A new book by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.) attempts to rewrite history on her controversial claim of Native American ancestry.
The issue of Warren’s ancestry emerged during her 2012 Senate campaign when news broke that Harvard Law School was promoting Warren as a Native American faculty member.
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In Warren’s new book, which includes a section called "Native American," she describes a childhood filled with stories of her Native American heritage, despite the fact that she never mentioned her ancestry "at any point, ever, in her decades-long career," according to U.S. News.
First, what’s perhaps most notable about Warren’s book is that she even includes a section called "Native American," in which she reportedly writes, "Everyone on our mother’s side — aunts, uncles, and grandparents — talked openly about their Native American ancestry. My brothers and I grew up on stories about our grandfather building one-room schoolhouses and about our grandparents’ courtship and their early lives together in Indian Territory."
This is ironic because, until the Boston Herald first broke the news in April 2012 that Harvard Law School had repeatedly promoted Warren as a Native American faculty member, Warren never once mentioned these stories of her upbringing in a single press interview, speech, class lecture or testimony at any point, ever, in her decades-long career. What's more, Warren was not listed as a minority on her transcript from George Washington University where she began her undergraduate education, nor did she list herself as a minority when applying to Rutgers University Law School in 1973.
In fact, it was not until she was in her 30s and focused on climbing the highly competitive ladder of law school academia that Warren apparently rediscovered her Native American heritage. It’s important to note that entrance and advancement in the law school profession is governed by the Association of American Law Schools, which requires registrants interested in teaching at law schools to fill out a questionnaire detailing their education, experience, bar passage and, yes, ethnicity. This information is then disseminated to law schools around the country that, as Warren surely knew, are always on the lookout to add to the diversity of their faculty.
Warren remains far from transparent on the issue. A copy of Warren’s questionnaire is currently sitting in the Association of American Law Schools archives, but Warren, the only person with the authority to release a copy, refuses to do so.
Warren began self-reporting herself as a "minority professor" in 1986, and was lauded as Harvard Law’s "first woman of color" in a article written for the Fordham Law Review.
When the story first broke, Warren said she "had no idea" she was being touted as a Native American" and said she could not recall ever citing her Native American heritage during her time in law school academia.