Will: Diversity politics trips up campaign to reclaim Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat

Blond, blue-eyed Elizabeth Warren, a  Harvard professor is seeking to regain Ted Kennedy’s old Massachusetts Senate for the Democrats  and who cites “family lore” that she is 1/32nd Cherokee, was inducted into Oklahoma’s Hall of Fame last year. Her biography on oklahomaheritage.com says she “can track both sides of her family in Oklahoma long before statehood” (1907) and “she proudly tells everyone she encounters that she is ‘an Okie to my toes.’” It does not mention any Cherokee great-great-great-grandmother. A DVD of the induction ceremony shows that neither Warren nor anyone else mentioned this.

The kerfuffle that has earned Warren such sobriquets as “Spouting Bull” and “Fauxcahontas” began with reports that Harvard Law School, in routine academic preening about diversity (in everything but thought), listed her as a minority faculty member, as did the University of Pennsylvania when she taught there. She said some in her family had “high cheekbones like all of the Indians do.” The New England Historic Genealogical Society said a document confirmed the family lore of Warren’s Cherokee ancestry, but later backtracked. She has said she did not know Harvard was listing her as a minority in the 1990s, but Harvard was echoing her: From 1986 through 1995, starting before she came to Harvard, a directory published by the Association of American Law Schools listed her as a minority and says its listings are based on professors claiming minority status.

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