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Will Elizabeth Warren be the straw that breaks affirmative action’s back? Black ministers upset.

Will Elizabeth Warren be the straw that breaks affirmative action’s back? Black ministers upset.

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.


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Who in their right mind supports it at all? Is it not simply more discrimination?

Of course affirmative action is affirmatively legal, institutionalized discrimination on the basis of various extraneous factors.

And, yes!, I think Warren’s risible nonsense…and the push-back that is just now building…MAY be the ultimate straw.

High time, too.

    Mary Sue in reply to Ragspierre. | June 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    You said it last night, it’s almost a parody at this point. Warren doubling down and proclaiming herself the first woman of Native American heritage to represent MA in the Senate is the national face of affirmative action liberals will have to live with as SCOTUS decides Fisher. Good luck with that.

      persecutor in reply to Mary Sue. | June 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      C’mon Mary Sue, get it right! Lieawatha is the first Native American, lactating woman to take and pass the NJ Bar.

      That achievement calls for firewater!

    Neo in reply to Ragspierre. | June 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Apparently, Elizabeth Warren managed to find the “soft spot on infant head of Affirmative Action.”

    I guess, now, I can self proclaim to be 1/256 Algonquian Indian and tap into this Affirmative Action giveaway.

“High time, too.”

Well, in the previous post the Prof said he wants to get high. ;-p

LukeHandCool | June 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm

According to my daughter and some other people I’ve talked to, quite a few kids they’ve known with hispanic-sounding surnames make out like bandits in the college-application game when you consider their SAT scores and GPAs, even though they are whiter (or veiter) than you and me.

I don’t mean only skin color, but also culturally, or however you want to term it.

In the article the Professor linked to yesterday in the white/Jewish post, at the end a professor says basically what I’ve always said … make these processes completely based on merit and if that means some schools end up 100% Asian or Jewish or hispanic or black or white … who cares?

As another professor said, this could end up hurting Jews … as they will be deemed “overrepresented,” just like Asians.

Pretty soon people will be echoing the kooky Pat Buchanan that if you tease out the fact that many of the whites at Ivy League schools are Jewish, then you must conclude that white gentiles are underrepresented. White gentiles will need affirmative action.

Where does it all stop? How absurd does it all have to become?

    Ragspierre in reply to LukeHandCool. | June 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    According to Eric Holder…it never stops. Or he doesn’t see it stopping.

    Which tells us a huge amount about Mr. Holder.

      LukeHandCool in reply to Ragspierre. | June 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      Well, you know the old saying,

      Fairness is in the eye of the Holder.

        Ragspierre in reply to LukeHandCool. | June 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm

        If that’s true, we are well and truly screwed.

        But I think that fairness (which is certainly a nebulous concept) is in the eye of the people, and I think this Warren nonsense…and her pitiful patent pathology (see what I did there?)…will help further turn the tide toward a society based on merit.

          Mary Sue in reply to Ragspierre. | June 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm

          I see what you did there Rags 😉

          LukeHandCool in reply to Ragspierre. | June 4, 2012 at 2:03 pm

          The lady who cuts my hair is from Japan. She’s married to an American and they have one daughter, the same age as our oldest daughter.

          This lady is as sweet as can be. And she loves the opportunities America affords.

          But during that whole college application process—before, during, and after—she became like another person, especially when the results came in and kids her daughter had grown up with, who had lower scores than her daughter, were accepted into higher ranked schools, because of the whole diversity scam.

          I’m telling you … she was flabbergasted at how the America she loved as a country of opportunity suddenly, in this area, devolved into a corrupt game seemingly just as interested, if not more so, in the racial/ethnic makeup of a kid, as the kid’s demonstrated academic ability.

          This normally quiet woman would become so animated with anger, that she would repeatedly stop cutting my hair to rant about the unfairness of it all while she’d puntuate her points with her hands pounding on my shoulders.

          I almost wanted to ask her to put the scissors down when she wanted to make a point for fear she was accidentally going to open one of my more important arteries.

          If you want to see some amazing morphing of personality, talk to some Asian parents about the college application process and Asians not really being considered a minority … because, well, here in California some UC campuses are around 40% Asian.

          Why their kids … individuals … should have to suffer for that … I don’t know.

          Some melting pot we got here, eh?

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm

          You got a free massage…!!!

