George Graham

Warren’s Ancestry



Some goofball Trump supporter thought it was hillarious recently when he followed a mention of Elizabeth Warren with a series of supposedly “Indian” war hoops. Trump told the guy not to apologize. He said Jimmy the Greek’s downfall was caused not by his racist remarks but by his apology for them.

greekYou remember Jimmy the Greek (photo at right)? No? He was the gambler turned sports announcer who theorized that black athletes were so good because plantation owners bred the strongest slaves to each other.

Yes. A really classy guy.

Trump and his mob are zeroing in on Warren’s claim to Native American ancestry. Trump even thought up the nickname Pocohontas for her.  You know who Pocohontas was, of course? The Native American maiden who saved Captain John Smith’s life (see painting above)?

For reasons unknown, Trump thinks it’s a put down to call someone Pocohontas. I think it’s a compliment. Don’t you?

Trump is mocking Warren because she says she is part Cherokee, and he accuses her of using the claim to get preferential treatment from Harvard. The Trump crew want her to take a DNA test to prove she has Cherokee blood.

No such DNA test exists. Existing genetic markers don’t include the Native American nations. But I’m willing to bet Warren has some Cherokee ancestry.

Elizabeth Warren’s family has generations-old roots in Oklahoma, which was occupied  by the Cherokee long before the Sooners arrived to steal their land.

Her great-great-great grandmother was described on a marriage certificate as “Cherokee Indian.” And, growing up, she was taught to be proud of that heritage.

I’m confident most families that have been in America for centuries have Native American ancestry. There were so few European women in the Colonies that it’s fairly safe to assume some long-ago ancestor married a Native American.

Considering his disparaging view of immigrants, Trump should prize this type of heritage, not make fun of it.

His own family is relatively new to America. His mother was born in Scotland and his paternal grandfather came to America from Germany.

So when he says he has as much Native American blood as Elizabeth Warren, he us just showing his ignorance. Or lying. As usual.

Click for the war whoop.

More on Warren’s roots

Trump’s roots

The story of Pocohontas

Jimmy the Grek’s comments

Oklahoma’s history

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for