May 3, 2012

The question we should be asking Elizabeth Warren.

I said it buried in a long post yesterday, but I want to highlight this, because there are so many angles to this story, and I'm afraid this one is being overlooked:
Now, I assume that Professor Warren supports affirmative action within the law schools where she has worked. Ask her about it! Does she vote in favor of admissions policies that count race as a plus factor? Has she supported faculty appointments, choosing one person over another, with race as a factor? I'd be extremely surprised if she hasn't. Assuming she has, why is she acting outraged that anyone would say that it seems that it benefited her and that she sought that benefit?
Don't you support affirmative action in hiring (as well as in law school admissions)?

Follow up questions: Do you think it is acceptable and even good to offer a job to a less-well-qualified applicant if that person is a member of a traditionally discriminated-against minority group? On what basis is it acceptable to make race a "plus factor" in hiring decisions? If it is "diversity," what exactly is this diversity that justifies affirmative action? Is it what the Supreme Court said in Grutter, or is it something else? Is it about a quantum of genetic inheritance or does it have something to do with whether the candidate has faced some form of disadvantage in life because of racial discrimination? Would your support for affirmative action extend to cases where the job candidate has at most one Native American great-great-great-grandparent? Explain.

(Ironically, what I really need to do right now is write a Constitutional Law exam, which this post is beginning to sound like.)

143 comments:

Molly said...

By extension, shouldn't law journals take race of the author into account in deciding whether or not to publish? Or shouldn't the editors identify race so that reviewers can write more sympathetic reviews of papers by authors in underrepresented categories.

R. Chatt said...

Another aspect of that question was how long should we continue to "even the playing field" with affirmative action? That brings up the issue of quotas -- and what could be more unfair and discriminatory than that?

AJ Lynch said...

Is voting by current profs a standard practice in selecting new law profs?

Original Mike said...

Excellent questions. The press will never ask them.

damikesc said...

Progressive with consistency? Don't see that happening.

"It's not the same thing because shut up"

edutcher said...

It's the dirty not-so-little secret of affirmative action.

John said...

Warren is a DEAP and the real question is:

Is what Warren did *LEGAL*?

According to the EEOC, one cannot claim to be Native American unless one is an enrolled member of a recognized tribe.

She is not. For her to claim indian status in order to get preference violates federal law.

Why is nobody talking about this?

Why is someone not asking the EEOC to investigate?

John Henry

John said...

Oops.

I said Warren is a DEAP. She is not.

She is claiming to be one though which is what I meant to say.

John Henry

Justin said...

This post reminded me of Justice Thomas's dissent in Grutter, which I just re-read and which is great. Check it out.

Cha Cho! said...

WRONG! we should be aksing why she doesn't look as good as Cher on the horse. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxoWto09Oyg

tim in vermont said...

I don't support affirmative action because it has nothing to do with actual hardships.

If Warren had grown up on a reservation, I wouldn't care if she had zero Indian blood, it would be fine. Instead we have a loophole through which people not discriminated against can get a leg up over other people in the same circumstance.

AA should be about class, if anything. There are plenty of bright kids growing up in Appalachia, for example, who could use a leg up to compete with the privileged children of the UMC, just to give one example. AA is about will to power, nothing less, and it is a spoils system used to buy votes. The problem with giving it to poor whites is that one cannot count on them to vote properly later.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's the dirty not-so-little secret of affirmative action."

It's not considered dirty OR a secret in law schools! That's what you're missing. It is a well-embedded norm. That's what I would like to bring out into the open. I'm all but certain Warren has strongly supported affirmative action in many decisions over a period of many years. Portraying affirmative action as something to be secretive about or ashamed of would subject you to opprobrium within academia where Warren (and I) dwell.

karrde said...

I've said this elsewhere, and will repeat here:

The fact that people now question Elizabeth Warrens' qualifications for her post, because she has some status as a minority, casts a dark shadow on Affirmative Action.

Affirmative Action may result in harm towards those who putatively benefit from it.

As an addendum, Elizabeth Warren's case shows some odd results of Affirmative Action. A woman who is

(A) not socially disadvantaged
(B) not from a poor family
(C) of an educational status that puts her in the running for teaching at Harvard Law, and
(D) has a minority connection that was only within living memory when her grandmother was alive

still manages to get herself mentioned as minority in Harvard Law's list of minority professors.

Such a system seems to provide benefit to those who do not need the benefit. (Does Harvard Law need minority professors to accomplish its mission? If Ms. Warren was benefited from being a minority, did she need that benefit to achieve a post at an Ivy League Law school?)

Are these benefits to unneeded recipients a problem for a system designed to help people who are poor, and who would have been discriminated against in the past?

And what level of minority descent is enough to claim minority status? (How many people are 1/32 Native? How many are provably so? There seems to be a time when mixed-race people hid their Native ancestry so they wouldn't be removed when most tribes were forcibly sent to places West of the Mississippi...)

traditionalguy said...

Affirmative action was sold as an Award of Damages to the victims of slavery and Segregation. For Political reasons that award became a permanent entitlement.


Then the Women awoke and said that they had been slaves and segregated from jobs too. So they got a permanent Damage award too.

Then Spanish speakers awoke and said that the Anglos had stolen their lands and wanted in on the Damages awards.

Then somebody remembered that the Indian tribes had been damaged 100 times more than all of the others ever were. So the got Treaty lawsuits that settked with huge damage awards for each tribes leaders to invest.

The State Colleges wanted in on the opportunity to share in the Damage awards industry. so as Elozabeth Warren bragged, they diligently created an ideology that supports and defends it.

Now the sexually repressed want rheir damages award.

But Obama is awesome so everybody can now be a victim that claims damages. Collect them from whom is the only question. Ask Wisconsin Unions and Occcupy Guys who owes them their damages...their answer is anybody they can steal it from.

To them as, with Chairman Mao,justice equals the spoils of war taken at gun point.

tim in vermont said...

I had forgotten about "Half Breed," but this one is pretty funny too:

"I'm an Indian Too."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZEZPs06Sgw

The intro is kind of long, but my favorite line? "All my dreams will come true.. because I'm an Indian too."

From "Annie Get Your Gun."

OT - How does one do titles in blog comments where you can't underline them?

CJinPA said...

These questions should be posed not only to Warren, but all defenders of race preferences.


By extension, shouldn't law journals take race of the author into account in deciding whether or not to publish? Or shouldn't the editors identify race so that reviewers can write more sympathetic reviews of papers by authors in underrepresented categories.

Good question. Also, shouldn't beneficiaries of preferences have to disclose it to future clients? To future patients, for med school graduates? Or do we sadly assume the asterisk is already there, unseen?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Speaking for myself:

Don't you support affirmative action in hiring

No

(as well as in law school admissions)?

I'm conflicted here. I want to see "qualified and competent" students who may have been disadvantaged given a chance. On the other hand elevating someone above their level of competence based on race or ethnicity isn't doing anyone, the school or the student, any good.

