Honesty. Integrity. Character. These are the words that spring to mind when you think of Massachusetts liberal and Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren, right? The woman who helped design TARP and was put in charge of reforming the financial system by President Obama would never do anything unethical. Of course not...unless claiming for over ten years that she was a minority because someone in her family told her that she was 1/32 Native American suddenly has become unethical. There is no way that such a claim could ever have an impact on her career when she was teaching at Harvard.
"The discovery of a great-great-great-grandmother does raise the question of when it becomes unseemly, if not outright deceptive, for someone to claim minority status – especially in a profession where ethnic preferences in hiring and promotions are routinely observed," wrote blogger Vincent Carroll (via CSM).
Christian Science Monitor explained:
Warren's campaign released statements from officials at the universities where she has worked, stating that her purported minority status had nothing to do with decisions to hire her. Those institutions are the University of Texas, University of Pennsylvania, the University of Houston Law Center, and most recently Harvard Law School.
Former Harvard Law Dean Robert Clark, who held that post when Warren was hired in the early 1990s, said "her native American heritage was not a factor in the discussion or the decision."
But the Boston Herald reported that Warren listed herself as a minority from 1986 to 1995, in the Association of American Law Schools' annual directory.
Upon hearing the story on radio, Glenn had more than a little trouble accepting her claim that she hoped to be invited to a luncheon with her minority status.
Warren claimed, "I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am. Nothing like that ever happened, that was clearly not the use for it and so I stopped checking it off."
Glenn, Pat, and Stu all joked that there was no way that you claim minority status for so many years just to be invited to a luncheon.