Demand Elizabeth Warren explicitly apologize to Native Americans and Asian Americans

Demand Elizabeth Warren explicitly apologize to Native Americans and Asian Americans

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Hugh Vue started this petition to Senator Elizabeth Warren and

Dear Senator Warren, 

My name is Hugh Vue, and I am a supporter of yours in this upcoming election cycle. On behalf of both Native Americans and Asian Americans, I am writing to ask that you explicitly apologize for the negative consequences that your DNA test has had on a number of your potential future voters and propagating various factually inaccurate statements.

Some fellow supporters have been downplaying your Native American controversy. They have referred to it as a Republican Party smear and even compared it to President Obama's birth certificate dilemma. However, while Obama's scandal was indeed fabricated, your actions, whether you have realized it or not, have served as a harmful microaggression on all minoritized racial groups in the United States.

Before I continue further, I would like to emphasize that I am not justifying the manner in which President Trump or the Republican Party has reacted to your situation. The obscene comments and graphics that you have shared on your Fact Squad website are even worse than anything that you have said or done. Quite frankly, we are seeing a display of profound ignorance of Native American culture. You are justified in feeling offended and attacked by these depictions. That being said, we need to discuss several of your own responses to your claimed Native American heritage.

First of all, regardless of how others' interpretations, the DNA test results that you released in October do not prove that you are Native American. It only provides strong evidence that you had a Native American ancestor between six and ten generations ago. You have expressed that you understand the distinction between tribal status and indigenous ancestry, and I appreciate you are attempting to comprehend this difference. However, you are still a White woman, and you have experienced a lifestyle profoundly distinct from the struggles of actual people of color. 

Also, you have dismissed legitimate criticism of your test results. In particular, Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr. has criticized your decisions and mentioned the microaggressions it has entailed for Native American communities, which include disrespecting the actual requirements for pertaining to a specific tribe. To simply state that anyone can decipher your DNA test information to their tastes is, to be honest, condescending to the Native Americans that you have unintentionally marginalized and for which you wish to advocate. Moreover, given your ardent denunciations of white nationalists, you should be cognizant that those same supremacists utilize DNA testing as evidence of their hateful racial pride.

Second, you have claimed to be Cherokee based on what your parents have chronicled and your supposedly "high cheekbones". Your comments are extremely offensive and stereotypical to actual members of the Cherokee Nation. To illustrate, Rebecca Nagle, a progressive Cherokee who agrees with the majority of your political philosophy, has expressed opposition to you because of your naive methods to connect with her tribe

In addition, Twila Barnes, an expert Cherokee genealogist, has investigated your parents' account and concluded that the elopement your mother described was fabricated. Furthermore, she has emphasized that being a Cherokee involves meeting various criteria, such as having a persistent family presence on Cherokee Nation territory.

Although your family does not satisfy these requirements, you describe the elopement and your mother's "Native American ancestry" on your Fact Squad website. I politely request that you remove this information immediately. You are unconsciously establishing your own preconditions to be Cherokee and Native American, and your behavior is erasing the grievances of Indigenous Americans who have appropriate documentation to substantiate their tribal affiliation.  

Third, you have repeatedly switched between identifying as a Native American and a white person throughout your career as an academic and a politician. I recognize that your racial background was never discussed in hiring processes. However, as a representative of the Democratic Party, you should be fully aware that as a White woman, you bear various privileges that disadvantage other Americans, myself included. After you were hired at Harvard University, you voluntarily confirmed you were of Native American descent, as described on your Fact Squad website. You failed to criticize your institution for incorrectly identifying your racial background and even permitted them to laud you as an accomplishment in their diversity targets. I understand that you simply desired to connect with other indigenous individuals, but you also received treatment that was allocated for actual Native Americans. Furthermore, your actions silenced the ambitions of a person of color like me. 

Finally, I want to acknowledge that Harvard has embittered its reputation with Asian Americans with reports of alleged discrimination during the admissions process. As a matter of fact, anti-affirmative action activists have used your hiring to illustrate that the practice is flawed. These sentiments echo among a vocal minority in my racial community. In addition, you have emphasized that you were hired based on your talents and merit. As this journalist has noted, your comments resemble those of individuals who wish to eliminate affirmative action. This is further silencing the voices of the majority of Asian Americans on the aforementioned practice. Therefore, you are alienating not only Native Americans but also Asian Americans with your responses to your DNA test results.

As an individual who condones cultural appropriation in all forms, you should be extremely grateful that you still have my support and future vote. I believe that you have the potential to recognize the damage that you have caused. I believe that you can show that you are willing to be an ambassador for all minoritized racial communities during your anticipated presidential campaign. I believe that you can still exemplify the values of tolerance and respect that the Democratic Party promotes. If you need one last suggestion to motivate you to convince voters of your strength and capacity to grow as a candidate, please say these two simple words as soon as possible: "I'm sorry".


Hugh Vue

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