Kelly Hayes and Jacqueline Keeler Elizabeth Warren connected DNA and Native American heritage. Here's why that's destructive.

NBC News | 10/17/2018 | Staff
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Kelly Hayes is a Menominee author and activist living and working in the city of Chicago. Her work is featured in numerous publications as well as the anthologies "Who Do You Serve Who Do You Protect" and "The Solidarity Struggle: How People of Color Succeed and Fail At Showing Up For Each Other In the Fight For Freedom."

Jacqueline Keeler is a Diné/Ihanktonwan Dakota writer and contributor to Yes! Magazine, High Country News and many other publications. Her book “The Edge of Morning: Native Voices Speak for the Bears Ears” is available from Torrey House Press and “Standing Rock to the Bundy Standoff: Occupation, Native Sovereignty, and the Fight for Sacred Landscapes” will be released next year.

Monday - Elizabeth - Warren - Results - DNA

On Monday, Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA test that she says vindicates her long-criticized claim of Native ancestry. In what many view as an effort to tie up a political loose end and in preparation for a presidential run in 2020, Warren fired back at President Donald Trump’s racist jibes about the senator’s heritage with a new video and DNA test conducted by a recipient of the Macarthur Genius Grant.

Warren stated that she is not a member of any tribe, but her efforts to connect DNA and Native American heritage could nevertheless have unintended consequences. It is a common joke amongst Native people that the phrase “I’m 1/16th Cherokee” (or in Warren’s case, 1/64th to 1/1024th Cherokee — the DNA test can only offer up a possible range) is a “white proverb.” While the framing of Native identity that has emerged in discussions of Warren’s background is incredibly common, it is also highly destructive to Native people.

United - States - Native - Identity - Terms

In the United States, Native identity is usually discussed in monolithic and racial terms. We are characterized as a generalized population with stereotypical characteristics — the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: NBC News
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