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Warren's Cherokee Mess Highlights 'Unfair' Racial Quotas

Michael Barone: Time to end the system
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2012 10:52 AM CDT
Warren's Cherokee Mess Highlights 'Unfair' Racial Quotas
Elizabeth Warren, Assistant to the President and Special Adviser to the Secretary of Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, testifies before the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services, and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs...   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Some have called the controversy over Elizabeth Warren's claim to Native American ancestry a "non-issue," but it underlines a serious problem, writes Michael Barone at RealClearPolitics. The flap "illustrates the rottenness of our system of racial quotas and preferences": If Warren did use her very distant background—she appears to be 1/32 Cherokee—to help her land a job, as reports imply, then it shows how people "game the system."

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When Richard Nixon launched the system on a federal level, it was appropriate: Black Americans faced centuries of unfairness. But today, Barone asserts, it's not helping the people it's meant to help. "There is increasingly little correlation between membership in the favored categories"—which he deems to be "non-Asian minorities"—"and genuine disadvantage." Today's system "casts a pall of illegitimacy over the genuine achievements of the intended beneficiaries." How do we fix it? "Ditch racial quotas and preferences altogether," Barone suggests. Click for Barone's full column. (Read more Elizabeth Warren stories.)

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