Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) effectively called President Donald Trump a welcher after she took a DNA test as he demanded on national television on the promise that he would donate $1 million to her favorite charity. While the test by a Stanford professor showed only that she was between 0.097 per cent and 0.156 per cent American Indian, it was still a DNA test. Warren called on Trump to donate to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. President Trump however initially denied that he ever made the offer and then changed the offer retroactively to require his testing Warren.
Many of us have wondered why Warren did not simply take a DNA test after she was challenged on her long-standing claim of being part Cherokee. Her alleged Indian status was noted by prior faculties, though as I have previously stated her credentials as an academic more than warranted her work on various prestigious law schools. Former colleagues have reaffirmed the view that Warren was added to these faculties on the merits of her considerable academic record. That academic career began with a debate scholarship at George Washington University.
If was not until this year that Warren publicly acknowledged a DNA test, but it was done not by one of the leading companies but by a single Stanford professor. Nevertheless, Stanford University Professor Carlos D. Bustamante is a respected academic in the field who has consulted on the national testing programs.
According to his analysis, Warren has a Native American ancestor from six to ten generations back. If Warren’s great-great-great-grandmother were Native American, she would be 1/32 Native American but it could date back further to 10 generations — making her only 1/1,024 Native American. Even a 1/32 heritage may not translate into what most people would view as being Native American, However Cherokee Nation principal chief Bill John Baker is 1/32 Cherokee by blood. Warren claims Cherokee and Delaware heritage.
Yet, it is the test that it is important issue for the quid pro quo offer. During a July 5th campaign rally , Trump declared “I will give you a million dollars, to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian. I have a feeling she will say ‘no.’ ” She didn’t.
Trump can certainly argue that as little as 1/1,024 heritage should not be the basis for calling yourself Native American to any degree, but, as Professor Bustamante concluded, she does have Native American blood. The important thing, however, is not to deny the undeniable.
“Who cares?” he said. “I didn’t say that. You’d better read it again”:
Trump denies he owes Warren either an apology or money. In the meantime, Warren critics are citing the statement of Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. that ‘Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage . . . 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.” Others have noted that current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America.
That still leaves the fact that she took a DNA test and a leading academic found Native American blood.
Should Trump pay up?