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Thursday, May 31, 2012

I agree with the right-wing critics that Elizabeth Warren's categorizing herself as a Native American at Harvard is problematic, but not for the reasons the right-wingers cite. Whereas their concern seems to be principally that Warren unfairfly benefitted by being an undeserved Affirmative Action hire (, I fear instead that her willingness after-the-hire to identify herself as such was part of a scheme that allowed Harvard to pad their numbers, look more diverse than they really were, and might have resulted in one fewer "real" minority candidate joining the faculty. A white person claiming unsubstantiated 1/32 (or whatever Warren claims) Native American blood looks just the same in the "total minority" and "percent minority" columns presented to the public and to diversity monitors as does the clearly African- or Asian-American, full- or nearly-full-blooded Native American, or Hispanic. And THAT is a big problem to me.

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