Chief of Cherokee Nation calls on Scott Brown to apologize for his staff

Bumped. Senator Brown, Professor of Native American Studies, over to you. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Just in, via email:

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief denounces offensive actions by Sen. Scott Brown staffers

The Cherokee Nation is disappointed in and denounces the disrespectful actions of staffers and supporters of Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. The conduct of these individuals goes far beyond what is appropriate and proper in political discourse. The use of stereotypical “war whoop chants” and “tomahawk chops” are offensive and downright racist. It is those types of actions that perpetuate negative stereotypes and continue to minimize and degrade all native peoples.

The individuals involved in this unfortunate incident are high ranking staffers in both the senate office and the Brown campaign. A campaign that would allow and condone such offensive and racist behavior must be called to task for their actions.

The Cherokee Nation is a modern, productive society, and I am blessed to be their chief. I will not be silent when individuals mock and insult our people and our great nation.

We need individuals in the United States Senate who respect Native Americans and have an understanding of tribal issues. For that reason, I call upon Sen. Brown to apologize for the offensive actions of his staff and their uneducated, unenlightened and racist portrayal of native peoples.

-Bill John Baker, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation



Discuss

44 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. So when can we ask the question ...

    Why are these people still working in the Brown campaign?

  2. Just look at him

    Will Scott Brown use his Indian Radar to expose this guy as not really a Native American?

  3. It's hard to blame Baker

    He could hardly let this go on with comment.

    This is a really low point in Massachusetts politics. I’m really just kind of sad about it. I mean, I’ll happily take full advantage of the blowback on Brown, since it reveals the true him, but…I wish it didn’t have to be this way. Sincerely.

    • Look at the front page. Look at the proportion of Brown-blowback posts to “issues” posts.

      Nine total front page posts you can safely say are about his Native American attacks and the blowback.

      ONE post on an accomplishment Warren can be proud of: Cos’s “If we’d had the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before the crisis…

      I want more time to discuss the reasons to elect Elizabeth Warren. Or to showcase Scott Brown’s very real, very partisan record. But Brown has brought us to this place in the campaign where everything is about him – just not, obviously, in the way HE’D like it to be, since most of it is negative about him.

      It’s a terrible day in MA politics. We can’t let this sort of low-road Karl Rove campaigning to become a gold standard in our state. Of course, this takes have opponents of integrity on the Republican side. When will they see this sort of disgusting behavior is a great way to keep losing?? We keep teaching it to them, but they keep doing it anyway…

      • have = having

        n/t

      • It's been this way for months

        …but it’s been taking place online, where invisible to your average voter. And Brown’s been able to simultaneously encourage/endorse the racially charged taunts of his supporters while appearing above it all. (HE’s not doing this “Fauxcahontas” crap; he’s just asking “legitimate questions” about this apparent controversy that came out of nowhere, NOWHERE I tell you).

        Since the Debate and the Tomahawk chop (blech), two things have changed:
        >> The average voter now SEES what’s been going on for months–and it’s disgusting
        >> Scott has claimed the skin fetish and racial taunting as his own–by “as you can see” and not being respectable in his non-condemnation of his staffers.

        So it may be a low day in MA politics, but it’s been a low few months.

        And I have to say it’s been enabled by the punditocracy that allowed this to become a legitimized question (eg Joan Venocchi used, unquestioned, the “checked the box” language and presumption of truth… as if it were transparent what “check the box” means. It’s not.)

        Let’s all remember: in 2004, Swift Boating worked.

      • Forget that Lynne. BMG = "Brown must go"

        My favorite is all the calls for Brown to do this and that.

        Even if he did everything suggested here on BMG, if he wins people will think he still sucks, and if he loses then he will be ridiculed.

        BMG reflects the wider society and it’s highly partisan nature, and is not exhibiting the moral leadership that possibly you hoped for.

        It’s a terrible year in national politics.

        • meh.

          Nothing compared to what the Brown racialists have been demanding of Warren. She must show this, she must reveal that, she must meet these people, she must apologize for being deceptively white.

          If she wins, she’ll still suck for them, if she loses, she’s still a Fake Injun.

