“As you can see, she’s not.” [updated]

Ed Schultz on The Ed Show: "The Republicans have picked a weird strategy to win the most expensive senate race in the country. Republican Scott Bown is doubling down on his claim that challenger Elizabeth Warren lied about being Native American. Things got ugly this weekend when Brown's campaign staff started taunting with racist chants. - promoted by Bob_Neer

In all the craziness following the Brown/Warren debate and our awesome scoop of Brown’s staff doing “tomahawk chops” and all the rest of it, this comment by Scott Brown, at the very beginning of last week’s debate, hasn’t gotten enough attention.

“As you can see, she’s not.” Wow – as though just by looking at a person, it’s possible to discern whether that person has any Native American heritage. What a remarkable claim.

Josh Marshall at TPM takes Brown to task:

Brown apparently thinks that if Warren were a real Cherokee she’d be over there at the podium with dark-hued skin, war paint and a feather headdress.

Whether Warren was right to claim some level of Indian ancestry or whether she’s credentialed with this or that tribe I don’t really know or care about. But this “she don’t look Indian” line Brown is now basing his campaign on is ignorant to the point of offensive.

Marshall also argues that Brown’s “as you can see” line “sounds like a great gotcha line. Unless, you know really anything about the modern Cherokee Nation. In colloquial terms at least, most Cherokees ‘look white.””

The two examples Marshall cites – the current Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Bill John Baker (who is 1/32 Cherokee), and Will Rogers (9/32), look like this:

Seems to me fair game for someone to show Brown a photo of these guys and ask whether he can spot whether or not they’re Cherokee by looking. After all, that’s exactly what he claimed to be able to do in the debate.

UPDATE: Unbelievably, today Scott Brown tried to deny what he said in the above video. This story first surfaced at the Huffington Post, but their video player stinks (at least for me – took forever to load), so I re-recorded it for YouTube. What’s amazing is not only that Brown refuses to acknowledge what he said a couple of days earlier, but also that he is now claiming that if Warren hadn’t “checked the box,” she might not be the Democratic nominee for Senate. The poor guy is really losing it. Check it out:


21 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. How about Chuck Norris?

    Does that guy look Cherokee to you, Mr. Brown? Because Chuck Norris claims Cherokee heritage. So doesn’t Cameron Diaz. How about Burt Reynolds? Does he look Cherokee enough, Senator? What about Kevin Costner, Johnny Depp, and Dolly Parton? Why don’t you stand up and call them liars, as well?

    Wikipedia List of people of self-identified Cherokee ancestry

  2. I did mention it last Thursday.

    Perhaps I could’ve titled the post better.

    Video of Scott Brown claiming he has superpowers.
    methuenprogressive | Thu, Sep 20, 2012 9:49 PM EST | Edit Post
    Brown can just look at you and tell what race you are.
    “And, as you can see, she’s not.”
    Gee, Scott, can you tell who the Jews are, too?


  3. Predictable fallacy

    Brown’s assertion falls in the lamest of argument class. When you are reduced to saying something is obvious or only common sense, you are really saying, “I got nothing.”

  4. Google Scott Brown under

    Google news and get 213 hits on the culturally insensitve Brown campaign.

    Charlie Pierce also has a funny blog post calling Brown Senator McDreamy.

  5. Poor Scotty

    He gets the ideal Republican target for an opponent – the dreaded non-white…but she doesn’t even look non-white!! How are you supposed to use bigotry when your foil doesn’t look properly scary?

    sabutai   @   Tue 25 Sep 6:36 PM
  6. Strategic Mistake

    Strategic mistake on Brown’s part – he has awoken the sleeping giant!

  7. That kind of stuff worked so well for Kerry Healey...

    Those who can’t remember the past…

    …seem to be Republicans.

  8. Now Brown is claiming he didn't say that...

    ….good thing there is a tape! Via Huffington Post:

    • Are you kidding me???

      He’s trying to claim he disn’t say something that he said during a televised debate??? I guess Brown really is a Romney Republican and it’s Etch-A-Sketch time.

    • when politicians boldface lie,

      especially about something they said on a major televised debate, it should be a big story.

      Let’s see if the media calls him on it tomorrow morning.

      RyansTake   @   Wed 26 Sep 12:22 AM
  9. Scott Brown can judge Elizabeth Warren...

    …from waaaaaaaay back here!

    I’d be shocked if he brings it up again after what his staffers did.

  10. Maybe...

    … just maybe… Scott Brown has seen too many Hollywood movies. You know, like the ones where Sal Mineo and Ricardo Montalban play indians,
    (“Cheyenne Autumn“) or Rock Hudson played Chief Young Bull ( Winchester ’73“) or where Daniel Day-Lewis is Hawkeye (“Last of the Mohicans“).

    … So maybe that’s where the source of his confusion is: Elizabeth Warren doesn’t look anything like Ricardo Montalban… I can certainly see where he would be confused, there.

    Maybe he thinks he knows what an indian looks like because Anthony Quinn played Crazy Horse in “They Died With Their Boots On.” Maybe that’s why he’s so confused. I can’t blame him, I suppose, I was confused too when Hollywood imported a german actor to play an indian in “The Searchers.”

    Interestingly (or not…) Burt Reynolds, who is part Cherokee himself played a “part indian” character on “Gunsmoke“… guess he wasn’t white enough to play a full blooded indian… or something.

    Back in ’65 there was a TV show called ‘F-Troop’ which had a bunch of indians played by… people who weren’t indians…

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