The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Elizabeth Warren’s tribal politics


When Sen. Elizabeth Warren decided to release the results of her DNA test Oct. 15, she applied a new test of her own.

For her next act, Warren will test if advancing oneself through blatant cultural appropriation is a disqualifying offense.

The Democratic senator from Massachusetts is currently in the home stretch of her bid for re-election in this November’s midterms, but has long been scrutinized by President Trump for her claims of Native American heritage.

And apparently, for good reason.

Warren’s DNA report, conducted by Carlos D. Bustamante, a Stanford University professor of genetics and adviser to genealogy companies and 23andMe, suggested the existence of a Native American ancestor in Warren’s pedigree, “likely in the range of 6-10 generations ago.”

This would mean that Warren could be anywhere from 1/32nd to 1/1024th Native American, which is potentially EVEN LESS than the average white American.

Her questionable decision to send up this weather balloon of vague findings seems to be Warren’s effort to put a longstanding controversy to rest before her expected run for the presidency in 2020, but it has likely done more harm than good.

In her self-proclaimed effort to rebuild “trust in government through transparency,” Warren has done precisely the opposite.

Despite possessing any evidence, Warren self-identified as a “Native American” in The Association of American Law Schools’ directory of law professors in every edition printed between 1986 and 1995, according to Benny Johnson of The Daily Caller.

After becoming a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Warren changed her faculty listed ethnicity from “white” to “Native American.” Her career was propelled to the next level when she was touted by Harvard Law School as a “woman of color” with a “minority background.”

While Native heritage does appear to exist somewhere along Warren’s family tree, most tribes require a specific percentage of Native “blood.” The minimum requirement to claim this minority status usually ranges from 1/16th to 1/4th Native American – a requirement Warren failed to meet.

The DNA test also didn’t sit well with Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., who released a statement in response to Warren’s claims.

“Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong,” the statement said in part. “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.”

Point blank, Sen. Warren has committed racial fraud for decades, from citing the “high cheekbones” of certain family members, all the way down to submitting multiple recipes in “Pow Wow Chow,” an “Indian” cookbook in which she signed her name, “Elizabeth Warren – Cherokee.”

It has become abundantly clear that Warren’s public identity is based upon an utter fallacy.

Admittedly, President Trump’s preferred “Pocahontas” nickname for Sen. Warren is crude, but where is the appropriate condemnation of Warren’s behavior from today’s social justice warriors?

Warren will more than likely retain her seat in the U.S. Senate given the overwhelming liberal sway of Massachusetts voters, but falsely claiming a minority status on federal forms is unjustifiable deception that aims to reap benefits that marginalized groups are entitled to.

Cultural appropriation is defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary as the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own. How can one argue that Warren has not done just that?

By using a fake minority status to advance her academic and professional career, Warren has lost all clout when regaling some of her favorite topics on the Senate floor – including oppression, white privilege, Affirmative Action and the system being rigged for those at the top.

Don’t get it twisted. Warren is the oppressor. Warren is the problem. Warren has rigged her way to the top. For those on the left who are truly troubled by cultural appropriation, of the advancement of some at the expense of others, Warren should be asking for your forgiveness before asking for your vote.

Elizabeth Warren is simply a whiter-than-average white woman who has been masquerading as a Native American for years, consistently spitting out family folklore as fact in attempts to both victimize herself and play identity politics.

It would be refreshing to see the same level of backlash for her use and abuse of Native American heritage as we see against President Trump for pointing it out, but I won’t hold my breath.

Through unchecked selective outrage, the message to our young people is this: cultural appropriation is permissible so long as you’re a white Democrat.

Fail to recognize this, and what you (don’t) see is what you’ll continue to get.

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