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Senator Elizabeth Warren recently shared results of a genetic analysis to back up her family’s story of Cherokee ancestry, hoping to blunt a favorite Republican attack line. The move backfired. A DNA result does not confer a Cherokee heritage. And in general, efforts to link our genetics with our ethnic or cultural identities have a long and sordid history. So what’s more revealing: the results of DNA tests like Warren’s? Or what we try to find in them?

Links

- “The First DNA Test as Political Stunt” (Sarah Zhang, October 15, 2018)
- “Trump, Warren, and America's Racial Essentialism” (Vann R. Newkirk II, October 16, 2018)
- “Your DNA Is Not Your Culture” (Sarah Zhang, September 25, 2018)
- “When White Nationalists Get DNA Tests That Reveal African Ancestry” (Sarah Zhang, August 17, 2017)
- "Radio Atlantic: Becoming White in America" (Kevin Townsend, April 13, 2018)

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