Elizabeth Warren claims that a study of her DNA she had performed by a Stanford professor backs her claim that she’s an Indian. Sen. Warren is calling on President Trump to donate $1 million to her favorite charity, based on Trump’s statement that he would do so “if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.”
As I read the results, however, they show that Warren is not an Indian. The Stanford prof concluded “the vast majority” of Warren’s ancestry is European, but “the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor.” So far, so good for Warren.
But how for back does one have to go to find that Native American ancestor? The professor calculated that Warren’s pure Native American ancestor appears in her family tree “in the range of 6-10 generations ago.”
To make matters worse for Warren’s claim, the study was based not on Native American DNA from within the U.S., but rather on Mexican, Peruvian, and Colombian DNA. Warren claimed she’s part Cherokee (with some Delaware Indian mixed in, as I recall). Yet these results are good enough for the mainstream media to tout Warren as vindicated.
I enjoyed Ben Shapiro’s take:
So the same media who say that two X chromosomes don’t make you a woman now say that a Native American ancestor 10 generations ago makes you Native American. Got it.
If Warren has a Native American ancestor eight generations back (not including herself), the scenario the Stanford prof deems most likely, then she is 1/256th Indian. A Native American ancestor 10 generations back would make her 1/1,024th Indian.
If a percentage as infinitesimal as the one the prof considers most likely is sufficient to make Warren an Indian, then surely the vast majority of Americans are Black, Latino, or Indian.
I suspect that Black, Latino, and Native American activists would not be pleased if slots set aside for them at colleges and universities (to take just one example of “affirmative action”) started going to folks who can produce DNA tests “strongly supporting” the existence of a Black, Latino, or Indian ancestor six to ten generations back. In fact, such a policy would effectively nullify racial and ethnicity-based preferences.
Speaking of which, Warren, when she was a law professor, listed herself as a minority on a legal directory reviewed by deans and hiring committees. The University of Pennsylvania “listed her as a minority faculty member,” and she was billed after her hire at Harvard Law School as the school’s “first woman of color.”
This, as David French has shown, was no small thing:
At the time, elite universities were under immense pressure to diversify their faculties (as they still are). “More women” was one command. “More women of color” was the ideal. At Harvard the pressure was so intense that students occupied the administration building, and the open spaces of the school were often filled with screaming, chanting students.
They would have chanted even more vociferously had they known that Harvard was claiming to meet their demand with a White hire who may (or may not) have had a Native American ancestor hundreds of years ago. They would have considered this not tokenism, but fraud. They would have been right.
Does Trump owe money to Warren’s favorite charity? I think not. But maybe, as Shapiro suggests, he should donate 1/1024th of $1 million — a little less than $1,000 — and call it a day.