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Why Elizabeth Warren Should Not Have Released Her DNA Test

Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator, has released her DNA results to quiet President Trump’s mockery of her Native American heritage claims. He has referred to her in the past as “Pocahontas,” a highly offensive term considering the complicated and tragic history of Native Americans in the United States. Back in July, Trump  promised to give $1 million to charity if Warren released genetic proof of her ancestry. 
Elizabeth Warren did just that and called on the president to follow up on his promise. However, this backfired and started up the same criticism Warren faced back in 2012 during her campaign for senator. Rightly so, as this was the wrong move. Surely, Warren, a critic of Trump, must have known how unlikely it would be for Trump to keep his promise of donating $1 million. The President has a poor track record of keeping promises and honesty.
Chuck Hoskin Jr., secretary of state of the Cherokee Nation  released a statement: “​Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage”. 
By releasing her DNA test showing distinct Native American ancestry, Warren has once again put forth a problematic claim. While this is part of her DNA, this is not part of her identity. America’s history is horrendous in how it’s Native American citizens were treated. Tribes were stripped of their land, relocated, and murdered. The Native American population still suffers the consequences of this oppressive history. A presenting white woman of privilege touting Native American ancestry is offensive to the current Native American population. Warren should not have released her DNA results, as it served no real purpose and only continued to downplay the experience of the Native American people. She may have DNA showing Native American ancestry, but she is not living a life directly affected by the history of genocide and marginalization this population has faced. ​An identity that America has tried to erase from their own lands is now being claimed through a simple DNA test. Genetically, Warren may have ties, but, in experience and identity, she does not come even close.
Olga is a senior at Clark University studying psychology and marketing. She's got a serious coffee addiction and a passion for writing.
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