The Elizabeth Warren story is not about whether she is 1/32nd Cherokee.
Questions persist as to why Warren listed herself as Native American, a fact as to which she had no proof until yesterday, only in a publication almost exclusively used by other law professors and Deans during a time period in which she was climbing the law school ladder, and why she stopped listing that status as soon as she securely was at the top rung, Harvard Law School.
Hans Bader of OpenMarket blog and the Competitive Enterprise Institute has some fascinating history, How Elites Milk Racial Preferences for Their Own Gain:
One of the pitfalls of race-based affirmative action is that many disadvantaged people are less able to take advantage of it than the legal and economic elite.
Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, a well-paid academic, claimed Native American status based on supposedly being 1/32 Cherokee. But the “white” plaintiff who unsuccessfully challenged the University of Washington Law School’s affirmative action policy, Katuria Smith, had much more Native American ancestry than Warren — she was 1/8 Native American….
Katuria Smith came from a very poor family, and it never occurred to her that calling herself Native American would help in admissions. But Elizabeth Warren, a prosperous lawyer/law professor, surely knew better, repeatedly listing herself publicly and privately as Native American to game the system, before getting a job at Harvard (after getting a job there, she mysteriously stopped claiming to be Native American). Harvard Law School repeatedly and publicly described Warren as “Native American,” both while I was at Harvard, and afterwards, to address charges that it lacked racial diversity.
My faculty advisor (and later co-counsel), Harvard Law Professor Charles Fried, who was then on Harvard’s appointments committee, “claims that Warren’s Native American ancestry never came up in the hiring process, and that he only became aware of it later.” His recollection must be faulty. Fried was practically under siege at the time, and was keenly conscious of Harvard’s need to diversify the faculty based on race and sex to appease not just left-wing students, faculty, and journalists, but also to avoid serious potential legal consequences from the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), the notoriously anti-employer civil-rights agency that has jurisdiction over discrimination claims against Massachusetts employers like Harvard University.
The MCAD had issued a probable cause finding that Harvard discriminated against left-wing law professor Clare Dalton based on sex, despite her manifest mediocrity, after it denied her tenure; Fried told a Harvard secretary in my presence that he was glad Harvard settled that case and paid off Dalton, even though he himself thought her claim meritless, as did people like Fried’s colleague, Alan Dershowitz, who told me he was outraged by MCAD’s finding and seemed disgusted that Harvard settled….
The campus at the time was practically being torn apart in protests about the racial and sexual composition of the faculty….
Association does not equal causation. There’s no public evidence that the listing in the law faculty directory helped Warren.
But the story doesn’t add up. Warren listed her Native American status only in the faculty directory, yet on that basis alone Harvard promoted her as a minority faculty member? She listed herself that way in the faculty directory, but nowhere else, not even on college or law school applications?
It’s not about heritage or even affirmative action; it’s about whether Warren tried to game the system, to claim a minority and historical victim status based on the flimsiest of connections, and then jettisoned that historical victim status when it no longer was needed. And whether that’s the type of person Massachusetts wants to elect to the Senate.
The Scott Brown campaign is right that Warren needs to come clean.