you have cited no reliable sources which say she is, then as far as we are concerned, she is not. I don't know how many more ways I have to explain it. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 22:08, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
The reason that there is so much controversy is not that Warren has been definitively proven wrong, but that she offers no evidence that she's right. I'm not saying that she has to prove her claims to be right beyond reasonable doubt; but even lacking evidence to the contrary, her simple face-value statements are not enough to prevent reasonable people from concluding that she nothing more than an impostor. A publicly-made ancestry claim like hers is just one of those things in life that requires a standard of proof higher than a mere "because my mom told me so." That's not just my opinion; that's common sense.
Bottom line: the integrity of the Impostors category would not be compromised by adding Elizabeth Warren to this list. It's not as if categorizing her as an impostor would create a slippery slope by which several non-impostors would therefore also be placed in the Impostors category, thus rendering the term "Impostors" meaningless. The definition fits; what more evidence do you need? Greggens (talk) 02:22, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
To put such a label on any person, in particular a living person, we need a preponderance of reliable sources putting the label on her. The rest of your reasoning, despite making perfect sense to you, is not permitted by Wikipedia content policy. Period. This has been explained to you again and again, and at some point people will just stop responding to you. This will be my last comment here unless one or more other editors appear out of the wilderness to support your viewpoint. ―Mandruss  02:33, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
In 2012, The Boston Herald published an article calling Elizabeth Warren "Fauxcahontas."[7] If that doesn't say "Impostor," I don't know what does. (Would it help if I found a way to incorporate this source into the main article?) Greggens (talk) 02:53, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
The citation you reference is literally to the newspaper's gossip columnist; gossip is, obviously, not a reliable source.
To put this in a way which may help you understand — using your logic, opponents of Donald Trump would be justified in adding Category:Russian spies to his biography. There are certainly many sources which note the many allegations that Donald Trump is an agent of the Russian government; however, there is clearly no preponderance of reliable sources describing him factually as a Russian agent; therefore to put him in that category would be entirely inappropriate. This will be my last comment here; if you reinsert the material, the next stop will be Arbitration Enforcement. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 03:03, 19 January 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Ebbert, Stephanie (April 30, 2012). "Directories identified Warren as minority". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on September 3, 2013.
  2. ^ Chabot, Hillary (April 27, 2012). "Harvard trips on roots of Elizabeth Warren's family tree". Boston Herald. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  3. ^ Carmichael, Mary (May 25, 2012). "Filings raise more questions on Warren's ethnic claims". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  4. ^ Hicks, Josh (September 28, 2012). "Everything you need to know about Elizabeth Warren's claim of Native American heritage". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 28, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  5. ^ Franke-Ruta, Garance (May 20, 2012). "Is Elizabeth Warren Native American or What?". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  6. ^ Chabot, Hillary (May 15, 2012). "Genealogical society: No proof of Warren's Cherokee heritage found". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on May 18, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  7. ^ Fee, Gayle; Raposa, Laura; Johnson, Megan (May 17, 2012). "Elizabeth Warren not history's only Fauxcahontas". Boston Herald. Herald Media, Inc. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2018.

Native American heritage[edit]

