Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Donald Trump, Pocahontas and Liz
Maybe Liz Warren thought she was clearing things up by taking a DNA test, a very popular thing to do these days, but it seems she has only made the politics of Native American identity even more murky.
The Cherokee Nation has chimed in on the test with a rather ludicrous statement that this does not determine tribal citizenship. Well, duh, since there wouldn't be a little red flag that says "Cherokee" in her double helix. Native Americans come from a handful of pre-historic groups so the best a saliva test could do is determine if she has some of this pre-historic DNA in her. It's not going to pinpoint her heritage to one tribe or another, anymore than it would determine a Cherokee is Cherokee. Sadly in politics, all it takes is for the Cherokee Nation to issue a statement like this for the conservative blogosphere to run with it, disproving her claim once again.
What's "useless" is these kinds of debates. Just about every American likes to claim he or she has Native American blood, especially with immigration being such a hot-button issue these days. I've seen many persons on facebook claim to be part Cherokee or Pawnee or whatever because they have some distant grandmother or great grandmother who was part- or whole-blooded "Indian." This was a fair claim on Liz's part, since her family originally hails from Oklahoma, where the Cherokee and other Appalachian tribes ended up after the Trail of Tears. But, the Cherokee has re-established itself in the Great Smokey Mountains and has its image to protect.
As for Pocahontas, the moniker given to Warren by Donald Trump and others, she came from an entirely different tribe, and has been sullied in this political debate as much as has Liz Warren, who never used her alleged "Native American" roots to further her career, which is what Scott Brown claimed on the campaign trail back in 2012.
It's hard to believe Warren is only ending her first term in the Senate, a seat she won from Brown, who has since tried to claim residence in other states in an effort to get back into the Senate. He is currently serving as US Ambassador to New Zealand.
When Liz Warren came to the defense of Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail 2016, she became an easy target for Trump, who loved to give everyone nicknames, hence Pocahontas, which most Americans could easily identify with thanks to the Disney cartoon. He didn't miss an opportunity to use the tag, smirking each and every time like this was the best nickname he had come up with yet.
Native American groups were upset with this misappropriation of one of their iconic historic figures, but to hell with their feelings. Donald thought they were taking too much advantage of their gaming licenses anyway, because he didn't want the Ramapough Mountain People cutting into his profits from his Atlantic City casinos. Trump considered them fake Indians and shouldn't be given tribal status. In the end, Trump lost, but it wasn't Indian casinos that spelled the doom of his Atlantic City casinos, but rather his gross incompetence. Trump being Trump, he had to blame someone other than himself.
On the campaign trail, Trump said he would administer a DNA test himself to Warren. He also said he would donate a million dollars to a charity of her choice if she passed. Now that she took one of these popular tests, he claims he never made such an agreement.
Liz should have known better than to reopen this case, but apparently she has 2020 Presidential aspirations and wanted to settle this issue once and for all. It's not like Trump will honor this test, anymore than he did Obama's birth certificate. It's a no-win situation for Liz because Donald doesn't have to be right. He hardly ever is. You might as well argue with a wall for all the good it does. That is certainly the case with his followers, most of whom it turns out are fake.
However, this was a point of pride for Liz Warren, proof of her grandmother's stories, which sadly the Cherokee Nation chose to throw a wet towel on. It's not like Liz was applying for tribal status, but it seems the young Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. saw an opportunity to plug the Cherokee Nation, which has made a thriving concern out of its landholdings in the Great Smokey Mountains.
So, who is using who at this point?