May 25, 2012

For at least 6 years, during Elizabeth Warren's tenure at Harvard Law School, Harvard University reported that there was a Native American woman at the law school.

Boston Globe reports on documents Harvard filed with the federal government:
The US Department of Labor requires large employers to collect diversity statistics annually and suggests they be based on employees’ classification of themselves. In cases in which employees do not self-identify, federal regulations allow some administrators to make judgment calls on the correct categories using “employment records or observer identification.’’

The administrator responsible for Harvard Law School’s faculty diversity statistics from 1996 to 2004, the period in question, was Alan Ray, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation who, like Warren, has fair skin, blue eyes, and Oklahoma roots.

But Ray, now president of Elmhurst College in Illinois, said in a statement that he “did not encourage the Law School to list any faculty member as one particular race or ethnicity, including Professor Warren.’’ He further said through a spokeswoman that he “never encouraged any faculty member to list himself or herself in a particular way.’’ Ray added that Harvard “always accepted whatever identification a faculty member wanted to provide,’’ a characterization another highly placed former Harvard administrator backed up.
The linked article also recounts the history of Harvard Law's perceived diversity problem circa 1990, just before Warren arrived. Lawprof Derrick Bell had gone on "strike" (unpaid leave) to protest, some students brought a lawsuit (unsuccessful), and the U.S. Department of Labor audited what the article calls "Harvard's diversity practices" and found 10 violations. Warren arrived in 1992 (as a visiting professor), at which point she "had been listing herself for seven years as a minority in a legal directory often used by law recruiters to make diversity-friendly hires." She was still on that list when Harvard Law gave her a permanent position in 1995.
In 1996, law school news director Mike Chmura, speaking to the Harvard Crimson, identified Warren as a Native American professor.

In 1997, the Fordham Law Review, citing Chmura, referred to Warren as Harvard Law’s “first woman of color.’’
I find it hard to believe that — after all the uproar over diversity in 1990 — that the law school could quietly pass off Warren as its "first woman of color." There were so many people who were genuinely angry over the lack of diversity. Why would they have tolerated the school making such a lame assertion? Wouldn't they have wanted to keep up the pressure? If you were at Harvard in the 1990s, what do you remember about this?

The Globe article has more detail about Harvard's "affirmative action plan," a 1999 document, which "lists one Native American senior professor at the entire university," and, in a section on the law school, specifies that there is "a single Native American senior professor." This must be Warren, right? But this document also defines Native American in a way that would not include Warren: "a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition."

The inference is that Harvard itself lied on diversity documents filed with the federal government (and posted on line for years).  Note that this information is used to recruit students, some of whom may care a great deal about whether there are faculty who seem as though they will be special mentors. I wonder whether there were students who chose Harvard and sought out Warren as a mentor because of her perceived status as a Native American.

There's something very odd here. A lot of things, actually. This isn't just about whether Elizabeth Warren is a worthy candidate for the U.S. Senate. This is about more general chicanery about diversity at Harvard and even more general deception and manipulation in the politics of diversity.

59 comments:

Pogo said...

"This is about more general chicanery about diversity at Harvard and even more general deception and manipulation in the politics of diversity."

That is, how diversity is itself just bullshit, a cowpie of distortion.

X said...

lying to federal officials is a crime.

Ken said...

Why are you attacking Warren's family, Ann?

Scott M said...

Does anyone outside MA think she's going to beat Brown? At all?

Hagar said...

Harvard is a university with no clothes on.

edutcher said...

Haavahd couldn't allow itself to be accused to being un-diverse.

That would be raacisst.

Undoubtedly, as X suggests, a lot of grant money was probably involved.

Charlie said...

Hasn't this poor woman suffered enough? Stop attacking her!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !

Chip S. said...

The BFD here is that this story is in the Globe, not the Herald.

That means that many MA Dems will be reading about this story for the first time.

Jay said...

There's something very odd here

There is?

Because from what I've seen, this is just par for the course for the left.

Remember fake but accurate?

These is a case of accurate, but fake.

Or something.

Jay said...

By the way, this is the part where RV and others weigh in that it doesn't matter because nobody gave her a preference in hiring.