We need to add a section entitled "Native American heritage" or "Self-identity as Native American" or something to that effect. We debated about it earlier without reaching a consensus; people have added to the discussion as recently as Jan. 29. (See above.) With her recent speech about her heritage, widely reported by reliable sources, this cannot be dismissed as a campaign issue. The controversy about it was a campaign issue, but, as I've said before, she reiterated the claim in her 2014 book and mentioned it again on p. 224 of her 2017 book, This Fight is Our Fight. Now she's brought it up again. It has nothing to do with any election but is part of her long-standing self-identity. See, for one RS, "Elizabeth Warren, Addressing Claims of Native Ancestry, Vows to Press for Tribes" in today's NYT. YoPienso (talk) 01:12, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a newspaper and the fact Warren mentioned her alleged Indian ancestry yesterday does not mean it suddenly deserves its own section. If the media choose to turn this into a major story then we will have the material to write a neutral section, that is we will have all the various views. We cannot give any aspects more significance than reliable sources do, per balancing aspects. If you think the world should know more about this, this is not the place to start. TFD (talk) 01:51, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
No, it deserved its own section several years ago. This should put the nail in the coffin to the protests that it isn't an integral part of Warren's self-identity. YoPienso (talk) 02:17, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
That is your view and you may be right. It strikes me as odd that she would now claim again that she had Cherokee ancestry when experts said it is all but impossible and the media accepted her explanation that she was merely repeating what her family told her. But that is not the perception in mainstream sources. That btw is why fringe media exist, to trumpet information that gets passing mention if any in the mainstream. TFD (talk) 03:52, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Like Warren, I was raised in a part of the US where there was a Cherokee presence, and numerous friends and in-laws of mine believed they were part Cherokee. In every case, they were convinced in their minds, though their "knowledge" was purely family lore and they were not tribal members. Warren, therefore, is utterly credible to me in asserting what may well be a mistaken belief, but one she was taught in her childhood.
The perception of reliable media is that Warren insists she was raised believing she was part Cherokee. I linked only to the NYT, but nearly all the MSM covered her speech at the National Congress of American Indians event in Washington, D.C. today. (It's still Wed. in my time zone.) Here's the full text in the WaPo. Nothing fringe about NYT, WaPo, NBC, CNN. Newsweek, AJC etc. YoPienso (talk) 07:42, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

──────────An entire section? For what purpose? What factual information would be added to this article supported by these sources? How many additional sentences would be proportional to the sources? I do not see how this would justify an entire section. Grayfell (talk) 07:53, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

You're right; I meant a subsection, as discussed above. YoPienso (talk) 08:06, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
More specifically, we don't even need a subsection. The subsection "Political affiliation" in the section "Early life, education, and family" should be moved to the end of the "Career" section. Details about Warren's professed self-identity and the family lore concerning Cherokee heritage can be given in a new paragraph after the current second one, between working at her aunt's restaurant and starring on the debate team. YoPienso (talk) 08:14, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
I moved the political affiliation part. Maybe the Cherokee lore should be added onto the end of the very first paragraph of "Early life, education, and family" or inserted in a new second (not third) paragraph. YoPienso (talk) 08:25, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Certainly the media covered her speech, since she is one of the most covered politicians in America. In the past week, media have also covered her on grilling Wells Fargo, planning a Holyoke fundraiser, blasting the White House over abuse, blasting the Senate on maternity leave rules, requesting an extension of FEMA in PR, defending childcare funding, defending DACA, choosing Garcia as a surrogate, and many, many other stories.[1] We need to apply balancing aspects (please read the linked policy section). TFD (talk) 08:45, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Please note the difference between current events and personal characteristics. Wells Fargo is mentioned specifically twice in the article and banking throughout the article because her major area of expertise and activism is banking. She persistently claims Native American heritage, or at least confirms her family told her stories of Native American background, despite being mocked about her claims. The recent speech and coverage only further attest to her longstanding assertion that Native American heritage is part and parcel of who she is. YoPienso (talk) 14:59, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
For the most part I've been in agreement with TFD. However, reading this article [2] I'm starting to tend to think that a paragraph in the Public life section might be appropriate. I'd object to putting anything in the "Early life, education, and family" section because while it was part of family lore it had no impact on her life until it was brought up when she ran for the Senate (where it is very well covered). Gandydancer (talk) 15:40, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
While it made no impact on public opinion of her, Warren's belief that her mother was part Cherokee impacted her life from her earliest memory. She did the recipe thing and listed herself as a minority long before the senate run.
The article you linked to, which is similar to the several I linked to, says:
Warren did not apologize for her undocumented claims that her mother’s family had Cherokee blood — instead, reaffirming: “My mother’s family was part Native American. And my daddy’s parents were bitterly opposed to their relationship. So, in 1932, when Mother was 19 and Daddy had just turned 20, they eloped.”
“The story they lived will always be a part of me,” she said, as tears came to her eyes. '“And no one — not even the president of the United States — will ever take that part of me away.”' [Emphasis added.]
I don't think Wikipedia, out of misguided caution, should take that part of her away. YoPienso (talk) 14:34, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
In the previous discussion on having a separate section, I was against it because I thought she had stopped claiming it, but unfortunately recent events show she still makes these claims despite extensive genealogical research being published showing that her family's claims are false and many responses from the Native American community (this is an articulate example) in the last six years, so I change my vote to Yes, add the separate section. Yuchitown (talk) 18:54, 16 February 2018 (UTC)Yuchitown
You must be working from completely different sources than the rest of us. Warren has explained her family lore regarding her Native American heritage, and there has been no starting or stopping of any 'claims'. And the 'extensive genealogical research' explicitly admitted they weren't able to find evidence to conclude either way about her ancestry -- they certainly never said "the claims are false". That is already explained in our Wikipedia articles. So what is your rationale for proposing to add a "separate section"? Xenophrenic (talk) 17:14, 18 June 2018 (UTC)


