Every white person below the age of 50 or so understands why Elizabeth Warren lied about being a minority. Every college applicant forced to tick the “caucasian/white” box on an entrance application, every job applicant forced to do the same knows the cost of that mark, how the color of your skin determines whether or not your application is accepted or you get the interview. It’s hard to fight affirmative action quotas designed to redress racial discrimination decades or even centuries before you were born, so if you can’t beat the system, why not play it?
And that’s exactly what Warren did. Warren became a minority because it benefited her career. It made her stand out from all the other white faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania. More importantly it carried a certain cache important to a monied liberal like herself working with minorities in Philadelphia; a little street cred with her students that perhaps encouraged them to relate more to her. Sure she may have been playing fast and loose with the System, but that’s what everybody does, right? Besides, it was for a worthy cause: the minority students whom she would mentor and lead to better lives.
What Warren never considered was how playing the race card at UPENN may have kept a real minority out of the position. Faculty positions are limited so she beat someone out of the job. Faced with a real minority and a fake one like Warren, it’s possible that she was chosen for the position because she was blonde and blue-eyed and a minority as well. It’s the best of both worlds to some university administrators: a woman they can feel comfortable with who shares their same culture and upbringing yet a minority that they can add to their diversity statistics.
A lot of white people have stretched the truth in the cut throat world of academia. The only difference is that most of them don’t run for the US Senate a quarter century later and get caught.