Or something.

MayBee said...

If Harvard Law believes in diversity, they should actually want diversity rather than just a chance to tick boxes.

Is there anyone out there that really, truly cares about the diversity portion of diversity reporting? Or do they just care about having to report?

In the end, it wouldn't matter if Warren and Harvard thought of Warren as Native American if there weren't benefits attached to them. How can we make it so easy to self-report something to which we attach such great importance? (supposedly)

Chip S. said...

...this is the part where RV and others weigh in...

Others?

RV seems to be the last lefty here since there haven't been any cookable poll numbers favoring Barrett.

Credit where credit is due.

Fr Martin Fox said...

The thing is, Professor Warren needs--and deserves--to become the poster-child for the critique of "affirmative action" here on out.

Every time someone talks about the importance of "affirmative action" promoting diversity...up goes a picture (or the account) of Professor Warren: child in an upper-middle-class family who got into Harvard via affirmative action because they had Native American recipes in the family cookbook.

It's a big racket and that's all it is.

traditionalguy said...

The politics of Deception is the only one that anyone could practiced until the internet Bloggers began to swarm lies like yellow jacket wasps defending the nest.

Now Honorable Persons has been redefined from the one with the "best made up story" to "what really happened."

That's a revolution. Long live the internet Blogs.

virgil xenophon said...

@POGO

A thoroughly metastatic, highly cancerous cowpie, Pogo. Shame on the good Dr for the mis-diagnosis. (I'm here to help. :) )

Rocketeer said...

I find it hard to believe that — after all the uproar over diversity in 1990 — that the law school could quietly pass off Warren as its "first woman of color." There were so many people who were genuinely angry over the lack of diversity.

You find it hard to believe, because you actually think that "[t]here were so many people who were genuinely angry over the lack of diversity."

They weren't genuinely angry over the lack of diversity. They were angry over the appearance of a lack of diversity.

Once the appropriate boxes had been checked off, their "anger" dissipated.

This whole episode is proof - raw, irrefutable, blackly comedic proof - that the whole "diversity" movement is just one big con job designed to fleece us all of money and dignity.

Palladian said...

What's the purpose of the Department of Labor?

Mitchell said...

It would've been fair enough to classify Ms. Warren as Native American if she could do a passable rain dance.

traditionalguy said...

The latest articles are now referring to Warren as "Pinocchio-hantas."

She is toast.

Scott M said...

It would've been fair enough to classify Ms. Warren as Native American if she could do a passable rain dance.

I'm not sure this is true at all. There is absolutely no mention of Native American heritage in Gene Kelly's bio, and he was dynamite at it.

edutcher said...

Palladian said...

What's the purpose of the Department of Labor?

Funneling money to the unions.

As opposed to the Department of Education, whose purpose is funneling money to the teacher unions. Indoctrinating our yoots is so important, we need a special department to do it right.

Or wrong, as you prefer.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

An excellent Althouse post.

They weren't genuinely angry over the lack of diversity. They were angry over the appearance of a lack of diversity.
Once the appropriate boxes had been checked off, their "anger" dissipated.


Likely true. During the Vietnam war, students fearful of being drafted became fervant converts to the anti-'war' cause, and turned out to bulk up the televised protests. But after the draft ended, the righteous fervor dissipated, the bulk rapidly shrank, yet the armed struggles went merrily onward.

Be very wary of the motivations behind media-conscious movements. Further investigation usually turns up different reasons than the socially conscious ones parroted by the press.

Chip S. said...

@ScottM--Didn't he have high cheekbones, tho?

Tank said...

We, here at conservative hillbilly Althouse land, think this is embarrassing and damaging to Warren.

In MA, where Ted I-didn't-exactly-drown-that-woman-Kennedy was a superstar for 50 years, not so much.

I think she's going to win.

People don't really care about diversity (in general). In real life, in general, white people live with whites and send their kids to white schools, unless they can't afford to. They want to talk about diversity, and they want other people to live with diversity.

virgil xenophon said...

