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Elizabeth Warren and the progressive war on science

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File:DNA simple.svg Here’s a reasonable take on Warren’s DNA results:

Using this data, the original analysis, which was prepared by a respected geneticist, determined that five segments of Sen. Warren’s DNA — totaling about 12.3 million bases (“letters”) — are of Native American ancestry. That might sound like a lot, but the human genome contains more than 3.2 billion bases, which means that only about 0.4% of Sen. Warren’s DNA sequence can be attributed to Native American ancestry.

Thus, the vast, vast majority of her DNA is of European descent. Though her pedigree probably contains a Native American ancestor, he or she existed six to ten generations ago. If a generation is roughly 25 years, that means that Sen. Warren’s (possibly one and only) Native American ancestor lived 150 to 250 years ago.

While that means that Sen. Warren is technically correct that she has Native American ancestry, it falls far short of her rather boastful claims: “I am very proud of my heritage… These are my family stories. This is what my brothers and I were told by my mom and my dad, my mamaw and my papaw. This is our lives. And I’m very proud of it.” Alex Berezow, “Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test Tells Us Nothing” at American Council on cience and Health

Yes, that was the problem.

It’s true, people sometimes make up stuff about themselves and come to believe it, and it doesn’t usually matter. As Berezow adds, “I’m proud of my heritage, as well. I might be related to Charlemagne. And Nefertiti. And you probably are, too.” We could all make up stories about ourselves around the marshmallow roast if we wanted to.

But in the age of legal affirmative action and identity politics, it does matter when a major politician makes such claims because they involve entitlements, benefits, and the historical record. Or, as in her case, they do but shouldn’t.

It’s been a curious controversy. For example, there was Warren’s supporters’ tone-deafness to statements like this:

In a stunning rebuke, the Cherokee Nation released a statement saying, “Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage,” and that Warren’s DNA test “makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven.” Ben Shapiro, “Democrats Know They Can Always Count on the Media” at Townhall

Or this:

“When my momma was 19, and my daddy was 20, they eloped,” she said of her parents, because her father’s family did not approve of his marriage to Warren’s mother, “because my mother’s family … was part Native American”. Jamiles Lartey, “Elizabeth Warren’s DNA release proves it: she’s running for president” at The Guardian

This is a dramatic claim about events in living history. That is, if Warren is 69, her parents were contemporaries of mine (O’Leary for News). If her parents had to elope in the mid-twentieth century because of racism—based on so slight a connection as they must have had to any “race” other than the current census majority in the US—they, and later she, must have lived in an odd community indeed. Yet none of her supporters seem suspicious…

No wonder it is hard to get people’s attention for the progressive war on science.

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See also: Elizabeth Warren Agrees With the Ku Klux Klan on the “One Drop Rule” (Barry Arrington)

and

Science writer: Academia is in meltdown Berezow: A new survey by Gallup shows that only 48% of U.S. adults have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in academia, down from 57% in 2015.

15 Replies to “Elizabeth Warren and the progressive war on science

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    For years Cherokees have been fighting against Warren’s lie, yet she refuses to apologize

    Elizabeth Warren’s ‘part’ Cherokee claim is a joke, and a racist insult to Natives like me
    Rebecca Nagle, Opinion contributor Published 4:00 a.m. ET Oct. 18, 2018
    Excerpt: As Cherokee genealogists have researched, and I have repeatedly written about, Warren descends from a long line of well-documented white people. While Warren no longer identifies herself as Native American, she still publicly claims her family is “part” Cherokee. There is nothing innocent about a white woman claiming her ancestors experienced genocide and ethnic cleansing — an inescapable fact for Cherokee families — when they did not. Why is this so hard to understand?

    Native American rights and status under assault,,,
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2018/10/18/native-american-elizabeth-warren-cherokee-ancestry-column/1668763002/?fbclid=IwAR2HirOi3cQY-cZiqXvGAiehq_Oa22SWVKfTcgDqKsAIG3iEa32NKmJMTGA

    Elizabeth Warren’s Maternal Ancestors
    She claims to have Indian blood through her mother so that side of her family is shown here. All were always found in all records as white. They were never found in any Cherokee records or listed as Indian. The Trail of Tears was in 1838-39. We chose to show back to the generation born before that time, though we have traced most her lines back further. Additional information or documentation available upon request.
    http://www.pollysgranddaughter.....ation.html

  2. 2
    Bob O'H says:

    But in the age of legal affirmative action and identity politics, it does matter when a major politician makes such claims because they involve entitlements, benefits, and the historical record. Or, as in her case, they do but shouldn’t.

