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Elizabeth Warren: I'm Sorry

The presidential hopeful says she's sorry about that DNA test
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2019 3:50 PM CST
In this Jan. 12, 2019, photo, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a house party in Concord, NH.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

(Newser) – Sen. Elizabeth Warren has apologized about the whole Native American ancestry thing—in private at least, the Intercept reports. Warren "reached out to us and has apologized to the tribe," says Julie Hubbard, the Cherokee Nation's executive director of communications. "We are encouraged by this dialogue and understanding that being a Cherokee Nation tribal citizen is rooted in centuries of culture and laws not through DNA tests." Seems the presidential hopeful called Bill John Baker, the Cherokee Nation's principal chief, and said she was sorry about publicizing a DNA test that showed strong evidence of her having Native American pedigree 6-10 generations ago, the New York Times reports.

This after political operatives, tribal leaders, and her own aides urged her to apologize for releasing the test—which suggested that blood, not kinship or culture, determines race. "That is why it offends us when some of our national leaders seek to ascribe inappropriately membership or citizenship to themselves," writes Chuck Hoskin Jr of the Cherokee Nation in the Tulsa World. Warren was refusing to apologize as recently as December but clarified that the test didn't make her Native American: "I'm not a person of color," she said. "I am not a citizen of a tribe." Warren initially raised the issue by claiming Native American ancestry in the 2012 Senate race, which President Trump derided in the 2016 presidential election by calling her "Pocahontas." (Warren wants to impose an "ultra-millionaire tax.")

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