Elizabeth Warren refuses to take DNA test to prove Native American ancestry

March 12, 2018

Elizabeth Warren refuses to take DNA test to prove Native American ancestry Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren continues to dodge questions about her past claims of Native American heritage.

After being challenged to take a DNA test to prove her Native American ancestry claims this week, Warren declined, saying, “I know who I am.” The senator has never provided anything more than “family lore” as evidence — and it looks like that’s all we’ll ever get.

Disputed History

Warren’s claims first came to light when she ran against incumbent Scott Brown in the highly publicized 2012 senate race.

“Elizabeth Warren’s avowed Native American heritage — which the candidate rarely if ever discusses on the campaign trail — was once touted by embattled Harvard Law School officials who cited her claim as proof of their faculty’s diversity,” The Boston Herald reported at the time.

The school was more than happy to use that claim to shore up their faculty diversity statistics — the Herald unearthed a 1996 article in the Harvard Crimson, quoting then-Law School spokesman Mike Chmura as saying, “Although the conventional wisdom among students and faculty is that the Law School faculty includes no minority women, Chmura said professor of law Elizabeth Warren is Native American.”

Warren responded that she was unaware that the school had promoted her background for diversity reasons — but the Boston Globe then reported that Warren had self-identified as a minority in law school directories for years before coming to Harvard.

But no documentation of her alleged minority heritage has been found.

“We have no proof that Elizabeth Warren’s great-great-great-grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith either is or is not of Cherokee descent,” Tom Champoux, a spokesman for The New England Historic Genealogical Society, told The Boston Herald in 2012.

On Sunday, Sen. Warren again had a chance to put the rumors to rest by agreeing to a DNA test, but she avoided the question.

Trust Me

Sen. Warren bases her claim of alleged Native American heritage on the stories she heard from her parents and grandparents, and she reiterated that story on several national media outlets yesterday after a local publication called on her to “screw up her courage and take the spit test.”

“There are many people who are saying should you choose to run in 2020, and one of these groups is the Berkshire Eagle, Massachusetts newspaper that endorsed you in 2012, that the issue of your ancestry will come up and they’re suggesting that you put it to rest,” host John Roberts said to Sen. Warren on Fox News Sunday.

“Would you be willing to take a DNA test to put this issue to rest?” he asked.

Warren deflected the question, launching into a family history instead. “You know, my mom and dad were born and raised out in Oklahoma, and my daddy was in his teens when he fell in love with my mother. She was a beautiful girl who played the piano. And he was head over heels in love with her and wanted to marry her. And his family was bitterly opposed to that because she was part Native American,” Warren said.

“And eventually my parents eloped and they survived the Great Depression, they survived the Dust Bowl. They went through a lot of hard times. They raised three boys, my older brothers all of whom went off to the military. They raised me.”

“They knocked around and it was tough but they hung together. They hung together for 63 years. I know who I am because of what my mother and my father told me, what my grandmother and my grandfather told me, what all my aunts and uncles told me and my brothers.”

“It’s a part of who I am and no one’s ever going to take that away,” she said.

That was the world’s longest way of saying no.

Carmine Sabia

Carmine Sabia Jr. is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He specializes in covering political news and current events. He has contributed to BizPac Review and co-hosts Para Bellum Radio Mondays at 5 p.m. on WNJC1360 in Philadelphia.