Do you think it is acceptable and even good to offer a job to a less-well-qualified applicant if that person is a member of a traditionally discriminated-against minority group?

No. NEVER. A business is supposed to hire qualified employees who will best serve the purpose of the business and be an asset instead of a liability.

On what basis is it acceptable to make race a "plus factor" in hiring decisions?

When it is a benefit to the business and will create a positive for the company. Diversity be damned!!

EXAMPLE: A brokerage firm I was affiliated with would hire ethnic Asians (Vietnamese) to fill positions in offices that were in Vietnamese neighborhoods. The reason was that the insular nature of the Vietnamese and the ability of the broker to speak the language would create more business since the prospects (Vietnamese) would be more likely to do business with "their own kind".

carrie said...

For race to be a plus factor for diversity purposes, it seems to me that the person must either look like he/she is a member of the race claimed so that co-workers/students will know that the diversity exists or else have overcome the hardships that being a member of the race claimed imposes upon members of the race so that he/she can share the unfairness of those hardships with students and fellow employees. For it to be a plus factor in the admission process, it seems to me that the person should have actually experienced a significant disadvantage in life because of the race claimed (e.g., discrimination, grew up on a reservation with poor schools and a culture of alcoholism or underachievement, etc.)

JohnBoy said...

Affirmative action in a nutshell.

Obama's daughters will get privileged treatment come college admission time.

A white coal miner's son will not.

Thorley Winston said...

The fact that people now question Elizabeth Warrens' qualifications for her post, because she has some status as a minority, casts a dark shadow on Affirmative Action.

I disagree, to the extent that Warrens is being criticized over her earlier claim to be Native American, it’s not based on whether she has a legitimate status as an ethnic minority but rather that she took advantage of a spoils system that awards preferences in, among other things, hiring based on ethnicity and gender rather than merit. If such a system were not in place or if Warrens refused to participate in it (assuming she could legitimately), she wouldn’t have this blot on her record while she’s running for office.

Bob Ellison said...

I'd like to read and comment on this post, but my personal AA policy impedes me, because the Professor is white.

dbp said...

I think the idea of affirmative action is that it has two benefits:

1. To enrich the diversity of an organization.

2. To compensate for past discrimination against a disadvantaged minority.

All of this should apply only to recognizably minority individuals. If you don't look even slightly like a Native American and not even raised in that environment, by what stretch do you meet either of the two criteria?

Mark O said...

Make sure, in that exam, that there is tension between two important Constitutional provisions.

CJinPA said...

Thorley Winston,

I think the point was that it casts a shadow on AA because being a recipient of the preference automatically raises the question of competence. That's long been understood, but has now burst into the open.

Especially when one of the college administrators treated the claim that she was an AA appointment as an insult to her. Must make all the actual AA professors feel great.

gadfly said...

Warren's personal motivation is and always was far more primitive than her belief system. She simply is gaming the structure established by libs for libs for monetary and celebratory gain.

Hagar said...

I think it is a good sign that affirmative action's time has come and gone, when we are reduced to arguing such esoteric hypotheticals on the fringes of the issue as demonstrated on this thread.

Also there is some saying that faculty politics get so personally vicious because the stakes are so small.

Off campus, people are routinely hired and fired and certainly not-hired for purely random dartboard reasons. How about the "unfairness" of that?

the wolf said...

Affirmative Action is a valued judgment that places advancement based on race over merit. I am against Affirmative Action policies because they make organizations less effective than they can be. Someone bears the cost of that. If it's in government, taxpayers bear that cost; in corporations, shareholders, owners and employees do.

Warren did far worse than "game the system" (as many have complained). She gamed the system that she effectively helped create and disadvantaged the very people she purported to help. She decided that, whatever the merits of AA policy, they shouldn't apply to her specifically, so she lied to end-around them while insisting everyone else play the game by the rules. That's reprehensible.

wyo sis said...

The fact that it's not dirty or a secret in liberal enclaves is the very thing that people react to. Until recently liberal dirty secrets have been suspected by everyone and vigorously denied by liberals. Now we're eye witnesses to the wink, wink, nudge, nudge. No one is bothering to hide it. It places liberals in the position of being hypocrites, a charge they have delighted in leveling at conservatives.
Elizabeth Warren is one of the first, but she most certainly won't be the last to face up to the reversal of fortune liberals richly deserve. It's pure overstepping, and you'd think they'd have seen it coming.

wyo sis said...

wolf
You have written a great definition of liberal hypocrisy. Make them live up to their own standards. They can't do it, and they are finally getting called on it

T J Sawyer said...

Do I support affirmative action?

Well, I did forty years ago when it meant running ads in minority area newspapers to expose computer operations jobs openings to a group that wouldn't otherwise see them.

And working with a program at the State Prison to teach inmates programming skills that they could put to work upon release. And then following up with hires over the objections of H.R. to employing convicted felons.

But by the 1980s, I experienced hiring an MBA Computer Science graduate with "A" grades who really didn't understand the concepts of "logical or" and "logical and". I knew something had gone drastically wrong with the whole A.A. concept.

We no longer reach out to insure opportunity, we fill quotas. Bad idea.

Ann Althouse said...

I would like to avoid the usual discussion that says why you oppose affirmative action, when that's always been your position.

Please focus on Warren's predicament and her presumed policy position favoring affirmative action.

You need to think from the perspective of a person who has supported affirmative action, and look at the problem Warren finds herself faced with.

Please leave the usual, familiar attacks on affirmative action to the side and talk about the problem presented.

Royal Tenenbaum said...

The real question should be: Do you actually believe the public will believe your explanation that you wanted to be included in a Native American group?

Scott M said...

Warren is just pissed that Prada doesn't sell moccasins.

Dante said...

I think the real question is "Is affirmative action moral, constitutional (I don't care what the judges say)."

And furthermore, isn't this a great example of why AA is broken?

If you are OPPOSED to affirmative action, this is a great example to show that it's broken. As I said:

"You go girl." This woman is special. She ought to take advantage of every special thing she can, because it's in her self-interest.

People opposed to affirmative action should be glad, since it demonstrates how ridiculous it is.

"Affirmative action isn't about genetics!" (Sez Ann)

Huh? Well, it isn't about pulling up poor qualified people with white skin (usually). Sometimes it's about giving preference to established blacks. So if it isn't about genetics, then what's it about? I'm curious what YOU view as the goal of affirmative action. Has it been successful?

here is an interesting claim Blacks' success at UC now that affirmative action is gone:

"On the contrary, more blacks graduated from the [UC] system after the ban [On affirmative action]" Thomas Sowell.

AllenS said...

Ann Althouse said...
Please focus on Warren's predicament and her presumed policy position favoring affirmative action.

Presumed? Is the problem presented, presumed? What about the facts presented?

CJinPA said...

Please focus on Warren's predicament and her presumed policy position favoring affirmative action.

I think we've seen response, as I understand it, about wanting to be around a "group": I didn't do it to benefit professionally, I did it to be around people who would enrich me culturally.

