Opinion: Elizabeth Warren sticks to Indian background claims

"I can really empathize with Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate who may owe her connection with Harvard to the school’s belief that she was Native American because I may owe my own connection with Harvard to the school’s belief that I was Native American too.

Apparently, the school started claiming it had a Native American on the law faculty when Warren arrived as a visiting professor in 1992 and kept doing so once she got a tenured job.

She doesn’t look Indian, doesn’t have an Indian name, didn’t grow up on a reservation and is not a registered member of any tribe. But Warren says it has long been a part of family lore.

She had said she was not aware the university was identifying her as a minority, but after weeks of unflattering publicity, she issued a statement Wednesday acknowledging she had told Harvard officials she had Cherokee roots. She also says — and school officials confirm — that her ethnic makeup played no role in her hiring, even though Harvard was under pressure to boost its minority numbers.

I can only say I have good reason to prefer Warren’s version. Back in 1971, my SAT results included my score along with name, birth date, home address and the like. There was also a line for ethnicity — and mine was “American Indian.”"

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Steve Chapman: Elizabeth Warren's tribe, and mine (The Odessa American 6/12)

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