‘The inherent imprecision of the six-page DNA analysis could provide fodder for Warren’s critics…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) A self-released DNA test from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has revealed that she is anywhere from 0.09 to 1.56 percent Native American.
According to a 2014 New York Times article on the largest genetic profile study, European-Americans on average have 0.18 percent Native American genomes.
Nonetheless, a correction on their math notwithstanding, The Boston Globe has spun it as “strong evidence” of Warren’s claims, with one opinion columnist decreeing that her ‘Pocahontas’ nickname is now “gone.”
Warren, in turn, is demanding that Trump honor a verbal commitment to pay her a million dollars for taking a DNA test if it proved she had Indian heritage.
Trump’s July statement was a hypothetical one, in which he said he might make such an offer if he were in a debate with Warren.
“Let’s say I’m debating Pocahontas . . .we will say, ‘I will give you $1 million to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.'”
Trump responded to Warren’s demand with what The Globe called a false denial by telling her, “I didn’t say that. You better read it again.”
However, even The Globe article begrudgingly acknowledged that the inconclusiveness of the test was likely to raise questions for those who say it helps legitimize Warren’s claim.
“The inherent imprecision of the six-page DNA analysis could provide fodder for Warren’s critics,” it asserted, while underscoring that the DNA test offers conclusive evidence of just how seriously the 2020 presidential contender is taking Trump’s attacks against her adopted ‘heritage.’
As Breitbart notes, Warren remains ineligible for membership in the Cherokee Nation and most Native American tribes, which require at minimum a fourth-generation relative (great grandparent). Warren’s claim would at best be a sixth-generation relative (1/64) but may be closer to a 10th-generation relative (1/1024).
Warren not only brought her Native American descent into political campaigns but also may have used it to advance her early career at the law schools of Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. She even listed herself as a minority with the Association of American Law Schools directory, though she claims it was “to connect” and not to receive any minority benefits.
Warren is not the only person who has sought to capitalize on a tenuous connection to an ethnic identity. A Washington state man, Ralph Taylor, filed suit in September for his insurance business to be considered “minority owned” and receive the competitive advantages of a government-designated “disadvantaged business enterprise” after a home DNA test revealed he is 6 percent Native American and 4 percent black.
If Taylor’s case–or others like it–were to reach the Supreme Court, it ironically would signify a full circle from the courts’ previous attempts to quantify racial identity. Previous cases in 1922 and 1923 dealt with Asian and Indian plaintiffs who had filed suit to be designated as Caucasian in order to be eligible for naturalization.
More famous is the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision, now largely considered archaic and racist, which established the “separate but equal” standard for public accommodations, including schools, that permitted segregation. Among the points debated in that decision was whether a person with seven-eighths Caucasian heritage could be considered “white.”
“It is true that the question of the proportion of colored blood necessary to constitute a colored person, as distinguished from a white person, is one upon which there is a difference of opinion… But these are question to be determined under the laws of each State and are not properly put in issue in this case.”
Many of the Southern states under Jim Crow laws embraced the longstanding “one-drop rule” to form their legal basis for ethnic identity.
Unfortunately for Warren, one-drop standard may no longer cut it—the Plessy decision and many of its racial precedents were overturned by the courts during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.