October 15, 2018

So, I was curious about how the right wing would react to Elizabeth Warren's reveal of her 23 and Me DNA test. You know, the one Donald Trump challenged her to have and the one she went ahead and did, purely to prove him wrong.

Tucker Carlson did not disappoint. He's very angry on behalf of Native Americans everywhere.

"Well, if anyone's doing that, it's Elizabeth Warren. She's the one who has stolen their identity and leveraged their suffering to climb the greasy pole of our fake meritocracy," he snarled. "No High Plains whiskey trader ever acted with more ruthless cynicism than she has."

In his opening, he was even nastier. "Warren posed as a victim because on the left, victimhood is power. Watch her do it," he snarled. By now, all of us watching moments like this should know that a man like Tucker cannot abide a woman having any power at all. And he made no bones about it throughout his little rant.

The only problem with his fauxtrage is this: Warren didn't list herself as Native American because she wanted to climb the corporate ladder. Tucker, too, could read the extensive article published last month by the Boston Globe where she opened all of her personnel files to their reporters, who concluded that the one factor that was not a factor was race. She did list herself as Native American, but not for the purpose of climbing the ladders of academia. Instead, it was to identify with the women in her family who raised her, raised her kids, and were dying away. It was they who told her she had Native American heritage, and she wanted to preserve that connection with them.

That 23 and Me test confirmed their stories on some level. At the very least, it took something that was family lore and made it more real for Warren. But honestly, she should have known she wasn't playing with honest people. Trump and his toadies cheat, and so her announcement that he was wrong was simply bait for the Tuckers and other haters.

It gave him a chance to ridicule and insult Native Americans even more, even as he was pretending he gave a damn. In the course of this diatribe, he calls Elizabeth Warren "Lie-awatha," "Fake-ajawea," and "Fraud-azuma" at various points.

He also joked about a “Me Sioux movement” and said, “Fauxcohontas is on the warpath." How noble of him. How mature.

What you should take away from this is the deep and abiding cynicism of Fox News. In the span of a few minutes, Tucker Carlson told Native Americans they're a joke, told bald-faced lies about Elizabeth Warren's hiring history, and belittled women who are in a battle for equality every day.

There are a lot of reasons why I wish she had not chosen to do this in the way that she did. I feel like the whole effort plays on Trump's playing field with his rules. I feel like it cheapens the very real struggle that Native Americans face, that it reinforces racist tropes and serves no real political purpose beyond playing a game of oneupsmanship with a guy who simply doesn't care. But at the same time, it does not give Tucker Carlson license to play the racist assh*le on Fox News unchallenged.

Consider this that challenge.

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