Nathan Alexander said...

Ms Warren's reaction to the notion that she used a claimed status as a Native American robe hired was: How dare he imply I wasn't qualified for the job!
Doesn't that clearly indicate Ms Warren's soft bigotry of low expectations? That her motivation to support Affirmative Action is, in fact, racist and/or sexist?

Kathy said...

Our nation's affirmative action laws acknowledge previous crimes against certain groups and also give privilege for those who served in the military and may have missed their spot on the job track they would have been on.

For Elizabeth Warren to claim a minority status - and for Harvard to have promyed her as a minority hire (see the Boston Herald original story) - to give her an edge over many other "qualified, excellent candidates" (as Ann has said) is like someone claiming Veteran Status when they never served.

It is an Equal Opportunity law violation and - frankly - I think she should be penalized.

Plus- how cool would it be to be in Anne's class and have the exam being debated so beautifully here?

A. Shmendrik said...

In writing the exam's hypothetical fact pattern, try to use "Huey", "Dewey" and "Louie". My first exam in law school had that. I got a good laugh out of it and found it very relaxing. For about 30 seconds.

Nathan Alexander said...

Others have made the point that Barack Obama received the benefit of AA despite his ancestors never having been slaves...being of direct African descent on one side, and being of the "oppressor" race on the other half.

In Hawaii, you can be considered Hawaiian (and enjoy all the govt/social benefits thereof) with just one-sixteenth Hawaiian ancestry. That never made any sense to me: "I deserve all sorts of benefits because the significant majority of my ancestors exploited the small minority of my ancestors ntil at one point one of the racist bastards was so much of a racist as to have married one!"
I've never felt that was a particularly strong, compelling, or persuasive argument.

Terry said...

Our hostess wrote:
"Please focus on Warren's predicament and her presumed policy position favoring affirmative action."

Very well.
This is self-identification. If the authorities can decide who is and who is not a minority, it empowers the authorities, not the affected minorities.
Ms. Warren is in the same position as someone who is black and who favors affirmative action, and is in a position to promote affirmative action policies.
She says she's a Native American, she's a Native American.

Synova said...

I guess my reaction is something closer to, "yeah, but we already all knew that," when it comes to AA. So I'm not really seeing the problem.

Or at least, sure, the problem, but "we already all knew that," right?

As far as illegal" goes. I care not at all if Warren has certified membership in a tribe. She's not attempting to get benefits from tribal resources and she hasn't been accused of lying about her family history.

For those who need to decide if they will vote for her or not, they're going to have to decide if she was taking advantage of something presented for the disadvantaged that She wasn't entitled to and if, given her politics, that constitutes hypocrisy.

In any case, when it comes time for it I'm absolutely checking the boxes for "veteran" and "female" and if I get a job because a particular industry needs more vaginas on the books, I'll do it.

Those ane the rules as they exist, even if I think they are moronic or socially destructive.

Alex said...

Ann is asking way too much of her mouth-breathing audience. The troglodytes tried to stretch a brain cell, but it snapped.

Alex said...

Anyways this is yet another race-baiting post designed to gin up hits. I'm sure garage & Ritmo are in full agreement with me. They are my spiritual BLOOD brothers.

tim in vermont said...

There is no predicament. No dilemma, if she believes in the kind of AA that has been sold to the American people, then she should not have taken it.

If AA is in reality defined as something she was justified in taking with her circumstance and her taking this was within the spirit of the law as the law was intended to be used, then "the law is an ass" and this whole scenario is infuriating. Just one more way in which liberals are blind to the actual nature of the people they wish to rule, and the reason liberals are often prone to use undemocratic means to force through their agenda.

Jason said...

When I became aware that Warren was one of the leading academics in the field of bankruptcy, I didn't expect that what they really meant was moral bankruptcy.

Robert said...

If you write the exam question to include Warren and a reference to her heritage, careful not to be overtly racist:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/condoleezza-watermelon-trouble

Although if you were overtly racist and you were a liberal (or liberal enough), your pals would get you off with a wrist-slap:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003596758_bcc02e.html

'cause overt racism is justifiable if it's against someone who leans right.

Synova said...

Terry, if I identify as black, does that make me black?

Kathy said...

So Terry - let's see - I am a woman and I believe I experienced the same discrimination (as in the right to vote) that blacks endured after the Emancipation Proclamation. In fact - blacks got the right to vote in 1970 and I - a woman - did not get this right until 1920. So - I have suffered an even more egregious denial of citizenship in this regard.

So - per your logic - I can check of "African American" on my employment applications.

Thanks for the permission!

Kathy said...

Sorry - blacks got the right to vote in 1970 - bad typo :-)

Kathy said...

OK - third try.

Blacks got the right to vote in 1870.

Forgive me!

SukieTawdry said...

On what basis is it acceptable to make race a "plus factor" in hiring decisions?

I believe employers should be able to hire, or not hire, on any basis they wish. Depending on the market for the product or service he offers, an employer, for example, might find it advantageous to have a highly diverse sales force. On the other hand, he might find that his typical customer responds best to a particular type. In any event, the call should be his.

When screening candidates for public sector jobs or college admissions, race should be considered only when all other things are equal. And even then, how a candidate may have overcome obstacles, which could be entirely unrelated to race, should carry more weight than the candidate's connection to a historically disadvantaged group.

tim in vermont said...

"That “box checking,” as critics call it, likely played a role in her Harvard hiring especially when her background is compared to those of the other near-100 Harvard Law School professors and assistant professors, according to an analysis of law schools the professors attended. Most graduated from Harvard, and all from the nation’s top 10. Warren graduated from Rutgers University in Newark, ranked 82nd by Top-Law-Schools.com.

What’s more, only Rutgers has current law school professors who graduated from Rutgers. And in the analysis of the law school degrees of the roughly 350 Ivy League law school professors provided by a Warren critic, only one graduated from a lower-ranked law school than Warren, a Yale professor who attended the University of Nebraska Law School, ranked 89."

From Instapundit
http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/142067/

Dust Bunny Queen said...

First, assume that AA represents a certain quota or number of disadvantaged who would be allowed into the school or program.

Then Warren's self identification of herself as a member of that disadvantaged group, when her DNA just barely a whiff of that group and she has NO cultural heritage of that same group.

Her usurpation of undeserved minority status is actually an oppression of someone from that group who in reality would have deserved the AA spot that Warren took.

She cheated, prospered from her cheating and cheated another out of his/her rightful spot. (assuming you think that AA is a good thing or a right at all)

Bob Ellison said...

Please focus on Warren's predicament and her presumed policy position favoring affirmative action.

I've mostly given up on such dialectic analysis. It's much easier to explain it thus:

1) Warren favors AA (yes, it's presumed) because it's just part of her ideology. She's a leftist.

2) Warren used AA unjustly for personal gain because leftists are comfortable with such hypocrisy, often thinking and saying "everyone does it".

