Jonathan Zimmerman: Warren’s Choice on Race
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
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Famed SC civil rights protesters have convictions erased
- A Fight About Taxing The Wealthy, A Century Before President Obama
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History
- Joan Peters’s legacy assessed by one of her fiercest critics, Norman Finkelstein
- West Point historian says if his cadets can understand the history of war, so can Congress
- Australian historian Alan Atkinson wins $100,000 literary prize
- From his perch in Saudi Arabia, Princeton’s Mark Cohen says Jews and Muslims should remember they used to get along