Baker denounces offensive actions by Sen. Scott Brown staffers

BY STAFF REPORTS
09/26/2012 10:51 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Principal Chief Bill John Baker released a statement today denouncing what he called “disrespectful actions” of staffers and supporters of Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown.

According to a Washington Post story, a liberal Massachusetts blog published video of men identified as staffers the Massachusetts Republican chanting “war whoops” and making “tomahawk chops” during a rally.

According to Blue Mass Group, the blog that posted the clip, the rally took place in Boston on Saturday. Supporters of Elizabeth Warren, who is challenging Brown for his senate seat, also appear in the video.

“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,” Baker said. “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.”

In his statement, Baker calls upon Brown to apologize “for the offensive actions of his staff and their uneducated, unenlightened and racist portrayal of Native peoples.”

According to the Washington Post story, a local news station confirmed that the men seen in the video are Brown’s deputy chief of staff and constituent service counsel, along with a local Republican activist.

The “war whoops” and “tomahawk chops” apparently stem from Warren’s claim of Cherokee and Delaware heritage, which has become a flashpoint in the tight senate race.

The Post story states that Brown has attacked Warren for telling past employers that she has Native American heritage. It also states that Warren said she never received any professional advantage from identifying as part Cherokee. Brown has requested Warren release personnel records to substantiate the claim, according to the Washington Post.

Brown told WCVB that the behavior is “something I don’t condone.” But, he said, “The real offense is that (Warren) said she was white and then checked the box saying she is Native American, and then she changed her profile in the (Harvard University) law directory once she made her tenure.”

To view the video, go to youtube.com/watch?v=-w9TnCMM5kA

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