          LukeHandCool in reply to Ragspierre. | June 4, 2012 at 2:20 pm

          Rags, I swear this is true …

          In Japanese tradition, when you get a haircut they always give you a shoulder massage towards the end of the appointment. I’m completely serious.

          When this happened to me in Japan the first few times I got my haircut, I dreaded it, because I always started laughing (the kind of laugh you’re doing everything in your power to suppress). It was so embarrassing.

          Being from Japan, she gives me the shoulder massage each time.

          I swear, it was strongest during that whole college application process time … she really worked my neck and shoulder muscles … it was great. She was all worked up and she vented on my neck and shoulder muscles and it felt great. I don’t handle stress well and my neck and shoulders are thus always stiff and bothering me.

          I just got my haircut on Saturday … her massage was nowhere near as strong as it was back then … and I actually thought to myself that I should bring up the whole college application process we used to discuss a few years ago when our daughters were going through all that … so she’d work my neck muscles harder!

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm

          But that would manipulation…to get manipulated.

          Which sounds like dates I’ve been on…

    JUSTICE SCALIA: Did — did the Court know what — what social scientists have later pointed out and many people knew before it that when the Harvard plan was originally adopted, its purpose was to achieve diversity by reducing the number of Jewish students from New York that were — that were — that were getting into Harvard on the basis of merit alone?

    MS. MAHONEY: Your Honor, I don’t think that was —

    JUSTICE SCALIA: Did that come up in the course of the case?

    MS. MAHONEY: Your Honor, I don’t think that’s the purpose of the Harvard plan that was attached.

    JUSTICE SCALIA: Not today, I’m sure. But — but — but that was its origin.

    MS. MAHONEY: Your Honor, there is — there is certainly a major difference between an educational policy that is motivated by an intent to exclude people based on racial animus and one like the Law School’s policy and the Harvard plan, which is designed to include students of all races, so that the education of all students will be enriched as a result.

    JUSTICE SCALIA: But not too many of any race?

    MS. MAHONEY: Well, Your Honor —

    JUSTICE SCALIA: Or not too many of any religion, I assume?

      Ragspierre in reply to Neo. | June 4, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      “Your Honor, there is — there is certainly a major difference between an educational policy that is motivated by an intent to exclude people based on racial animus…”

      Ergo, at some point in the future, it would be OK to discriminate FOR white men, without the LEAST intent to exclude anyone on racial or sex animus.

      AND there is NO difference between lifting someone UP based on race or sex and holding someone DOWN based on race or sex (or whatever). It is discrimination, no matter how your strain at that gnat.

    GrumpyOne in reply to LukeHandCool. | June 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    LHC… You coined it just right.

    I would add that AA came about as an apologetic move following the Voting Rights Act championed by our most famous Texas crook, LBJ.

    This really put us on a path to political correctness that in turn neglected focusing of the best and brightest and might I add the most ambitious.

    So, we now have a dumbed down society of which the majority of Americans would fail to locate Idaho on a map, do simple math, have utterly no understanding of civics and history for that matter.

    Now you can understand why I’m Grumpy in Austin, Texas!

      Ragspierre in reply to GrumpyOne. | June 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      Right, Grump. And many of the evils were presaged by legislators at the time. Solemn promises were made that such things WOULD NEVER happen.

      And, the rest is…well, you know…

      Same with the income tax and social insecurity…

Affirmative action was represented to me in school (elementary and high school) as an experimental, extreme remedy for past and continuing injury. What we have here looks a whole lot like Harvard sighing with relief to get someone who looked acceptable that could pass as a minority.

I’ve seen quite enough of what people of ill will do, when confronted with well-intentioned social engineering. It’s time to ditch both affirmative action and federal funds for Harvard.

    n.n in reply to Valerie. | June 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Due to the extraordinary, but not unique, circumstances of Blacks, it may have been justified for one generation, perhaps two. Addressing exceptional discrimination would have been better processed through ex post facto review given probable cause.

    GrumpyOne in reply to Valerie. | June 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    If good (social) engineering principles were employed, schools would have become uniform in quality, standards and process.

    No matter how one slices it, less than half of the population is college material. Focusing on the able would allow everyone to have a shot at a good life whether they are a professor, engineer, scientist, technician or skilled laborer.

    Instead, we discarded common sense and went for ideals that are less than ideal. Now we have the results of which I name a dozen famous examples but why bother? I’m tired of being labeled a bigot…

Out here in Washington State, we may not have “broken its back” but we sure fractured it at the state level: I-200 passed overwhelmingly against the “end-of-the-world” scams the leftist media and liberal agencies ran.

