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The controversy over Elizabeth Warren’s claim to Native American ancestry shows no signs of dying down, and is now threatening to derail her campaign for Republican Scott Brown’s Massachusetts Senate seat. Politico reporter Maggie Haberman has now uncovered Pa 1997 piece from the Fordham Law Review that refers to Warren as “the first woman of colour” hired by Harvard Law School.
The piece cites as its source Harvard Law spokesman Michael Chmura, the same spokesman who bragged about Warren’s Native American heritage to the Harvard Crimson in 1996.
Warren has so far dismissed the story, which first surfaced when the Boston Herald uncovered the Crimson article. She has said that she did not know Harvard was billing her as a minority professor, although identified herself as a minority on law professor listings until around 1995, and was also identified as a minority faculty member when she worked at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Brown campaign has seized the story, and is demanding that Warren release her law school personnel records to show whether her minority background had anything to do with her hiring.
“The question here is not about Elizabeth Warren’s credentials, so much as it is about Elizabeth Warren’s integrity and truthfulness and willingness to be transparent,” Brown’s campaign manager Jim Barnett told reporters yesterday.
Conservatives have also demanded that proof that Warren is 1/32 Cherokee, as she claims.
Breitbart.com has turned the issue into a cause célèbre, publishing almost daily stories that claim debunk Warren’s ancestry, including one alleging that one of Warren’s forebearers actually rounded up Cherokees for the Trail of Tears.
Warren’s response hasn’t helped quell the firestorm. Despite first denying that she knew anything about the minority listing, she now repeatedly claims to be “proud” of her Native American heritage, something she rarely, if ever, mentioned before the story broke.
To make matters worse, when reporters asked for more evidence of her ancestry, Warren told them that her “papaw had high cheekbones just like all the Indians do,” and directed them to her cousin’s cookbook, Pow Wow Chow.
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