3) Warren now denies using AA because admitting it would both expose her as a hypocrite and lend credence to the notion that she's unqualified to profess or legislate.

4) Warren cannot address the arguments above and will run away from the whole thing, because that will be a better use of her time and campaign resources.

Synova said...

So... what should Warren say about it all? She's claiming that it wasn't a hiring factor (even if it was a benefit for Harvard's apologists to count another "minority" faculty) and AA is about hiring and admissions, right? So she's off the hook.

Politically it's not possible for her to explain that AA can be exploited by people who obviously don't need it. No native American student walking across campus, seeing her, would feel more at home and comfortable. The supposed benefit of faculty diversity doesn't apply.

She's not going to say, "You were all right, all along." So what can she say?

Sigivald said...

Don't you support affirmative action in hiring (as well as in law school admissions)?

No.

That was easy.

I don't think President Kennedy would like the way EO 10925's " take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed [...] without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin" has become "... with regard to their race..." - and I'd agree with him.

travis said...

Seriously though... Warren should be mocked for her explanation as to why she checked the Native American box.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

JohnBoy said...
Affirmative action in a nutshell.

Obama's daughters will get privileged treatment come college admission time.

A white coal miner's son will not.

5/3/12 10:59 AM

100% agreement. This cannot be said often enough.

Hagar said...

"Granny" Warren is a rather stupid woman and a poor politician.
Why should we care what she has or has not claimed to be for whatever reasons in her academic career.

Let Harvard have her. Anything as long as she does not get elected to public office!

caplight45 said...

It's so easy to put a check mark in a box. Especially if you grew up in a family or part of the country with the liberal diversity ethos. For many of the liberal elite, academic and otherwise, the privilege of diversity is a given, it is an unquestioned axiom. They are fish and Affirmative Action is the water.

So when Scott Brown raised the issue Warren and her people didn't recognize it as a problem or potential threat. They had no clue that people outside their bubble would think that what she did brought her integrity into question. They still don't get it. They are probably all sitting around going, "What the ...?" That's also why they can't formulate an effective answer.

chickenlittle said...

So what can she say?

How about: "But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and play it forward against next kid who comes along."

That would be honest.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think we've seen response, as I understand it, about wanting to be around a "group": I didn't do it to benefit professionally, I did it to be around people who would enrich me culturally."

That is not a response to my set of questions.

The older linked post begins at that issue, her explanation.

Scott M said...

They are probably all sitting around going, "What the ...?" That's also why they can't formulate an effective answer.

She's blaming her aunt, a picture on a mantle, and her grandfather's high cheekbones now.

traditionalguy said...

Distribution is the name of the game.

Linking a supposed wrong needing righting to the Distribution gives it a political cover and the money rolls out.

Now the Oscar for the best sympathetic performance of the decade has been claimed by and awarded to Elizabeth Weeping Woman Warren, Obama's faithful Indian companion.

That is a great step forward and a great accomplishment by the standards of Academia Land.

But she now faces some blow back from the honest voters who never tried to game the system like she does so well.

Politics and Academia do not mix, unless it is for a Safe Seat like the Kennedy Seat. Stay tuned.

Original Mike said...

"Please focus on Warren's predicament and her presumed policy position favoring affirmative action."

Her predicament is simply stated. (Presumably) She favors affirmative action, but the voters don't. Being honest hurts her election chances.

What to do? Claiming minority status in the first place shows she doesn't have a proclivity to honesty when her self-interest is at stake. But maybe she'll decide that her only way out is a bold appeal to the liberal tendicies of her state. Or maybe she's developed more integrity as she's aged.

Most likely; she'll just count on the press to not press her on this, and the issue will whither for lack of attention.

Jay said...

You need to think from the perspective of a person who has supported affirmative action, and look at the problem Warren finds herself faced with.


Ok.

She knowningly took a slot that would be rightly somebody elses.

She's a fraud.

The end.

Jay said...

The questions we should be asking Warren are: Did she ever reach out to her fellow Tribespeople?

If it was all about making Native American friends in order to get in touch with her roots, why’d she keep up the “minority” listing in that professional directory for fully nine years?

Does she really believe that she would be invited to a lunch with all those other Native American professors at Harvard?

*GIGGLE*

John Stodder said...

Do the most avid supporters of affirmative action even realize that you can gain access to it based on the racial category of one great-great-grandparent?

To me, this story is not about the merits of affirmative action, but the details of how it is applied.

Most of my friends are liberals and most of them at least publicly embrace affirmative action, though most of them would say they wish it could be class-based. But using race as a proxy, while unjust anecdotally, they're okay with it in aggregate because in their minds, every beneficiary of it, even a child of a wealthy black family, probably has or could face discrimination and bigotry.

It would not fit with that rationale to say, all you need is 1/32 of your heritage to be, say, Native American to qualify for its special dispensations. Not only is there no arguable case for the person having been discriminated against on that basis, but such claims are also inherently open to fraud.

I think the question should be put to Ms. Warren: Do you think the laws on affirmative action should be changed specifically to rule out its use in instances like yours? Or do you think we should ask Americans to discover if they have 1/32 of a particular heritage and thus claim a benefit?

She needs to be put in a position where she either embraces an extreme and absurd position on affirmative action, thus alienating AA's mainstream supporters; or renounce the benefits she received and in doing so, ask Harvard Law to review her employment status, perhaps to seek out the name of the person who DIDN'T get the job she got, and compensate them for lost wages.

Quaestor said...

damikesc wrote:
Progressive with consistency?

It goes deeper than that.

A Progressive with a moral compass that points somewhere other than himself? FIFY

Original Mike said...

"I assume that Professor Warren supports affirmative action within the law schools where she has worked."

Let's take that as a given. You then have to ask; was this support of affirmative action sincere, or was it a career advancment strategy (surely, opposition of AA within a law school is not healthy)? She was willing to lay claim to a benefit that a true believer would think should go to someone who was truely disadvantaged.

Scott M said...

The questions we should be asking Warren are: Did she ever reach out to her fellow Tribespeople?

The real questions we should be asking are "when is the next debate between her and Brown?" and "how much popcorn should I bring?"

traditionalguy said...

Warren was appointed by Obama to head a Consumer fraud Agency aimed at cruel credit card practices of Banks. They got her fired of course.

She may now be the one that was getting away with a fraud. We demand a DNA test.

n.n said...

Ex post facto reviews when there is probable cause. The current policy is inherently prejudiced as it presumes guilt.

Bob Ellison said...

Someone wrote above: "Warren now denies using AA because admitting it would...lend credence to the notion that she's unqualified to profess or legislate."

That's a Brownian notion. Get it? A ha ha ha ha ha!

He probably made Brownian motions all the time as a lawyer. Get it? Ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, somebody get me a tissue.

chickenlittle said...

@Bob Ellison: You're clever like Einstein!

t-man said...

At least we can all agree that Warren, who is supposed to be a super-genius lawyer type, can't credibly argue her way out of a paper bag.

Her changing story and explanations are laughable.

