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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

BEG: Public opposition to Warren warranted, not sexist

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks at 2019 Iowa Federation of Labor Convention in Altoona, Iowa. Photo via Flickr.

Emily Tisch Sussman, a Democratic strategist and vice president of campaigns for the Center of American Progress, made a comment claiming that voters who support Bernie Sanders over Elizabeth Warren in the presidential race are sexist. Sussman was a guest on MSNBC, a network known for its attacks of the Sanders campaign frequently, toward the end of last month.

Sussman explained that she thinks Warren’s plans for the presidency are move evolved, making her a much better candidate overall than Sanders. Sussman said to the MSNBC panel “If you are still supporting Sanders as opposed to Warren, it’s kind of showing your sexism.”

A claim like this is unproductive for the Democratic presidential race because it creates divisions in the party based on no real rationale. The main goal should be to take the Trump administration out of office. Illogical and isolating claims like Sussman’s do not help to achieve this goal.

Sussman’s claim remains unsubstantiated. Digging deeper, it is clear that the two candidates have major ideological differences that may attract different voters.

Warren announced her presidential campaign through a publicity stunt where she released her DNA results and claimed to the entire American public that she was Native American. Warren’s campaign move was problematic because it disregarded a group of people and its culture and history.

Warren is clearly white, yet she tries to prove her alleged diversity and exoticism with Native American ancestry.

It would be arguably more acceptable if Warren believed she was Native American and used her political platform to be an effective and sincere voice for the issues that Native Americans encounter. As someone who is not even recognized as a Native American citizen by any tribe, Warren should have used her power to let Native Americans vocalize their concerns instead of speaking for them.

Instead, she was silent during the Dakota Access Pipeline, a problem that directly affects Native American communities. Now, protestors are getting imprisoned for fighting for their rights, and Warren has yet to make a sincere effort to combat this.

Earlier this year, Warren published a Native American tribal plan on Medium amid attacks she received for releasing her DNA test. It was her longest plan yet, and it outlined Native Americans and their tribal rights. It vilified the mistreatment of Native Americans in the United States’ past and explained how “Washington owes Native Americans a fighting chance to build stronger communities and a brighter future.”

Prominent Native American tribes did not find this proposal to be a means for Warren to make a change in the Native American community. Rather, to them, it seemed like a publicity stunt to gain polling points back from the public.

Around the same time as this plan’s publication, Warren apologized at the Native American-centered presidential forum. Warren’s critics do not believe the apology was a sign that Warren was truly acting on Native American tribes’ concerns.

“How will you repair the harm you have caused? She has not even admitted what that harm was,” Cherokee citizen and educator Joseph Pierce said.

Tribal citizens said they believe Warren’s massive mistake needs a more public rectification so they can have the opportunity to have a conversation with her about their concerns.

This stunt in Warren’s past makes her problematic as a political candidate. If a voter supports Sanders, it does not mean that they are sexist in any way. Voters may have other reasons for preferring Sanders. Warren exploits issues that have offended Native Americans and others, causing them to rally behind Sanders.

Supporters of Warren and those who believe there are bigger issues at hand than Warren’s false claims of tribal ancestry discount Native Americans’ feelings.

U.S. society tries to forget the horrific ways in which the government mistreated and hurt Native Americans. Warren perpetuated this trend of erasing their history and denying its significance. As a non-person of color, this act showed her white privilege, especially through encouraging Native American stereotypes.

She never faced the same discriminatory problems that indigenous people have so her claim of tribal ancestry completely disregards those real issues. Non-Native Americans have already taken their land, and now Warren is trying to take their identities.

Warren is also controversial due to her violent pro-Israel stance in the past, unlike Sanders. In 2014, Warren supported the Israel Strategic Partnership Attack which strengthened the U.S.’s relationship with Israel and provided emergency funding to it during the Gaza War.

The aid from America allowed Israeli forces to unjustly murder 2,000 Palestinians, most of them children and innocent civilians.

Warren also has strong relations with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group that collects millions of dollars in military aid for Israel. On the other hand, Sanders has been a big critic of AIPAC due to its undying support of the ignorant Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel.  

Warren’s troublesome past renders her starkly different from candidate Sanders. Some may believe these are not substantial enough reasons to not support Warren.

This ideology completely insults those who are affected by Warren’s hurtful and malicious legislative actions and political campaign moves.

Just because Warren is female does not mean that is a deciding factor nor the real reason that voters will place their support behind Sanders instead.

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About the Contributor
Aminah Beg
Aminah Beg is the assistant opinions editor for the Marquette Wire. She is a sophomore from Naperville, Illinois who is majoring in Public Relations and Cognitive Science.

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