She put herself down as Native American for the lunch invitations, and stopped when none were forthcoming? Hearing that from a woman who knows how to be straightforward—and who would now surely be able to issue some invitations on her own—one can’t help but wince. She has since augmented that with talk of old family photographs and high cheekbones. One can be a strong, unequivocal supporter of affirmative action, and still be impatient with her on this one. The problem is that even if you accept Warren’s explanation entirely at face value—that this was all about a Native American woman looking for other Native Americans to talk to—it doesn’t sound good. She doesn’t appear to have looked very hard, for one thing. No one has an obligation to be a spokesman or advocate for any ethnic group, or to turn one’s life into a readable catalog. And yet what Warren is saying is that when she was a junior faculty member, and relatively powerless, she opened herself up, waiting to be asked; as a senior professor, and in a position to be the asker, or at least a resource, she took her name off the list.
That's her story and she is sticking to it. Proudly.