Put aside the pros and cons of affirmative action. Assume that at some level you support affirmative action.
Those who support affirmative action should be the most upset with Elizabeth Warren’s fake “woman of color” and “minority law teacher” status based on her own self-reporting of supposed family lore of Native American ancestry.
And they are, via The Boston Globe:
Dogged by weeks of questions about whether her claims of Native American heritage helped advance her career, Elizabeth Warren now faces skepticism from some of Boston’s black ministers whose appearance with Scott Brown just after his 2010 election to US Senate helped shape Brown’s image as a different breed of Republican.
“It will take more than an impromptu endorsement by Governor Patrick to make an intellectually compelling case why Elizabeth Warren deserves to be the next senator,” said the Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III, referring to the state’s governor, Deval Patrick, who is black….
“It is within bounds to raise the question of whether or not a white woman used the minority card for her professional advantage,” said Rivers.
“Ancestry is not the issue,” Rivers added, saying that Warren’s handling of the controversy raises questions beyond her heritage. “Did you tell the truth? Because you marketed yourself as the good-guy, straight-shooting-populist, representing-poor-people candidate.”
“Affirmative action — that issue becomes important because it points to who you are,” added the Rev. Jeffrey Brown, executive director of the TenPoint Coalition, who pointed to an assertion that she is 1/32 Cherokee. “I’m thinking to myself, if I was 1/32 white, or of European descent, would I be able to put on an application that I was white? And if you look at a picture of me, you see what I’m talking about. The question is not a trivial one, or one that can just be dismissed as a Republican tactic. And I say this as someone who campaigned for Martha Coakley and I’m independent in terms of my political status.”
It’s irrelevant that Warren denies she was the beneficiary of affirmative action. Warren set herself up potentially to benefit from affirmative action based on a false classification.
What has our system become that someone like Warren can claim to be a “woman of color”? Warren has put another straw on the back of those who support affirmative action.
Does anyone support affirmative action for fakers?
Update: Law professor Brian Leiter has been a defender of Elizabeth Warren, or more precisely, a critic of “right-wing” critics of Warren. Yet Leiter argues in a blog post today that being able to claim Warren as “minority” was imporant to law schools (emphasis mine):
The latest information basically confirms my original hypothesis (and what folks who were at both Penn and Texas had told me): no one gave a damn that she had some Native American heritage (though her gender may have been a plus for Harvard), but both schools were eager to add her to their list of “minority” faculty so as to avoid the predictable AALS scrutiny for not having enough ethnic diversity.
When fakery becomes a “yawn,” affirmative action may not have any more back to break.