by Herald Staff
President Trump mocked U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Cherokee heritage claims again last week with an offer of $1 million to the charity of her choice if a DNA test proves her right.
Trump made the rambling taunt at a Montana rally. “I’m gonna get one of those kits and in the middle of the debate when she proclaims that she’s of Indian heritage, because her mother says she has high cheekbones, that’s her only evidence that her mother said she has high cheekbones. We will take that little kit, and say, but we have to do it gently because we’re in the #MeToo generation, so we have to do it very gently,” Trump said. “And we will very gently take that kit and we will slowly toss it hoping it doesn’t hit her and injure her arm, even though it probably only weighs two ounces.”
Yes, we could have done without the gratuitous #metoo shot. There, Trump went too far.
Trump continued, “And we will say I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian, you know. And let’s see what she does, right?”
Though the president plays to the crowd with such dedication that written transcripts of his speech are often jumbled and detached from any comprehensible, linear message, he does have a point. The story, broken by the Herald’s Hillary Chabot in 2012, of Elizabeth Warren claiming Native American status at Harvard, has never been resolved adequately. Sure, she managed to win an election against Scott Brown with the controversy in play but there has been a significant cultural shift in the past six years.
In progressive circles, “cultural appropriation” is now well-established in the canon as a high crime. New boundaries have been drawn in the realm of political correctness. If Liz Warren is a white woman who hijacked the experiences of the Cherokee for personal gain — and she is very wealthy and powerful — that would be naked exploitation of a minority group.
The cultural norm is now to remove statues and change street signs in a gesture of redemption for the crimes of the past because such symbols in the public square continue to victimize the less powerful. Liz Warren as currently constituted is more Yawkey Way than Jersey Street. She could change that if she addressed the issue once and for all.
Her friend Al Franken was forced to leave the Senate based on today’s progressive standards for sexual harassment. It’s fair to say that 10 years ago he’d still be in the Senate.
For Warren, the standards for cultural appropriation have also shifted and if she runs for president there is likely to be a reckoning. Sen. Warren should clear the air on the matter. In his own way, President Trump has been doing her a favor by bringing it up.
bostonherald.com · by Herald Staff