Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is embroiled in a controversy over her alleged Native American ancestry that has Beantown’s conservative tabloid, the Boston Herald, digging for her great great great grandmother’s records.
Last week, the Herald revealed Ms. Warren “enrolled herself as a minority in law school directories” citing Native American heritage. At a press conference yesterday, Ms. Warren said she’s “proud “of her heritage identified herself as Native American to score lunch invites not to advance her career.
“I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am. Nothing like that ever happened, that was clearly not the use for it and so I stopped checking it off,” Ms. Warren said.
Ms. Warren, a law professor, listed herself as Native American in the American Association of Law Schools directory from 1986 until 1995. According to the Herald, Harvard Law School also “touted Warren as a minority” when she was hired there.
“I am very proud of my heritage. I am very proud of the stories that my grandparents told me,” Ms. Warren said. “Being Native American is part of who our family is,” Ms. Warren said.
“However, the Herald is dubious of Ms. Warren’s claim to Native American ancestry:
“Genealogists at the New England Historic Genealogical Society were unable to back up earlier accounts that her great great great grandmother is Cherokee. While Warren’s great great great grandmother, named O.C. Sarah Smith, is listed on a electronic transcript of a 1894 marriage application as Cherokee, the genealogists are unable to find the actual record or a photographic copy of it.”
Ms. Warren is currently in the midst of a close race against freshman Republican Senator Scott Brown, who currently has a slight lead in the polls. With the Democrats holding on to a slim majority in the Senate, Ms. Warren’s race has been one of the costliest and most closely watched in the country.
In a press conference yesterday, Ms. Warren denied allegations she used minority status for careers advancement.
“I’ve been hired in different jobs because I work hard, because I’m a good teacher. They recruited me based on my abilities,” Ms. Warren said. “The only one as I understand it who’s raising any question about whether or not I was qualified for my job is Scott Brown.”
Watch video of Ms. Warren addressive the Native American issue below.