Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts recently released DNA test results to prove she has a Native American ancestor in her lineage in order to address President Donald Trump’s racist remarks, who repeatedly mocked her by calling her “Pocahontas.”
Critics of Warren claim she advanced her career as a law professor with the narrative of her descendancy by using the status to qualify for Affirmative Action hiring considerations. A Boston Globe investigation found that no such advantage was given to her based on her pedigree.
Regardless, Trump has repeatedly mocked her heritage by calling her “Pocahontas,” and even confidently denounced the claim wagering $1 million toward the charity of her choice if she took the DNA test and it provided evidence of Native American ancestry.
Warren did just that, and publically released the test that geneticist Carlos D. Bustamante said revealed that her pure Native American ancestor appears “in the range of six to ten generations ago.” Since then, she has received another wave of scrutiny. Trump first denied having offered the $1 million and eventually said that it was only valid if he could “personally” test her, slamming Warren for taking a “bogus DNA test” that showed she was “far less Native American than the average American.”
The Cherokee tribe has also denounced Warren’s DNA test, assuring that the tests are useless for determining tribal citizenship. Warren has respectfully acknowledged the distinctions between Native American heritage and tribal backgrounds. Trump, despite also being condemned by the Cherokees for his attacks on Warren, gleefully added their rejection of Warren’s DNA test to his own rhetoric, tweeting “Now Cherokee Nation denies her, ‘DNA test is useless.’ Even they don’t want her. Phony!”
Unfortunately, Warren has been caught in a pickle in regards to her ancestry. She could have remained quiet and simply let Trump run his mouth. But notably, Warren is a potential candidate for the 2020 presidential election, and this controversy, akin to Barack Obama’s birth certificate or even Trump’s taxes, has followed her since she first campaigned for senate in 2012. Many have taken Warren’s actions as indicative of her plans to follow through with a presidential campaign. But Warren’s transparency also comes with consequences.
Simply put, Warren played directly into Trump’s hands. He predictably renewed his attacks on her after she released the results and immediately revoked his offer of $1 million. Instead, Warren allowed public discourse to continue to dwell on her own biological background, a discourse that is inherently unproductive.
Is Trump any more of a liar after revoking his offer that he likely spewed off at the top of his head, or is he any less unreasonable for renewing his attacks even after Warren’s act of transparency?
A lengthy investigation by the New York Times broke earlier this month and reported that Trump pocketed at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire by dodging taxes. This report indicates one of the largest presidential scandals in the history of America, and has largely been ignored, glossed over or simply accepted and forgotten by the public.
Trump, who has still not released his tax returns, instead shifted attention to less serious matters. By overloading political discourse with scandal, his tax evasion is just another unexciting matter to forget. In the same week Trump attacked Warren, he engaged with former porn actress Stormy Daniels over Twitter, calling her “Horseface.” Daniels quickly fired back emasculating Trump by calling him “tiny” and taking note of the president’s “shortcomings.”
On one hand, it is no surprise that America engages in the president’s Twitter arguments with former pornstars or overt racial slanderings. It is ridiculous to imagine the leader of the free world concerned with these issues. But on the other hand, this is exactly how Trump gets away with so much.
Why would the public be concerned with a man’s tax schemes in the 1990s while the same man is spewing so much mean nonsense today? After all, the public elected a reality TV star. This is what they wanted and expected.