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Republican Party identification has begun requiring intellectual vacuity.

-- Jennifer Rubin (she's a conservative for those who don't read much)
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Not sure. Good question.

I was thinking more about her time as a professor.
 
Posts: 8055 | Location: Williamsburg, VA | Registered: 19 July 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jon-nyc:
The relevant question is what advantage did she think she’d get.


Of course. But, assuming that she's rational, and what advantage do you think a rational person might think they'd get?

If you are not able to make the assumption that she's rational, then we have nothing further to discuss, because I'm not sure that a discussion of whether either of us believes she is or is not rational would be productive.
 
Posts: 42557 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The short answer is ‘preferential treatment’ but if you’re looking for someone to defend her actions I’m probably not the right person.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by jon-nyc:
The short answer is ‘preferential treatment’ but if you’re looking for someone to defend her actions I’m probably not the right person.


The words 'preferential treatment' in this context are meaningless, because they don't actually provide an answer to the question.

But, if you'd like me to drill down further, I will.

What 'preferential treatment' do you, a person who we will assume is rational, assume that someone might get from listing "Native American" on their bar application?
 
Posts: 42557 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You wouldn’t need to gain an identifiable advantage each time you wrote it down.

We’re assuming rationality, right?


If your plan was to call yourself Native American to further your law career you’d want to maintain consistency. You wouldn’t want to claim one origin on one day and another the next.
 
Posts: 30980 | Location: On the Hudson | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Republican Party identification has begun requiring intellectual vacuity.

-- Jennifer Rubin (she's a conservative for those who don't read much)
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She maintained the native American fiction for years. She continued to use the label through much of her time in academia. Harvard claimed her as evidence of diversity.

Did she gain from that? We'll never know the answer in any definitive way because you can't easily nail down the counterfactual. Well, I suppose you could find documentary evidence -- like some internal letter that says, "we hired her because," or "she was promoted because ...". I'm not aware of any such evidence, so any claim that she did, or did not, gain from her deception will always be pure speculation.
 
Posts: 8055 | Location: Williamsburg, VA | Registered: 19 July 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If nothing else good comes out of this expose which proved to be the ruin of the woman who ignorantly spoiled what later became her life's goal, I hope it will be to teach a lesson to youth to think once, twice, thrice about dishonest "fibs" to supposedly advance themselves.

And the same goes, for men and (to a lesser degree) women who behave in a way that might be considered unprincipled by others they respect - anyone who doesn't think through issues of right and wrong in their youth. Here, considering more the Me-Too sexual misbehavior and/or racist/other minority group put-downs, whether or not considered at the time as a "joke".

True, no one has a crystal ball to foresee what cultural changes might "get" them down the road, but perhaps one might at the very least work at developing a moral compass (and using it for guidance). Likewise, for other career choices they might follow (watch those tweets - or whatever is the future equivalent! especially if you might someday hope to find a place in public media, humor or otherwise (thinking of Trevor Noah, as an example).

If the evolution of cultural history catches them out down the road, then at least they'll be better able to explain their youthful choices as having been based on something resembling ethics.

Of course, we all undergo genuine changes of heart with time, but the ambitious especially had best consider carefully what they believe and why in their youth. Not that it's not important for ALL of us to do right, including figuring out what that means! However, there are means to ends considerations too. I include resume padding and perhaps others of you can think of even better examples. (I can think of successful family members who got ahead to a large extent based on misrepresenting themselves when seeking jobs or academic advancement.) I wonder if it was worth the risks they took, and whether they were justified on the basis of having gotten away with it.

True, that there are some leaders (starts with "T") for whom dishonesty or certain unethical behavior is actually a plus in being chosen - much less being a disqualifier. I'd still argue that it's not just more principled but wiser and safer to examine ones self-promotion carefully both on the basis of integrity and a "just in case" basis, foregoing what may be short-term advantages.

All the more for parents. I certainly hope today they expand their parenting wisdom today by the regrets many of today's would-be leaders are experiencing. That they are sure to include honor (remember that word?) in their life lessons to their children. That is, whether or not they raise them in the context of some formal religion or philosophy. It's not just a matter of whether one gets away with bending the rules, but that ethics are critical for children's well-being. (Thinking of the many contexts today, in the US and elsewhere, where parents actively participate in helping their children cheat to get ahead - hiring school admission coaches, writing admissions letters, looking the other way when their children develop workarounds for music or other downloads (or still more, setting an active example of such dishonesty). It's hard to draw lines in the sand for what our personal points of honor are (tax returns?), but generally I'd say we serve our children poorly if we don't make values a critical part of their education.

