Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts believes it’s offensive when President Donald Trump mockingly refers to her as “Pocahontas.”
A woman who says she is a descendant of Pocahontas says what truly offends her is Warren’s unwillingness to take a DNA test to prove her Native American heritage.
“I respect Sen. Warren as a U.S. senator, but I just wish she’d take the DNA test,” Debbie White Dove Porreco said Tuesday during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Porreco said if Warren would take the test, “that would end a lot of this controversy over whether Warren is indeed part Cherokee.”
Trump has repeatedly referred to Warren as “Pocahontas” as a way to mock her claims of Native American heritage. Warren has said Trump’s use of the name is racist.
Porreco said she doesn’t consider “Pocahontas” as a racial slur.
“I don ‘t know how she’s saying it’s a racial slur — Pocahontas is a real person,” Porreco said.
Carlson asked Porreco why she believes Warren is hesitant to prove her Native American heritage.
“Maybe she’s afraid she’s not,” Porreco said. “It’s offensive that she doesn’t take (the test), but you can’t make somebody take something if she does not want to.”
Porreco said if Warren took a DNA test and could prove she is indeed part Cherokee, “I would be the first one to welcome her into our heritage.”
Warren said she was told by relatives when she was growing up that her mother’s family in Oklahoma had Cherokee and Delaware blood, and that she has no reason to doubt those claims. But as the Boston Globe reported in January, examinations by genealogists of documents including birth, marriage, and death records have shown no conclusive proof of Native American ancestry.
Critics on the right claim Warren is claiming Native American ancestry to boost her status politically, while critics on the left claim Warren either needs to prove her ancestry claims or apologize for not being truthful.
Warren listed her heritage as Native American on federal forms submitted by Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania while she was employed at the schools.
Porreco is not the only Native American who is upset by Warren’s claims.
“I would love to see Elizabeth Warren take responsibility for her false claim,” said Rebecca Nagle in a January interview with Fox News’ Jesse Watters. “She heard a story growing up. As an adult, she’s been presented with a large amount of evidence. Realize that was not true, and that would be an amazing example for us as Cherokee people.”
While Warren has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate for Democrats in 2020, she has maintained that she will stay in the Senate to serve out her term if she wins re-election in November.
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