Patterico's Pontifications


Another Academic Turns Out Not to be Who She Claimed

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:46 am

[guest post by JVW]

More drama in the academic racial grievances racket:

A University of California Berkeley associate professor issued an apology Monday for claiming to be Native American after she revealed she had been White her “whole life.”

Elizabeth Hoover was hired at the university in 2020, her LinkedIn profile states, researching Native American food systems, food sovereignty, Native American environmental health movements, and more, according to a university biography page.

In a previous statement from 2022, Hoover stated she grew up believing she was Mohawk on her mother’s side and Mi’kmaq on her father’s but that questions raised about her true identity had prompted her to do genealogical research which resulted in her finding no records of tribal citizenship for any of Hoover’s family members.

“I have brought hurt, harm, and broken trust to the Native community at large, and to specific Native communities I have worked with and lived alongside, and for that, I am deeply sorry,” Hoover’s apology states.

Many on campus are calling for Hoover’s resignation and removal from “all positions on boards and advisory committees and all grants, speaking engagements, and other paid opportunities she obtained with her false identity,” according to a collective statement written by three Berkeley PhD students.

Thus far, there are 375 signatures from various UC Berkeley staff, faculty, students and other community members.

UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore said in a statement that the university is unable to address personnel matters that violate privacy rights.

“We are aware of and support ongoing efforts to achieve restorative justice in a way that acknowledges and addresses the extent to which this matter has caused harm and upset among members of our community,” the statement reads.

Calling on her to resign — why? According to what we have been told over and over by the higher education cartel, scholars like Prof. Hoover are hired because of their outstanding scholarship, not because they check off an important race or ethnicity box. Indeed, California’s Proposition 209 passed by the voters back in 1996 (and reaffirmed by the rejection of Proposition 16 in 2020) specifically outlaws hiring a public employee on the basis of their race. Ergo, even if it turns out that Prof. Hoover really isn’t Native American, that wouldn’t have any effect on her scholarship, which should have been the sole basis of her appointment, right?

It would seem to me that Berkeley finds itself in a sort of conundrum. If they were to fire or even modestly punish Prof. Hoover then wouldn’t that be an outright admission that her claim of Native American heritage was central to her hiring, which would in itself violate state law? Yet if she remains on the faculty then she will be forced to deal with the ire of the woke set who knows how the higher education racket is really played and realizes that Prof. Hoover gamed the system perfectly. She is listed as an Associate Professor on her Cal website, which means that she is tenured. Oh what tangled webs, and all that. It will be fun to see how all of this shakes out, but I hope Professor Elizabeth Hoover has the guts to fight it out and refuse to resign.

But if she chooses to leave academia, she potentially has a bright future ahead of her as a United States Senator.


19 Responses to “Another Academic Turns Out Not to be Who She Claimed”

  1. What I heard, growing up, was that I was about one eighth Native. It bothered me endlessly that, when people heard about that, they urged me to claim that ancestry.

    I was raised in North Long Beach/Compton, not on a reservation.

    I am not a registered member of any tribe.

    There was no familial Native history other than what my mother’s mother told me.

    I have never suffered in any way due to Native ancestry, nor have any member of my family of which I know (certainly my mother and grandmother were treated poorly in central California because they were from Oklahoma, but that isn’t ethnic).

    I was raised lower middle class / poor in Southern California.

    People I liked in respected in academia told me that I was “a fool” (direct quote) for not claiming such an ancestry.

    Since I am a molecular biologist and geneticist, I had my genome done. I am almost 100% Scots, Irish, English, and Norwegian. There is nothing, either autosomal, Y-linked, or mitochondrial, linking me to any Native genomic patterns.

    This is a scam. And frankly, I am glad that Native folk are starting to police this kind of thing.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  2. Great post, JVW, and you’re on the nose points make me laugh. The tangled web, indeed.

    Dana (560c99)

  3. It’s not even original. Ward Churchill already blazed this academic trail of racial-ethnic fraud.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  4. Years ago, I knew a couple with three sons, two of whom were officially members of an Indian tribe, and one of whom wasn’t.