This passed with 58.22% of the vote back in 1998:

1) The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

Lying become a “yawn” to the Left a long time ago.

She’s not a Cheorkee, Leiter. She’s a liar.

“Yawn” would be “Hyperventilation” if Warren was a Republican. These people (liberals) have no values when it comes to their end goals. Period.

stevewhitemd | June 4, 2012 at 2:04 pm

So the good Prof. Leiter ‘yawns’ at the central premise of the problem here: that both Prof. Warren, and the Harvard and Penn law schools, took advantage of the affirmative action program, letter and spirit. Prof. Warren obtained a tenured position at Harvard and both law schools got to check a box that helped to get them out of trouble, on campus, with the AALS and with the government.

And he’s a defender of affirmative action? Boy howdy, Professor, that’s some defense.

Does Prof. Leiter not understand the damage Prof. Warren does to affirmative action? As I noted the other week, what she was akin to taking money out of the collection plate at a Sunday service. She cheated, she took something that belonged to someone else, and she did so in a way that is fundamentally dishonest.

Not just dishonest to society.

Dishonest to her own, progressive ideology. Dishonest to Prof. Leiter’s ideology.

It’s the Left that demanded affirmative action, it’s the Left that demands we classify people by their group identity, and it’s the Left that demands that we reward or affirm people by their group identity.

Ms. Warren inappropriately claimed membership in the Native American group. She suborned her identification to gain a significant life advantage. Harvard and Penn colluded so as to gain a significant advantage with their critics, the AALS and the federal government.

Does Prof. Leiter not see the damage this does to his own ideology?

Identifying and exposing a selective rule of law deserves a “yawn”? This was the basis for the original compromise. This is the basis for continuing compromises throughout the world. It is a malignant corruption which degrades individuals, societies, and humanity. It was, ostensibly, the reason for losing several hundred thousand lives during the Civil War. It is a principal cause of overpopulation and its attendant effects, through the support and defense of unmeasured immigration (i.e. illegal immigration). It forms the foundation of fiscal profligacy, the consequences of which most people barely comprehend. It is a topic which deserves far more than a “yawn”.

While Affirmative Action and similar policies which constitute institutional arbitrary discrimination are only one aspect of the problem, it deserves no less consideration and review than other policies which denigrate individual dignity and devalue human life; and, as it represents fundamental corruption, in many ways it actually deserves greater attention.

Democrats don’t care. Polls have not changed, this is nothing more then ‘right-wing crazies’. It’s unfortunate, Warren over emphasized a very small aspect of her ancestry to claim minority status for professional self-interest. This is insulting to Native Americans. The media is reporting it, but Democrats are loyal to the party. They aren’t supporting Warren, herself, it is about the party. Warren will do want the party wants, that is all what matters, doesn’t matter she over played 1/32 of her ancestry for personal ambition.

My first thought was that Warren has made mockery of affirmative action. But affirmative action is a mockery; Warren’s extreme and pulic example has only clarified that.

Sounds like “Affirmative Action” needs a little old fashioned liberal rebranding.

When “minorities” are no “minorities” as in Detroit (85% black), are they the “majority”?

Why, no.

That deviates from their victim status.

They are, naturally, “Majority-Minority”

Affirmative action (blacks only) can be reclassifies as:

* Re-affirmative-Affirmative action

* Confirmative-Affirmative action

* Determinative-Affirmative action

    creeper in reply to Browndog. | June 4, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    T’was brillig and the slithey toves
    Did gyre and gimbel in the wabe.
    All mimsey were the borogrov…

    What? Isn’t this Room 57, Jabberwocky 101? Oh. Sorry.

2nd Ammendment Mother | June 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Having sat in on Federal Civil Rights audits, I can tell you, those check boxes are not a “yawn” – they’re deadly serious about them. The worse one was a USDA office that provided lots of youth education on nutrition (sending speakers to classrooms, setting up student tours, running after school healthy eating and fitness programs.) The audit of the demographics went very well, until the auditor mentioned that the office was “in the middle of an Indian Reservation”.

Why did the office not report serving Native American populations? Once we realized he was serious, we explained that the Tribe had it’s own office and programs to serve it’s population. Their kids rarely participated in our programs because we had to charge to meet our budget and the Tribal programs were free.

I can tell you right now – the Federally monitored remediation plan was not pleasurable for those responsible for recording demographics.

