Bruh… I just… I don’t know how to even start…
One of my all time favorite Internet memes is one that includes a riddle:
“What do you get when you put 64 white people in a room?
A whole Cherokee”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released results of a new DNA analysis, performed by Carlos Bustamante, a professor of genetics at Stanford and adviser to “Ancestry and 23 and Me,” that “prove” her 2012 claim that she is part Cherokee Indian.
This was an apparent clapback at President Trump’s mocking of her original claim and an attempt to pre-empt any further criticisms on the subject should she run against him in the 2020 presidential race.
In a new rollout video about her heritage with Bustamante on the line, while she sits behind her laptop, Warren says, “Now, the President likes to call my mom a liar. What do the facts say?”
Bustamante responds, “The facts suggest that you absolutely have a Native American ancestor in your pedigree.”
Here’s the problem (I mean, I could write a whole chapter in The Book of White Nonsense on all the problems here, but I’ll start with the most obvious one): The test results reveal that the miniscule trace of Cherokee DNA in her otherwise colonizer permeated ancestry dates back 6 to 10 generations. To put that into perspective, this means Elizabeth Warren in anywhere from 1/32 to 1/1,024th Cherokee.
I won’t presume to speak on behalf of Native Americans, but I will say, as a black man, if Warren – or anyone else who has enjoyed the privilege of being white in a part of the world where the default for cultural and social normalcy is whiteness – ever claimed African ancestry as a way of scoring political points and then later produced DNA results that showed she was as little as 1/1,024th black (especially since that small trace was probably a product of rape, slavery, colonization and/or genocide), I’d be pissed and feeling beyond disrespected. I’d feel even further disrespected if she was doubling down on this claim now only to stick it to other white people.
I wonder if, between all this political battle rapping she’s doing with Trump, she’s taken even a second out of her day to check in with the Cherokee Native American community to see how they feel about her co opting their identity. I wonder if white people having this argument with other white people understand how foolish they look to people who live the marginalized identities they tour through at their own convenience. I wonder, because I know that the abject racial tone-deafness of white liberals has, for years, acted as a strong deterrent for the solidarity they seek among people of color. It’s why fewer and fewer of us believe in the concept of “allyship.”
But anyway, since that’s about all I got to say on the subject, I’m just going to end with a short, comprehensive list of just how white Elizabeth Warren actually is:
- Elizabeth Warren doesn’t do “rain dances,” she does “gentrification dances”
- Warren wakes up in the middle of the night from a nightmare in a panic and screams, “NOOOO, I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER!!!”
- She got pumpkin spice mayonnaise in her bag-swag.
- On the reservation they call her “Dances With Empty Spice Cabinet”
- If Black Jesus came back and turned water into wine, Elizabeth Warren would ask to see his liquor license and then call the police because he doesn’t have a permit.
- On the reservation they call her “Claps On The 1 and The 3½”
- Her potato salad got apricots in it.
- Elizabeth Warren plans to tap Iggy Azalea to help her court the Hip Hop community vote.
- On the reservation they call her “Dresses With Pantaloons Under Her Corduroy.”
Ok, that’s all I got.
Also, there’s this: