Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Elizabeth Warren, Woman of Color and Mystery

The Elizabeth Warren affirmative action fraud scandal continues to unravel. It's clear Elizabeth Warren self-identified as a minority in professional directories to further her professional career. It's also clear that some of the law schools where she worked took that information and touted her minority status as evidence of their commitment to affirmative action.

The latest revelation is this paragraph from a 1997 Fordham Law Review article:
There are few women of color who hold important positions in the academy, Fortune 500 companies, or other prominent fields or industries. This is not inconsequential. Diversifying these arenas, in part by adding qualified women of color to their ranks, remains important for many reasons. 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.
Portions of the Fordham article are archived at the website, which includes this tantalizing tidbit:
I have spoken with many women of color about their law school experiences of attending class, hearing a professor say something demeaning about women of color, noticing no reaction among their classmates, and ultimately wondering, "Is it just me?" To illustrate, at a conference at Harvard Law School organized by the Women of Color Collective, when one panelist described the "is it just me" phenomenon, women throughout the audience nodded their heads in understanding.
Just who was the panelist who asked "is it just me"? That sounds like a certain blue-eyed blonde white woman who wants to be the junior U.S. Senator for Massachusetts. Well, maybe not. But just what was Elizabeth Warren's connection with the Women of Color Collective at Harvard? We have ourselves a mystery.

The thing that you can regard as absolutely certain is that organization's such as the Collective kept close track of minority hiring at colleges and universities around the country, and kept especially close track at Harvard. It's inconceivable that such a conference would have been held at Harvard at a time when the law school was publicly touting Elizabeth Warren in its minority hiring stats without her being invited.

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