Sen. Scott Brown's campaign was caught up in controversy this week when campaign staffers showed up at a rally for Brown's opponent, Democrat Elizabeth Warren, and interrupted it with Native American war chants and "tomahawk chops."
Brown, who has stepped up attacks on Warren for having claimed to have Native American ancestry even though she has not proven it, distanced himself from the rally incident.
"It is certainly something that I don't condone," Brown told the Boston Globe, then focusing his comment on his attacks against Warren. "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 law directory once she made her tenure."
Bill John Baker, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, called on Brown's campaign to apologize for the incident and issued the following statement:
"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."
What do think? Were the chants appropriate given the issue of Warren's heritage? Or were they racist and offensive? Discuss in the comments below.