(Punchline – the Native American tribe in question was not native to this area, wasn’t established until the late 60’s and has fewer than 200 registered members for tribal roll purposes. That was out of a service area general population of 1/2 million people.)

I had a secretary in the 80s, newly widowed with three young children. Amazing skills. She was paid well, albeit still struggling financially, but mostly was having a terrible time managing the hours. With my knowledge and blessing, she decided that she would seek a government job. She applied for a number of them over the next two years. In each case her skill scores were at the top, and in each case she was told, sorry no, because the slot was filled. Points automatically were added for another applicant’ minority status.

Is there something about past ethnic discrimination that inhibits someone from learning to read and write adequately, or suppresses his or her typing speed? I don’t think so.

At the time, as head of the legal department, I also defended the company’s EEO compliance. I have dozens of stories, both personal and professional. What I don’t have are examples of AA successes, the persons supposedly given a boost who with that boost rose up to become exemplary employees and successes, and who because of that no longer needed more boosting.

The argument back then was, well, for hundreds of years, mediocre white males received privilege that was effectively de facto “affirmative action.” Mediocre and unqualified minorities are just as worthy of being privileged. What a goal. Reverse discrimination until when? (Bell, Obama et al. would say “forever”.) To what end? Beyond an absurd numbers game of categorizing and re-categorizing people (who in turn game the system), that is the $64,000 question.

[…] » Will Elizabeth Warren be the straw that breaks affirmative action’s back? Black ministers upset… 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. […]

Defending Elizabeth Warren is the natural thing to do for liberal democrats who find lying and cheating well within their comfort zone.

The question here is will she get away with it in the general election?

At this point I’ll assign it as a toss up irregardless of Scott Brown’s record…

full-throated support | June 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Even the title to this post has racist overtones. “Straw that breaks the camel’s back” invokes the idea that people, always minorities, can be beasts of burden, such as black slaves, imported Chinese labor for the transcontinental railroad, and Latino field labor we still use to pick our lettuce and sweet onions.

Historically, there were Native American “beasts” who had to carry personal belongings and even rolled-up teepees because of their nomadic existence. Squaws weren’t exempt in that they had to wear papooses and carry their children.

But, today, white complexioned Warren has to carry the heaviest load– that of being proud of her Indian heritage in an ethnocentric nation that would rather pretend Native Americans weren’t devastated by European interlopers who brought disease and violent conquest to a continent of peaceable aboriginal peoples.

They would rather believe no woman in her right mind would claim a drop of the blood that their ancestors vilified and spilled to form a more perfect union for the white man.

    Throat, the only “ancestors” who affect a given individual’s achievement are those who provided the individual with a home, education, and opportunities during childhood.

    The rest are irrelevant unless you perceive that there is no such thing as an individual, only various eternal and evolving masses of arbitrarily categorized lumps of collective humanity.

    That perception does not, however, accord with a concept of individual rights. It belongs in a primitive feudal society, or one built upon a tradition of caste system, or in modern communism.

      full-throated support in reply to janitor. | June 5, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Until civilization progresses to the point of awarding positive rights to all oppressed peoples and due process rights to animals and even to certain species of flora like the redwood which is being threatened by fracking contamination and destabilization, we shall be living in a primitive futile society.

      Only global commmunitarianism will save this planet from the ravages of nation-based and capital-corrupted men.

I have to say that if I were the late Derek Bell, I’d be mighty ticked that after I agitated for years to pressure Harvard Law School to hire more “people of color,” they gave a tenured “woman of color” slot to a white lady who feels like she is 1/32nd Cherokee…or some fricking thing.

TeaPartyPatriot4ever | June 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Elizabeth Warren is full of herself, as usual.. But she is symptomatic and problematic of what is wrong with the liberal Democrats and their party. Fake crony lying corrupt politicians, and that’s being kind.. I wouldn’t trust a liberal Democrat as far as I can throw them. They are the epitome of deceit deception and corruption. And now with the rise of Obama and his army of crony radical hard line leftist marxists in America, the Party and their people have become co-opted and are no longer part of the American political system and institution, but are now part of the anti-American political system and institution.

This is also what the voting people of her State must decide.. Do they want to be part of the problem, or do they want to be part of the solution.

Black ministers are only catching on now to the fact that affirmative action was always been a racket to ensure liberals places at the table?

How would you like to be operated on by a brain surgeon who got his credentials only because of Afirmative Action?