          So… you know…

          • America 2012

            Gotta love it.

            BTW, you didn’t use the word racialist properly.

            Meh

            • how does one use it properly? Thx

              :)

              • Nothing about the Warren "check the box" has implied that Brown or his

                campaign they believe they are racially superior to anyone. If for some reason they implied that Warren was actually Native American, and that made her less fit for office, then the term would apply.

                Noun. racialist – a person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others

                • Here's how I was using it:

                  a. An emphasis on race or racial considerations, as in determining policy or interpreting events.

                  And as so defined, I stand by my use. Glad we could clear that up; it’s always good to define one’s terms.

                • guffaw

                  <[new] Nothing about the Warren "check the box" has implied that Brown or his (0+ / 1-) View voters

                  campaign they believe they are racially superior to anyone

                  The mind… it reels. The gob… it is smacked. The lurch… we are left in it.

                  We’ve been all the way around this block before

                  • loved this (from your May post)

                    well done:

                    This pride in a mixed heritage cannot be understood by racists: the only pride worth having, the subtext reads, is pride in being through and through White… That’s the whole of the kerfuffle: she’s not all-white and maybe proud of it.

                • and the war whoop chants and tomahawk chops?

                  What are we to make of these?

                  BTW: you have a demonstrated an overly facile use of “they:”
                  ” they believe they…”

                  What are we to make of this?

          • "That's the best it's gonna get... and it's not ever gonna be as good as that again."

            She must show this, she must reveal that, she must meet these people, she must apologize for being deceptively white./blockquote>

            It’s worse than that: Brown doesn’t even concern himself with whether Warren can show/explain/reveal/etc… Rather, in a distinct effort to deny her any agency whatsoever, Brown appeals to some authoritative other: Harvard must release hiring records; ‘union guys’ must judge her lawyering; other people get to decide if she’s Cherokee enough. His every declarative sentence tries to rob her or agency and action. You can’t get much more straight-up, old-school, sexist than that without actually being a Catholic priest.

            (bonus points for whomever can identify the movie quote in the title…)

            • grumble grumble #!@&amp;% curse you, fickle blockquote tag!!

              She must show this, she must reveal that, she must meet these people, she must apologize for being deceptively white.

              It’s worse than that: Brown doesn’t even concern himself with whether Warren can show/explain/reveal/etc… Rather, in a distinct effort to deny her any agency whatsoever, Brown appeals to some authoritative other: Harvard must release hiring records; ‘union guys’ must judge her lawyering; other people get to decide if she’s Cherokee enough. His every declarative sentence tries to rob her or agency and action. You can’t get much more straight-up, old-school, sexist than that without actually being a Catholic priest.

              (bonus points for whomever can identify the movie quote in the title…)

            • Mystic River

              I’m guessing

              • nope.

                The quote:

                “That’s the best it’s gonna get… and it’s not ever gonna be as good as that again.”

                Is from Christopher Walken in “True Romance it takes place in the scene containing the little colloquy he has with Dennis Hoppers’ character. Best scene in the film. It’s the scene I thought of when I first heard that Scott Brown was refusing to apologize and, indeed, doubling down.

                With the amount of time left in the race and Browns unwillilngness to reign in the hate, coupled with the well demonstrated sexism and racism in the GOP DNA, we could, after the election, think of this moment as the ‘good times.’

        • Merrimack Guy,

          file this under No Kidding:

          Even if he did everything suggested here on BMG, if he wins people will think he still sucks, and if he loses then he will be ridiculed.

          There’s no question who set the tone for the campaign and it wasn’t Scott Brown who brought it all on himself. His petard needed hoisting and it’s good to finally see him doing it for himself.

          • So would you concede that Obama set the tone for the Presidential campaign?

            because he launched all the Romney bashing first, and hasn’t followed the traditional path of looking Presidential and running on his record of accomplishment?

            I don’t care about the tone. Coakley savaged Brown last time. I can see why he would be ready to punch this time.

            • First blood?

              What GOP primary were *you* watching?

              • Alternate reality

                What about that 47% video? That’s what we’ve been waiting for, for him to lay out what the stakes are. He should say this again and again. Just wait till the polls show this video backfiring on Obama.

