16.10.18

CALL THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ASTERISK AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ASTERISK.

Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren releases the results of a DNA test that suggests she has Native American, or perhaps American, DNA mix that's within the margin of error for the test.

A kerfuffle of Trumpian proportions is riling up talk radio and opinion journalism today.

The Trenchant Question of the Day goes to Inside Higher Ed's Colleen Flaherty.  "Why did Elizabeth Warren divulge her genetic test results, which show she is in fact part Native American, while simultaneously insisting that she's always been evaluated professionally as a white person?"

Turn on the Wayback Machine.  "Roger Clegg asks the question Nobody in Polite Society dares ask. 'Well, yes, it’s quite plausible that, if you are hired according to lower standards, some people will devalue your record.'"  (The National Review link goes to their old Phi Beta Cons.  No guarantees as to it working.)

Here's how it plays at Inside Higher Ed.
Many women and minority scholars say that they must constantly deal with those who doubt they've earned their academic successes. But the issue is more complicated in some ways for Native American professors. It’s arguably a case of having one’s cake and eating it, too: affirming one’s Native American heritage but denying to have ever been professionally evaluated as a nonwhite person. And Adrienne Keene, assistant professor of American studies and ethnic studies and Brown University, and Kim TallBear, associate professor of Native studies at the University of Alberta in Canada, among others, find it distasteful.
The Oppression Olympics, and the slanging matches going on in the comment section, are as you might expect.

Better for Professor Warren, and for diversity hires generally, to be thought of as Privilege Americans rather than as Asterisk Americans?

Perhaps it might be better for Americans to think of themselves as Americans.  Here's Charlie "Prof Scam" Sykes, less than impressed with the whole show.  "What possible relevance does this miniscule detail have for Elizabeth Warren’s ability to teach the law or to make public policy? In what way did the ancestry of her great-great-great-great-great grandparents contribute to the diversity of higher education?"  Or, to quote another cranky old lady still too much in the news, "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

No comments: