Booker more Native American
It may be a trend, good for some but not for others. A few potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates recently revealed their DNA ancestry results.
As we have previously mentioned in this space, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, thought her results would quiet those who questioned her claims of Native American heritage. But, since the test showed her to be only between 1/64th and 1/1,024th American Indian, half as much as the average European-American, the results have only made things worse.
But The New York Times recently tried to help her out, allowing her to explain things but also suggesting she may have damaged her credibility with Native American and other minority constituencies.
"I put it out there ," Warren, who critics say had claimed minority status for preferential hiring status, told The Times, "People can make of it what they will."
The senator's advisers are now counseling her to make a forceful apology ahead of any potential announcement of a presidential run.
Meanwhile, U.S. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, released his DNA results, which showed he is 7 percent Native American, about 70 times more Native American than Warren.
Die, you and your family!
An Illinois lawmaker took her Democratic Party's usual tactic of the politics of personal destruction to a higher level recently, calling for the death of one of her Republican colleagues and his family.
State Rep. Peter Breen, a Republican and the body's outgoing floor leader, reportedly had said lawmakers didn't know how much a bill was going to cost taxpayers and how much would end up in waste or abuse. It came in the debate of whether to overturn Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a bill that would increase the cap the state pays in civil litigation cases from $100,000 to $2 million (and especially in light of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak at a veterans home in Quincy).
"All we know is it's going to cost us a lot," he said. "And yes, we know the personal injury lawyers are going to make out like bandits, which they tend to do anytime they come to the General Assembly."
That set off state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, a veteran.
"To the representative from Lombard," she said, "I would like to make him a broth of Legionella and pump it into the water system of his loved one so that they can be infected, they can be mistreated, they can sit and suffer by getting aspirin instead of being properly treated and ultimately die."
Later, after calls for Kifowit's resignation came following the remarks, she apologized if her words were "misinterpreted" but claimed she was only trying to get Breen to understand how it would feel if it were his family.
Kinder and gentler, though, she was not.
A student project examining "whiteness" at Cal State San Marcos has named some of its targets: the popular Christian children's cartoon "VeggieTales" (because minority vegetables may be portrayed as villains), the National Football League (because it has mostly white coaches and black players), white women who voted for President Trump and white people in general for avoiding confronting their "privilege."
The forum in which students verbally assaulted the dancing veggies and other nemeses was part of the communications class "The Communication of Whiteness."
Eric Metaxas, an author and columnist and a former "VeggieTales" writer and narrator, responded to Fox News about the project by noting, tongue slightly in cheek, that "all vegetables are part of one race, even though they are many colors" and "they are all descended from the same parents — the Adam and Eve of vegetables, who foolishly ate a forbidden fruit (irony?) and screwed everything up for all vegetables descended from them."
"At least," he said, "I'm pretty sure that's the story."
A Nebraska elementary school principal has apologized for sending out an extensive list of Christmas no-nos to her staff, forbidding the likes of candy canes (because, turned upside down, they form a "J" for Jesus), sending Christmas-related Scholastic books, red and green items, and reindeer.
In sending out the list, first-year principal Jennifer Sinclair at Manchester Elementary School in Omaha said she "comes[s] from a place that Christmas and the like are not allowed in schools," that she intended the school would be "inclusive and culturally sensitive to all of our students" and she signed it "The (Unintentional) Grinch who stole Christmas (from Manchester)".
Alerted to the action, Liberty Counsel, a law firm focused on religious freedom, sent a letter to the district superintendent, urging her action be "immediately overrule[d]" and that the principal should review district policy and the law. In the district's response, it agreed Sinclair's memorandum did not comply with board policy.
"The First Amendment does not require elimination of Christmas," Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said in the statement. "Nothing prohibits public schools from teaching objectively about Christmas or other holidays with religious significance. The First Amendment prohibits censorship based on religious viewpoint."