Is Elizabeth Warren serious about her explanation for why she classified herself as an American Indian in Law School Directories?

The reporter's question here is such a softball.  I have a hard time believing that the reporter is at all serious.  How does someone with 1/32nd American Indian ancestry really list enroll as being a member of a tribe?  How do they list themselves as being an Indian?  Warren's claim that she didn't expected any affirmative action gain from her listing and that she just did it to meet other people with tribal roots is bizarre.  Again, I am 1/32nd American Indian and it has never crossed my mind to list myself down as American Indian.

In the youtube videos below a couple of points have come out.  1) That she is 1/32nd Indian may be questionable because the ancestor was apparently not in the Cherokee census. 2) Warren used to claim that she was a descendant from the Delaware tribe, not Cherokee.

From the Boston Herald:
Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, fending off questions about whether she used her Native American heritage to advance her career, said today she enrolled herself as a minority in law school directories for nearly a decade because she hoped to meet other people with tribal roots.
“I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am. Nothing like that ever happened, that was clearly not the use for it and so I stopped checking it off,” said Warren.
The Harvard Law professor argued she didn’t use her minority status to get her teaching jobs, and slammed her Republican rival U.S. Sen.Scott Brown for suggesting otherwise. . . .
As to her attacks on Scott Brown, all he has done is say that he isn't going to get involved in all this.

Some other videos
James Taranto on the issue.

High cheek bones?

This is her answer after 5 days?

Apparently it isn't clear that she is 1/32nd Indian.  Apparently, Warren originally claimed that she was part of the Delaware tribe, not Cherokee.

An analysis of the situation.

Ignoring a reporter's questions

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Blogger James D. Miller said...

Do you think it would have helped your law school career if you had pretended to be a native American? If so this might make an interesting story. You could argue that the reason Warren is at Harvard and you are not might be because of all this.

5/04/2012 2:12 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

It is great to hear from you. I hope that you are doing well. You might be right about your guess. Yet, it never crossed my mind to include it. It makes me regret not considering it. The amazing thing here is that some of the Massachusetts press takes her explanation that she didn't do this to advance her professional standing. I don't think that any academic believes that she is being honest about this.

5/05/2012 10:39 AM  

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