@POGO II/

Actually, to expand, I have some sympathy for those who originally championed AA as a method (in theory) to "kickstart" a moribund racist societal construct that had walled-off much of the economic activity of the economy from blacks and restricted their social mobility. As such I liken AA to those anti-cancer medicines which have such toxic side effects in their own right that they must be rotated off after short periods least the toxic side effects become more virulent than the original disease. IMHO this is where we are today with AA--the dysfunctional toxic side-effects are as debilitating for society as the original underlying disease..

Scott M said...

Didn't he have high cheekbones, tho?

I think he did. I'm quite sure he was fond of previously published French recipes too.

Bob Ellison said...

I went to Harvard College.

Harvard should:

* eliminate tuition

* eliminate "diversity" in hiring and accepting students

That school has a long and justly proud history. When Larry Summers drove Cornel West out, I thought maybe Harvard was getting on track. Then the PC folks drove Summers out.

Well, it's a long game, and maybe Harvard can come back. Princeton, Brown, Yale, and Stanford are not proving competitive in the integrity arena.

Rob said...

The "woman of color" thing was a misunderstanding. He meant to say "woman of choler."

Scott M said...

In MA, where Ted I-didn't-exactly-drown-that-woman-Kennedy was a superstar for 50 years, not so much.

I'm not so sure about that. The internet has completely changed the game of politics, but the Old Guard seems glacially slow to both realize and adapt to it. It remains to be seen if they can even do the latter. I believe this cuts likewise for a good deal of the public of the same age.

Had Kennedy's diving expedition happened to a young up-and-comer today, I seriously doubt that person would enjoy 50 years of superstardom afterward.

The mere fact that Brown was elected to begin with sets a schism between that past and our present. Without this whole flimflam over her cheekbone altitude, Warren would have given Brown a good race simply due to the inexorable inertia of Very-Blue politics in MA. However, this scandal is so damaging to her credibility as even a marginally intelligent person that I don't think Brown has much to worry about.

Chip S. said...

Irish recipes, actually.

From Inwood said...

The SEC folks back when knew fakers:

Rule 10b-5: "Employment of Manipulative and Deceptive Practices" states:

It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, by the use of any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce, or of the mails or of any facility of any national securities exchange,
...
(b) To make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, or
(c) To engage in any act, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person…


In other words, "the truth, the whole truth & nothing but the truth", is not a lawyers' pleonasm & 1/32 Cherokee isn’t what was meant. Hell – Godwin’s law alert – even the Nazis didn’t go that far to erase the Jews.

Ms Warren is the Poster Girl for both

(a) "untrue statements thou shalt not make
Nor those though true, in context fake"
tho even the truth of her 1/32 claim is questionable,

&

(b) the unintended consequences (on the part of the ingenuous not the disingenuous) of "Affirmative Action".

Tank said...

Scott, from VFR:

In liberal land, Warren not hurt by false claim of Indian ancestry
Two weeks ago, regarding Elizabeth Warren’s fake American Indian Identity, I wrote:


Will any of this matter to the overwhelmingly Democratic voters of Massachusetts? Why should it? She’s one of them. That’s all that matters.

As I explained, I wasn’t predicting that she would lose the election, but only that her fake minority status would not result in her losing a significant number of the votes of Democrats.
Now a poll has come out in Massachusetts showing that Warren, who was nine points behind Scott Brown in Februrary, has closed the gap to one point. About which Aaron Goldstein at The American Spectator writes:


For all the controversy around Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Native American status, it would appear that it has not hurt her with Massachusetts voters.



If Brown wins I'll buy you a beer, or whatever you prefer. Well, you'll have to come to the NY area to collect.

I hope you're right. I doubt it. Brown was an outlier. This election will be the correction.

Ann Althouse said...

If you set up a 2-tiered system, you incentivize chicanery.

Whatever you think about pursuing diversity when it is done honestly, the problem of dishonesty must be considered.

A policy of color-blindness is like the flat tax.

From Inwood said...

Scott M vs Tank

I feel that Scott M is correct about Mass & the 21st Century, but I wouldn't underestimate the number of low-information robotic Dem voters there.

Scott M said...

A policy of color-blindness is like the flat tax.

?

Matthew Sablan said...

