Turns out, Buckskin Betty is more Mandan squaw than school marm.
Elizabeth Warren’s avowed Native American heritage — which the candidate rarely if ever discusses on the campaign trail — was once touted by embattled Harvard Law School officials who cited her claim as proof of their faculty’s diversity.
Warren’s claim, which surfaced yesterday after a Herald inquiry, put the candidate in an awkward position as campaign aides last night scrambled but failed to produce documents proving her family lineage. Aides said the tales of Warren’s Cherokee and Delaware tribe ancestors have been passed down through family lore.
“Like most Americans, Elizabeth learned of her heritage through conversations with her grandparents, her parents, and her aunts and uncles,” said Warren’s strategist Kyle Sullivan.
The Ivy League law school prominently touted Warren’s Native American background, however, in an effort to bolster their diversity hiring record in the ’90s as the school came under heavy fire for a faculty that was then predominantly white and male.
“Of 71 current Law School professors and assistant professors, 11 are women, five are black, one is Native American and one is Hispanic,” The Harvard Crimson quotes then-Law School spokesman Mike Chmura as saying in a 1996 article.
Well, she was born in Oklahoma. That’s not Native American? Anyway, you can’t blame Harvard for trying. They made it sound like they had Sitting Bull on the faculty, when she was in fact teaching bull.
PS: The way I heard it, her great-great-great grandmother was head of the Cherokee Buffalo and Rabbit Consumer Protection Bureau, which made sure that the meat was the genuine article and not coyote gristle coated with pink slime. Maybe that’s what they meant when they referred to her Seminole influence on legal theory.