Bob Ellison said...

Thanks, chickenlittle! Just imagine what kind of skin moisturizer and philtres Scott uses!

I'll be here all week! Try the veal!

Scott M said...

At least we can all agree that Warren, who is supposed to be a super-genius lawyer type, can't credibly argue her way out of a paper bag.

Warren E. Coyote?

tim in vermont said...

Brown drove across the state, crisscrossed many times over in his old pickup truck, talking to anybody and everybody, taking unscreened calls on talk radio, to win his Senate seat.

Squaw Warren checked a box on a form and has ridden the AA escalator her whole life.

Scott Brown has an easily recognizable working class Massachusetts accent. Squaw Warren? Not so much. Who knows Mass better?

Bob Ellison said...

Tim, and whoever wrote "Fauxcahontas" somewhere, at least we don't have any evidence that Warren ate dog.

dbp said...

Professor Warren, do you think someone with as little minority heritage as you should be able to benefit from affirmative action?

follow up

How do you know if Texas, Penn or Harvard used your Native American heritage in their decision to offer you a job?

traditionalguy said...

Warren was appointed by Obama to head a Consumer fraud Agency aimed at cruel credit card practices of big Banks. They easily got her fired of course. Obama knows where the big money is.

She may now be shown to be the one getting away with a academic allowed application fraud. We demand to see her DNA test.

Original Mike said...

At the risk of going OT, Dennis Miller last night on O'Reilly:

Miller: And by the way, the chick running against Scott Brown, Liz Warren, says she invented the Occupy movement. And that could come back to bite her.

O'REILLY: Just to bring everybody up to date, big Senate race in Massachusetts between Scott Brown, the Republican who took Kennedy's seat, the late Ted Kennedy, and Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor, who's getting a lot of money from Hollywood and all the far left. And apparently, Ms. Warren on her resume at some point said that she was a Native American because she was born in Oklahoma. That turns out not to be true. So she's in trouble.

MILLER: Her Indian name is Spreading Bull.

john said...

I figgered it out:

%NNA = SIN(alpha)*L

where

%NNA = percent Native American ancestry
alpha = angle of above-bathroom-mirror light from cheekbone (radians)
L = length of shadow below cheekbone (mm)

Caveats: 1) should not be hung over or have significant allergies (puffy eyes), 2) if known Asian ancestry is >50%, then formula does not apply, and even if it did, would not count, 3) has not been verified with Athabascan tribes.

wyo sis said...

Alex
Stretch a brain cell yourself and tell us mouth breathers what we missed. I think the mouth breathers get it/got it exactly right. Finish the exam yourself. Without cheating.

Brennan said...

Do you think it is acceptable and even good to offer a job to a less-well-qualified applicant if that person is a member of a traditionally discriminated-against minority group?

No. I think it is offensive and insulting both to the candidate and the decider.

On what basis is it acceptable to make race a "plus factor" in hiring decisions?

It's not. Race determines absolutely nothing about a candidates ability to perform the required tasks. Theresa Heinz and Charlize Theron are "African-Americans" and yet their race determines nothing at all about the content of their character or their cognitive abilities.

I can't really answer the rest of the questions.

If someone had told me that I was given a leg up on other candidates because I was white I would quit. It would represent a culture that I want no part of.

Original Mike said...

"If someone had told me that I was given a leg up on other candidates because I was white I would quit."

I believe the affirmative action argument is that you have been given a leg up because you are white.

Judith said...

The Elizabeth Warren controversy shows the utter absurdity of racial preferences in admissions or hiring. The Cherokee Nation was a slaveholding society, every bit as much as any pre-Civil-War Southern state. The modern Cherokee Nation has for years been in a bitter court fight to exclude descendants of its black freedmen from tribal rolls. What is the logic in having a university consider both a Cherokee and an African-American equally eligible for Affirmative Action?

tim in vermont said...

Her Indian name is "Spreading Bull"? I thought it was "Running Joke."

Original Mike said...

P.S. Please don't shoot the messenger.

Jerome said...

"Please focus on Warren's predicament and her presumed policy position favoring affirmative action."

Well, how about this; if you actually believe that affirmative action is good policy, then as a person who is not qualified to take advantage of it, you should not even apply for any job worth having, because of the risk that by doing so, you might deprive someone less qualified but more entitled. Because that person most assuredly does exist.

Bob Ellison said...

Original Mike, Obama was given a leg up because he was hungry. He didn't shoot the messenger; he used the message to advance his political future.

Smilin' Jack said...

Would your support for affirmative action extend to cases where the job candidate has at most one Native American great-great-great-grandparent?

That is so wrong. It's like someone with one black great-great-great-grandparent drinking from the "Whites Only" drinking fountain. Absolutely disgusting--I don't know how people who do that kind of thing live with themselves.

Crunchy Frog said...

That is not a response to my set of questions

You have stated on many occasions that, when asked, "Why do you post about X instead of Y?" that you post on things that catch your interest. That is entirely fair.

We, as commenters, do the same thing. We comment on things that interest us.

We are not your students. We are not here to be graded on our understanding of the material. We don't have to expound on your desired point. We are free to choose our own points to talk about.

We are the Commentariat. Hear us roar.

Kirk Parker said...

tim in vermont,

"OT - How does one do titles in blog comments where you can't underline them?"

Well, you shouldn't underline them even if you could! Underlining was just a poor typewriter's substitute for the proper formatting of titles of major works, which is italics. That's easy enough here, just use <i> and </i> to surround the title.

Ann Althouse said...

Crunchy Frog says: "We are not your students. We are not here to be graded on our understanding of the material. We don't have to expound on your desired point. We are free to choose our own points to talk about. We are the Commentariat. Hear us roar."

Read the comments instructions. We do delete comments that are ruining the discussion. Once I've said I want a focused discussion and that rehashing off-topic material isn't good here, anyone who disregards that friendly cue might get deleted.

The reasons for opposing aa have been stated and restated many times. I have identified a specific and timely issue, and it makes me sad that people don't understand it or feel stimulated by it. They want to hack out the same old stuff.

Once I've tried to refocus the discussion, still going on with that stuff is saying you don't respect the forum I've opened up here.

So, actually, you can't just use my blog as a place to write about what interests you.

Jay Vogt said...

I’d like to go right to the math portion of the exam professor, if you please.

If I’ve got the facts right, Ms. Warren claims Native American ancestry by way of a notation on the Oklahoma marriage license of her great-great-great grandparent dated sometime in 1894. That’s five generations distant.

Ms Warren was born in 1949 and I believe she has three older siblings. Presumably that means her parents were probably married sometime before 1945. Let’s assume that’s the case and further assume a span of twenty years between the marriage of parents and their children. These assumptions are generous Ms. Warren’s assertion. In that event, it would mean that her great-great-great grandparent would have been unlikely to apply for a marriage license any time later than 1865. That means that the referenced document shows up about 30 years (at minimum) too late.

