By Rebecca DiFede — Since the Civil Rights era, colleges and universities have had affirmative action programs in place to ensure that all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, have equal admission opportunities. However, this system was not put in place as a “get into college free card” for those white kids who didn’t quite make the grade and wanted an extra boost.
Recently, it came out in the Boston Herald that Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren may have lied about her Native American heritage to not only get into Harvard Law School, but also advance her career as a law professor.
When asked about the origin of her heritage, Warren hastily pointed to an old marriage application online of her great-great-great grandmother where her ethnicity is listed as Cherokee. However a physical copy of the application has yet to be found and although the marriage license has been located, it does not list the woman’s ethnicity.
Genealogists at the New England Historical Society have been attempting to determine the authenticity of Warren’s suggested ethnicity but as of yet have found no conclusive proof that she is any more Native American than she is Vulcan.
Of course candidate Warren vehemently maintains her Cherokee designation. She scolded her opponent, Republican Scott Brown, for suggesting that she needed help becoming a teacher.
She implied that he was also suggesting that her gender was a factor, poising the sarcastic question “what does he think it takes for a woman to be qualified?”
Here, Warren is attempting to turn her own scandal into some sort of “war on women” smoke screen. Perhaps she was unaware of the egregious irony of her statement.
Senate candidate Warren listed herself as a minority for nine years in a law school directory hoping, as she put it, “that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am.”
Like what, Liars Anonymous?
The entire program of affirmative action promotes this type of behavior because it gives the example that because of laws made decades ago that have long since been overturned, minorities need an extra boost getting into college and receiving financial aid and job opportunities, and if you list yourself as such you will receive special treatment.
Although at the time in which it was instated, affirmative action was necessary to prevent blatant racial discrimination against minority students applying to universities because of the social climate of the country at that time. However, the times have changed and that type of profiling is not only frowned up, it is illegal. And yet the extra credit feature for those claiming minority status is still in place.
Those kids who have no minority heritage to cling to can simply check a box on their application other than “White/Caucasian” and be placed in a special category with different standards than their “non-minority” counterparts.
From this angle, it would seem that the system is flawed against those who identify most with the “White/Caucasian” check box. This is as unfair as skewing the process away from minorities was in the 1950’s and earlier.
“Equal protection under the law” means just that. All people, regardless of the color of their skin, or the skin of their ancestors, will receive equal treatment by the government. Having one side benefit more than the other defeats the purpose of “equal.”
And here, Elizabeth Warren may not have been truthful about her ethnicity and falsified it just to gain acceptance to a prestigious law school and later get a job teaching there. If true, her actions are despicable and disrespectful to all those who put in the extra work and drive to accomplish their goals.
Life is not a video game; someone shouldn’t be able to simply get cheat codes and bypass the obstacles. Each person must earn their own way on merit, not lie or depend on government freebies to get a pass to not work as hard.
Rebecca DiFede is a contributing editor to Americans of Limited Government.