Renewed discussion about Native American heritage

It seems the discussion about a new section on Warren's purported Native American heritage fizzled out. Time to start again!
This was not a passing moment in Warren's life, but a heritage she has espoused for her entire life. She is now trying to strengthen her relationship with Native Americans because of Pres. Trump's continued use of the nickname "Pocahontas." This is very much a part of Warren's ongoing concerns and activities.
Please read this CNN report, published today, that begins, "Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has quietly waged a months-long, behind-the-scenes effort to put 'Pocahontas' in the past."
The fact that an anonymous person had Pocahontas,com redirect to Warren's website is important. She countered it by having it then redirected to a plea to "support the NIWRC’s work of protecting Native women from violence." (Try it: type into your address bar and see what happens.) YoPienso (talk) 02:07, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

Discussions about creating undue separate sections about purported "controversy" will always fizzle out, because that kind of POV editing is not encyclopedic and is strongly discouraged. Despite this, when it comes to politics, the discussions will likely never go away completely. This is a continuation of the same discussion.
I've read the CNN piece you linked. What, specifically, is the article addition or improvement are you proposing now? The CNN piece re-caps the (already noted in our Warren article) facts about Warren's distant past native American heritage claim, and that genealogical societies couldn't prove or disprove that heritage, but even so, political opponents have tried to make political-hay out of her family history claims (Brown in 2012 claiming she materially benefited from minority status, and Trump addressing her with the racial slur "Pocahontas", referring to her family's Native American heritage). All of that is already covered in our article. The only thing "new", to my understanding, is that she has used Trump's slurs (and the "Native American heritage" issue in general) as a pretext to increase her focus and involvement on political issues important to Native Americans (per your new CNN source). Whether her increased focus on Native American political issues is motivated by genuine concern or political expediency is still a matter of speculation (my opinion is that it is likely both), but I can't tell from your recent comment if this is what you wished to expound upon. Are you proposing to add a brief sentence to the "2018 election" section stating that she has increased her attention to Native American-related political issues? (As an aside, I don't share your opinion that "The fact that an anonymous person had Pocahontas,com redirect to Warren's website is important." What importance would that be? It looks like very common political shenanigans on the Interwebs to me. It certainly doesn't strike me as an encyclopedic factoid I would expect to see in a Britannica-style biography about Warren.)
I'm looking forward to your more specific article improvement proposals. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 17:32, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
I understand why Warren's detractors find this issue important. Policy however requires we give it only the weight found in mainstream media. TFD (talk) 19:47, 27 May 2018 (UTC)
I'm not a detractor. The weight, specially from Warren herself, is considerable. I hope to improve this aspect of the article soon. YoPienso (talk)
There's a paragraph about it, plus a sentence about Trump's slur against her because of it. What more do we need to add? Certainly not some random setting up a website. – Muboshgu (talk) 22:58, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm certainly open to discussion but I do hope that no editor makes any changes without prior discussion. We have worked so hard to put something together that we all could accept and it took a lot of give and take on all sides to get there. Gandydancer (talk) 00:30, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
It is human nature that if we like someone we see their strengths and downplay their faults and vice versa if we do not like them. But we have to assign weight based on what mainstream sources do. For good or ill, they chose to largely ignore this issue. TFD (talk) 01:29, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I have no opinion on whether this is a strength or weakness of Warren's, and if I did, it shouldn't influence my editing. I'm just following the sources:
1. Warren herself
  • A Fighting Chance has a whole section called "Native American." It's only a few pages long, but the claim to Native American heritage threads throughout the book on pp. 9, 143, 239-42, 262-63, not counting notes.
  • This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class, though mainly about economics, includes some autobiographical references. She briefly mentioned her family lore about Native American ancestry and Trump's nicknames for her, "Goofy" and "Pocahontas."
  • She addressed the issue in Feb., 2018, at the National Congress of the American Indian, and subsequently spoke about it on national TV, where she declared, "It’s a part of me and nobody’s going to take that part of me away."
2. And then the media themselves. I'm going to paste and hide a bunch of links from liberal, centrist, and conservative sources. YoPienso (talk) 08:10, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Links to news stories about Warren and her Native American claims