Maybe I’ve messed up on the math or an assumption, but this seems curious to me. For this to work that would mean the family would have had to create 4 generations in 51 years - an average of 12.75 years. A bit much even in the old west.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

It's the dirty not-so-little secret of affirmative action.

It's not considered dirty OR a secret in law schools! That's what you're missing. It is a well-embedded norm. That's what I would like to bring out into the open.


Law school, maybe, but try making the point on the network news or in the Gray Lady.

Bob Ellison said...

We are not your students.

When you're a hammer...

tim in vermont said...

I just realized that you really are a liberal. Otherwise you would understand that the premise of your question is ridiculous. What predicament? She is not a victim of prejudice against aboriginals.

So please clarify this for me, if you don't mind. Is it accepted under the established rules of AA as you understand them for her to make the claim based on the facts as we know them?

I had family lore of an Indian in the ancestry too, and you know what, my grandmother sort of looked like Granny Warren. Would it have been proper of me to check off "American Indian" on my college application forms? Whether or not I believe in AA?

caplight45 said...

"You need to think from the perspective of a person who has supported affirmative action, and look at the problem Warren finds herself faced with."

I stand by my previous response but will add that part of what makes this interesting is that it is Massachusetts and Harvard. For a believer in and practitioner of Affirmative Action that is like playing on your home field. I think in this instance it is truly not about the validity of AA but about her unethical, transparently dishonest and comical participation in the system in a way that allowed her to gain an unfair advantage in the AA system.

It would be interesting to have her answer the good Professors set of questions but those may be more for a national audience than for the people of Massachsetts.

Ann Althouse said...

"What predicament?"

Read the post again. And the one it links to.

She's acting outraged to be thought of as someone who wouldn't have gotten the job without race as a plus factor, but if she supports aa, she's for the very thing that she would find outrageous applied to her.

Also she's eager to deny that she sought an advantage that she's probably involved in luring other people to take. Now, she's implying that if they do that, it's stigmatizing.

There are at least 2 contradictions (assuming she supports aa).

Rusty said...

On what basis is it acceptable to make race a "plus factor" in hiring decisions?

When the part calls for someone to be a negro. A Caucasian in blackface is inauthentic.

Please focus on Warren's predicament and her presumed policy position favoring affirmative action."

"presumed" as in dared? or "Presumed" as in suspect.
Well, she's got to doesn't she? She took advantage of it. She'd be a hypocrite not to let any one else in the club.
Does it make it ethical? Is a better question.
I mean, one of my great grandmothers on my fathers side was a Jew, but I'm not wearing any yarmulkes. Besides, being a Jew nowadays all you get is grief,Oy!

Bob Ellison said...

Professor, I think you misunderestimate your commenters. Maybe I'm wrong, but let me lay out a few ideas, most of which are really old and simple:

a) Let AA = any advantage given in hiring, promoting, accepting, or otherwise giving advantage to an individual who can somehow be connected to a particular group identified by race, gender, religion, or a similar quality.

b) Let X be an individual who qualifies for AA under (a) above.

c) Let Y be an individual who does not qualify for AA under (a) above.

d) What is Elizabeth Warren? X, or Y?

e) Let X1 be a rich bitch, and Y1 a poor foundling. Does that make AA as defined in (a) above immoral?

f) Let X2 be a brilliant, hard-working student in a field so complex that even people close to it can't easily judge merit among its participants. Let Y2 be another participant in that field. Can Y2 plausibly make a valid judgement on X2's merit?

g) Let individuals be judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

h) Is (a) consistent with (g)? If not, under what circumstances might (a) be judged moral and effective?

rcommal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcommal said...

Warren clearly doesn't want to confront the cognitive dissonance. The question is whether she'll be forced to, and my guess is no, she won't, because there are way too many people, people with relative power and strongly vested interests, who don't want to confront it themselves, either, and certainly don't want it confronted in general.

Shorter: Warren is between a rock and hard place, but she'll have plenty of help in wriggling free.

Michael said...

"Do you think it is acceptable and even good to offer a job to a less-well-qualified applicant if that person is a member of a traditionally discriminated-against minority group?"

It is certainly acceptable in the milieu of the academy to hire a less qualified minority and it is good for the academy's reputation to be buffed by this action. The person hired, however, is harmed and perhaps irrevocably harmed as is clear in the case of Warren who shed the designation as soon as she could either out of guilt or the belief the preferred status was no longer required. At this moment she will never be viewed the same by her cohorts. The internal eyes will always be cocked. Whether or not her deception was worth it only she can say. But she is now saddled with the same suspicion that will accompany every African American who benefited from AA, the thought that alone she/they couldn't cut it. And notably this nagging sense that one did not deserve to be where they found themselves devolves into the anger that is evident on many recipients of AA.

Warren, obviously a supporter of AA, now can feel its lash.

carrie said...

I think you should also start a thread about the questions that we should be asking Harvard. When Harvard interviewed Warren it should have been obvious that her native american ancestors were remote--it takes serveral generations for blond hair and blue eye genes to trump black hair and brown eye genes. Since everyone is assuming that Warren's native american heritage gave her a leg up on her competition, what did Harvard's ability to claim Warren as a professor with native american heritage do for Harvard?

X said...

althouse, she's just like every other aa beneficiary: 1. she supports it 2.she got where she is on her merits.

ok.

tim in vermont said...

If she were honest, she had two courses of action as I see it: Not check the box, that course is gone, or she could own it and try to sell the idea that any stigma attached to affirmative action is racist hate speech or ill informed rabble noise or whatever.

Problem is that neither course of action gets her into the Senate. First course, she is not teaching at Harvard. See Instapundit.com for a comparison of her credentials with other top-ten law school professors, second course, she is un-electable.

Her problem is that we live in democracy and AA is not popular, even in Massachusetts.

Besides, as they say, bad cases make for bad law, and this whole 1/32, distant past thing makes the issues impossible to untangle.

So my question again, if I may presume, is under common understanding of the law, were her actions proper in the first place? Because if they were, then sure, she should own AA and let the chips fall where they may. A prospect that would delight me as a Scott Brown fan. If they weren't, she should just resign her candidacy now.

If she were Obama, of course, she would lie and the press would cover for her.

damikesc said...

why is she acting outraged that anyone would say that it seems that it benefited her and that she sought that benefit?

Because she's not used to being questioned on much of anything. She's always on the "correct" side of most questions in academia and, thus, never gets asked the harsh questions.

She is flailing because she doesn't like that anybody is disputing her honesty.

Her attempts to claim "SEXISM" is doing a nice job of killing that concept off even more than Obama has killed off "RACISM!"

Bob Ellison said...

damikesc, cut to the chase. She is flailing because she is stupid.

Rabel said...

"Please focus on Warren's predicament and her presumed policy position favoring affirmative action."

(Rabel, in front row suck-up seat raises hand to full extension. Responds when professor points cattle prod/stylus his direction.)

Professor, I see two contradictions in Ms. Warren's current predicament and her presumed policy position favoring affirmative action.