    I’ve seen this claim that Warren has benefited from her claims about having Native American ancestry, but I haven’t seen anyone say what these benefits are, other than being listed as being a member of a minority, and waved around as one. Does anyone have any evidence that she has benefited beyond this?

  3. 3
    johnnyb says:

    other than being listed as being a member of a minority, and waved around as one

    I think this is what most people are referring to. That’s certainly been central to her political career.

    Additionally, I *think* that one school she taught at used her minority status to fill minority requirements for their school.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Timeline of Elizabeth Warren’s Minority Claim

    1977 to 1978 – Taught at Rutgers University
    1978 to 1983 – Taught at University of Houston
    1981 to 1987 – University of Texas (Austin), personnel records listed her as white
    From the Boston Globe, “Warren’s employment document at the University of Texas allowed her to check multiple boxes specifying “the racial category or categories with which you most closely identify.” The options included “American Indian or Alaskan Native,” but she chose only white.”
    1986 – Listed herself as a minority in the American Association of Law Schools directory
    From the Washington Post, “Warren first listed herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Faculty in 1986, the year before she joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She continued to list herself as a minority until 1995, the year she accepted a tenured position at Harvard Law School.”
    1987 to 1992 – Taught at University of Pennsylvania
    1992 to 1993 – Taught at Harvard Law School as visiting professor
    1993 – Harvard behind in diversity goals
    From The Crimson, “As the University winds up a plan launched in 1988 to promote diversity in its faculty and staff, officials express disappointment about their progress.”
    1993 – Harvard minority student groups issue demands
    From the Crimson, “The panelists addressed several of the issues raised by the protesters, including Harvard’s response to Mansfield’s remarks, the lack of minority faculty and the absence of Asian-American representation on the panel.”
    1993 – Listed in the article “Women of Color in Legal Academia: A Biographic and Bibliographic Guide”
    From Breibart, “An article, “Women of Color in Legal Academia: A Biographic and Bibliographic Guide,” which was published by the Harvard Women’s Law Journal (since renamed the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender) in its Spring 1993 edition (Volume 16), lists Warren as one of approximately 250 “women of color” in legal academia.”
    1993 – Offered permanent position at Harvard (turned down)
    From The Crimson, “Visiting Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren, one of the two female scholars offered tenure by Harvard Law School this year, said yesterday that she will not accept the post.

    Warren, who holds a tenured position at the University of Pennsylvania, said that her decision was based on “personal reasons.” ”
    1993 to 1995 – Taught at University of Pennsylvania
    1994 – University of Pennsylvania, received a teaching award, designated as a minority
    From the Boston Globe, “The University of Pennsylvania, where Warren taught at the law school from 1987 through 1995, listed her as a minority in a “Minority Equity Report” posted on its website. The report, published in 2005, well after her departure, included her as the winner of a faculty award in 1994. Her name was highlighted in bold, the designation used for minorities in the report.”
    March 1994 – Student Protests at Harvard demanding more minority faculty hires
    From The Crimson, “Beginning on March 5, the Saturday of Junior Parents Weekend ,the Asian American Association, Raza and other minority groups launched an all-out assault, complete with protests, petitions and postering. one of their primary goals: to increase minority faculty hiring.”

    and

    “A protester’s sign on March 5 displays Harvard’s “report card,” giving the administration an “A” for “evasion” and an “F” for “action” on the issue of minority faculty hiring The underlying message is that Harvard’s faculty is not diverse due to institutionalized racism and stubborn, reactionary administrators.”
    1995 – Accepted a permanent position at Harvard Law School
    From The Crimson, “University of Pennsylvania legal scholar Elizabeth Warren has been appointed the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, University officials announced yesterday.
    Warren, who taught at the law school as a visiting professor during the spring of 1993, said yesterday the offer had been available since that time, but added that family circum-stances had kept her from accepting the position until now.”
    1995 – Stopped listing herself as minority in the American Association of Law Schools directory
    From the Washington Post, “Warren first listed herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools Directory of Faculty in 1986, the year before she joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She continued to list herself as a minority until 1995, the year she accepted a tenured position at Harvard Law School.”
    1996 – Touted as Native American in The Crimson
    From The Crimson, “Although the conventional wisdom among students and faculty is that the Law School faculty includes no minority women, Chmura said Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren is Native American.”
    1997 – Touted as Harvard Law’s first woman of color in Fordham Law Review
    From Politico, ” “There are few women of color who hold important positions in the academy, Fortune 500 companies, or other prominent fields or industries,” the piece says. “This is not inconsequential. Diversifying these arenas, in part by adding qualified women of color to their ranks, remains important for many reaons. For one, there are scant women of color as role models. In my three years at Stanford Law School, there were no professors who were women of color. Harvard Law School hired its first woman of color, Elizabeth Warren, in 1995.” ”

