U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has been under the microscope lately, having claimed for years that she is a Native American. Running against Sen. Scott Brown in the heated election, Warren has been asked to prove that she has Native American ties, and her campaign has repeatedly been unable to do so.
As a result, the head of the Massachusetts Republican Party yesterday demanded that Harvard University, where Warren is a professor, investigate her claims. As MassGOP Chairman Bob Maginn, a Harvard alum, wrote,
“The problem is that Ms. Warren is not a Native American. She is Caucasian. Despite her insistence that she is an American Indian based upon ‘family lore’ and her observation that some in her family had ‘high cheekbones like all the Indians do,’ she has failed to produce a single shred of evidence to substantiate her claim.”
He has urged Harvard to probe her actions and her background, as claiming to be a Native American minority professor if she is not actually Native American constitutes “academic fraud.” As Maginn wrote, “By Harvard’s own Code and precedent, Ms. Warren’s actions require an investigation.”
Both Harvard Law Professor Charles Fried, who sat on the panel that hired Warren in 1995, and former Harvard Law Dean Robert Clark, have defended Warren. They explain that she was hired for her credentials, not for her heritage. Whether this is true or not, the controversy certainly isn’t helping Elizabeth Warren in her campaign, or in her standing at Harvard.