She's acting outraged to be thought of as someone who wouldn't have gotten the job without race as a plus factor, but if she supports aa, she's for the very thing that she would find outrageous applied to her.

Also she's eager to deny that she sought an advantage that she's probably involved in luring other people to take. Now, she's implying that if they do that, it's stigmatizing.

I think we should identify a forum in which we could address follow-up questions on these contradictions to Ms. Warren. For example, the nation's number one law professor blog (http://althouse.blogspot.com/) would serve if Ms. Warren would deign to respond.

Until then we can only speculate on her answers.

caplight45 said...

The Professor said: "She's acting outraged to be thought of as someone who wouldn't have gotten the job without race as a plus factor, but if she supports aa, she's for the very thing that she would find outrageous applied to her.

Also she's eager to deny that she sought an advantage that she's probably involved in luring other people to take. Now, she's implying that if they do that, it's stigmatizing."

OK. That was the answer you were looking for. I still think my responses are valid even though I didn't get the rather narrow slice of this mess you were looking for (or for which you were looking).

I want partial credit. I think at least a B-.

Rabel said...

On second thought, considering those irreconcilable contradictions, Warren nas already given us the best available answers (from a political perspective).

Scott Brown hates women and he's pickin'on me.

dbp said...

Just to play the devil's advocate here:

"She's acting outraged to be thought of as someone who wouldn't have gotten the job without race as a plus factor, but if she supports aa, she's for the very thing that she would find outrageous applied to her."

Maybe she is outraged that people think unqualified people are hired die to AA. Althouse herself indicated that AA is a plus factor among the pool of qualified applicants. Professor Warren even claimed that her opponent was suggesting that she is unqualified to teach at Harvard

"Also she's eager to deny that she sought an advantage that she's probably involved in luring other people to take. Now, she's implying that if they do that, it's stigmatizing."

She could claim that not only did she not use her 1/32nd Native American heritage to her advantage, but she would never promote as an AA hire someone with similarly diffuse disadvantaged background.

/devil's advocate

That she only removed her Native American appellation once she had reached the pinnacle of success as a professor at Harvard and that she comes from a fairly modest law school herself suggest that her NA heritage might have played a role in her success.

traditionalguy said...

The Massachusetts brahmins will not be likely to vote an Indian from Oklahoma into their Kennedy Seat any more than Teddy Kennedy would vote for Wind Mill farms installed off his coastline. That's what she forgot.

Warren is toast.

John Cunningham said...

Warren's claim that her minority status had no role in her hiring at several law schools is risibly false. she was hired in the 80s and 90s, when the shrieking for AA was rampant. her claim is absurd. She is the only Rutgers Law grad teaching at Harvard. her "minority status" had to be a causal factor.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

America beats the hell outta everyone else when it comes to people, of sundry background, working. That is why we live in a $15 Trillion economy.

What we now need is a untied Mormon front, as traditionally Mormons have existed in our land, as great as it is (and that's better than anyone ever) like no other group.

So how can we continue without the diversity of a Mormon in the White House?

How can we call ourselves a tolerant country when no Mormon has ever won the White House?

You point out Harry Reid, I say quit your damn pointing you bigot.

You hate Mormons because you lack a soul and the capacity for humanity, it seems.

Just Lurking said...

That Warren is in this predicament highlights the biggest problem with AA - it casts doubts on the abilities of all women and minorities in positions of authority, regardless of whether or not it was used in their favor. This is obviously why she is denying she benefitted from it.

But it also hints at something uglier. AA was thought up by "progressive" intellectuals, who in their supreme beneficence created programs designed to help those not fortunate enough to have been born one of them. Programs like AA give progressives the ability to pat themselves on the back at how compassionate they are towards "the disadvantaged"; and in so doing, further reinforce their visceral belief in their superiority over "the needy" -- I am in a position to help you; you need me; you are inferior.

Why isn't Warren embracing the fact that she was an AA hire? Because it suggests that she is not really a member of the anointed-by-birth intellectually superior class. She's only a token member- a member with an asterisk by her name. While she may play at being a minority- wink wink- when it serves a purpose, don't you dare imply she is really one of "them", now that she has made it into the progressive intellectual club.

The only thing more certain than programs like AA being abused-- in this case by people like "only a minority when it suits me" Warren, and wealthy minority children-- is that they will end up hurting the people they were designed to help. Aside from the stigma of the program, how good is it really for an individual and for a society, to put people in a school or a job they are not fully qualified for? AA has the potential to set an individual up for failure; or worse allows for the promotion of people to positions of power not commensurate with their abilities. Only squishy-headed "intellectuals" could dream up and support such a program.

I see no easy way out for Warren. She either proudly embraces that she is an AA hire, and accept the metaphorical asterisk by her name. Or admit to herself and others that AA is a harmful program that should be abolished. Or hope that the compliant press will let the issue die (not likely, since "Fauxcahontas" jokes are all the rage here in MA.)

Holmes said...

Why don't Jews receive the benefits of affirmative action? Group most discriminated against in history and they are a very small minority in the U.S. But, I guess they just do too well on their own?

Kirk Parker said...

"I want partial credit. I think at least a B-. "

Whaaaaaa? Grade inflation at Althouse? Never--go flunk, ya punk student!

Dante said...

I don't understand why this is even important. Bill Clinton cheated on his wife, may have suborned perjury, and is an a alleged rapist (I believe you Juanita). All she needs to do is surround here with some rainbow colored legal friends, and the point will be made. After all, it isn't the sinner. It's not even the intent. It's whether you can get enough votes. If you can't, oh well.

EDH said...

Speaking of Liz Warren and giving (true) minorities an opportunity …

One of the local Mass Democrats pushed out of the 2012 Senate race was Setti Warren.

In May 2011, [Setti Warren] announced a bid to oppose U.S. Senator Scott Brown in the 2012 Senate election, but dropped out of the race four months later. On September 29th, 2011 Warren dropped out of the race, declaring "I no longer believe I have a clear path to victory in this race"

Let's check the timing of that...

September 14, 2011
Elizabeth Warren Announces Senate Run

Elizabeth Warren officially announced her candidacy for the United States Senate in Massachusetts on Wednesday morning in a short video posted to her new campaign Web site, www.elizabethwarren.com.

America's Politico said...

I will wage a billion dollars. Brown will lose to Warren, just as Romney will lose to Obama.

The press already has made the call. The voters have made this decision even before the vote begins.

It is over, folks!

Patrick said...

That's America's Politico for you, telling us tomorrow's election results today, in between his various K Street blondes and operatives.

Craig said...

If Warren has a direct line ancestor born in the Oklahoma Territory before the Land Rush, between 1830 and 1890 when only Indians could live there legally, I don't see any problem with her claim to ethnicity and affirmative action preference on that account.

I was born in Lawrence, Kansas, near a large Shawnee reservation. The kid in the incubator next to mine was a full-blooded Shawnee, but my parents claimed that I looked far more Native American than he did. If both of your parents are one-eighth Indian it makes you a full-blooded Indian even though you are only one sixteenth.