    Is this the form that she “checked the box” on?
    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2NyjBJDucyQ/UFFxlidwKEI/AAAAAAAACq0/LPw6-5IicjU/s640/sidf.jpg

    If so, it is clear to see why she won’t release the records. She does not legally meet the criteria to be counted as a Native American for diversity reports to the EEOC.
    http://www.pollysgranddaughter.....ation.html

  5. 5
    R J Sawyer says:

    Politicians are notorious for making claims about themselves that are not true. Trump claims to be a genius, and claimed to have bone spurs, and claimed that he didn’t have sex with Stormy Daniels. 🙂 Clinton claimed that he “never had sexual relations with that woman”. How many claim to be religious who are not?

  6. 6
    News says:

    This item, from one of Warren’s former students at Harvard, Jennifer Braceras, provides much-needed context: Harvard was under enormous pressure to hire visible minority female profs.

    It was against this backdrop of race and gender activism that Elizabeth Warren arrived in Cambridge. Then a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, she came to Harvard as a visiting professor (that is, on a trial basis). During this time, Warren categorized herself as Native American and was deemed a minority in a professional directory used by law schools for recruiting purposes. Warren says she classified herself this way to meet other Native Americans. That may be true; it must also have had the effect of catching the attention of hiring committees at prestigious law schools.

    Once at Harvard, Warren quickly developed a reputation as an engaging and committed teacher. Students of all political stripes flocked to her classes. I was one of them. She was, I can attest, an excellent professor.

    It is not difficult to imagine that the members of the hiring committee might have thought Warren would help with their public relations problem—or at least buy them some time.

    The Boston Globe reports that Warren’s claim to Native American heritage never came up in faculty deliberations. But, of course, it didn’t have to. At that point, her purported ethnicity was a matter of record.

    One thing is certain: Once Warren joined the faculty, Harvard touted her minority status in order to burnish its diversity credentials, listing Warren as a minority in internal documents and compliance reports and telling the Harvard Crimson that the law school had a Native American female on the faculty.

    Braceras stresses that Warren was an excellent teacher but it does appear to be a historical fact that the “Native American” attribution was a selling point.

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    Did Warren allow various academic institutions to list or represent her as a “woman of color” or a member of a minority group such as Native American.

    Yes.

    Did she identify herself on various forms as native American or a minority group?

    Yes.

    Should she have done that based on stories told her by relatives?

    No.

    Did she ever claim to be a full-blooded Cherokee?

    No.

    Did she ever claim her native American heritage qualified her for membership of the Cherokee nation?

    No.

    Did she ever apply for membership of the Cherokee nation?

    No.

    Has she ever drawn or obtained significant benefit from her claim of native American heritage?

    No.

    The more serious issue is not the claim itself – it’s a storm in a teacup – but the fact that it has handed Trump a weapon with which to belabor her and distract attention from his more pressing problems. Worse than that, though, I think it has seriously undermined her credibility as a potential Democratic candidate for the Presidency. She looks as if she has been tactically outmaneuvered by Trump and thrown on the defensive. Unless she can get out in front of this quickly and effectively, she will be seen a just another ivory tower academic totally out of her depth in the dirty, backstabbing, cut-and-thrust of politics at this level.

    What she should have done is admit what she had done, say she was sorry but, at worst, it was an exaggeration based on what she had been told by her family. When Trump challenged her with his million-dollar bet she should have countered immediately with an I’ll-show-you-mine-if-you-show-me-yours offer, in other words, I’ll release the results of a DNA test when you release your tax returns.

