The Massachusetts Senate candidate is not the only person who got into Harvard under false pretenses.
I can really empathize with Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate who may owe her connection with Harvard to the school’s belief that she was Native American. I don’t say this because I’m a particularly empathetic person. I say it because I may owe my connection with Harvard to the school’s belief that I was Native American.
It seems that the school started claiming it had a Native American on the law faculty when Warren arrived as a visiting professor in 1992 and kept doing so once she got a tenured job.
The claim strikes some people as odd, since she doesn’t look Indian, doesn’t have an Indian name, didn’t grow up on a reservation and is not a registered member of any tribe. But Warren says it has long been a part of family lore.
She had said she was not aware the university was identifying her as a minority, but after weeks of unflattering publicity, she issued a statement Wednesday acknowledging she had told Harvard officials she had Cherokee roots. She also says — and school officials confirm — that her purported ethnic makeup played no role in her hiring, even though Harvard was under pressure to boost its minority numbers.
I can only say I have good reason to prefer Warren’s version. Back in 1971, in my senior year of high school, I took the SAT. When the results came, they included my score along with name, birth date, home address and the like. There was also a line for ethnicity — and mine was “American Indian.”
CONTINUED at Reason. Written by Steve Chapman.