Beer and wine are still subject to regulation even though they aren't eighty proof. I'd have a problem with Warren if her campaign promised to burn the ladder she used to scale the wall of the fort.

PETER V. BELLA said...

Who cares about affirmative action. It should be ended. People should be chosen strictly on qualifications.

caplight45 said...

"Whaaaaaa? Grade inflation at Althouse? Never--go flunk, ya punk student!"

Yeah, I guess that whining did kinda suck.

kimsch said...

It seems to me that accepting affirmative action "help" is only affirming that one can't make it on one's own merits. That one needs that help.

If you're given a 10 point advantage on a test, score high enough that without that 10 points you'd still pass with flying colors. Then I'll believe that you made it on your own.

As a disabled veteran I am allowed that extra 10 points on civil service exams. I won't be taking advantage however... and if I did I would score high enough to negate the advantage they're giving me.

OldGrouchyCranky said...

Is "affirmative action" still necessary? Was it ever?

Why wasn't the presence, or absence, of racial discrimination the sole basis for legal action rather than affirmative action per se'?

Yep, I know that that point is no longer the issue behind hiring or admittance issues but it should be.

However, until our society decides it wishes to continue, we'll go about the business of waddling through a morass of muck and muddle our way towards something. If only our society were willing to allow clarity be in its objectives once again.

Ralph L said...

This is obviously why she is denying she benefitted from it
No, it would open her up to charges of fraud if she had benefitted, plus it makes her employers look stupid for not verifying her claim.

Ms. Warren claims ... the Oklahoma marriage license of her great-great-great grandparent dated sometime in 1894
No, it was two greats who married, with one of their parents listed as Cherokee. Apparently, that notation does not appear in the hard copy of the license, only the electronic one. Sounds like a (weak) coverup!

One of my g-g-g-grandfathers fought in the Revolution, and I'm 11 years younger than Liz. Those Warrens are just like rabbits (I know it's her husband's surname).

T J Sawyer said...

Who is you? (Dare I say Kimosabe?)

Althouse post - edited to conform to her intent:

Warren should be asked, "Don't you support affirmative action in hiring (as well as in law school admissions)?"

Hope the exam writing went better!

DiploMad said...

Presumably she denied the slot to a "genuine" Native American and, therefore, she participated in stealing the "property" of Native Americans.

R. Chatt said...

"why is she acting outraged that anyone would say that it seems that it benefited her ?"

Because no one wants to admit that AA actually advances less qualified people or especially that people of color, etc., might be less qualified. The premise is that the person who is advanced under this program really is just as qualified as the other applicants, but for the twist of fate which has placed them in a less favorable situation in life, and that's why they have less accomplished records.

The idea is that they're all equal except some people are a little less equal for a while, but if we give them a little boost they will be just as good as some one else who has had advantages earlier in life. It's all about advantages being responsible for achievements, not talent and hard work.

Obviously it's highly insulting to suggest that Warren's record of accomplishment was less than the other applicants, especially since she has had all the requisite advantages. (The nerve!!)

So why did she register as a minority? (Besides wanting to make social connections?) Why not? She didn't make the rules, did she? How is she responsible or to blame if someone else choses to give her extra credit for her background? It's kind of like taking tax deductions -- you're supposed to take all the advantages you can. Right?

Have I answered the question?

Anthony said...

Is it true her Indian name is "Dances with Socialists"?

Look at the bright side, at least she has more Indian ancestry than Ward Churchill.

jms said...

does it have something to do with whether the candidate has faced some form of disadvantage in life because of racial discrimination?

Every white and asian student faces a "form of disadvantage in life because of racial discrimination" when they fill out the race checkbox on their application.

Dr. C. said...

Ann, in your comment you said that affirmative action was a "well-embedded norm" I always thought that a well-embedded Norm was the guy at the end of the bar in Cheers.

Now Diversity different [ha]. In a former job working for a jet engine manufacturer, I was told about the benefits to the company of diversity. I wondered, does jet fuel burn differently for an Irish woman than for a Vietnamese man?

Dr. Jerry Herbel said...

The questions raised in this thread about AA in general are the same questions raised by Warren's comments. I think what professor Althouse wants is a discussion of how she would answer those questions given her personal experience with AA hiring practices. I will add my two cents:

- Who determines who gets consideration under AA? The faculty.

- Who determines which applicants even qualify for AA consideration? The faculty.

- How much minority heritage meets the AA threshold? The amount determined by the faculty in individual cases.

- When does actual economic or social discrimination become more important than group identification? When the faculty determines so in individual cases.

- How is the stigma of being an AA hire eliminated? The faculty provides rhetorical support for the new hire and denies AA was a factor.

There is statutory language answering some of these questions, but there is little/no scrutiny of how it interpreted by administrative practice. This gives faculty power to determine what the law means and to do so with little fear of judicial review, except in extreme cases or as part of an institutional pattern. And the law is assumed to justify a wide variety of potential interpretations. Essentially AA in Warren's case is an example of critical legal theory in action, and she might well justify her particular experience in those terms.

Thucydides said...

Being a military member, I can point out one clear negative in "diversity" (which in the case of the Army involves lowering standards to allow women to serve). While I appreciate any and all who wish to serve, the reality is a machine gun or Jerry can of fuel does not change its weight for smaller, weaker females. Since the standards are so much lower, many smaller weaker males are in as well.

Since reality does not change for diversity, the end result is a few soldiers have to hump the heavy kit for the ones who "meet the (diversity) standard" but are simply unable to do the job.

Sounds like a metaphor for what is happening out in the greater society.

IsaacsTM said...

QUESTION: Ms. Warren: Since George Zimmerman's great grandfather is black, does that make Mr. Zimmerman 4 times as black as you are Cherokee?

DarkHelmet said...

I think the "best" answer for Warren to give to all these questions is that race/ethinicity should be a sort of tie-breaker.

"Would I hire a less qualified candidate over a better candidate simply because of skin color? No, of course not! The very idea! But when we have two very well quailfied candidates -- so close, really, that they are virtually in a tie -- we look for something that enriches the diversity of the department. So no one is disadvantaged by AA."

"As for me, well, I have always believed I had Native American ancestors. It was part of our family lore. I believed the stories my parents told me. I have always been proud of my Indian heritage, so I generally acknowledge it on application forms and so forth. I never intended to get an advantage from it. I just wanted to be honest about my heritage. I've always been hired because I'm supremely well qualified. I'm sure I've never been selected over anyone more qualified because I acknowledged my family history on some routine form."

That's how I expect she'll answer once she finally gets her talking points in order.

Of course its all nonsense. She got where she is now through a combination of some modest talent and the fact that she's a liberal woman. She knows it, and so does everybody else. She knows AA is a fraud and so does everybody else. She knows the academic hiring process is grotesque and indefensible. But most of the non-academic public doesn't know it. Yet. The higher education bubble is bursting, though.