Conservatives were quick to share the response from Cherokee Nation after U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, an Oklahoma native, shared her DNA results in her bizarre feud with President Donald Trump.
The Cherokee response, including a column written by Cherokee Phoenix editor Brandon Scott published by Vox, admonished the senator for relying on a DNA test to try to claim Native American heritage. The average white U.S. citizen has .18 percent of Native American genetic makeup, but Warren thought that claiming .09 percent would be enough to quiet her critics, and she couldn’t have been more wrong.
“A DNA test will not help you determine what language your ancestors spoke, the food they ate, or where they essentially originated,” Scott wrote on Vox.
As Fox News took a victory lap in its proxy victory over a liberal senator, they interviewed U.S. Rep Markwayne Mullin, R-Oklahoma, who is the only member of Cherokee Nation in Congress, and that’s when things got awkward.
Before criticizing Warren, Mullin couched his statement with the fact that his family still lives in Westville, “where [they] literally stopped walking on a volunteer walk. Now, I use that as a loosely term.”
The comment made by Mullin on Oct. 16 went largely unnoticed until Scott shared a clip on Twitter Oct. 30 with the comment, “How did this fly under the radar? IT’S CALLED THE TRAIL OF TEARS! VOLUNTEER WALK????? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???”
Mullin responded to Scott that his family voluntarily relocated years before the forced removal of Native Americans and blamed confusion about his comments on “political activists.”
The same “political activist” conservatives gleefully shared when their opinions agreed.
Mullin’s comment about the volunteer decision of his family contradicts a statement his own campaign issued in September, which said his family lives “on the same farm where Mullin’s ancestors ended their walk on the Trail of Tears.”
Mullin did not respond to Cherokee Phoenix’s questions about the discrepancy in historical accounts or request to provide his ancestors’ names.
“It doesn’t mater if your family left before, during or after the Trail of Tears. What matters is that you recognize it as forced removal of an entire indigenous population, and refer to it as such,” Scott said on Twitter in response to Mullin.