If lying about leaving a woman to die doesn't stop you from being elected there, lying about your ancestors and plagiarizing sure won't. It will be close, but Brown has a good shot, due to the power of incumbency. If Warren hadn't been a liar, he'd have no chance.

Scott M said...

We'll see, I suppose. I think incumbency has a quality all it's own and Brown has managed to remain a likeable guy while not stepping on any real political landmines in his short tenure in the Senate.

As to the poll, Tank, that's all well and good, but the details of the poll are important. Who were they asking? Likely Democrat voters? Likely Cherokee voters? Likely Indian-killing malitia voters?

MadisonMan said...

What's the purpose of the Department of Labor?

Make the Department of Education look good.

edutcher got there first, but I can't resist a good (cough) straight line from Palladian.

Chip S. said...

A policy of color-blindness is like the flat tax.

It's even more like a uniform tariff.

Methadras said...

I hope E. Warren loses and loses badly for being such an overt phony.

AJ Lynch said...

"What's the purpose of the Department of Labor?"

To collate reports with bogus diversity data like the ones Harvard submitted.

dbp said...

I think we should take it easy on Warren for plagiarizing recipes for Pow Wow Chow.

How could she have known back in 1984 that Al Gore would invent the internet and make it so easy to detect?

Widmerpool said...

Listen to Spouting Bull yourself:


Squaw Warren desperately trying to change the subject

rehajm said...

Brown has a good shot, due to the power of incumbency.

Massachusetts voters LOVE to grant historic preservation status to their politicians. Brown just may that going for him...

It will be interesting to see if this scandal has eliminated the possibility of Warren engaging in retail politics from here on out. MA voters chose Brown at least in part because his opponent showed a disdain for shaking hands with voters.

Rocketeer said...

If you set up a 2-tiered system, you incentivize chicanery.

Correct. It's not accidental that we have a two-tiered system. It's intended to advantage crooks and liars.

Leigh Fellner said...

I worked in Harvard's Office of the General Counsel just before the aforementioned audit. Because staff was involved in the Office's hiring, I personally know that the attorney in charge of hiring (Diane Patrick, wife of Gov. Deval) hired an individual she knew was grossly unqualified and had lied on her resume. That individual became the only minority on the staff. I was instructed to act as shovel brigade for this staff member, doing her work as well as my own. I objected. The deputy GC called me on the carpet, obliquely ("You know what the problem is!") accusing me of racism. I quit.

I have never seen anything quite like Harvard's tokenism and the way way it twists itself into a pretzel to accommodate Cambridge's special interest groups.

Scott said...

As to why this wasn't noticed in the 90s, let me offer a possible explanation: This wasn't about diversity, it was about BLACKS



Derrick Bell couldn't have cared less about diversity, he was all about making sure that that his tribe (i.e. African Americans, more precisely African American scholars of the correct set of political leanings) go 'their' goodies. American Indians (I loathe the phrase 'Native American'...I was born here, that makes me a native...) simply didn't rise to the level of visibility for any of the race hustlers and poverty pimps running the diversity racket at the time.

Once there were more AA hires of the proper hue, everyone was mollified (for the time being), and as long as the right boxes were checked off, nobody looked too carefully at how they got checked off...

Just a theory

JAL said...

So which team is it that makes a fetish of "diversity?"

Remind us again.

AJ Lynch said...

Leigh:

Good for you to be honest with yourself even when it cost you a job.

From Inwood said...

LF

[You were]instructed to act as shovel brigade for this staff member, doing her work as well as [your] own. [You] objected. The deputy GC called [you]on the carpet, obliquely ("You know what the problem is!") accusing [you] of racism. {You]quit.

In my experience, nothing personal, of course, just what I heard from others :-), your problem was far from unique, but few people so affected by an AA hire could quit.

And, interestingly, you use the term "shovel brigade", meaning clean up. Are you suggesting that 'twould be better if some (not all, repeat not all) of these AA folks just sat around & read the NYT rather than screw up things in the first place?

William said...

