“Q. In your opinion, you’ve studied this as closely as anyone, did she use another culture to advance her chances of going up the academic ladder, if you will?
A. There’s not question she did, and those [faculty] directories are the key. And the fact that people at Penn knew she was claiming to be Native American, and the fact that at Harvard they claimed she was a Woman of Color in Legal Academia. There were journals that listed her as the first woman of color …. Fordham Law Journal in 1997 listed her as Harvard Law School’s first woman of color on the faculty. So it appears that the people who did the hiring, the people in the know, knew that whatever she was or wasn’t, she was going to be able to be counted for their purposes, for their diversity purposes, as either Native American or a woman of color.
And there is no question that that is a helpful category to have in a situation where there is an enormous pressure to increase the diversity of the faculty. That doesn’t mean she wasn’t qualified. All I’m saying is that if she was entitled to make those status claims, that’s one thing. But the problem is she wasn’t entitled to, and that’s really the problem, because she’s not Native American and she’s not a woman of color. She had no business appropriating those statuses in order to advance herself.”