    Even worse for Warren is that a pornstar, Stormy Daniels, is already showing herself as more effective at this sort of infighting. When Trump called her “horseface” she shot straight back with “Game on, Tiny!” If she ever ran she’d get my vote.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    It just keeps getting even more bizarre:

    REPORT: Elizabeth Warren’s great-great-great grandfather was a member of the militia that ripped Cherokee from their homes, separating Native American families
    Monday, October 15, 2018
    Excerpt: But the most stunning discovery about the life of O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford is that her husband, Ms. Warren’s great-great-great grandfather, was apparently a member of the Tennessee Militia who rounded up Cherokees from their family homes in the Southeastern United States and herded them into government-built stockades in what was then called Ross’s Landing (now Chattanooga), Tennessee–the point of origin for the horrific Trail of Tears, which began in January, 1837.

    Jonathan Crawford, O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford’s husband and apparently Ms. Warren’s great-great-great grandfather, served in the East Tennessee Mounted Infantry Volunteer Militia commanded by Brigadier General R. G. Dunlap from late 1835 to late 1836. While under Dunlap’s command he was a member of Major William Lauderdale’s Battalion, and Captain Richard E. Waterhouse’s Company.

    These were the troops responsible for removing Cherokee families from homes they had lived in for generations in the three states that the Cherokee Nations had considered their homelands for centuries: Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
    https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-10-15-elizabeth-warren-grandfather-member-militia-ripped-cherokee.html?fbclid=IwAR150SlBaadt3bmCXpF-nGcRZMQUXa_5Xq0m8-Li6qYVFT_CNShLADeTQlg

    Truth truly is stranger than the fiction that lives inside Warren’s head.

  9. 9
    Bob O'H says:

    Braceras stresses that Warren was an excellent teacher but it does appear to be a historical fact that the “Native American” attribution was a selling point.

    Really? You quote someone not involved in hiring Warren who says it might have been Warren has wheeled out several people who were involved in hiring her who say it was not.

    And this argument is nonsensical:

    The Boston Globe reports that Warren’s claim to Native American heritage never came up in faculty deliberations. But, of course, it didn’t have to. At that point, her purported ethnicity was a matter of record.

    If her ethnicity was a part of why she was hired, it would, pretty much by definition, have to have come up in discussions. That’s how these things work.

  10. 10
    News says:

    Bob O’H at 9, you wrote, “If her ethnicity was a part of why she was hired, it would, pretty much by definition, have to have come up in discussions. That’s how these things work.”

    No, that is not how these things work. When people are being hired in part because of a “sensitive” qualification that is widely known, no one mentions it because everyone knows it and discussion can be risky. If you don’t know, you aren’t supposed to be at the meeting.

  11. 11
    Bob O'H says:

    News – sorry, but I have been part of these discussions, so I know first-hand how they work. Even when there have been these sorts of biases, they have been raised (either directly or indirectly). If they are not, then people will tend to make the decision based more on what is mentioned in the discussions.

    I see you haven’t responded at all to my point that several people with direct knowledge of the discussions have said her ethnicity wasn’t relevant to the decisions. If you can’t give a convincing response to that, then perhaps you’re backing the wrong horse.

  12. 12
    Barry Arrington says:

    Bob:

    If you can’t give a convincing response to that, then perhaps you’re backing the wrong horse.

    How about: “We are not going to make ourselves look even more like idiots than we already have when we touted this blonde, blue-eyed woman as a “woman of color,” by flat out admitting that one of the reasons we hired this blonde, blue-eyed woman was to tout her as a “woman of color.” This is rather obvious Bob. That you can’t see the obvious is sad.

    It is also sad that you insist on defending the indefensible.

  13. 13
    Barry Arrington says:

    Seversky

    Did she ever claim to be a full-blooded Cherokee?

    No.

    Lie.

    She signed her contribution to the Pow Wow Chow cookbook “Elizabeth Warren — Cherokee.” This is widely known.

  14. 14
    Bob O'H says:

    Barry – even people who aren’t full-blooded Cherokee can claim membership. This is from their own instructions:

    Cherokee Nation citizenship law is set by tribal law. There is no minimum blood quantum required for citizenship. Tribal citizenship requires that you have at least one direct ancestor listed on the Dawes Final Rolls, a federal census of those living in the Cherokee Nation that was used to allot Cherokee land to individual citizens in preparation for Oklahoma statehood in 1907.

    So I don’t see how the fact her name was listed as “Cherokee” can be used to infer she claimed to be a full-blooded Cherokee: even the Cherokee Nation don’t say their members have to be full-blooded.

  15. 15
    Mung says:

    LoL. What a fraud.

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