Note: These are listed in random order, not from liberal to conservative.
You've listed sources, from both Warren and media (some from as far back as 2012), that show there was coverage of the controversy ginned up about Warren's family lore. That is why our article on Warren already includes information about her family lore, and the attempts to stir controversy over it by Brown, and later, Trump. What, specifically, is the article addition or improvement are you proposing now? I'm looking forward to your more specific article improvement proposals. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 17:14, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
I think the Native American issue deserves its own section, "Native American heritage controversy," because it traverses several other sections describing Warren's life. The issue is relevant to "Early life, education and family" because her belief that she has some Native heritage traces back to her recollections of family lore and because nevertheless she did NOT seek the advantage of Affirmative Action classifications when applying to college and law school. It's relevant to "Career" because the only reason we're even talking about this is because of her decision while on the faculty of the University of Texas from 1986 and 1995 to list herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Faculty, and because Penn, apparently only once, and Harvard, for a time, touted her as Native American. It's certainly relevant to "U.S. Senate," with respect to her 2012 Senate campaign and it's all but certain to be an issue in her 2018 re-election campaign, once her GOP is opponent is identified and ditto if she decides to run for president in 2020. There IS a controversy about Warren's ethnic heritage. Should there be or is the controversy "fair"? I don't think so on either point, but that's just me. BUT the fact is, and this is an encyclopedia about facts, remember, that controversy exists and currently looms large thanks in no small part to the efforts of the president of the United States. Hillary Clinton probably gave less thought to her decision to use a private email server than Warren gave to her decision to list herself as a minority in the law school faculty directory. But-for Clinton's decision it's all but certain she would be president today (and there would not be a full section captioned "Email controversy" in Clinton's Wikipedia article). Life is unfair. I wish we did not live in a world where political opponents can seize on some really trivial issue, twist surrounding facts beyond recognition and, through bombast and lies, make a mountain from a molehill. But we do and Wikipedia, in Warren's case, should take that issue straight forwardly on. I'll wait a week or so before creating that section myself. This is probably a good time to mention the Wikipedia:Conflict of interest policy. I have none and we all would appreciate it if those that do refrain from editing the article in chief, but not, of course, with disclosure, from commenting on this Talk page. Lahaun (talk) 02:41, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
There is no consensus to create an entire section about this issue, because there isn't really a "controversy." The issue is already adequately discussed in prose, and you should probably seek to gain consensus for any significant, contested changes to this biography. I'm not aware of any editors here having any conflicts of interest; if you have evidence that a particular editor does, you should bring that up at WP:COINB, otherwise it's irrelevant. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 03:11, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
It's already covered in the article. Style prefers that controversy be mentioned where it occurs, because controversy sections are inherently non-neutral. Trump has attracted a lot of controversy by calling Warren "Pocahontas." Why not put a section about the controversy in his article? TFD (talk) 03:13, 8 July 2018 (UTC)
Why have people resisted stating the plain fact that she claims Indian heritage? Without discussing that fact, this Wikipedia bio is very misleading. Clearly some editors have engaged in an effort to keep this fact off her page. I strongly object. Ebw343 (talk) 04:27, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
It is in the article. Anastrophe (talk) 04:35, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
I just wrote, "It's already covered in the article." Is there anyway I could have phrased it more clearly? TFD (talk) 05:00, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
Yet more developments - she's released the results of a genetic test, which appears to support her claim of Native American ancestry: see this Boston Globe story. I've added a mention of that to the 2012 election section, as that's where the rest of this ancestry stuff seems to be going, even though it seems out of place there. Her team has also produced a 5-min video about her family history accompanying this event, but I didn't mention it as I'm not sure if it will gain enough views/coverage to be considered notable. See here: Updated section of her personal website & YouTube video. Given the importance she's placing on this, and her (growing?) national profile, I do wonder if this ancestry story should be moved out of the sections for the 2012 + 2016 elections. Perhaps into a paragraph in personal life, but without its own heading, so as to de-emphasise the story? Massivefranklin (talk) 12:18, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
Why de-emphasize it? It's very important to Warren herself, who has been emphasizing it for some time now. It's important to Donald Trump and, most importantly, to the news media, which is why it's notable. I suggest--not for the first time--that it have its own subheading under a revamped version of "Early life, education, and family" or under "Career" or even under "U.S. Senate". YoPienso (talk) 13:06, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
It shouldn't be tucked away under the 2012 campaign because Warren's heritage was important to her long before then, and the controversy has far outlived that campaign. YoPienso (talk) 13:31, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
The reason I suggested something less emphatic than a dedicated section w/ heading is because the discussion above was starkly divided on whether that was desirable. I thought my suggestion might be a consensual middle ground. Massivefranklin (talk) 13:55, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
I specifically mentioned in my edit summary that the Carlos Bustamante who conducted the analysis is *not* the biochemist Carlos Bustamante with the Wikipedia article -- but within 2 hrs somebody naively chucked the double square brackets around that name! Putting this comment here as yet another reminder to editors that these two Carloses are not the same. Massivefranklin (talk) 14:02, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 July 2018[edit]