Has Princess Littlewhite Lies been used yet?....I think she is a fraud, but there's a good chance she'll get away with it. The public pillory post is the monologue of late night comedians. Thanks to them, we know that Chrystie is fat and remain ignorant of Corzine's financial misdeeds. A liberal has to have a scandal a hundred times order of magnitude larger than that of a conservative in order for it to become part of the public awareness. I bet if you did a survey you would find that far more people are aware of Brown's posing for Cosmo than they are of Warren posing as an Indian....Warren is a perfect pill of a woman. If she loses the election, it will because of her sour visage and not her base cheekbones.

Cedarford said...

I prefer "Little White Dove", because it is linked to a catchy old song that is ideal for sing-along heckling...and Warren is as white as a white dove.

David said...

"This is about more general chicanery about diversity at Harvard and even more general deception and manipulation in the politics of diversity."

Oh, so true.

One recent study showed that 41% of the black students at 28 super elite colleges were either Africans or children of recent African immigrants. That group is about 1% of the black population in the United States.

Many American blacks in these schools are of mixed race and/or children of parents with college educations.

In short, the racial diversity drive at Ivies and other high profile elite schools has very little to do with helping the truly disadvantaged American blacks, and a lot to do with recruiting international elites and children of highly educated and affluent American blacks.

It's a gigantic fraud.

Meanwhile, the disadvantaged American black kids are stuck in crappy secondary schools crippled in significant part by teachers unions and stupid "progressive" educational ideals.

It really could not be much worse.

campy said...

Meanwhile, the disadvantaged American black kids are stuck in crappy secondary schools crippled in significant part by teachers unions and stupid "progressive" educational ideals.

It really could not be much worse.

What do you mean; it's great! Those kids will vote Dem from now til Doomsday!

Michael said...

David. It is not so much a fraud as a self deception. With very few exceptions disadvantaged American blacks cannot cut the ivy mustard. In Georgia a big cohort of backs is admitted annually to UGA based on outstanding grades. A very high percentage dont make a single year. Thus it is that the Ivy League chooses its diversity carefully or they will have the same experience they had before they caught on. They once had the same drop out and underperformance as UGA. The crappy underclass schools do a double disservice to the kids but the worst is that they have very low expectations of th kids. Couple that with high grades and you have created a group who will be disappointed, bitter and aggreived. Victims.

Jay said...

It wasn't just Harvard:

The University of Pennsylvania, where Warren taught at the law school from 1987 through 1995, listed her as a minority in a “Minority Equity Report” posted on its website. The report, published in 2005, well after her departure, included her as the winner of a faculty award in 1994. Her name was highlighted in bold, the designation used for minorities in the report.

UPenn reported this to the federal government in 1992

Leigh Fellner said...

...but few people so affected by an AA hire could quit.

Oh, c'mon. Quit showing your hand. I didn't feel I was "affected by an AA." I was affected by - in the sense that my workload virtually doubled - an incompetent person, period. To me her race was immaterial. To the General Counsel's office, however, it was the very (and considering her resume, the only) reason she was there.

And, interestingly, you use the term "shovel brigade", meaning clean up. Are you suggesting that 'twould be better if some (not all, repeat not all) of these AA folks just sat around & read the NYT rather than screw up things in the first place?

Yes, clean up - literally (she had a habit of breaking things) and figuratively (redoing work she'd mangled). Funny, though, that you should mention newspapers, since she spent most of the day reading the Boston Herald. Unwilling to make trouble by calling her on this, her bosses just brought their work to me instead.

I don't blame her. She was in way over her head from the start. I blame the squishiness of Harvard politics that used her to make the university's feel-good quota.

Roger Zimmerman said...

The only "diversity" that should matter at an educational institution is diversity of viewpoint and scholarship. "Racial"/"Ethnic" "diversity" ought to be completely irrelevant. Promoting it is in fact racist. So, all of this is a distraction.

From Inwood said...

LF

Am I missing something in your careful distinction, like the sacracsm?

I didn't feel I was "affected by an AA." I was affected by - in the sense that my workload virtually doubled - an incompetent person, period. To me her race was immaterial. To the General Counsel's office, however, it was the very (and considering her resume, the only) reason she was there.

In general (absent a contract or something like age), incompetent people can be fired at will.

You agree that your boss would not let this AA person who you feel was incompetent be fired.

QED, you were affected (had to do the work of two people) by this AA person.