                The polls don’t show a backfire on Obama? Well, that’s obviously because the polls are assuming a huge Democratic turnout, like 2008, which was a wave year. Since Republicans are the side that is fired up this year, you have to apply a correction to the polls so that they show Romney winning by a huge margin.

                The arithmetic doesn’t support any huge systemic flaw in the polls? Screw the polls. They’re just contrived by the liberal media to make Republicans depressed so they won’t turn out to vote. It really is a vast liberal media conspiracy to suppress the vote of all of the legitimate Americans, whom make up the silent majority that would in any legitimate election cause Romney to win 48 states.

                A conspiracy, I tell you!

                • Whaaaa. The polls are wrong.

                  What a pathetic cry baby approach to the fact that Romney is tanking. Boo Hoo, it is the polls that are wrong. Sniff, Sniff.
                  Nate Silver takes all that into consideration before reporting his numbers and Romney is crashing and burning. Not every poll can be as F***ED UP GARBAGE as Rasmussen. Whaaaaa Whaaaaa Whaaaaaaaaaa.
                  Poor Baby, If I don’t like the facts, then the facts must be wrong.
                  And I know that humans rode dinosaurs because I once saw a documentary on it, it was called the Flintstones. Sniffle, Sniffle. Boo Fricken Hoo.

            • No, I'd say the GOP, which

              never stopped campaigning against Obama, questioning his citizenship, saying he apologized for the United States, and calling either Hitler or a communist, set the tone for the campaign.

              Much to the chagrin of me and many others, Obama tried to work with the obstructionist wingnuts you support. Instead they vowed to block everything and promised to bring down his Presidency.

              The tone of the Presidential campaign is downright civil compared to the crap the GOP freakshow have doled out over the last four years.

            • Wow

              You have a complete and utter inability to accept the failures of your own side. Romney — and Brown — each have no one else to blame, but themselves, in their present predicaments.

              If Romney ran a campaign on the issues and his record in being able to deal with them, perhaps he wouldn’t have allowed Obama’s campaign to run circles around him.

              As Mr. Lynne also suggests, Romney’s vicious broadsides against the entire Republican field makes your whining hilarious.

              Re: Brown, Coakley’s ads were horrible — and horribly ineffective — and were the best thing to happen to him in that campaign. There was no reason for him to be “ready to punch” back “this time,” when Coakley only dealt in self-inflicted wounds.

              But keep whining. I have my popcorn out and enjoy every minute of it.

              RyansTake   @   Wed 26 Sep 6:52 PM
  4. WCVB has coverage, and about the word "condone"...

    http://www.wcvb.com/news/politics/Cherokee-Nation-disappointed-with-chants-used-by-Sen-Scott-Brown-staff/-/9848766/16727976/-/ewndb7/-/index.html

    “It is certainly something that I don’t condone,” said Brown

    If there are no consequences Scotty, you ARE condoning it.

  5. Pahleeze! Why are we trying to help Brown keep this story going?

    Taking the bait at every turn…instead of ignoring a few morons in a sidewalk standout, we help Brown keep this story going…there are many things to be outraged about, this is not one of them…stop talking about Native Americans, checking boxes and who hired who…Warren’s own polls confirm people don’t care…and why is that? BECAUSE they are too busy caring about keeping/getting jobs, paying college tuitions, worrying about retirement…TALK ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE CARE ABOUT!!!

    • I agree to an extent.

      But again, Swift Boating is a very successful strategy. “Ignore and it’ll go away” has its own risks.

    • additionally

      Our history of racism and genocide toward the indigenous people of North America is truly and utterly appalling and a festering wound of our national psyche. We don’t talk about this (or slavery) enough. It’s bubbled to the surface; we should not give it the easy out of waving it on. Politically, there’s not much to gain from that, so I guess I’m talking from an ethical, not political perspective.

      I don’t know what the answer is. I know it makes me extremely sad.

    • this is why i read BMG

      HLP is a longtime BMGer, seems to be a political insider.

      And I read this thread hoping for precisely what he was offering, b.c my question had been:

      Is this flap something that helps or hurts Brown?

