It appears that Democrat U. S. Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren had some trouble determining her minority status during her early days as a law school professor. In the late 80s and early 90s, Warren described herself as Native American and listed herself in the Native American "minority" section of law school directories.
However, after joining the faculty at Harvard, Warren's minority status disappeared from her professional marketing. Critics and opponents have speculated that Warren claiming minority status helped her get a place with the Harvard faculty, but Warren says she doesn't "recall" using her formerly claimed minority status as a selling point during interviews. Because of Warren's lack of clarity, her Republican opponent -- Scott Brown -- is making the most of a potentially damaging revelation.
Warren told The Boston Herald that knowledge of her lineage was passed down through family "lore," and that is where she claimed knowledge of her status. As strange as it sounds, that's a very reasonable explanation. Records of marriages, births, and race weren't as meticulously kept during the turn of the century as they are today. Although I am a blue-eyed blonde, I've been told all my life that I have Cherokee blood, because my great-great grandmother was Cherokee. We don't actually know, however, if this was the case, because my great grandfather and great-great grandfather were a little fuzzy on the details.
One thing is for sure, though, if you're claiming minority status at a professional or academic level, you should be registered with your tribe. As of this writing, the Warren camp hasn't produced any document showing an enrollment number. A spokesman for Warren camp told the Boston Herald that she was trying to find some evidence of her claimed heritage that would "appease" those with questions.
The AP has more:
BOSTON (AP) — A genealogist in Massachusetts has uncovered evidence that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren does have Native American heritage as she claims.
Christopher Child of the New England Historic and Genealogy Society said Monday he found an 1894 document in which Warren’s great-great-great grandmother is listed as Cherokee, which would make the Harvard Law School professor 1/32nd American Indian. Child says more research is needed.
Warren is the likely challenger to Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown.
Questions have arisen over whether Warren has represented herself as a minority during her academic career. She says she doesn’t remember doing so.
Warren says she wasn’t aware that Harvard had listed her as a Native American faculty member in the 1990s.
Brown’s campaign manager says the situation “raises serious questions” about Warren’s credibility.