    How did this happen? Their father, so deprived that he was only able to become the head librarian at a small university, was officially a member of one of the Oklahoma tribes. (Their mother was a Jewish musician.)

    And the tribe tightened the membership rules between the births of the second and third sons.

    Jim Miller (0e46f9)

  5. When I was growing up — year and years ago — if someone said another person was “passing”, the person saying it generally meant that a light-skinned “black” person was pretending to be white. When I got my first job, I found that some of the women I worked with tried to “pass” as men by signing letters with their initials, rather than their first names.

    From these experiences, and later ones, I have decided that when someone “passes”, they are usually trying to gain some advantage. Sometimes a very large advantage. That’s not a deep thought, but I think it does tell us something about which groups have perceived advantages, in which places.

    Jim Miller (0e46f9)

  6. Jim,

    It’s fairly common for tribes with casino money to disenroll members to keep the pool of recipients small. This means a family of six kids and two parents -all with the necessary blood quantum and historical claim – could easily have three or four of the kids disenrolled by the enrollment committee while allowing a few to remain enrolled. Of course this is wrong and unjustified, save for reasons above. Unfortunately, because there is no real oversight and accountability, these decisions stand. There are any number of lawsuits against tribes for such disenrollment but I haven’t seen any that were successfully challenged and reversed .

    Dana (560c99)

  7. So now we have two Fauxcahontas, and they both have “Elizabeth” as a first name. Very curious.

    norcal (15fce4)

  8. So, what was Michael Jackson’s plan?

    Kevin M (f94f4f)

  9. #6 Dana – I have seen a few reports of fights over who is, and who is not, members of a tribe. (There is/was one such north of here.) As I am sure you know, it’s even more complicated since the different tribes have different rules.

    Often, these fights must be tough on many communities.

    (Hope you are feeling better already.)

    Jim Miller (0e46f9)

  10. Indian heritage is big business
    All related to the “Dawson roles”

    Wife is 1/ 68th and is a member of Cherokee tribe. Stepson is 1/124th.
    They are eligible for some benefits, and I think we have access to their health care.

    Joe (ab787b)

  11. Why wouldn’t humans cheat about race? They cheat at everything else where advantage can be gained and if Universities are looking for unicorns to throw money at, turn yourself into one that checks a bunch of their boxes. It is an affront to ask for proof.

    steveg (d85f83)

  12. So, what was Michael Jackson’s plan?

    Kevin M (f94f4f) — 5/8/2023 @ 3:52 pm

    I am the opposite of Michael Jackson.

    I wouldn’t mind being black, and I hate kids!

    norcal (15fce4)

  13. #10, Sorry I made a math error there.
    They are officially “Cherokee Indian”

    Joe (ab787b)

  14. I am the opposite of Michael Jackson.

    That makes you guilty of child molestation and a terrible dancer. The good news is you’re alive and your sister didn’t expose herself at the Super Bowl.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  15. That makes you guilty of child molestation and a terrible dancer.

    lurker (cd7cd4) — 5/8/2023 @ 9:37 pm


    I’ll admit to the latter.

    norcal (15fce4)

  16. #11: steveg, with great respect, I believe that claiming something that is not true is wrong. Especially for personal benefit. I know that is a minority opinion in our culture, but it is something I truly believe.

    Simon Jester (ca4340)

  17. I know that is a minority opinion in our culture,

    BudLight’s “Boys Who Claim To Be Girls Are Actually Girls” campaign results suggest that you are part of the Silenced Majority.

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  18. Hi Simon

    That was poorly written. I was speaking in general terms about people of a certain type. I believe that some humans solve the puzzle by reinventing their story in a way that checks the boxes. People with mediocre achievements and a sliding, situational scale of ethics can get a great job for the odd group of people who are in a search for humans with the rarest “diverse” pedigree.

    Thanks for your kind and thoughtful take.

    steveg (08310c)

  19. steveg, I appreciate your comment. Best wishes.

    Simon Jester (ca4340)

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