Documents show Warren did not rely on ‘minority status’ to advance

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, May 11, 2012 9:19 EDT
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Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, in a screenshot from MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
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Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren (D) did not rely upon affirmative action to get teaching work at universities around the country, documents obtained by several media outlets revealed on Thursday.

In separate reports, The Associated Press and The Boston Globe both noted that Warren did not claim minority status at the University of Texas, where she taught law before moving to Harvard, writing on a personnel form that she identified as “White.” She also declined to apply to Rutgers Law School under a minority student program.

Questions over whether Warren relied upon her 1/32 heritage as a native American to help her get teaching jobs have swirled in the media ever since Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-MA) campaign manager began to criticize her for appearing in a Harvard publication that touted her as a minority professor. The University of Pennsylvania, as well, had previously identified her as a minority

That’s led the Brown campaign to demand that Warren explain her academic history, and Brown himself to ask that she release all relevant records. The Republican Party chairman for Massachusetts also said in a letter to Harvard on Monday that Warren should be investigated for “academic fraud.”

The Warren campaign has not disputed the listings, issuing a statement explaining “Elizabeth is proud of her heritage,” but that she never used it to improperly advance her career. In a segment broadcast Thursday night, MSNBC’s liberal host Rachel Maddow explained that Warren, who is Cherokee, “appears to be exactly as Cherokee as the principle chief of the Cherokee nation, Bill John Baker.” (Baker, like Warren, is 1/32 Cherokee.)

“And actually, because she may also have ancestry from the Delaware tribe as well, it is conceivable that she has even more native ancestry than he does,” Maddow added, calling the Brown campaign’s latest line the “weirdest political attack of 2012… so far.”

This video was broadcast by MSNBC on Thursday, May 10, 2012.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Updated from an original version.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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