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US Presidential Candidate Warren Apologizes for DNA Test

If you want to learn about your ancestry, you can order a DNA test from different service providers like, like 23AndMe, Ancestry.com, and Family Tree. DNA test helps you to trace the origins of your ancestors, create a family tree as well as locate biological parents among other things. You can also use the test to find your relatives that you may not even know to exist.

For example, US presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren used a DNA test to prove her native America ancestry though she later apologizes. She used the test to try to distance herself from “Tribal Citizenship” which borders on centuries of culture. The concept of tribal citizenship is also rooted in tribal laws, not DNA.

DNA And Racial Science In The US

The US President Donald Trump is the first to fire shots at Ms. Warren, 2020 hopeful presidential candidate questioning her Native American Heritage. To prove her ancestry, Warren goes for a DNA test. However, her action draws the ire of tribal leaders in Cherokee and Delaware who are believers of tribal citizenship.

Ms. Warren’s results show that there is little evidence to show that she has Native American pedigree. The DNA test showed Native American evidence some six to 10 generations ago, and its error rate is below one-in-a-thousand. Ms. Warrens DNA test comes as an attempt to neutralize the attacks by Mr. Trump. She used the DNA test to clear the air and announce that she is a serious contender for the presidential race in 2020.

She goes on to create a fact-checking website that provides more details about her Native American Ancestry along with Oklahoma roots. However, Native Americans do not determine their race by color but elements such as culture and sovereignty.

According to most Native Americans, tribal membership also depends on kinship, not blood. In other words, race, as defined by color or plasma, is divisive, the reason why Ms. Warren offers an apology. However, does the excuse make any change to the harm already caused to other groups?

Implications of Warren’s Apology to the Cherokee Nation

Elizabeth Warren’s recent apology to the Cherokee nation for her claims to American Indian birthright is a positive move due to various factors. Her DNA results show that she has distant Indian blood. The display of her results that follow attracts controversy, and she has to do the right thing, to apologize.

native american tribal member

She apologizes privately to the leader of the Cherokee Nation over her decision to prove her Native American Ancestry through a DNA test. Tribal leaders are not happy about the move that caused considerable political implications. Cherokee Nation is based in Oklahoma, and the leaders criticized Ms. Warren’s decision to go for a DNA test.

The leaders of the tribal nation believe that such action undermines the tribal interests of the people. Ms. Warren, however, agrees that family history and DNA have nothing to do with tribal citizenship. Therefore, her apology is a positive sign to acknowledge the significance of the concept of tribal citizenship. She accepts that she crossed the path and that does not go down well with other native leaders.

From a political perspective, Ms. Warren’s DNA test is an apparent attempt to try and stop Mr. Trump’s unwarranted Pocahontas attacks. She is genuinely concerned about these continued attacks in the media so she hoped a DNA test could prove her point.

Apart from proving her ancestry, many people believe that it is sensible to repair the relationship with tribal leaders. After all, she has nothing to lose by apologizing to different Native American groups that felt offended. An apology can help her gain the trust of different groups as a responsible leader.

Politics And Race In The US

There is a tendency by some politicians to use the racial card to gain political mileage. However, “America is for Americans” regardless of elements such as race. All people by birth are genuine Americans. However, Mr. Trump uses the race card to taunt his opponents. He offers to contribute $1 million to Warren’s favorite charity for taking a DNA test and proving she is a Native American Indian.

President Trump at a polictical event

Fortunately, the DNA test shows that Warren has distant Native American roots. She wants to prove Mr. Trump wrong about his claims that she is not a Native American of Indian origin.  Politics aside, Ms. Warren should also make a public apology to show that she is sincere and not driven by race in her presidential bid.

There are racial minorities in the US; hence the advisors close to Ms. Warren feel that her actions might damage her relationships with activists. Several other people also believe that a strong statement of apology can help rebuild confidence and trust among the affected groups.

Ms. Warren also believes that her actions show that she can confront the president come 2020. While she is looking at the issues of race and DNA testing from a political perspective, they can also dent her reputation. As such, the private apology comes at the right time before Ms. Warren formally launches her presidential run.

The apology also comes after calls for her to do so by different groups including advisors, tribal leaders as well as political operatives. Politically, she played into President Trump’s tricks that blood determines race, a claim that remains controversial in different sectors. The native leaders do not believe in the notion of blood identifying race but that of culture.

Other Challenges Of DNA Testing

While DNA testing helps people from various backgrounds to learn about their ancestry, it also has its downturns. The problem with DNA testing is that some groups like Native Americans do not have adequate representation in large genetic databases.

The other challenge is to come up with precise calculations about the contributors of the genes as well as the period. As scientists observed, ancestry and cultural heritage are two different things. Therefore, genetic testing does not resolve the issue of whether one should be considered as a Native American or not.

Native Americans firmly believe in the aspects of traditional citizenship and culture. In other words, the platform used by Ms. Warren to prove her race was not appropriate.

About the Author Charles McKnight

I'm just another amateur genealogist investigating my American-Scots-Irish lineage. I built MyFamilyDNATest.com after buying all of the leading DNA tests to discover everything I could about my family history. Hopefully, this site will save you time and demystify the emerging science of DNA-based genealogy, for your family project.

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