After the Boston Globe piece does anyone believe that Warren didn’t get the Harvard Law School position because of her claim to be an American Indian?
The Boston Globe piece on Elizabeth Warren is devastating. As someone who has held academic positions most of my adult life, it is very difficult to believe that Warren didn’t understand how much she would benefit from claiming that she was an American Indian. Talk about a rare find in academia. An American Indian woman faculty member would be given a huge hiring preference. At least at the top of the webpage there is this note: “Elizabeth Warren has not proven she has a Native American ancestor, instead saying she based her belief on family lore. ” The fact that anyone would claim that they are of a particular race because they are 1/32nd of that group, even if they had evidence for it, is bizarre. However, if that becomes the accepted standard, I will have to change my designation because I am 1/32nd American Indian.
From the Boston Globe (it is a very long piece and I suggest everyone read, but here are some key points):
. . . for at least six straight years during Warren’s tenure, Harvard University reported in federally mandated diversity statistics that it had a Native American woman in its senior ranks at the law school. According to both Harvard officials and federal guidelines, those statistics are almost always based on the way employees describe themselves.In addition, both Harvard’s guidelines and federal regulations for the statistics lay out a specific definition of Native American that Warren does not meet. . . .
In the years before Warren first came to Harvard Law, the school was under intense pressure to diversify its faculty. In 1990, Derrick Bell, a prominent black law professor, went on a one-man strike, taking an unpaid leave of absence to protest the fact that the law school had not yet brought a black female academic permanently on board. He was dismissed from the faculty.
The same year, the Department of Labor audited Harvard’s diversity practices based on its affirmative action plan, . . . Also in 1990, 12 students sued the law school, alleging it discriminated against academic job applicants on the basis of race and gender. . . .
Harvard agreed to remedy 10 violations the Labor Department identified, bringing the audit to an end. But the controversy over diversity at Harvard Law did not cease.Warren arrived as a visiting professor in 1992, but left a year later. By then, she had been listing herself for seven years as a minority in a legal directory often used by law recruiters to make diversity-friendly hires. She continued to list herself in the book until 1995, the year she took a permanent position at Harvard. . . .
But the school had begun describing Warren as Native American in the media soon after she was hired.In 1996, law school news director Mike Chmura, speaking to the Harvard Crimson, identified Warren as a Native American professor.
In 1997, the Fordham Law Review, citing Chmura, referred to Warren as Harvard Law’s “first woman of color.’
In 1998, Chmura wrote a letter to the New York Times, saying the law school had appointed or tenured “eight women, including a Native American.’’
Three days later, the Crimson again touched on the issue: “Harvard Law School currently has only one tenured minority woman, Gottlieb Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren, who is Native American.’’ . . .