Indian War Whoops
Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
BOSTON The US senate race in Massachusetts that has already been ugly turned nastier today with the discovery of a video tape of members of Senator Scott Brown's campaign doing so-called Indian war whoops and making
tomahawk chops at a Brown political rally this past weekend.
Brown's campaign staff wanted to draw attention to the Democratic party's nominee, Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, who as an undocumented Cherokee has cited her American Indian heritage when she applied at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Caught on tape and posted on the Blue Master blog today was Brown's deputy chief of staff and two members attempting to make Indian war whoops and making tomahawk chops.
Brown's campaign responded to the Native News Network, citing his comment earlier today at South Station in Boston:
US Senator Scott Brown
Well, I haven't seen it, this is the first I'm hearing of it. But I know we had a lot of rallies, so I don't know what you're specifically referring to, but if you're saying that, certainly that's not something I condone. It's certainly something that if I am aware of it, I'll tell that member to never do it again. But the real issue here is, and the real offense is the fact that Professor Warren checked the box. She said that she was white, and then she checked the box saying she was Native American and then she changed her profile in the law directory once she attained her tenure. That's quite offensive to Native Americans and something that she should release her records, as I released my 32 years of military records.
A call into the Elizabeth Warren for Senate was not returned to the Native News Network by press time.
The following statement was made by Rhonda LeValdo-Gayton, president of the Native American Journalists Association, NAJA, in an email this afternoon to the Native News Network about the videotape:
That is terrible. Well it is sad that this is what Senator Brown's supporters are doing. I would hope Senator Brown would let his supporters know not to use these types of tactics, it is immature and by doing so, they are making fun of Native Nations across this country. NAJA put out a press release this past summer that said:“NAJA is disappointed that coverage of US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's claimed Native heritage has resulted in a series of disrespectful headlines and puns that show disregard for Native Americans and our history.”
In the YouTube video, posted by the BlueMassGroup2012 account, Brown supporters confront Warren backers at a rally near Eire Pub in Boston on Saturday. Boston's WCVB identified the Brown supporters as Brown deputy chief of staff Greg Casey, constituent service counsel Jack Richard and Massachusetts GOP operative Brad Garrett.
posted September 25, 2012 3:30 pm edt