"Inappropriate and wrong": Cherokee Nation official slams Warren over DNA claims

Imagine informally launching your presidential bid with a stunt designed to claim Native American authenticity and to own Trump in the process — and then having the Cherokee themselves chime in to say, “Nope.”


I feel like maybe this was a bad idea and won’t work out for her the way she thought.

Trivia: Chuck Hoskin Jr, who issued this statement for the Cherokee Nation, is the son of a Democratic politician in Oklahoma.

Maybe he’s a little ticked that, by the Warren standard, basically the entire European-American population of the U.S. can now claim membership in one or more Native American tribes.

Hoskin isn’t her only critic among Native Americans today. Nothing says “successful authenticity ploy” like being accused of colonialism by the people you’re trying to identify with:

Kim TallBear, part of the native studies faculty at the University of Alberta, said Monday that Warren taking a DNA test is “yet another strike — even if unintended — against tribal sovereignty.”…

“This shows that she focuses on and actually privileges DNA company definitions in this debate, which are ultimately settler-colonial definitions of who is indigenous,” the statement said. “As scholars of race have shown, it is one of the privileges of whiteness to define and control everyone else’s identity.”…

“Whether Elizabeth Warren or Donald Trump or 23andMe’s Carlos Bustamante know it or not, they are making settler-colonial claims to our cultural and biological patrimony yet again,” she continued.


That’s the same point Hoskin made. If you want to know who’s authentically Native American, follow the rules used by Native Americans themselves, not the one-drop standard. Or, in Warren’s case, the 1/1024th-drop standard, I guess.

Her admirers in the media will doubtless dutifully do damage control for her throughout the week. Keep this point in mind as they do:


Meanwhile, to drive home the fact that this has backfired spectacularly on her everywhere else, note that she’s already become an Onion punchline:

You’ve gotta f*** up awfully badly as a staunch progressive to get the Onion dunking on you, especially when you’re trying to dunk on Trump yourself.

Speaking of dunking, your exit quotation lies below. This is only the beginning of the fun he’s going to have with this tone-deaf doofus.


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