Now that Fauxcohantas has learned the First Rule of Holes…

Well, she probably hasn’t, in all fairness.  But no question that she left herself open to some pretty harsh ridicule with that DNA test, that proved she might have even less American Indian DNA than the average white European.  Trying to double down on what she claimed was Trump’s offer of a million bucks if she’d get a DNA test and prove she was a Native American sort of backfired, too, since it’s hard to say if he really made that offer or if he was just slinging shit at a political rally.  And on top of that, the Cherokee Nation pretty much shut her down, too.

The DNA tests you can buy these days are pretty much a load of crap, anyway.  They’re insufficient data to make a determination that you’re something you didn’t know you were, like the guy on the Ancestry ads who thought he was German all his life till he took a DNA test, and now he’s Scottish.  Sigh.  Dude, I joined the Scottish Rite, but not because either it or I am Scottish.*  And I drink Scotch, too, but doesn’t everybody?

We’re all related to each other, one way or another, possibly because 70ky ago after an extinction-level event, the human race was reduced to about 40 breeding-age females. So no matter where we come from, all of our DNA goes back to those 40 women and whatever men were left (could have been any number from 1 to whatever). As a species, we’re inbred as hell, so no big surprise that we share DNA bits with people from all over the world.

I’ll note that recent research has cast some doubt on the near-extinction I’ve mentioned above, but even without such an event, we’re still all related all the way back to the first hominids who could be called Homo Sapiens, and probably farther back than that, since we all have some Neanderthal and Denisovian DNA, and who knows what else.**  Again, not a shock that certain DNA bits from people who came out of Africa, turned right toward the Asian steppe, and crossed the Bering land bridge to North America during the last Ice Age can also be found in people who hung a left and migrated to Europe.

And we don’t even really know what a lot of DNA even does.  A lot of it seems to be dormant in most people.  Certainly we know that certain human aspects and congenital diseases are linked to certain bits of DNA.  But we don’t know a lot more than we do know, and unlike Donald Rumsfeld, we don’t even have a real handle on what we don’t know about DNA.

The bottom line, though, is that DNA isn’t culture.  DNA isn’t what you were brought up believing.  DNA isn’t the sum total of your life experience and that of your ancestors.  And that’s why, even without a DNA test, Elizabeth Warren’s claim to be some tiny bit of Cherokee Indian based on a story that one of her great-great-great-grandmothers had Native American blood fails the laugh test.

Hell, what American family that’s been on American soil for the last few centuries hasn’t had a similar story run through their family history?  Mine did.  And I disproved it; my Native American ancestor wasn’t Native American at all, she was Scottish, and she most likely did the boogie out of Scotland to Paris after Argyll’s Rising in 1685, because she was the eldest daughter of the 9th Earl who lost his head in that Rising.  (And she was my 8th great grandmother, so holy shit, I’m not even as Scottish as Fauxy thinks she’s Native American.)

Her husband, on the other hand, was French; and we always knew that.  Damn it.

On top of that, I claim to be Russian (or really, it would be Ukrainian, these days) based on the fact that my mother’s father’s father came from Kiev (says so on his naturalization papers).  But they were Jews, and there’s a really good chance that they came from Spain when Ferdinand and Isabella booted the Spanish Jews in 1492.  But who knows?  So I don’t claim to be Spanish, even though that’s a closer relationship — three generations vs. ten for the Scots.

In the end, I’m no more German, Austrian, Russian, Scots, or French than I am simply American.  I have little or nothing in common with the people who live in those places today, even if I’m distantly related to them.  The 23 chromosome pairs that make up that bit of protein we call DNA don’t dictate a thing about who we really are.

And that’s a lesson someone like Elizabeth Warren ought to have figured out long before now.


Though if you read down to the bottom of this, you’ll find, like Fauxy is maybe a wee bit Native American, that I am in fact just a wee bit Scottish.  But I didn’t find that out with a DNA test, and didn’t know it when I joined the Rite.

** Proof, if you needed it, that H. Sap. will fuck anything.


  1. Jon Porter

    I didn’t know Kiev took in Jews expelled by Ferdinand and Isabella: I thought they (mostly) went to Salonika. And didn’t some end up in the Baltic States?

    1. Fuzzy Curmudgeon

      My understanding is that the Tsar welcomed them, as they were great artisans and so forth, but I haven’t done any research on the subject; just repeating what a well-educated rabbi told my mother and aunt when my grandmother died. The surname, he felt, was Sephardic, and there being no question they were now Russians led him to the conclusion they may have been descendants of refugees from the Spanish Expulsion

      1. Cappy

        The Polish kings and nobles admitted Jews many years before other European countries, and much of Ukraine was owned by Poland.

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