Elizabeth Warren is still trying to clean up the mess she created with that DNA test. So far, it's not working. According to the New York Times, "Advisers close to Ms. Warren say she has privately expressed concern that she may have damaged her relationships to Native American groups and her own standing with progressive activists." Advisers think Warren may need to send out an apology about her stunt.
Racial justice advocates, keen to cast race as a socially constructed issue with little biological grounding, said Ms. Warren’s actions gave validity to the idea that race is determined by blood, a bedrock principle for those who believe in racial hierarchies and castes. Native American critics, including Kim TallBear, a prominent scholar from the University of Alberta, said in October that Ms. Warren’s actions relied on “settler-colonial” definitions of who is an indigenous American and amounted to a haughty refusal to hear out her longstanding critics.
This line of criticism has particularly stung Ms. Warren, who has made a point to hold several private talks with Native leaders since taking the DNA test, emphasizing her respect for tribal sovereignty and making clear she does not claim tribal citizenship.
Three people close to senior members of Ms. Warren’s team, who were granted anonymity to speak freely on the issue, said they were “shocked” and “rattled” by the senator’s decision to take the DNA test, which they described as an unequivocal misstep that could have lasting consequences, even on 2020 staffing. One former adviser, who also asked not to be named, called it a “strategic failure” that was “depressing and unforgettable.”