Not to say that sadly, deliberate twisting of applied standards aren't a critical part of many parents' teaching. I'd advocate making a strong effort to think through our own choices especially when "the children are watching/listening" - and when are they not?

Recalling a New Yorker cartoon where a board chairman pronounces, "Honesty is one of the better policies" - which as it happens, was drawn by my father (and used as the title of one of his books). His own standards were perhaps his best contributions to parenting us, including his pointedly informing me he was glad and proud to be paying at least half his income in his taxes. Also, that he advocated strong inheritance taxes (lucky for us, my mother circumvented that, to a degree!)

At which point I find myself examining my own example to my sons, and what as adults they have told me as mattered most to them. Not that anyone is able to be 100% honest however hard we may try (besides which in Warren's case, she defends her truth-twisting as the result of misinformation by her elders), but it's still a worthy goal.

And - as it turns out according to so many modern lessons - honesty IS also one of the safest policies.


--------------------------------
The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

 
Posts: 12392 | Location: PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I remember 20+ years ago watching a bunch of college kids having a discussion on MTV. One was native american. She complained that she was sick of everybody saying "that's so cool!" when she told them she was native american.

The moral of that story is that people think it's cool to be native american. I'm not sure you have to think much harder than that for Mrs Warren's motivation, though any institutionalized advantages conferred by being NA won't generally be turned down on principle by those claiming the status.
 
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A former boyfriend from Oklahoma who was 1/2 Native American (member of Chickesaw Tribe) described in detail how the NAs were deprived of ownership or oil rich lands there.

It became critical to be able to prove at least 1/4 White identity. Otherwise, according to then OK law, management of the land was turned over to a white guardian who was de facto owner.

Luckily for his family, his clever grandmother had made sure of her NA membership when the tribal census was being determined way back when. The result for her children/grandchildren was they inherited very valuable land. For him specifically, though, because there was estrangement between cousins, he was neither able to inherit any of the land nor was he able to benefit from college aid specifically designated to NA youth.

That was because even though his grandmother protected her land rights, he was unable when the time came, to prove adequate tribal membership according to the laws - based on both sides of his family. It made a major difference in his ability to attend university at subsidized rates.

Without tribal membership there's no way Warren could have gotten anything concrete ($) from her self-declared "American Indian" status. That doesn't count the plusses in admission creds to Harvard according to how it sounded in their alleged diversity reps. (Nor do I think Warren would have lost anything on a social basis per Oklahoma norms back then, according to my friend's report - he was called "Chief", etc.)


--------------------------------
The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

 
Posts: 12392 | Location: PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jon-nyc:
You wouldn’t need to gain an identifiable advantage each time you wrote it down.

We’re assuming rationality, right?


If your plan was to call yourself Native American to further your law career you’d want to maintain consistency. You wouldn’t want to claim one origin on one day and another the next.


Sure. Except that she could have declined to answer. That would not have interfered with consistency.
 
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I think something else was at work.

If you are white, you are not allowed to have racial pride. People who profess “white pride” are called supremacists.

That makes it a little special if you are white and can claim some other ancestry. Now you can profess pride in that, can identify with the struggle. Having heard these stories about Native American ancestry, Warren felt a little different, special. So if she didn’t claim it every chance she got, it would die with her generation.

I wonder if she would have been so quick to claim black ancestry. . . .

I don’t think she was seeking an advantage, as there was none.
 
Posts: 18395 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree that it was most likely about pride and feeling different and special, and “cool.”


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Cindy and Jodi's answer makes more sense to me than Jon's.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Cindysphinx:
If you are white, you are not allowed to have racial pride. People who profess “white pride” are called supremacists.



That's true, but people can and do zero in on a country of ancestry and have pride in that. I's sure you've heard many people claim pride in their Irish, Italian, or whatever heritage (even Lithuanian! Smiler ).

Often people do this even when it's pretty diluted. I'm guilty of that, highlighting my Swedish ancestry because it's consistent with my last name and more recent (grandpa came over in 1905), while I rarely mention my english ancestry (great^8-grandfather came here in 1638.)
 
Posts: 30980 | Location: On the Hudson | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by QuirtEvans:
Cindy and Jodi's answer makes more sense to me than Jon's.



Odd since, of the three of us, I'm the only one who even addressed your question.

I guess the rationality assumption was supposed to apply only to Warren, not to you. Smiler
 
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