October 17, 2018

Senator Warren’s DNA Test Results

“Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, ridiculed by U.S. President Donald Trump as ‘Pocahontas’ for claiming Native American heritage, hit back on Monday with DNA evidence she said supported her assertion, a possible preview of a bare-knuckles presidential campaign in 2020.”


Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. issued a statement in response, stating, “A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America. Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation...

"Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage."

Cherokee Nation News Release

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From the Left

The left is critical of using DNA tests to claim Native American heritage.

“Ms. Warren’s elaborate attempt to neutralize Mr. Trump’s attacks represented the surest sign yet that she intends to run for president in 2020... Ms. Warren’s unusual step illustrated her willingness to spar with Mr. Trump on his own terms. But in the eyes of the senator and her advisers, they had little choice: the news media would have kept questioning her about her heritage as long as the president persisted in his mockery, so best to answer his challenge, however undignified it might seem."

New York Times

“The senator’s genetic analysis was sound... But whether Ms. Warren may claim a cultural kinship with Native Americans is a very different question." According to Deborah Bolnick, a geneticist at the University of Connecticut, “What determines tribal belonging is very much based on a person’s social connections and lived experiences. These are things not defined by the DNA in our bodies."

New York Times

“Science has long proven that there is no pure race in America, especially when it comes to European Americans. We are all mixed with a little bit of something. That makes this entire debate over Warren’s ancestry foolish. But more than that, this senseless feud between Warren and Trump trivializes the struggle Native Americans face in a country that has taken away everything that once belonged to them."

Chicago Tribune

One Native American journalist asks, “Elizabeth Warren, where the hell have you been?... Why didn't she say anything about the literal attacks on human rights and treaty violations during our fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota in 2016?... Why, up until only earlier this year, hasn't Warren said anything about police brutality in Indian country?... Why, up until only earlier this year, hasn't she said anything about sexual abuse in Indian country?...

"It's not enough to claim to be Native. You must also be there for your people.”


Some note that “Warren isn’t applying for tribal membership: She is trying to verify a family story and put an end to a murky and difficult situation that some see as at odds with her reputation for moral clarity...

“But her decision may end up having a wider and very negative long-term impact beyond the very valid concerns of Native Americans. Just as Trump’s harangues were enough to force a sitting president to reveal his own birth certificate, they have now led a potential presidential candidate to reveal her DNA, or at least elements of it. She has granted a political opponent the power to demand something no politician has ever successfully demanded before.”


A former Obama strategist asks, “Argue the substance all you want, but why 22 days before a crucial election where we MUST win house and senate to save America, why did [Senator Warren] have to do her announcement now? Why can’t Dems ever stay focused?"


From the Right

The right thinks Warren’s claims are disingenuous at best, and lies at worst. While they argue that race should not be a determining factor in selecting a job applicant or elective candidate, they also point out that at the end of the day, this is all about Trump.

The right thinks Warren’s claims are disingenuous at best, and lies at worst. While they argue that race should not be a determining factor in selecting a job applicant or elective candidate, they also point out that at the end of the day, this is all about Trump.

“What did the results actually say? It turns out that they confirm the conservative critique. Her ancestry is so remote — six to ten generations removed — that she could not plausibly claim Native American status in any job application. It would constitute résumé fraud... [But] bizarrely, all too many members of the media treated the results as vindicating her...

“This isn’t hard. Elizabeth Warren misled her employers. She misled her students. She misled the public. And her response is positively Trumpian. No retreat. No surrender. But if she’s going to act like Trump, then the least the media could do is treat her like it treats Trump. Is that too much to ask?”

National Review

“One of the talking points proliferating online... is that Trump’s criticism of Warren is comparable to birtherism, and thus racist. Yet there are numerous important differences. For starters, Barack Obama was an American citizen. Obama is black. Obama didn’t invent, or grab onto, some opaque ancestral history to take advantage of minority hiring and deny someone worthy of the position. One of these attacks is a conspiracy theory fueled by paranoia. The other is turning out to be fact."

The Federalist

“Harvard Law School once boasted that Warren was the first woman of color to ever serve on their faculty. Woman of color. But Warren also used her fake Indian heritage to frame herself as somebody affected by America's sad history of racial discrimination. Warren posed as a victim because on the left, victimhood is power... Your bloodline should not dictate who you vote for, what job you get, where your kids go to school, whether you get promoted or anything else."

Fox News

“The entire Democratic party is in a fierce competition not only to be the best practitioner of Avenatti-ism — unapologetic pugnaciousness towards Trump and the GOP — but also to be anointed the person Trump hates the most... And that was the smart part about Warren’s reveal. She made it about her and Trump, and she got Trump to denounce her and the entire rightwing media-industrial complex to attack her for an entire news cycle."

National Review

Thus we are reminded of one of Trump’s greatest strengths: his ability to unhinge his opponents. Of course, his foes think he’s unhinged, but then, it seems, in an anti-Trump tantrum, they go out and do things they shouldn’t do, thereby reminding everyone that unhinged is a relative concept. This sort of perverse escalation hasn’t worked out well for Trump’s opponents in the past, nor is it working out today...

"As The Washington Post headlined, ‘In dust-up with Elizabeth Warren, President Trump shows he’s pulling the strings in the Democratic presidential contest.’”

American Conservative

Apple fixes its new bagel emoji with cream cheese and a doughier consistency.

The Verge

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