Elizabeth Warren on Principles & Values
Warren said that her parents told her growing up that her mother was part Cherokee and part Delaware Indian and that as a child she never questioned that story. Warren also said those who hired her during her law school career had said they were either unaware of her background or that it played no role in their decision to hire her. "This is about family. I can't and I won't change who I am," she said.
Some members of Warren's extended family had also heard stories of Native American blood in the family, but others had not.
Brown challenged Warren to release her personnel records to prove that her claim of Native American heritage had played no role in her getting jobs. Warren pointed to the fact that Prof. Charles Fried, a Republican, who sat on the committee that recruited Warren for her Harvard job, said that he was unaware of her ancestry when she was hired. "There's nothing else there. The question has been asked and answered. I think the senator just doesn't like the answer," Warren said
BROWN: I think character is important. Professor Warren claimed she was a Native American, a person of color. And as you can see, she's not.
WARREN: When I was growing up, these were the stories I knew about my heritage. When [my parents] wanted to get married, my father's family said no because my mother was part Delaware and part Cherokee. This is my family, this is who I am, and it's not going to change.
Her opponents question whether Warren chose this heritage to gain advantages available to Indians and other underrepresented groups in academia. Warren has been adamant that she did not seek any advantage from Native American heritage. Records show that she declined to apply for admission to Rutgers Law School under a minority student program and identified her race as "White" on an employment record at the University of Texas.
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