top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Distant cousins

Harvard once touted Elizabeth Warren as its first “woman of color” on the law faculty. A DNA test now reveals that one of the senator’s ancestors — six to 10 generations back — may have been Native American.

“Conservatives mocked her for releasing a test that indicated she is anywhere between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American,” reports the New York Times.

The average European American has a trace of Native American and African ancestry. Most African-Americans have European and Native American ancestry.

Doesn’t everyone think it’s silly?

Most Americans, if their families aren’t recent immigrants, have a little Native American ancestry. My family hasn’t been here that long, but my father had high cheekbones.

According to 23andMe, I’m about as North African as Warren is Cherokee. If I called myself African American . . . that would be silly. I’m also part “western Asian.” Maybe that’s why Harvard (Radcliffe) rejected me in 1970.

Humorist Greg Gutfield thinks Warren’s DNA test marks the end of identity politics because “if everyone is a minority, then nobody is.” There’s something to that.

6 views0 comments


bottom of page