Indian Country

Evidently Elizabeth Warren became so tired of Trump's gauche "Pocahontas" taunts that she got a DNA test. If she had been a bit more cunning she would have waited to spring this on Trump in a debate, but she did spill the beans. Naturally Trump promptly welshed on his bet (that he would give a million dollars to the charity of her choice if she proved to have Indian ancestry). She also managed to annoy a number of Native American activists. Why exactly? Well, Native American tribes are jealous of their ability to control their own membership. This has emotional and social roots but is also based on the bones Congress has thrown to the tribes in scanty recompense for having stolen their Continent - a very limited sovereignty and some affirmative action competitive advantages in certain economic ventures. In particular they don't want tribal membership expanded by DNA test. I'm pretty sure that Warren has not claimed tribal membership in any economically or socially significant way - despite repeated Republican lies to that effect - unless you count a contribution to a charity cookbook that she labelled "Cherokee." There is, however, a whole industry of falsely claiming protected minority status to gain contract set asides, and one prominent Republican Congressman is currently embroiled in such a scandal.

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