“I’m going to get one of those little [DNA] kits, and in the middle of the [2020 presidential] debate, when [Elizabeth Warren] proclaims that she’s of Indian heritage … we will slowly toss it to her…” So quoth Donald Trump. In what might be termed “Birtherism II,” Trump intends “disproving” Elizabeth Warren’s self-proclaimed Native American heritage with a DNA test kit — should the opportunity arise. Whatever the ultimate truth of Warren’s ancestry might turn out to be, and it is not our intent to debate that here, can a DNA test answer this question?
So we did something that the “president” did not: we checked the facts. Palmer Report reached out to former Administrative Judge from the US Department of the Interior Cynthia Métivier. Here’s what she had to say about the matter.
“DNA proves genetics, not ancestry,” Métivier said. “Yes, they are different. Two full-blooded siblings can have different DNA results. For example, one can show 1/8th Cherokee while the other shows zero. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Two siblings from the same parents will not have the exact same DNA—DNA is unique to the person— however, they will have the exact same ancestors.” In other words, “Senator Warren’s DNA results would not be dispositive.”
And how does Métivier know all of this? “I studied and made judicial rulings based on the tribe’s determination of its members for years while serving as a[n] Indian Probate Judge. It is based on tribal rolls and their blood quantum membership requirements at the time.” So a DNA test from one of those “little kits” will not necessarily establish one way or another if Elizabeth Warren has any Cherokee ancestry after all. In other words once again, the “stable genius” Donald Trump is full of crap. We did our homework, and the “president,” despite all the resources available to the most powerful man in the free world, was too lazy and too dishonest and too contemptuous of his bigoted base to do his.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.