Jonathan Zimmerman: Warren’s Choice on RaceRoundup: Historians' Take
Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history at New York University. E-mail him at Jlzimm@aol.com.
So it turns out that Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren listed herself as a Native American when she taught at the University of Pennsylvania law school. And now GOP incumbent Scott Walker has called on Warren to authorize the release of her university personnel records to see whether she used her ethnicity to get the Penn job or her current post at Harvard.
Should we care? Yes, but not for the reasons Brown assumes. Despite his suggestion that Warren was working some kind of affirmative-action scam, there’s simply no evidence that her avowed Native American heritage affected her professional trajectory.
But this story is important, nevertheless, for what it tells us about contemporary America. Like Warren, more of us are choosing new racial identities or — more commonly — mixed ones. That’s good news, because it reminds us that “race” itself is a fiction. It exists, of course, but only in our minds....
comments powered by Disqus
- ‘No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start, and Was First Accused of Bias
- New Yorker profiles activist who's drawing attention to lynchings
- Wisconsin GOP senator wants to replace history professors with Ken Burns videos
- UT removes Confederate inscription that it previously said would stay
- The man behind the Smithsonian’s new African-American history museum
- Some Ohio University professors ditch the textbooks, and the prices
- Renowned Israeli Holocaust Historian: ‘If I Were a British Jew, I’d Be Worried’
- Heather Ann Thompson pries loose the long-kept secrets of Attica in her new book
- Lonnie Bunch remembers his first day on the job as director of the new black history museum
- Speaker Ryan loves pseudo-historian David Barton