Please remove the “alternately known as Pocahontas” reference just added to the intro. It is racist and offensive. SarasotaDupree (talk) 04:05, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

 Done Gulumeemee (talk) 04:20, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

Which fraction of her is Native American?[edit]

The text already notes that her Native American heritage is 6-10 generations distant. I don't see why fractions should be added, as it's hard to comprehend what fractions beyond a great-grandfather mean. The numbers just turn into gibberish. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 15:10, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

From my edit summary: 'I have read the Bustamante report itself and it says "likely in the range of 6-10 generations" -- does /not/ exclude more recent, and providing figs like "1/64th" implies a precision in the results which doesn't exist. (I work in genetics.)' Key word is "likely". FWIW, from my interpretation of their results, I think they are being overly conservative, and it could easily be a closer ancestor than the 6-10 generations back they state. I think I'm allowed to link to the report, as it was uploaded to her website. Here. Massivefranklin (talk) 15:17, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
An edit war about the precise amount of Warren's Native ancestry is brewing. See edit history. I think this page should be given a more stringent level of protection for a few days. Massivefranklin (talk) 15:52, 15 October 2018 (UTC) The report states that Warren could be just 1/1024th Native American. What’s more, the study was based not on Native American DNA, but on Mexican, Peruvian, and Colombian DNA.