      HLP suggests: help. Brown loses battle and wins war by keeping this issue in front of voters.

      • It's still September

        There is plenty of time – and more debates – to get back to issues of importance to voters – the economy, health care, the social safety net. I don’t see how this helps Scott Brown. His major selling point was being a nice guy who was biparisany and could work across the aisle. Does he look like one of those now?

        That carefully crafted image is in tatters, and as far as I can see, all he’s got to replace it is one wild fact-free accusation after another. What’s his case now for why he should keep his job? If he’s not the nice biparisany guy he claimed to be, what does he run on? His record? His positions? If those were palatable to the Mass electorate, he’d be doing that already.

        • The next debate is Monday...

          There is plenty of time – and more debates –

          … and that debate will be “moderated” by David Gregory.

          So much for getting back to issues of importance to voters.

          • Fortunately that's not the last one

            Do you know who’s moderating the others?

            • according to wikipedia...

              … the third is on the 10th hosted by Jim Madigan and the fourth looks, so far, to be TBD.

              October 1: UMASS Lowell. Co-hosted by the university and the Boston Herald and moderated by David Gregory
              October 10: Springfield’s Symphony Hall, hosted by a Western MassachusettsA consortium, moderated by WGBY-TV’s Jim Madigan.
              October 30: WGBH-TV’s studio, hosted by a Boston media consortium.

              details

              • Interesting, thanks.

                Kind of disappointing that in a race with a yawning chasm of a gender gap, all the moderators announced so far are men. Hope that’s rectified in the final debate. Good grief, the national presidential debates were able to find a couple of women as well as men to moderate, you’d think we could manage to come up with one to represent a majority of the population here.

    • I think all of this hurts Brown.

      The Indian issue was always a canard. Brown has a commercial out with Cherokees from North Carolina complaining about Warren. He’s basically saying, look everyone Warren is hurting Cherokee people’s feelings. Now we have Brown’s campaign intentionally hurting everyone else’s feelings. Warren is doing the right thing and giving the non-issue the (in)attention it deserves.

      As far as we here on BMG are concerned, the more noise we make the better. We want to keep this story up until Brown’s on the defensive. We’re getting the issue with plenty of lead time for tables to be turned.

      I respectfully disagree with HLPeary, who, if I’m not mistaken, has brought up the idea before that we shouldn’t say something because it could harm a preferred candidate’s chances. This issue has a life of its own. Whatever fuel we add to the fire will not be enough to burn Warren.

    • Updated thought

      I think Brown’s staff’s racist activity deserved attention, as it was wrong and should have been called out. That’s been done, and I agree with you now that it is time to move on to issues like the economy, health care and the social safety net.

  6. Has Scotty told us if the kings and queens have weighed in on this issue?

    Perhaps he can ask the President on the next regular phone call they have on important legislation.

    • Well, Chief of Cherokee Nation is impressive

      My sense is that Brown was referring to people like Queen Elizabeth (although others have suggested Burger King and Dairy Queen) but I don’t see why Bill John Baker can’t count as a king. Interestingly, however, it appears that famous Ethnology professor Brown doesn’t want to talk with him.

    • Well, Chief of Cherokee Nation is impressive

      My sense is that Brown was referring to people like Queen Elizabeth (although others have suggested Burger King and Dairy Queen) but I don’t see why Bill John Baker can’t count as a king, or chief, for purposes of discussion. Interestingly, however, it appears that famous Ethnology professor Brown doesn’t want to talk with him.

  7. Tonight in NYT

    The Brown campaign issued this:

    “Senator Brown has spoken to his entire staff – including the individuals involved in this unacceptable behavior – and issued them their one and only warning that this type of conduct will not be tolerated. As we enter the final stretch of this campaign, emotions are running high, and while Senator Brown can’t control everyone, he is encouraging both sides to act with respect. He regrets that members of his staff did not live up to the high standards that the people of Massachusetts expect and deserve.”

    He is big on issuing “one and only” warnings but there seems to be no follow through. And a pre-emptive warning to the other side too.

    So it’s still on – He has warned his staff so there. Now on to more impertinent, disrespectful interrogations of Warren’s ethnicity.

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