Opinion: Is candidate Elizabeth Warren a Native American?

"I shouldn’t write about this. I’m way too insane on this topic, too strident and militant and prone to uncharacteristic flights of outrage. Very few things offend me, but someone passing himself or herself off as Native American when he/she is white by any reasonable definition, and doing so in a way that might accrue personal benefits and perhaps even harm, indirectly, the opportunities of those who are genuinely members of an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority, raises the hackles on my dander [copy editor: please revise to comport with Post stylebook].

Elizabeth Warren, candidate for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, listed herself as a minority in a reference book of law professors, according to the Boston Globe (the rival Herald broke the story about all this last Friday, I believe). Harvard, under fire for a lack of diversity on its faculty, counted Warren as a Native American. A genealogist says she’s 1/32nd Cherokee — her great great great grandmother was a Cherokee according to a 1894 record. Warren has said she didn’t use her self-identification as Native American to advance her career in any way and the law schools that hired her have said it was irrelevant."

Get the Story:
Joel Achenbach: Is Elizabeth Warren a Native American? (The Washington Post 5/2)

Related Stories:
Senate candidate in Massachusetts has a Cherokee ancestor (5/1)
Column: Democratic candidate accused of being a fake Indian (4/30)

Join the Conversation