Can you think of anything more creepy than public pressure being placed on an individual to prove their genetic history in order to be trusted as a public official?
That is where the state of politics seems to be headed after pigheaded Scott Brown said that Elizabeth Warren should take a DNA test to determine whether or not she is truly Cherokee amid criticism from Donald Trump.
The request is even more nefarious than the well-known Republican birther movement as it relies on complicated genetic data to make a call on something which has much deeper implications.
Rather than looking at a government-issued document, a genetic test relies on a myriad of variables, and is especially complicated when trying to determine native heritage.
Kim Tall Bear, an expert in native studies and a faculty member at the University of Albert wrote extensively Monday about this complicated issue on Twitter discussing the implications of requiring a person to seek DNA proof of their native status.
While Tall Bear argues that Warren isn’t Cherokee and has appropriated the culture for her own gain, she also says that DNA testing is often grossly inaccurate in determining native heritage. You can read that full conversation here.
Brown’s opportunistic comments come as no surprise as he has attacked Warren for her claimed heritage before. Now, amid Trump’s oft quipped nickname of “Pocahontas” for Warren, Brown says she should take a DNA test to put the drama to rest.
Requesting or requiring DNA tests for any reason, particularly for reasons associated with leadership opinions is a frightening prospect, not just for the racial implications but also for the nearly endless supply of information a complete DNA test can provide.
Brown’s suggestion is incredibly dangerous and we should not allow the idea to be entertained, much less enforced.